I would like to interest you in my Righteous Writing course. Research and writing have religious significance: Writing opens up new avenues of exhortation and instruction to Christians and opportunities of witness and challenge to non-Christians. It is a means for expanding your ministry either locally, nationally, or globally.
Christianity is a religion of the word: In Genesis 1 God created the universe through His spoken word. The Bible is the word of God revealing God's plan for man. Our Lord Jesus Christ is the word made flesh. Christianity spread quickly and is still spreading today by promoting the word through speaking and writing.
My first published article was a seminary paper I wrote in 1975, which appeared in a journal in 1976. At the insistence of my wife I submitted the article for publication. Since then the Lord has blessed me with an ever-widening writing ministry: I have published scores of articles in such periodicals as: Christianity Today, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, Westminster Theological Journal, Chalcedon Report, Banner of Truth, Pulpit Helps, and others.
I have written or contributed to more than a thirty books from several publishers, including Baker, Zondervan, Kregel, Christian Universities Press, American Vision, Wipf & Stock, Institute for Christian Economics, P & R Publishing, Oakleaf, Ross House, Greenhaven Press, Nordskog, ApologeticsMedia, and Footstool Publications. Writing projects continue to come my way on a regular basis.
The Righteous Writing course is a result of more than twenty years of writing experience and study of the art of writing and the world of publishing. It provides you with insights that took me twenty years to accumulate. This course is for you, if you want to:
- Produce better research papers for high school or college
- Expand your ministry through writing, either for a church newsletter, local newspaper, national magazine, or book publisher
- Receive writing instruction so that you might teach others (perhaps as home school parents)
- Generate extra income through publishing
To these ends the Righteous Writing course will help you:
- Sharpen your reading and research skills, while shortening your research time
- Avoid potential pitfalls of writing with a word processor or computer
- Polish your writing style and learn professional manuscript layout
- Discover essential resource works and market guides for writers
- Learn how to effectively approach publishers by means of queries and proposals
- Increase your chances of publication by presenting a marketing strategy for your manuscript
- Find out how to protect your work through copyrighting and contracts
- Understand how to efficiently keep track of your research and submissions
The Righteous Writing course is adaptable to your schedule. Study at home and work at your own pace. You can even review the CDs several times, if necessary. And the education received is expandable: I provide a full bibliography of the best in recommended reading so that you can continue your study after completing the course.
WHO WILL BENEFIT
- High school and college students
- Seminarians and pastors
- Sunday school and Christian school teachers
- Home school parent-teachers
- Any Christian desiring expanded witness through writing
- A theology of research and writing
- Research scanning methods
- Effective research reading
- Library usage and skills
- Overcoming research blocks
- Choosing and narrowing a topic
- Formulating a thesis
- Importance of preliminary outlines
- Mechanics of outlining
- Gathering & recording notes
- Documentation procedures
- Producing a rough draft
- Style manuals and resources
- Limiting your material
- Principles of good style
- Writing pitfalls
- Using writing tools
- Proper manuscript formatting
- Polishing the final draft
- Finding and contacting editors
- Guidelines for getting published
- Christian market guides
- Copyrighting procedures
- Marketing strategies
I. Course Description
Presents techniques of various levels of reading, library usage, academic research, note-taking, outlining, techniques of writing style and purpose, and securing a publisher. Introduces fundamental writing manuals of style and procedures for presenting manuscripts for publication.
II. Course Content
A. Theology of Research and Reading
Brief biblical study of theological necessity and biblical importance of research and reading. Provides a distinctly Christian framework to the research and writing task. Seek and ye shall find!
B. Reading Techniques
Effective reading is a first-order necessity for competent writing. Reading techniques for different levels of reading will be surveyed: research scanning (for quickly determining a book's usefulness), surface reading (for discerning basic structure of a book before deeper involvement), and content reading (for drawing out the full meaning of book's argument). You can learn to read broadly and deeply.
Remember, as H. L. Mencken said: "There are two kinds of books: those that no one reads and those that no one ought to read." Don't let improper reading techniques bog you down in the latter. After all, "some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested" (Francis Bacon). Effective reading will remove Karl Kraus' lament: "Where do I find the time for not reading so many books?" And it will help overcome reading difficulties such as indicated by G. C. Lichtenberg: "When a book and a head collide and there is a hollow sound, is it always from the book?"
C. Library Usage Skills
Introduction to principles and materials for academic library research. Introduction to Dewey Decimal and Library of Congress cataloging systems, library layout, arrangement, and services. Library usage procedures for attacking research topics. Promotes building your personal library, too.
