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Tips to improve your writing skills

Making the strange more familiar

Example: Compare the economic administration of a country to the administration of a home. Then, the students need to try to understand why a country increases its foreign debt.

Making the familiar more strange

This means to distort, reverse or transpose the everyday ways to see and respond that make the world a safe and familiar place (making things “out of focus”). There are four mechanisms to achieve this objective:

Personal analogy. Faraday “scrutinizing… in the very heart of the electrolyte, trying to make its atoms game visible to his mental eyes” (Tyndall).

Direct analogy. Alexander Graham Bell said: “It was curious to me that the bones of the human ear were so thick, compared to the delicate and feeble wall that makes them act, and so it occurred to me that if such a delicate wall could move bones relatively thick, why a thicker bigger piece of membrane would not be able to move my piece of steel. And so the telephone was conceived “.

The forced comparison of a scientific observation with that of another field tends to impose a fresh expression to a problem.

Symbolic analogy. Unlike personal analogy, here objective and impersonal images are used to describe the problem. These images, though technically inexact, are aesthetically satisfactory. Symbolic analogy is a very concise, almost poetic, statement of the implications of a selected key word of the problem analyzed or that is related to the problem.

Example: (a) zipper –safe intermittence; (b) mixture – balanced confusion; (c) acid – impure aggressor; etc.

Fantastic analogy. Ideal, though probably not applicable, solutions are proposed.


Statements like this one: what would happen if Earth was square-shaped? Or what if there was no gravity?


You can present incomplete paragraphs for the student to complete them freely. Examples:

* People travel abroad for many reasons… (the student has to complete the paragraph)

* Peru´s economy would improve if …. (the student has to complete the paragraph)


Request students to create a title to a paragraph (that was read or heard).

You can also request them to relate some personal experience and place it suggestive titles.


It consists in applying several questions around the title of the topic. The following questions are suggested:

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