Quick Tip #16: Rules are made to be broken

One of the first rules of learning English is that there are, well, rules to follow.  We learn our tenses, punctuation, sentence structure, and all those "correct" academic words to use in an organized, thoughtful (often 5 paragraph) essay. And it's good to learn these rules for they help us communicate in a way that …

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Quick Tip #15: Show, Don’t Tell

You might be tempted, especially when you’re desperate, to rush your ideas. You use a few adjectives to tell readers about your thesis statements, personal strengths, and outlooks on life, expecting them to comprehend your exact points despite the vague language that looks intuitive to you. The written word has been used to stage Shaespeare’s …

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Quick Tip #14: Using your time wisely in a timed write

By Akhil Kumar It’s easy for students to feel flustered when facing timed writing assignments. While it may seem like all you have to do is understand the prompt and write about it, the task is harder than it looks when only given a limited amount of time. What can you do to prepare yourself …

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Quick Tip #13: Write the body of an essay first

Here’s a secret you might not know: there is no one “correct” way to write an essay draft. If writing an essay from beginning to end has not worked for you, it may be time to consider another drafting strategy. For many students, the hardest part of writing is getting their initial ideas down on …

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Quick Tip #12: We’re all poets…and didn’t know it?

It's April...aka While there are many ways you can celebrate, why not try to write your own poetry? Remember that conversation we had about a daily writing practice? April might be just the inspiration you need. But how do you become a masterful poet when you don't think of yourself as an artist? A friend …

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Quick Tip #11: Our Daily Words (Setting a Writing Routine)

If every time you sit down to write you end up feeling like the person below... ...it might not be the assignment's fault.* Rather, it might be time to look in the mirror and then look at your writing habits. We've talked before about the problems of procrastination, but there's another way to tackle your writing woes. …

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Quick Tip #10: The art of the “hook”

Here's a question: would you rather read a biographical essay about Shakespeare that started like this: This paper will be about Shakespeare, a dramatist and poet who is very famous in England and around the world. He was baptized on April 26, 1564 in a small town called Stratford-upon-Avon. [...] or, like this? "To be …

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Quick Tip #9: You are not a bad writer

Too often, we hear students utter this awful sentence: "I'm a bad writer." What does that sentence usually mean? You're struggling in a writing class and feeling frustrated. Your expectations for your writing aren't meeting your (current) reality. You might be comparing yourself unfairly to other writers you know who seem to be getting better …

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Quick Tip #8: You and What Audience?

Writing a paper while considering your audience might seem like an impossible task. How can you write for a reader you’ve never met? But what most people don’t realize is that you write for different audiences all the time, especially on social media. How many times have you written a post with a goal of …

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Writing for Change: Helpful Tips

As you've likely seen on social media in the last several weeks, there has been a virtual flood of information being shared about how to contact elected officials asking for change. And, while it has been suggested that phone calls - or showing up in person to town hall events - might be among the …

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