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Chapter 154: Nancy

September 20, 2015Pensacola, Florida I first met Nancy Rayburn online, over a year ago, on Tuesday, September 10, 2013. She had posted an extensive biography of Robert Anderson on the USGenWeb website. The text came from an obscure history book, and while the University of Maryland has a great InterLibrary […]

Emmett’s Alma Mater & Grammar Woes

You’ve seen me rant in earlier posts about the decline in general student performance, both in my own classes and in higher ed in general. Here’s an interesting story about collegiate football fans. Given the fact that I see — and catch — more instances of plagiarism and poor grammar […]

The Old College Try

Classes started yesterday at the University of Maryland, so I spent most of this past weekend tying up a few loose ends here and there, getting ready for the new semester. I look forward to seeing students on campus and in classrooms each Fall. To me, the first day of […]

A Type of Portraiture

Last Thursday, as I was driving around in D.C., I was listening to The Diane Rehm Show on WAMU. It was a rebroadcast of an interview she conducted with E.L. Doctorow (one of my favorite writers) who had recently died. The subject was Doctorow’s book, “Homer and Langley.” Doctorow’s book […]

The Sad Decline of Writing Quality

A friend sent this to me the other day: Sad, but true. In my 20 years of teaching in two disciplines (Communications and Education), it seems like there has been a downward spiral in writing quality for at least the past decade. I’ve never had so many instances of academic […]

Patience, Young Grasshopper

Readers, in my non-Emmett Wilson life, I teach professional research and writing for the University of Maryland, in the University College division. This is my 20th year as a faculty member. Two important concepts in my instruction each semester include narrowing the research topic and framing a research strategy, and […]