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Sin Boldly!: Dr. Dave's Guide To Writing The College Paper

Sin Boldly!: Dr. Dave's Guide To Writing The College Paper
Author: Dave Williams
ISBN 13: 9780465091591
ISBN 10: 465091598
Edition: 2nd ed.
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication Date: 2004-08-11
Format: Paperback
Pages: 240
List Price: $14.99

An irreverent, smart, and practical writing guide unlike any other on the market

Anthony Pucci - KLIATT

It was Martin Luther who wrote that since all men are sinners, we must "sin boldly!" That is exactly what Dr. Dave does in this funny, sometimes irreverent, but informative guide. There are many similar guides on the market. This one is more likely to be read, not because it offers more or better advice, but because its presentation will appeal to a youthful audience. Williams adopts the voice of a cool professor offering the inside scoop to a clueless freshman. He covers all the expected issues, including choosing a topic, choosing the right word, topic sentences, grounding analysis on solid evidence, proper punctuation, and procedures for documentation, among others. He explains non sequitur as well as misplaced modifier. He asks the reader to "imagine Jesse Jackson, Jesse Helms, and Jesse Ventura each writing a history of the Clinton presidency" to emphasize his point that all writing in the humanities is subjective. Another example of good advice for the student writer is the recommendation to avoid the use of "Cliffs and Monarch and other shortcuts to an easy C," noting that teachers read them, and that some teachers actually write them. Similar advice is given regarding the purchase of papers on the Internet. The avoidance of spelling errors would be standard fare for any guide. The difference is in the way Williams makes his point. Reminding the reader of the inadequacy of spell checkers, he writes, "They cannot sea misspellings that our other words and thus can't save you're hide." Of particular note is the chapter on "Literary Games," which attempts to explain in simple terms the viewpoints of New Critics, existentialists, deconstructionists, and postmodernists, somethingwhich most guides would not even attempt. Dr. Dave reminds his readers that "literacy is a far better tool and symbol of empowerment than any other, even money." With this guide, he has made a significant contribution to the advancement of literacy in our schools. KLIATT Codes: A—Recommended for advanced students and adults. 20??, Perseus, Basic Books, 226p. index., Ages 17 to adult.