The Owl Eyes Blog

5 Steps to Talking Like Shakespeare

Happy birthday, Shakespeare! And happy “Talk Like Shakespeare Day” to everyone else. In the spirit of the day, we've put together a simple 5-step guide to talking like Shakespeare himself.


17 Pocket-Sized Poems to Enrich Your Day

In addition to it being National Poetry Month, we’re also recognizing “Poem in Your Pocket Day.” We've rounded up just some of our favorite bite-sized poems for your reading pleasure. We think you’ll love them as much as we do!


Classic Literary Siblings

For National Siblings Day, we wanted to discuss some of our favorite literary siblings, as well as what makes each pair so special. From the most loyal of friendships to the most intense of rivalries, here are seven of our favorite sibling relationships in classic literature.


Let FDR Teach Your Students How to Revise

Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Pearl Harbor Speech is an excellent example of the power of revision—and there's a lot to be learned for anyone trying to improve their writing. Teachers can use it to help their students understand the importance of revision, so here is how writing instructors might use Roosevelt's revisions to teach the importance of doing this essential part of the writing process.


8 Quotes to Get You Back Into Sherlock Holmes

It's Sherlock Holmes Weekend, and we're excited for some mysteries! In honor of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic stories, we've gathered some of our favorite quotes from an array of different Sherlock Holmes stories. Which quotes are your favorites?


10 Writers to Read for International Women's Day

In celebration of International Women’s Day, we’ve rounded up some of the most influential women writers and picked out our favorite poem, novel, or story from each. We hope you enjoy these classic works!


7 Misunderstood Characters in Literature

First impressions can be misleading—in life, but in fiction as well. Sometimes, a character may gain a reputation that’s not exactly true to the text. We owe it to ourselves and to the world of literature to give such characters a couple more chapters before drawing conclusions. That’s why we’ve rounded up a collection of commonly misunderstood characters. From Frankenstein’s monster to Mr. Darcy, here are some characters who deserve to be read between the lines.


Books You Should Read for Black History Month

Every February, Black History Month celebrates the achievements of African Americans from throughout our history. (Though, other countries around the world, including Canada and the UK, devote a month to celebrating black history as well.) You can learn more about Black History Month here. In honor of Black History Month, we’ve rounded up a collection of historical texts, biographies, poems, and novels written by or about black people throughout history. From Phillis Wheatley to Frederick Douglass, these authors have contributed much to our literary and rhetorical traditions. We feel that reading widely helps us to participate more deeply in this celebration, so peruse the following texts and add a couple to your to-read list!


5 Authors who Loved the Greek Gods

Even though the Greek gods aren’t typically worshipped anymore, Greek mythology has never gone out of style and continues to offer an endless trove of stories, characters, and images. While Greek myths influence all aspects of culture—we name planets and corporations after the gods, for example—the influence is perhaps most prevalent in the arts. Let’s look at some of the poets, playwrights, and novelists through the ages who have found inspiration in the tales of the Greek gods.


Aristotle's 3 Rhetorical Appeals

When the Greek philosopher Aristotle (384–322 BCE) wasn’t studying and writing, he was teaching his students at the Lyceum, the academy he founded in Athens. His experiences as a teacher and lecturer motivated him to think deeply about rhetoric, and to ask the question: how do we best get our ideas across?


Key Texts for an Introductory Unit on Reconstruction

Reconstruction took place in the years immediately following the end of the American Civil War, lasting from 1865, when the Confederacy surrendered, until 1879, when the last federal soldiers left South Carolina. Few decades in American history have had as lasting an impact as the Reconstruction years. Let’s look at several of the key, early moments from this period and how they laid the foundation for what would come.


4 Key Questions to Ask Before Reading Civil Disobedience

Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience” has continued to resonate with readers around the world since its publication in 1849. In the 20th century, notable activists such as Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. drew inspiration from Thoreau’s work for their own nonviolent resistance to injustice and oppression. Thoreau’s essay endures primarily due to the accessibility, timelessness, and universality of his themes. Whether reading for the classroom or personal enjoyment, consider these key questions before beginning Thoreau’s essay.


Reading Comprehension as an Asset

Last November, the New York Times published an opinion piece titled How to Get Your Mind to Read. Since we’re all about reading here at Owl Eyes, we eagerly devoured the post. Since many of the recommendations for improving reading comprehension are an active part of our work, I’d like to relay several of the key points in the article here. Leave a comment if you have any other recommendations!


10 Tips for Screen Reading

While I still prefer to do most of my pleasure reading offline, I’ve found myself reading more articles, short stories, and other texts on the internet. (There’s something appealing about being able to carry an entire library in your pocket!) However, I’ve noticed that with this increase in screen-based reading, I’m a little more susceptible to fatigue and have more trouble concentrating.

Fortunately, I’ve adopted some new habits and explored some options that help to make screen-reading as smooth and painless as possible. Some of these are specific to Owl Eyes, and some are just good ideas in general.


Literary Goals for the New Year

With the New Year just around the corner, I’m sure I’m not the only one who has “read more books” on my to-do list. This year, though, I thought I’d take it a step further by rounding up a couple of my other literary goals to share with my fellow bookworms—feel free to add them to your own list of resolutions!