Developing Writing Skills By Listening to Podcasts

I agree with the process, write as we speak. I frequently recommend to writers that they aurally record their thoughts and then write their comments down, as they play back the recording. I have a microtape transcription machine (it was the only gift that I wanted for my 35th birthday), and I used it for many years, documenting my spoken lecture. Now, I use a digital voice recorder; however, the outcome is the same: I speak first, and then I write. I found that this process of speaking, then writing has helped my podcasting. I am now speaking, writing, speaking. 😉

Critical thinking may help you in your writing, so long as you remember that the purpose of critical thinking is to create a logical framework within which we identify assumptions and fallacies, preventing them from affecting the decision-making process.

Critical thinking is not just analysis or clarity of thought. Critical thinking is the application of the Greek model of logic to the evaluation of available data. We cannot divorce ourselves of our assumptions and emotions; however, we can recognize these human attributes and disallow their affecting our application of logic.

If we seek to write as we speak, it is incumbent that we must first speak well.

You may find it helpful to listen to podcasts that focus on language (oral and written), especially those from erudite sources such as…

1. Grammar Girl’s Quick & Dirty Tips to Clean Up Your Writing
2. A Way With Words
3. Just Vocabulary
4. On Words with John Ciardi
5. (a selection of language-related podcasts)
6. CogitoVeritas (from yours truly)
7. LSAT Logic in Everyday Life (While unrelated to language per se, it is an excellent addition to your study of critical thinking! The LSAT is an examination of pure logic.)

Each of these hyperlinks points to the Web site from which the podcast or additional resources may be accessed.

Today, I drove our youngest daughter to the orthodontist. On the way from school to the dental office, we talked about our day’s activities. On the way home, we listened to three recordings from Just Vocabulary. Kathleen, who is 12 years old, and I had a blast challenging each other to see who could more quickly respond to the vocabulary questions that the podcast posed!

I am a huge fan of podcasting, as it allows us to continue our lifelong education, even while doing other tasks, such as driving, cooking, and waiting. I am writing to you and listening to one of the three dozen podcasts to which I subscribe. I suggest that you start listening to podcasts that will help you in those subjects that you desire to improve and a few other topics that are just of interest to you.


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