Jim enjoys composing non-fiction writing in general areas with an emphasis on history, the humanities, and the non-scientific/non-mathematical liberal arts. His narratives may serve audiences for general adult readership (including descriptive elements such as museum label copy for sixth-grade of higher) through more specialized audiences.
Jim's areas of scholarly interest include all things historical--including practical fields such as historic preservation, oral history, and archival management--as well as cultural heritage. Personal interests involve travel, service to locally based historical entities, time with the people and cats in his family, and a profound love for his favorite baseball team.
After completing a baccalaureate degree in History with a minor in Geography from the University of South Florida (USF), Jim pursued dual master's degrees in History and Library and Information Science from USF. The History M.A. included coursework requiring substantial seminar papers and a thesis that covered areas such as Florida history, Southern history, American history (with an emphasis on post-1877), as well as the Civil Rights Movement. Additional scholarship in historiography, social history, and oral history rounded out the curriculum. The M.A.L.I.S. curriculum focused on academic and special libraries, archival management, and special collections librarianship.
Jim has written a number of catalog entries for consumer goods for various clients at Writer Access. These entries often summarize the product and include basic information provided by the client. In some cases, these documents simply describe the products offered; however, many of these entries also include a strong sales pitch that encourages consumers to select the item for purchase. Prior to joining Writer Access, Jim also did numerous book reviews that were geared toward targeted readers who may be interested in acquiring the publications. A sample of one is included here.
Most of Jim's narratives relating to business focus on his paid and volunteer work as a consultant for those who have reached out to him related to family collections that they plan to sell, donate, or loan to other entities. When asked to provide steps related to a project's management, Jim offers clear guidance and explains how various steps interrelate with one another.
Many of Jim's narratives include an educational focus. A former educator dating back to the mid-1980s, Jim has had experience designing everything from examination questions and didactic tools to informative, research-based articles and publications. The intended audience for these materials has covered young adults, general readers, and academic audiences through the graduate and professional levels.
Although Jim's background is more in the liberal arts than health and human development, he has composed blogs and documents for clients who want to share practical advice with their readers. His writing style is clear, persuasive, and informative, always including research and citations of appropriate sources when a professional voice is required.
Jim has composed articles that cover broad areas of environmental science, an awareness of the outdoors, and that discuss the impacts of human development. Most of these articles have been less than 2000 words and have appeared in publications read by adults with at least a high school diploma and usually some college experience.
For many years, Jim has written personal blogs that he has shared with friends, colleagues, and the general public. Whenever Jim posts a blog, he assumes that the reader may not have much familiarity with the topic he plans to cover, but they have an interest in the content since they took the time to click the link or visit the page. Many of Jim's blogs focus on historical information or descriptions of personal experiences, such as advice for those traveling to places he enjoys visiting.
Jim has written descriptive entries for archival and library research collections for more than 25 years. Many of these appear in finding aids for scholarly and archival collections. He also has provided descriptive catalog entries for clients that follow their prescribed format, focus on the important features of the products, and provide relevant information for those who may have an interest in acquiring such goods. He understands how to place phrases within the content to encourage Search Engine Optimization.
The earliest webpages Jim assembled and developed content for were done in 1997. Created to take maximum advantage of creative layout of the Netscape Navigator browser (remember that?), the pages described the values and vision of a non-profit organization in Florida. Although the internet has grown exponentially since then, Jim's philosophy for creating written content for webpages remains the same: use strong declarative sentences, active voice whenever possible, and an economy of words.
Jim has written articles, book chapters, and similar sources with word lengths ranging from 1000 to 10,000 words. Most document historical events and include some form of citation, primarily footnotes and a bibliography following the Chicago Manual of Style. These narratives have discussed topics for both general readership and specialized audiences. As a former librarian, Jim composes his text with an understanding of how the sources discovered and confirmed during the research process interrelate with one another. He also has used and instructed others how to use other citations systems, such as MLA and APA. Within each paragraph, Jim usually introduces the topic in a short declarative sentence. He then follows with sentences of varying length (based upon the topic covered and intended audience) that support the thesis presented in the opening sentence. The final sentence summarizes the scope of what he has addressed and often offers a transition to the next paragraph.
For more than five years, Jim has served as administrator or co-administrator of a Facebook page that promotes the efforts and programs of a historical society. In addition, he had regularly contributed public domain and copyrighted images that have proper permissions to other historical and cultural heritage Facebook pages that also have descriptive narratives included in the postings.
For more than twenty years, Jim has offered short newsletter articles ranging from 150 to 1500 words to various publications in Florida. Some of these articles described general activities for volunteer and non-profit organizations of which Jim served as an officer, while others served to inform readers of important concepts, plans, or historic trends related to organizations. Before submitting each article, Jim considered the readership for the intended audience.