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Mr. Dan Willson – Thank You!

March 8, 2008

I had a wonderful speech, drama, and English teacher back in 9th and again (at a different school) in 10th grade.  I teased him that I was his favorite student and that is why he followed me from Jr. to Sr. High school.  Mr. Willson taught me the basics of English that I had never learned.  In 9th grade I couldn’t tell a noun from a verb from an adjective.  I spoke well, read a lot and comprehended what I read so I was always put in the advanced classes.  I never was taught the basics!  Oops!

So he gently took me by the hand, brought me up to speed and taught me the following about writing.

  1.  Tell them what you are going to tell them. (First Paragraph)

  2.  Tell them (usually 3-5 paragraphs)

  3. Tell them what you told them. (Last Paragraph)

His added advice was to write the way you speak.  Keep things in a conversational tone.  Your audience will always be more engaged and it will flow more comfortably for you as the writer.

It’s deceptively simple and has carried me through my adult life. 

You know how most of us have ONE Teacher that stood out as the best?  Mr. Dan Willson was the best and I wish I knew where he was to thank him!

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