Seminar 2: John McPhee’s Do’s and Don’ts of writing


  • don’t overthink
  • write down whatever comes to mind
  • carefully edit ans revise
  • produce multiple drafts (at least 4)
  • mark clearly the words that need revision
  • re-read drafts
  • strive to do better with each draft
  • use already known and familiar frames of references
  • understand that your work is open to different interpretations
  • write with intention


  • be easily or overly satisfied and impressed by your own work
  • give up easily
  • repeat words and sentences
  • use references that the masses won’t understand
  • write for ‘the ages’, easily obsolete
  • make assumptions about the reader’s understandings

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