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How SJU Writes

A student-directed interview series of writers in the Saint Joseph's community

How a Campus Ministry Associate Writes

Grace Davis, Campus Ministry Associate
It’s something special to write to people. For me, in that writing process, I think a lot more deeply than I would if I was just texting or calling.
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How A Philosophy Professor Writes

Ginger Hoffman, Ph.D.
"Make sure you know the contours of your argument first, and then write it, maybe revise it immediately, but at some point revise it after you haven’t been working on it."
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How an English Professor Writes

Jason Mezey, Ph.D.
I had a professor who always told us to “have fun” with our assignments, and I always put “Good luck and have fun!” at the end of each assignment. Even if the chances of having fun are very slim, well, it’s still an idea.
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How an Archival Research Librarian Writes

Chris Dixon, Librarian
I need a good editor. I’m a pretty good researcher. If I were to actually write, I would need a writing partner to look at things and edit.
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How a Political Scientist Writes

Lisa Baglione, Ph.D.
Being young is wonderful on many levels, but for some of us who struggle with confidence, it’s just such a hard time, because these blows, these criticisms, can set you back.
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How a Theology Professor Writes

Brendan Sammon, Ph.D.
There’s so much happening in a work of art, that’s why it pulls us in, but there’s a lot taken for granted. So, a good analysis of that would help us better foreground what it does for us and how it allows us to see things that aren’t so easily visible.
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How a Songwriter Writes

Daisy Abrams '19
"I think everybody has their way of expression...It’s just a matter of working it like a muscle. And the more you do it, the more you get that infinite ability to just tap into something."
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How a Philosophy Professor Writes

Caroline Meline, Ph.D.
"My advice to students on writing is to talk on paper. Just talk, let it happen, and don’t criticize until later."
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How a Music History Professor Writes

Elizabeth Morgan, Ph.D.
"I like it when you feel like you're solving a puzzle."
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How A Spanish Professor Writes

Elaine Shenk, Ph.D.
"Revise, revise, revise."
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How A Young Adult Novelist Writes

April Lindner, Ph.D.
"Read widely and deeply in the discipline you want to write in."
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How a Classics Professor Writes

Henry Bender, Ph.D.
"I think with writing, you do the thinking and reading first—that is, like tilling the soil. You can’t grow the crops unless you have soil and moisture to make things grow. And then you write."
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How a Student Activities Director Writes

Beth Hagovsky, Ed.D.
"You have to reread. I think a lot of people don’t reread their emails before they send them." 
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How an English Professor Writes

Melissa Goldthwaite, Ph.D.
Just do it.” I know it’s a Nike commercial, but it’s also very good advice.
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How a Chemist Writes

Peter Graham, Ph.D.
"When you can summarize a big idea in very few words, it’s like saying 'E=mc2.'"
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How an Attorney Writes

Dave Tuason '03, J.D.
"Eliminate unnecessary words. It’s really key...."
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How English Professors Write

Ann E. Green, Ph.D.
You’re going to write and you’re going to fail. It’s not going to be the best American novel or an “A” paper all the time, but you just have to keep doing it.
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How a Chief Diversity Officer Writes

Monica Nixon, Ph.D.
"Writing allows people to digest, to have an initial response—even if it’s one that negative—and to revisit."
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How Campus Ministry Writes

Beth Ford MacNamee
"The more that I read, the more I have a sense of what my writing should look like."
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How Golf Writers Write

Tom Coyne, M.F.A.
"If we all sat around and waited for the perfect story, the perfect sentence or the perfect paragraph or the perfect chapter, if we’re not going to write till we have that, we wouldn’t write at all."
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How History Professors Write

Alison Lewin, Ph.D.
"Nobody writes as well the first time as the third time. Nobody."
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How Playwrights Write

Tom Smith, '18
"When it comes to writing a scene or any kind of fiction, I approach it by looking at other writing that inspires me...."
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How Campaign Directors Write

Sean Coit, '10
"Anyone can rattle off facts. It’s important to find the real people behind the facts."
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How Management Professors Write

Lisa Nelson, D.Sc.
"The best thing I ever wrote was probably in the first grade. I had to write about why my mom was the best mom in the world."
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