Monthly Archives: January 2013

Scaling Shakespeare

This is the revised text of my MLA 2013 paper. I’m revising & expanding it, in early 2013 — particularly in the ‘next steps’ section at the bottom. For more information on this project, see here.

The right markup on Shakespeare’s texts can help algorithms address other texts in the early modern English language.

The object of my research is early modern language:

  • specifically texts printed before 1700,
  • specifically Shakespeare,
  • specifically his rhetorical figures.

The rhetorical figure I just used is called an anaphora, where the same word is repeated at the beginning of a sequence of clauses or sentences.

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Advice on short-form essays

[I wrote this for students in my English 340 survey course, after their midterm in December 2012.]

Typewriter 01A short essay in an exam is different from other kinds of critical writing, in a few ways. Its main motive is to demonstrate your ability to interpret the text in a brief argument addressing the terms of the question.

I am more concerned with what you say than how you say it. An exam essay is a first draft, so it’s okay to do the things you’d clean up in revision, like using the passive voice or run-on sentences — so long as you follow the rules of grammar.

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