Monthly Archives: June 2011

Evaluating Online Writing Programs by Maria Rainier

Evaluating Online Writing Programs
Online writing programs are a great way for working adults to earn their degree without having to give up their 9 to 5 bread-and-butter. Shorter, non-degree workshops and courses also offer writers of all levels the chance to fine tune their writing and to get feedback from others. However, all online courses are not created equal. If you decide that you would like to take courses online, be sure to carefully evaluate all your options. Here are some things to consider:
Type of Program
Online writing courses are available for all needs. There are online degree programs (for a BA, MA, or MFA), as well as certificate programs and non-credit courses. Some intensive writing workshops are also available online, and they can last for a day or a few weeks. Ask yourself what you want to get out of the program. Do you just want to fine tune your writing or work on some problem areas? Or do you want an intense course of study that can advance your professional goals? Each of these programs will have a different focus and will require a different time commitment – as well as varying financial commitments.
Curriculum
What is the focus of the program? Some may offer guidance on all types of writing, while others may focus on particular forms, such as the novel, short story, or memoir. Make sure that your goals line up with the goals of the program. Look at all the required courses and read the descriptions. Also, make sure that the level is appropriate for your current skill set. Are the courses geared toward beginners or more advanced students with some previous training or experience? Before you commit, be sure that the program will be able to meet your needs and help you advance your goals.
Professors
Though a successful writing career is not necessarily an indication that a person will be a good teacher, the experience of the professors in your program is an important factor to consider. You will be able to draw on that experience in your own studies. The more experienced and well-known professors teach in the program, the better its reputation will be, as well. If a program has many beginning instructors, do a little research to find out more about them: What was their education? What kind of writing have they done? Have they been published?
Support
Since you will be taking your courses online, you won’t have the benefit of face-to-face interaction or just popping by your professor’s office to ask a question or have a conversation about your work. Find out what level of interaction you will be able to have with your professors. Will there be virtual office hours? Can you e-mail or call when you have a question? How extensive will the feedback be on your work? If the course will rely primarily on peer feedback, be sure you know that ahead of time.
Accreditation/Reputation
One of the most important aspects of any educational program – whether online or not – is its accreditation and reputation. Always look for a program that is regionally or nationally accredited. Accreditation verifies that the program meets a set of core standards, and this speaks to the rigor and value of the program. Also consider the reputation of the school. If you are seeking a degree or professional advancement, the reputation of your school can impact the opportunities you have.
Choosing an online program is based on a number of personal considerations. However, these factors make for a good starting point when evaluating a new program. Do your research and ask a lot of questions. Make sure the program will work for you and your goals.
Bio: Maria Rainier is a freelance writer and blogger for First in Education where she’s recently written on technical writing careers along with a piece on paramedic jobs. In her spare time, she enjoys yoga, playing piano, and working with origami.

technical writing careers http://www.onlinedegrees.org/calculator/occupations/technical-writers

paramedic jobs
http://www.onlinedegrees.org/calculator/salary/emergency-medical-technicians-and-paramedics

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ANNOUNCING 2 EXCITING CONTEST FOR THE SH SH SH LET THE BABY SLEEP BOOK TOUR!

ANNOUNCING 2 EXCITING CONTEST FOR THE
SH SH SH LET THE BABY SLEEP BOOK TOUR!

AUTHOR: KATHY STEMKE
ILLUSTRATOR: JACK FOSTER

CONTEST/DRAWING
There will be drawings at the end of the tour from those who comment or answer a superhero trivia question on this or any other site during the tour from June 13th-July 5th. Please include your email address in a safe format: dancekam1(at)yahoo(dot) com
The prizes include:
• $10 Amazon gift certificate
• Mozart in the Future by Tania Rodriges-Peters
• “The Wild Soccer Bunch” books 1 & 2 by Joachim Masannek
• “30 Days to a Well-Mannered Dog” by Tamar Geller
• Superhero figurines
• “The Green Bronze Mirror” by Lynne Ellison
• “The Face of Deceit” by Ramona Richards

COLORING CONTEST
Download a coloring page from http://educationtipster.blogspot.com for the book, “Sh Sh Sh Let the Baby Sleep.” Color it, and email a picture of it to Kathy Stemke at dancekam1 (at) yahoo (dot) com for a chance to win one of the prizes below.
• “Small Gifts in God’s Hands” by Max Lucado
• Superhero figurine
• “Making Memories” by Janette Oke

THE BOOK BY KATHY STEMKE IS AVAILABLE ON GUARDIAN ANGEL PUBLISHING, AMAZON, BARNES AND NOBLE, AND OTHER EBOOK SITES.

CHECK OUT REVIEWS OF THIS ACTION PACKED BOOK educationtipster.blogspot.com

Writing your bio: a guest post by Debra Eckerling

Writing Your Bio
By Debra Eckerling

A bio is something all writers should have, whether it’s for a blog or website, byline, query/cover letter, book proposal, workshop flyer, pitch, or book jacket cover.

Want to re-work your bio? Here are some writing exercises to help you out:

1. Write, Don’t Think: Read your current bio. Put it aside. and rewrite it using free-writing/stream-of-consciousness.

2. Talk Your Bio. Either to a friend or to an audio recorder. Or, if you have just returned from a networking event, much of your experience may be on the top of your head—write it down!

3. Interview. Ask your friends and former co-workers about your strengths and accomplishments, and see how they see you.

Then, read, re-write, revise, read, polish, repeat.

Make sure your bio is written in your tone and style, because, like with a query, that is what you are promoting. Every bio is different, just as every writer is different. The point is to have fun, and let your personality come through your words.

Also, you should always have a short pitch of yourself to relay at any time. You never know who you are going to meet … so, be ready.

To help you practice “short and sweet,” the June Write On! Challenge is a Tweeting Contest. Describe yourself in 140 characters or less More info on the website. Write on!

Debra Eckerling is the creator of Write On! Online, a website and community for writers. Debra, a communications specialist and writing coach, has written for national, local, trade, and online publications. Follow Write On! Online on Twitter and “like” on Facebook.