. John Tallmadge | Exploring Nature, Culture, and the Human Journey
Life is our dictionary.  –Ralph Waldo Emerson

White Paper Workshops on Writing

Learn More: Writing with Power in the Professions

Recently offered at: Union Institute, Cincinnati OH (5-day seminar); Winthrop University MA in Arts Administration Program (2-day workshop)

Creative Writing and Critical Thinking for Doctoral Work

Convenors: John Tallmadge (with Heidi Moore and
Mark Roberts)

Critical thinking and effective writing are scholar skills that every learner needs in order to do top-notch doctoral work.  This workshop will provide an opportunity to study the theory and explore the practice of these essential arts The convenors are seasoned writers and scholars with extensive professional experience in research, teaching, and publication.

This seminar will use a variety of formats balancing presentations, lectures, and discussions with small group and individual workshop sessions.  Participants will have the opportunity to work on pieces of their own writing while learning how to assist others through constructive critique and editing.

Our agenda will be organized according to the dimensions of classical rhetoric: invention, arrangement, and style.  The first day will be devoted to the writing process and the elements of doctoral scholarship.  Day two will focus on invention: critical thinking, free-writing, and development of ideas.  Day three will be devoted to arrangement: the rhetorical model, argumentation and logic, and the elements of exposition and narrative.  Day four will focus on style: word choice and usage, sentence combining, paragraphs, editing and revision for clarity, economy, and grace.  The last day will deal with publishing in both academic and trade media; the seminar will conclude with a group evaluation and feedback session.

Since this is a workshop, it will rely heavily the active participation.  Everyone is expected to engage in workshop activities, which include sharing your own writing and constructive criticism of others' work. Participants are also expected to complete a series of preseminar readings and writing  exercises, and to bring one important piece of work in progress for their program to share with others in workshop.







  • Hall, Donald.  Writing Well
  • Lamott, Anne.  Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life.  New York NY:  Random House, 1994
  • Williams, Joseph. Style: 10 Lessons in Clarity and Grace
  • Zinsser, William.  On Writing Well
  • Orwell, George. "Politics and the English Language" (xerox)