Ring Lardner once commented: "He took me into his library and showed me his books, of which he had a complete set." Build your own library!
D. Procedures of Academic Research and Stylistic Writing
Introduction to and concentration on effective research techniques. Areas covered include: picking a topic, formulating a thesis, producing a bibliography, taking notes, writing an outline, composing a first draft, documentation procedures, and polishing grammar and style of the research paper for final approval. This is the largest section of the course and will help you overcome many writing problems.
Be aware, though: you will not always be at your best. "Only a mediocre writer is always at his best" (W. Somerset Maugham).
In addition to careful instruction in writing, you will learn such tidbit advice as that of Mark Twain: The "editorial we" should only be used by editors, presidents, and people with tape worms! Don't be like coach Bobby Knight who doesn't have much interest in writing: "All of us learn to write in the second grade. Most of us go on to greater things."
E. Manuals of Style
As long as it remains in print, the preferred style manual will be the Zondervan book by Bob Hudson: A Christian Writers Manual of Style. This book is widely used by Christian publishers. Other style manuals will be mentioned so that the student will be abreast of various style resources.
You don't want to receive a response from your potential publisher, like that received from Samuel Johnson: "Your manuscript is both good and original, but the part that is good is not original and the part that is original is not good."
E. Mechanics of Publication
Instruction in proper procedures and etiquette for securing a publisher. Information on book proposals, query letters, submission ledgers, publishing contracts, agents, and other publishing phenomena.
Be forewarned about the twin problems of manuscript submission: "Manuscript: Something submitted in haste and returned at leisure" (Oliver Herford).
III. Course Assignment
A. Research project
One formal twenty page paper. This paper will be worked on incrementally throughout the course. The absolute maximum length for the paper is twenty-two pages. Writers are subject to market conditions, which means they are subject to publisher's requirements --- including length constraints.
Learn to write succinctly! Don't suffer a review like Ambrose Bierce gave a wordy book: "The covers of this book are too far apart." Or as Cecilia Bartholomew warned: "Writers have two main problems. One is writer's block, when the words won't come at all, and the other is logorrhea, when the words come so fast that they can hardly get to the wastebasket in time."
B. Course Procedure
During the course of your research and at the proper juncture, you will send to me (with appropriate SASE) the following materials:
1. Pre-bibliography (to get your research off on the right foot)
2. Outline (to check your argumentative logic, flow and balance)
3. Rough draft (to evaluate your argument, style, and format)
4. Final draft (to complete your assignment with a polished paper)
C. Course Materials
Your enrollment package includes
- A USB-drive containing 19 mp3 lectuers. These are recorded lessons from a college writing class which I taught.
- A pdf file on a USB-drive containing a printable class syllabus and various writer's work sheets for manuscript correction, submission, and so forth.
- Bob Hudson's book, A Christian Writer's Manual of Style
- Editorial oversight by Ken Gentry
- Editorial scrutiny with a view to perfecting and formatting student's paper for marketability.
- Listen to and take notes in class syllabus from recorded lectures.
- Produce research paper on biblical or theological topic.
- Read the text book.
- Send in four assignments: Pre-bibliography Outline, Rough draft, Final draft.
- Individual editorial oversight during production of paper.
- Upon completion of all course work a certificate will be awarded.
- Please note: This editorial oversight is available only within three years of enrollment.
May the Lord bless you in your expanding witness for Him, as you are "diligent to show yourself approved, a workman of God that needeth not to be ashamed" (2 Tim. 2:15).
Posted by J. P. S. on 14th Apr 2016
I want to say thank you for the excellent teaching you have provided--I have enjoyed going though the course material and have benefited already by what you have done.
Posted by M. W. (Australia) on 1st Jun 2015
It’s the best single course I’ve encountered because:
• It starts with the absolute basics, which we should never take for granted
• It enables the development of good research skills and methods
• It progresses in logical steps, toward an actual writing project
• And…, perhaps the very best aspect is: Ken’s hands-on experience, interest and feedback at each step along the way are invaluable.
Should you do it?
If you’re serious about serious writing I’d say Absolutely!
Posted by Michael on 26th May 2015
It's a very good program in my view. Wish I'd found it years ago
Posted by J. Long on 11th Jun 2013
I can't say enough good things about the course. I have thoroughly enjoyed it. I've completed all the lectures. I will likely listen to them a second time.