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Expressing Yourself with Confidence


Melissa Richards.
Melissa Richards.

“Sleep on it.” “Measure your tone.” “Consider your representation.” These are three of the tips Vice President for Communications and Marketing Melissa Richards  offers in her essay, “Express Your Opinion — but First, Check Yourself.” The Nov. 9 essay appearing in Inside Higher Ed is subtitled “Emotion can fuel great writing. It can also be a vulnerability. Consider these steps to ensure your arguments are sound.”

Richards provides a checklist for submitting “not only a strong, original, timely piece based on facts, but one that you can stand on with confidence.” In the process, she suggested that writers ask themselves these questions:

  • Does your opinion represent your personal views, those shared by others in your field, or a statement for your institution?
  • Do your personal identities (gender, race, religion, professional background, etc.) validate your voice on the topic at hand, or could you invite a co-author who can lend more credibility?
  • Is [your tone] serious or snarky, arrogant or persuasive, angry or sarcastic?

She concludes her piece by advising, “Every time you publish a piece, you should feel confident that you can not only defend it but also continue the conversation you started.”

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