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CMWR analyzes “The Face on the Milk Carton” August 18, 2011

Filed under: what do you think? — DePaul UCWbL @ 14:04 pm

Over the DePaul summer term, the CMWR held a weekly Book Club in collaboration with the English Language Academy, and our selection was the teen-fiction thriller The Face on the Milk Carton, the first installment of a four-part series and the subsequent inspiration for a TV-movie adaptation. The students enjoyed the book and our discussions were interesting, but the CMWR staff was a bit less… enthusiastic in our reviews. Nathalia Oliveira and Ali DeChancie of the CMWR each wrote a review of the book, partly as a way to analyze some of the author’s literary choices from opposing perspectives, and partly as a way to settle our differences with the book and just become casual acquaintances. (more…)


Watch the Throne: Should Traditional Criticism Watch its Back? August 17, 2011

Filed under: new media for communication,what do you think? — natdesjardins @ 13:21 pm

Last week, Jay-Z and Kanye West dropped their highly anticipated joint album, Watch the Throne. Like any other pop culture event, the immense buildup to the release date meant that fans were quick to take to Twitter and other forms of social media to share their thoughts on the album, track-by-track. So what does that mean?

The Huffington Post decided to find out.

Using sentiment analysis, a procedure in which posts are aggregated and then sorted by whether they use positive or negative words in conjunction with the title of the work being analyzed, Huffington Post staffers were able to assign each individual track a score from 0-100. They then placed those scores on a graph, and voila! A quick and easy visual that tells us which tracks have proven most popular and which tracks…well, not so much. (more…)


Scrawl 8/12 August 12, 2011

Hello, Scrawl Nation!

Looking to break into the world of journalism but aren’t sure where to start? UCWbL Fellow Maureen “Mo” Clancy gives us the lowdown on life as an editorial intern at NewCity. Bored by everything on your bookshelf? Hillary Duff’s debut novel provides an Elixir for even the bluest of summer blues on this week’s Snooki’s Corner. Feeling confident about your vocabulary? This week’s Word of the Day might just blow your mind. Whatever you’re looking for this weekend, Scrawl’s got it all!

Scrawl airs in real time every Friday at 11am central on Radio DePaul.


You might be a winner!: Rewarding bad writing August 11, 2011

Filed under: what do you think? — Mark Jacobs @ 14:05 pm

Here at the UCWbL, many of us believe in the value of “shitty first drafts,” an idea popularized by the writer Anne Lamott.  When beginning a piece, it’s important not to censor ourselves, but rather rely on later revision to move us forward.   But bad writing does exist, and we’re all guilty of contributing to the problem at one point or another, and at the times when we don’t succeed, it’s usually best to move on.  However, if your trash bin–or your writing career, for that matter–is littered with lamentable failures, sit tight, and don’t empty it out just yet.



One more week to see “The World As Text”! August 5, 2011

“The World As Text,” an installation at Columbia College Chicago’s Center for Book and Paper Arts, will run for just one more week, until August 12.



Scrawl 8/5

It’s a family affair on today’s Scrawl, as we welcome not one, but two special guests from the UCWbL! Writing Tutor/Fellow Martina Mihelicova reads some short fiction and poetry, and UCWbL Director Dr. Lauri Dietz joins us for a discussion on writing and social media.

In other Scrawl news, just a reminder to put that junior high copy of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to good use, and get reading! Scrawl will be hosting the first installment of the Banned Book Club on a future episode, and we’d love to get our listeners involved.

Scrawl airs every Friday from 11am to Noon right here. Give us a listen…or else.


How to Write Very Little August 4, 2011

“Talking and eloquence are not the same,” Ben Jonson once observed.  “To speak, and to speak well, are two things.”  In his new book, Microstyle, Christopher Johnson, who is a linguist by training, adds that to speak well nowadays is to speak very little.  Microstyle, which you might call a guide to writing for the age of the Internet, promises to explain exactly how to do that.