The Nature of Writing

is creating a free writing guide for students

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About The Nature of Writing

Hi, I'm Conrad van Dyk, and I'm creating a comprehensive writing guide for students.

Right now the project encompasses a website and a Youtube channel. Both are dedicated to providing quality writing advice for free.

So far I've created hundreds of videos, tutorials, and exercises.

Here are some reasons why I'm so excited about this project:

1. An open access writing guide saves students money. A lot of money. The average university writing guide costs around $50. Multiply that by just 25 students (an average class size) and we've saved $1250. Then consider what would happen if all the first year students in a university would have access to an electronic textbook. Let's say 5000 students at a large university take a first year writing course. Suddenly we've saved $250,000, and that just in one year. You don't have to be a math major to figure out that a good open access writing guide can save students millions of dollars every single year.

2. Open access instruction is better for students. Students have access to the material forever. Students can also learn at their own pace. They can do extra exercises, watch videos again, learn in ways that suit them (text or video), and so much more.

3. There are no quality open access guides available online. For instance, the Khan Academy has some excellent video lessons on grammar, but they don't have text based explanations and their grammar lessons are less advanced. Similarly, the OWL at Purdue has some great resources (esp. on citation), but they don't really have a good library of videos. I could go on. The point is that there is no comparable resource out there at the moment. And that's not surprising. No academic publisher is interested in creating a free writing manual when these textbooks are such a major cash cow.

So please give a little and help make this a world class resource! Thank you.

Conrad van Dyk


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