The Counterintuitive Writer
Joan Flaherty, University of Guelph

In this exciting new book, author Joan Flaherty outlines what she calls a “counterintuitive approach” to writing – one that turns some familiar assumptions on their heads, encouraging writers to take “the path less traveled.”

The author first counsels writers to begin from a place of confidence, affirming that they have the discipline and creativity to tackle the challenging work of writing English prose. Later chapters show how to develop essay topics and overcome writer’s block by making use of innovative writing plans; how to structure essays and research papers effectively; and how to combine the virtues of predictable structure and unpredictable content in order to hold readers’ attention and make your point. Strategies for structuring essays and developing unpredictable content are presented in detail, as are tips on how to avoid common writing pitfalls such as errors in logic and unintentional plagiarism.

Special attention is paid to developing compelling introductions using helpful models that can be easily adapted to a variety of situations. Professor Flaherty also covers the basics of organizing the “body” of an essay as well as strategies for writing an effective conclusion. A concise overview of key grammatical points is also provided.

Based on the author's years of experience teaching post-secondary students in the University of Guelph's School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, The Counterintuitive Writer is an invaluable guidebook for anyone striving to improve their writing, whether in the workplace, at school, or in everyday life.


1. Establishing a Strong Foundation
2. Developing Your Topic
3. Structuring Your Paper
4. Developing Your Content
5. Avoiding the Common Pitfalls that Weaken Your Paper’s Content
6. Writing the Introduction
7. Writing All the Rest: Paragraphs, Conclusion, and Summary (or Abstract)
8. Editing
9. Grammar
10. How to “Get” a Good Grade

Joan Flaherty is an assistant professor in the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at the University of Guelph. In 2014, she received the Bill Braithwaite MBA Distinguished Professorial Award from the College of Business and Economics at the University of Guelph, and she has also been recognized with the Faculty Association Professorial Teaching Award (2007) and a Faculty Award for Excellence and Innovation in Teaching (2005). She is the author of numerous papers and presentations.

ISBN-13: 978-1-77244-145-1

ISBN-13: 978-1-77244-144-4 (Amazon only)


Paperback, 6” X 9”, 220 pages