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Paradigm Mirror Sites. For fast, reliable service, Paradigm Online Writing Assistant is now available from three different locations:

United States


Using Paradigm

Paradigm is an interactive, menu-driven, online writer's guide and handbook written in HTML and distributed freely over the WWW. It works on frames-capable browsers, using hypertext structure to create a web of links and text windows that you can navigate quickly and easily by clicking your desired choice.

Paradigm is intended to be useful for all writers, from inexperienced to advanced. To learn how you can get the most from the program, take some time to explore its components. Select a menu topic that interests you, read the discussion, do an activity, move to another topic. Get a sense of how the program relates to your own needs and interests. Some writers, for instance, will want to work extensively on Editing, while others will be more interested in Discovering ideas.

Getting Started

Paradigm's welcome screen features the Main Menu. From here, you can choose a topic to work on. Pressing a desired choice takes you to the working screen for that section, from which you can make further choices from the Submenu on the left or scroll through the Main Text Frame.

Browsing the Main Menu and Submenus will help you see how the text windows are linked, so you'll intuitively know where to look for items not listed on the Main Menu. Don't worry about getting lost. Wherever you go, the Main Menu will always be visible in the top frame.

A good way to do Paradigm activities is to select the activity using your mouse, then choose Copy from your browser's Edit menu. Next, open your favorite word processor and choose Paste from its Edit menu. You can now do the activity.

When you've finished an activity, you can save or print it using your favorite word processor. For example, if you're working on an essay and have generated some ideas using the Journalist's Questions, you can save or print these ideas to a separate file and then integrate them into your writing project at a later time.

To test yourself, try this:

  • Choose Discovering from Paradigm's main menu.

  • Choose Freewriting from the submenu.

  • Read along, scrolling when necessary, until you reach Activity 1.4.

  • Use your mouse to select Activity 1.4.

  • Choose Copy from your browser's Edit menu.

  • Open your favorite word processor and choose Paste from its Edit menu. Now do the activity and save or print it.

  • Troubleshooting

    Most problems with Paradigm can easily be avoided by observing a few precautions and guidelines:

    Copyright Notice

    Paradigm Online Writing Assistant Version 1.0 (HTML--Beta)

    Copyright (c) 1996 by Chuck Guilford.

    Provided "as is" without expressed or implied warranty.

    You may use Paradigm Online Writing Assistant Version 1.0 (HTML--Beta) free of charge for any educational or nonprofit purpose. Please give appropriate acknowledgment.


    Paradigm Online Writing Assistant(c) would not exist without the direct and indirect assistance of many groups and individuals, some of whom I'll never know and others whom I know quite well. I'd especially like to thank my family--my mom and dad, and my sons, Geoff and Nick.

    Of special note is my brother Tom, who believed in this project and collaborated with me on an earlier version of Paradigm that ran as a Windows(r) Help file. His untimely death in 1994 was a great loss in many ways, but I think he'd be glad to know his influence continues in this HTML version, which, as he'd no doubt remind me, would be much better if he'd been working on it.

    Actually, Paradigm is a distillation and collage of numerous writings, talks, and activities that I've developed over the years and tried out on students, colleagues, and mentors with varying degrees of success. I can't thank everyone individually here, but I would like to mention a few: Ken Macrorie, who taught me to love this "damned profession of writing"; Don Stewart, who helped me believe I could make a living at it; Charlie Davis, who made basic writing a cornerstone of the B.S.U. English Department; and Ross Nickerson, who helped me figure out how to do most of this computer stuff and is even now trying to lead me into PERL scripts. Thanks, especially, to my students and colleagues at Boise State, a great group of writers and teachers that I'm honored and delighted to work with.

    Discerning readers will note the influence of others, too. Maxine Hairston, Peter Elbow, Mina Shaughnessy, Donald Murray, Edward Corbett, Frank D'Angelo, Kenneth Burke, Ross Winterowd, James Britton, Richard Lanham, and Stephen Toulmin have all had enormous influence on my thinking about writing and my teaching of writing.

    And finally, thanks to Pam Peterson, with whom I've shared and discussed this project in several versions. Her help, advice, and support have been vital throughout. To her and the others mentioned above, much of the credit for what's right here. The shortcomings, unfortunately, are my own fault.

    About the Author

    Chuck Guilford has thirty years of experience teaching a variety of university level writing courses. He holds a Ph.D. in English and is presently an associate professor of English at Boise State University, where he teaches composition, creative writing, and literature.

    His textbook, Beginning College Writing, was published by Little, Brown. He is also the author of many poems, stories, essays, reviews, and articles, which have appeared in Poetry, College Composition and Communication, College English, Coyote's Journal, and other places.

    A longtime member of N.C.T.E. and C.C.C.C., he is a frequent conference participant and is the founder of the Conference on Basic Writing (C.B.W.), a 4C's special interest group.

    For further information, see his home page or send him a message.

    Visitors Since 7/23/96 


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