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Light Speed Writing, Your Own Writing Review by Jesse Schnetz

Cerebellum Corporation
1-866-386-0253
78 1st St.
San Francisco CA 94105
http://www.cerebellum.com/

The Light Speed Writing, Your Own Writing, is a high school grade level computer program with a half an hour of DVD video and a digital workbook with about 30 pages of basic notes about the video and short quizzes. The video is broken up into two sections, "Research, Drafting, and Citing" and "Free Writing". The first section very briefly goes over choosing a topic, developing a thesis, primary and secondary research sources, how to avoid plagiarism, how to cite sources, different kinds of compositions and how to write compositions and revise them. This information is not covered in depth.

The second section (Free Writing) goes over, again very briefly, creative writing, fiction and non-fiction, business correspondence and technical material. They describe what fiction and non-fiction mean using definitions you could get right out of the dictionary. It goes over what an autobiography, a biography and a memoir are in about one sentence each. They then go over clustering, or putting all of your ideas down on paper to help you find out exactly what you want to write about. Next, the video covers personal writing, bringing your writing to life, and first and second drafts. These are all very simply explained. After that they start in on fiction by listing types of fiction, (mystery, fantasy and science fiction) and then continue on about writing fiction. Again, this is all explained very briefly. They then go over free-writing, sitting down and just writing whatever comes into your mind for a certain amount of time and then working off of that. Finally, they go over both formal and informal business letters and technical material.

I am a high school student, age 15. This program was only moderately helpful to me. I learned some very simple techniques for writing essays, business letters, reports etc. While most of the topics they covered in the DVD are at the high school level, the topics are not explained in enough detail. I think all of the information given here is probably in any high school English and grammar textbook. On the DVD case they say "Lively presentations by actors and comedians combined with colorful graphics teach students skills they will use in real-life applications." I thought the humor was very corny and the "colorful graphics" seemed like they were from a child's video learning series. This video program might be helpful to someone who learns much better by seeing and hearing rather than a textbook, but I would only recommend this to someone who wants to get some very simple, basic information about writing. The program costs $14.98 from the company website; personally I would not pay that much for this program.

Product Review by Jesse Schnetz, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, January 2010

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