Book Review: A Technique for Producing Ideas by James W. Young

The perks of graduating as an English major is that, unlike many of my engineering friends, I actually want to keep the books I bought for my classes. One of those books is A Technique for Producing Ideas by James W. Young. It’s smaller than most PDFs, totaling to about 28 pages.

While it felt silly at the time to spend money on it, I found the information it contained to be quite useful. It’s aimed primarily at those in advertising, but since I’m not the greatest generator of creative ideas, I thought it could help me a bit. Here are the steps it provides for trying to come up with brilliant ideas, whether they’re needed for a new campaign or your next novel:

  1. Gather Information: Learn as much as you can about the topic you’re working on, be it your target audience or the concept that’s intrigued you. Learn everything you can—from the menial to the exciting. Don’t forget to keep track of your information! The author suggests writing down each fact on a 3×5″ index card.

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Book Review: Developmental Editing by Scott Norton

Confession: my strongest suit in editing in proofreading. This probably stems from working too many shifts as a grammar tutor, but there it is. Chasing down commas is what I do (whether or not I’m supposed to).

However, where there’s strength in one area, there’s often weakness nearby. And my weakness is developmental editing. I often struggle with knowing how much to edit without losing the essence of the work. With this confession in mind, one of my internship supervisors recommended the book Developmental Editing: A Handbook for Freelancers, Authors, and Publishers by Scott Norton. He thought it would be a good introduction into the field and ended up reading it with me.

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Strunk and White’s Elements of Style: Worth the Hype?

You’ve probably heard of it before. This “little book” has made a big impact in classrooms throughout the years, and this week was my chance to see why everyone praises this book so much.

In case you’ve never heard of it, The Elements of Style (co-written by E.B. White, author of Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little) is small book about various grammar rules. Think the Chicago Manual of Style compressed into a book small enough to fit into a purse.

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