Practicing a New Language

Learning a new language is a challenge. While languages generally already consist of their own different accents and sentence structures, some have various dialects, which makes the learning process even harder to conquer. When learning a new language, you can try these a couple of these methods:  Speaking To improve your speaking ability, you must, I repeat must, practice because mastery neither magically nor suddenly … Continue reading Practicing a New Language

Tips for Reading Difficult or Challenging Material

It’s hard to read long, extensive works; it’s harder to read them in an unfamiliar language. Recently, someone came into my drop-in’s and asked for advice on effective methods to read long research papers in preparation for her final. I thought it might be a question that a lot of people are curious about so I decided to do some research. Below are some tips … Continue reading Tips for Reading Difficult or Challenging Material

Who is the Poet Laureate?

Poet Laureate is a term that may be quite familiar to English majors and literature enthusiasts, but it isn’t one most people outside of this field are familiar with. I’ve always been curious about this position; all I knew about it was that they were state-appointed poets whose duty was to write poetry about events and celebrations for their respective country. I had previously read … Continue reading Who is the Poet Laureate?

Humor Online: McSweeney’s Internet Tendency

Here’s a problem that has plagued literature lovers through the years: you like reading, but books are expensive. How do you satisfy your bibliophilia if you don’t have money? While the library used to be the go-to place for penny-pinching readers in the past, the Internet is the modern poor reader’s lifeblood. From blogs to poetry to short stories to full-length novels, the Internet makes … Continue reading Humor Online: McSweeney’s Internet Tendency

The L.A. Zine Fest 2017

Ever heard of a zine? A zine is a cheaply-made and cheaply priced self-published work of original or appropriated texts and images, usually reproduced with a photocopier. Zines can be a collaborative effort by a small group of people or a single person. They’re often in black and white to keep mass-reproduction costs low and are bound with staples. Most zines revolve around a music … Continue reading The L.A. Zine Fest 2017

Daily Tidbit: Quote about Literacy

Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope. It is a tool for daily life in modern society. It is a bulwark against poverty, and a building block of development, an essential complement to investments in roads, dams, clinics and factories. Literacy is a platform for democratization, and a vehicle for the promotion of cultural and national identity. Especially for girls and women, it is … Continue reading Daily Tidbit: Quote about Literacy

Daily Tidbit: Why Do You Write Arguments?

You do not write arguments to browbeat an audience into accepting your ideas. Otherwise you would write purely emotional persuasion, like advertisements, or propaganda, which demands only one response: Don’t think, just believe. Rather, you write arguments because you care about the free exchange of ideas. You care about what other people think. You care about the quest for truth. And you care about your … Continue reading Daily Tidbit: Why Do You Write Arguments?

Daily Tidbit: Breaking Down “media res”

The literal definition of the Latin term media res is “in the midst of things.” When it comes to literary works, media res refers to the common trope of starting stories after important events have already happened. A great example is the Odyssey. The Odyssey begins after the main character, Odysseus, fights in a war and kills a wild sea monster, is kidnapped by a nymph, and witnesses his comrades turn into … Continue reading Daily Tidbit: Breaking Down “media res”

Your Fathers, Where Are They? And The Prophets, Do They Live Forever? by Dave Eggers

Your Fathers, Where Are They? And The Prophets, Do They Live Forever? Have you ever been led through the dark? You know, when someone holds your hand and walks you through a thick blanket of darkness? Let me give you some examples… Maybe a smooth boy was trying to be cute when he told you to close your eyes as he walked you into a … Continue reading Your Fathers, Where Are They? And The Prophets, Do They Live Forever? by Dave Eggers

Middlemarch by George Eliot

I’ve recently watched a lot of Downton Abbey…a lot. To make myself feel better about the hours I’ve spent vegetating in front of a television screen, I’ve justified my use of time by saying that it’s related to class. My justification, of course, is only a partial lie. In the sea of classes I’m taking this quarter, all covering a different aspect of English/American Literature, Downton … Continue reading Middlemarch by George Eliot

Learning to Love Sandra Cisneros

I’d be the first to say that I was skeptical of Cisneros’ way of writing, specifically her famed novel, The House on Mango Street. I started with her introduction, which enthralled me. It pulled me into the world of a struggling writer. I saw Cisneros as a young woman who went to the movies alone because it scared her and as a daughter connecting with her mother on … Continue reading Learning to Love Sandra Cisneros

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

The only way I can think to describe Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See is by describing food. An odd subject to bring up since All the Light We Cannot See is not centered on delicate pastries or orgasmic entrees . Yet, food, like Doerr’s work, requires the attention of all our senses. Like images of fresh baked bread that entice more than your sense of vision, … Continue reading All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Who has influenced you?

In the English major, we talk about literature in theory: stories are specimens to be examined rather than the result of a creative process. At the university, we are critics and consumers of stories, not producers. I rarely have the opportunity to talk about literature as a writer in the classroom, and, as a result, I often disconnect the stories that I read from the … Continue reading Who has influenced you?

Guest Blog: “Infinity Breathes” by Jesse Han

Joan Didion writes that writers—archivists, keepers of private notebooks, of memory’s palace—are of a different breed altogether, anxious malcontents, lonely and resistant rearrangers of things who have learned, from an early age, a preternatural preoccupation with loss. Writing is a sort of nervous tic, a stab at survival for those who continually run from that elemental private reflection: This must end. The summer I was … Continue reading Guest Blog: “Infinity Breathes” by Jesse Han