A useful handbook, especially for those who view college primarily as a conduit to a future career.

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The GPAMaxx Guide to Acing the Public University

A stunningly comprehensive manual designed to help public university students maximize their GPAs and their college experiences.

Most college instructional guides focus on application strategies but provide little advice on how to excel at a college once admitted. Gimpel’s first book provides meticulous advice for succeeding academically at a public university. The problem for the average student is essentially twofold: in an increasingly competitive economy, grades have become an object of scrutiny for prospective employers. Also, tuitions have never been higher, saddling students with piles of debt in exchange for a potentially unmarketable degree. The author provides a detail-rich blueprint for both scoring high grades and completing a degree as quickly as possible, diminishing costs. As far as the speedy completion of a degree is concerned (the author finished a four-year degree in three years), the key is to test out of college courses (“credit by examination”), which allows a student to complete requirements more cheaply and quickly. Using transfer courses can accomplish this as well while simultaneously boosting one’s overall GPA. Much of the guide focuses on getting better grades, which involves carefully applied strategies for appraising and picking both professors and courses. Besides demystifying the sometimes-nebulous nature of college grades, Gimpel also makes a compelling case for their postgraduate significance, especially in a chapter entitled “Your College GPA and the Big Picture.” He also furnishes a sobering lesson on the real costs of a college education and the shocking surcharge attached to graduating late. Sometimes, the advice can be unyieldingly practical, emphasizing grades over education and personal development. The section devoted to “professor shopping” surely contains helpful tips, but it neglects to acknowledge the value of learning from a notoriously difficult instructor and succeeding (or even not) and the possibility of mentorship. Nonetheless, this is a savvy tour of the college experience that rightly makes the case that a disciplined, goal-oriented plan for university may benefit the student more than a more meandering approach.

A useful handbook, especially for those who view college primarily as a conduit to a future career.

Pub Date: June 16, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-9915357-0-5

Page Count: -

Publisher: GPAMaxx LLC.

Review Posted Online: June 1, 2015

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

SEVERAL SHORT SENTENCES ABOUT WRITING

New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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