Archive for the 'Education/Schools' Category

Mar 09 2013

Can Graphic Novels Help You Learn Faster? Test It For Free

I provide advice about how to write novels, comic books and graphic novels. Most of my content applies to fiction-writing in general, but I also provide articles specifically about superhero stories.

Short version: Dr. Short at the University of Oklahoma conducted a study which found that graphic novels helped students learn material more easily and were preferred by 80% of the students. You can enroll for free here to test whether they are more effective for you.


Here’s an example of the study incorporating visual cues to make business-school material easier to learn/understand:

If you’d like to see for yourself, please enroll for their free option here:

I’m definitely in; diagrams and other visual cues really helped me in school, especially in understanding complex processes with distinct phases like the Krebs Cycle in biology and the earmarking process in congressional budgeting.

4 responses so far

Mar 26 2012

How to Write Interesting Characters

Creative Writing Resources for English Class

Feel free to use this printout for your creative writing classes or whatever else you have in mind.

Below, I’ve included a text version, mainly to help Google “read” this.

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10 responses so far

Mar 02 2012

How to Give a Character a Personality

One English teacher asked for an SN poster for his classroom.  Here’s a poster I made out of a much longer article on how to make boring characters interesting. As always, please feel free to give advice/feedback/creative insults.  Feel free to use it if you’d like.

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20 responses so far

Nov 19 2011

“What Have You Learned in This Class?”

Published by under Education/Schools

My boss mentioned an interesting final exam he once had.  The professor met each student individually and the final exam was speaking for 12 minutes straight to answer the question “What have you learned in this class?”  The student gets two pauses and the professor says nothing except “Off-topic” or “Change subjects” if he feels the student is wasting time.  How many classes have you taken that have taught you enough to speak semi-coherently for 10+ minutes about what you’ve learned? What separates those teachers/professors from the other teachers/professors you’ve had?

20 responses so far

Aug 16 2011

Discussion: Why Aren’t More Graphic Novels Assigned for English Classes?

Guest answer from English professor and superhero scholar Chris Gavaler:

“I would say there is a slow building of graphic novels in classrooms. My daughter, for instance, read Maus in 8th grade English last year. But I emphasize the word “slow.” It took the NYTimes weeks to notice that Maus was a memoir (even though it had talking animals) and move it to the appropriate best-seller column.  I would say the graphic memoir has reached a level of cultural legitimacy (again, look at the NYTimes Book Review for evidence), but comic books as a genre are still weighed down by their past and, frankly, their present. Only an “innovative” teacher is going to introduce a comic to a syllabus, and then probably only a memoir because it balances the stigma of the form with the aura of fact. It’s those guys flying around with capes that drag the genre down. Though there are several superhero graphic novels deserving classroom study, the vast majority do not, and those that do are worthwhile because they subvert their pulp genre so interestingly.”


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16 responses so far