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Your Students Learn by Doing, Not by Listening

In February, The New York Times reported the impressive results of a new study showing that "diet quality, not quantity" was the key to weight loss. Focusing on eating plenty of vegetables and unprocessed foods was a better strategy than counting calories, according to the JAMA study, in which more than 600 people adopted one of two healthy diets for a year. Near the end of the article, however, was a strange caveat: People in both groups had consumed fewer calories than they normally would have. Suddenly, the article’s claims about quality versus quantity seemed suspect. In reading how the study was conducted, I began to realize: The takeaway here wasn’t about diets; it was about teaching. I sometimes worry that the word teach leads us astray...

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Scholars Talk Writing: Do Book Editors Do Much Editing?

As a former book editor in a previous life, I already know "what editors do." But I learned a lot more from a new collection of essays by 27 of the smartest editors in the publishing business. It’s useful reading for anyone who wants to work in the book business, and essential for anyone who wants to be published. I heard about the book early on since my editor at the University of Chicago Press was of the people working on What Editors Do: The Art, Craft, and Business of Book Editing — or as the project was known internally, the one "edited by editors on how editors edit." The collection was commissioned by Mary Laur, a senior editor at the Chicago press, and...

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