This post officially opens a thread on pedagogy, especially higher education pedagogy.
Mark and I exchanged emails about the level of interest in this (“…are you kidding? how many readers are profs and teachers, and of them, how many care anything about technique? Very truly yours, M”). If and when we can discern whether it gets any readership, I will decide which side I took in that debate and announce it.
Here is a memo about the Sentence Outline, my favorite device to help people (including me) write, especially in a professional context. In my introductory course for undergraduates I require the first draft of term papers to be a sentence outline with a section or two developed into prose; in other courses I browbeat and wheedle my students to try it, and about two-thirds do. I wish I could claim to have invented this wonderful form, but I didn’t and I have forgotten where I came upon it. If you know, send me a citation so I can add it to future versions.
Update: Andrew Sabl has been plowing the same field: “I don’t know who
invented them either, but I was taught them in high school (OK, prep
school), and my students and I have found them invaluable ever
since. Not all of my students can be brought to use them, but those
who do say that it changed the way they draft papers forever.”
Here’s his memo.