About the Class

Tuesday, Jan 13, 2009


Download course syllabus.


Why I Scribble on Your Papers

Oral and written communication is a prime leadership skill. I will try to help you improve this skill via comments and suggestions on your written and oral work. I hope to help you make your messages clearer and more compelling. I’ll suggest pruning, more apt or vivid word choice, precise punctuation and grammar. Some guidelines:

  1. Be clear and concise.
  2. Gear your message to your audience. Speak to your classmates as well as the instructor. You may have other audiences in mind, as well.
  3. Help the reader; don’t make him or her work too hard.
  4. Engage the reader through vivid language, story lines and road maps.
  5. Think of punctuation as a sheepdog herding words into sentences, phrases, clauses, and quotes.
  6. Think of grammar as the master’s commands that help keep meaning and timing straight, help us convey what fits with what, and where the action is.
Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs