Why Vietnam Loves the US

I learned a fair bit about the world through my research at The Borgen Project. “Vietnam is now a fan of America” is my favorite discovered fact, and the one I share most often with people interested in my charity work. The article digs deeper than that statement, however, becoming of my favorite pieces: https://borgenproject.org/why-vietnam-loves-the-us/


Here’s an interesting tidbit for you search engine optimization aficionados. My original title and SEO key phrase for this article was “Why Vietnam Loves America.” For the published article, I suppose The Borgen Project had more faith in the good ol’ US no A. This implies that even minor changes to word choice can impact your Internet traffic. It also implies that online articles will gravitate to the same limited word choice to cater to audiences with the same limited word choice. But now I’m just being a grump. This article turned out great! Spread it and enjoy!


The Rise of South Africa’s Instagram Influencers

Of all the articles I submitted to The Borgen Project, this one had the least amount of edits. I just keep getting better and better at this! https://borgenproject.org/south-africas-instagram-influencers/


As I only counted three minor edits to my original article, here’s my lesson of the day: all your hard work will pay off, in some form, even in unexpected forms. Keep that sentiment in mind through the holidays. Merry Christmas from Word Salad Spinner.

How Safe Spaces Help Children in Extreme Poverty

This is another article where I took on an argument to convince myself before I convinced my audience. The piece brings good insight to a heavily politicized debate: https://borgenproject.org/safe-spaces-help-children/


I’m ashamed to admit that a lot of my editor’s changes involved word tense. But this final version changed verbs like “became” to “have become” to positive effect. Past perfect tense signals that these safe spaces help children to this day as opposed to a long time ago. It’s a subtle improvement, and I thank my editor for it. I’ll have to watch for when newspapers pull the same trick on me.

I also need to introduce audiences to niche concepts like “safe spaces” in these kinds of articles, if only so my editor doesn’t have to introduce them for me. While I still like this article, the first sentence may as well read, ‘Webster dictionary defines safe spaces as…” Then again, if I want to seem less like a lazy high school essay, the onus is on me to write better shit.

How Argentina Lowered its Poverty Rate in 2017

This was another article that, during the writing process, felt like too broad a topic. But I brought matters down to their clearest elements, and created something that’s a good primer on the subject. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoy it now: https://borgenproject.org/argentina-lowered-poverty-rate-2017/


If you’ve read any Borgen Project articles, you’re certain that the organization’s a fan of capitalism. I suppose all that time soliciting donations got us interested in maximizing profits. I follow the party line on a lot of their points, but recent news stories involving the FCC, EA, and my own job has made me wary of businesses. I expressed that sentiment in the second half of this article. To their credit, the Borgen Project let that section stay in, resulting in a well-rounded and honest piece. If you’re submitting to a website, don’t be afraid to break from their doctrine… they might need a break as much as you do.

4 Reasons Why Women’s Education Leads To Less Poverty

This is the most solid Borgen Project article I’ve written to date. It’s timely, comprehensive, and includes a clear call to action at the end. I hope my future blog posts imitate this model: https://borgenproject.org/4-reasons-why-womens-education-leads-to-less-poverty/


My editor took a few direct quotes from my sources, slightly rearranged the words, and put them back into the article. The ideas are still (technically) attributed, but now it looks like my analysis of the topic as opposed to an expert’s insight. This makes the concepts easier to grasp. School trained me to over-attribute my work. I’ve learned that, as long as I’m still respectful of intellectual property, I can express a lot more freedom in educating an audience.

How Artist Freddy Sam Helped The Poor

Another one of my articles was chosen for The Borgen Magazine! They seem to like talking about creatives enriching others through unconventional means, and, lucky for them, I like that too! http://www.borgenmagazine.com/freddy-sam-helped-the-poor/


Themes aren’t just the territory of stuffy old books your teachers forced you to read. Wrapping a wide-reaching article around one thesis doesn’t just make for compelling reading; it’s easier to write something centralized as well. The problem (with this article, and many others of mine) is that it’s easy to fall into the trap of editorializing through themes. This article’s subtle about its optimism, however. Speaking for myself, it’s hard not to get inspired when reading about Freddy Sam. But (as an exercise) I’d like you to note when you do, and see where you notice a similar reaction in your next newspaper article.

4 New Technologies That Can Help End Poverty

As a sci-fi reader and writer, I don’t do nearly enough research concerning science. Well, now I found an opportunity to cultivate inspiration and write a cool article at the same time! Here’s 4 New Technologies That Can Help End Poverty: https://borgenproject.org/new-technologies-that-can-help-end-poverty/


Most of my previous reflections on my Borgen Project articles follow the pattern of “here are the mistakes my gracious editor fixed.” But now I find myself in a curious reversal. I don’t mean edits like removing the adjective “exciting” from my original title. I also don’t mean paragraph breaks added and removed to better fit the flow of information.

When you read my article, you’ll notice some points where there’s no space between the period and the start of a new sentence. There’s also the phrase “…has led to fiery debated [sic] in the past decade.” My original copy read “… has led to hot debate in the past decade.” The change to “fiery” is good, the change to “debated” is not so good.

Let me ask you, fair reader: should I email my superiors about this? I’d rather not pick a fight with the editor of a charity project. But if someone else notes the errors, they won’t see my editor’s name on the byline. Let me know what you think.

Again, the article can be found in this link. And if you like my work, why not donate to the cause as well?