CONTRIBUTOR : Shannon Reed

An award-winning playwright and former contributor to the Visual Thesaurus Teachers at Work department, Shannon Reed is an MFA candidate in Creative Writing at the University of Pittsburgh, where she also teaches. Read more about her work at shannonreed.org.
1 2 Displaying 1-7 of 14 Articles
One of the students in my Fiction Writing Workshop told a classmate to take a red pen and cross out the multitude of adverbs he had strewn throughout his story. The rest of the class nodded their heads in agreement. But just before I could move us on to the next item on the agenda, the author asked the young woman who'd spoken up, "But why? Why can't I use adverbs?" Continue reading...
TOPICS: Teaching, Usage, Writing
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I had a lot of fun asking my social media community, friends and family about their word quirks, specifically words they've misread (and, thus, mispronounced). Everyone seems to have one or two — maybe more — of these. I found that they can sometimes be quite revealing. Continue reading...
TOPICS: Fun, Language, Words
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As a teacher, writer and editor, I spend a significant portion of my life reminding others (and myself) that certain pairs of words are not interchangeable, although they might seem to be. Now isn't the same as know, and affect can't pinch-hit for effect. Lose vs. loose is a particular frustration as of late. However, in all of my many years of teaching and writing, no one has ever asked me whether they ought to use O or oh, and this makes me sad. Continue reading...
TOPICS: Teaching, Words, Writing
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"How long did you have to queue up?" I asked my brother about a concert he'd attended, just after I got back from a trip to the UK. "You're back in America now, Shannon," he teased me. "We don't queue up here, we line up!" He had a point, but I'd like to think my word choice was not merely the result of my Anglophile tendencies. Continue reading...
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Having logged many years teaching English and theatre at New York City high schools, Shannon Reed now teaches freshman English Composition at the University of Pittsburgh. Here Shannon shows how teachers can work with students to improve their writing by focusing on five overused words. Continue reading...
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It's been about three months since I started my job as a teaching assistant at the University of Pittsburgh. Since doing so, I've not just left behind Brooklyn for the 'Burgh, and "Fuhgedaboutit" for "Yinz want some food?"; I've also adapted my vocabulary, too. The words I use in my classroom now are different from when I taught high school. This is a challenge, and one I've been interested to watch my students — all first-semester freshmen — take on, as well. Continue reading...
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An ongoing struggle in the English Language Arts classroom is improving students' spelling habits. We educators know that good spelling is a crucial skill; is there anything more likely to derail a résumé or essay than a spelling error? Yet it's also a skill that requires assiduous practice on the part of our students. Continue reading...
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1 2 Displaying 1-7 of 14 Articles