Quick Tip #19: How to Use Your Exam Prep Time

The proctor sets the prompt down. It reads: In a fully-developed essay, answer the following topic with specifics. Write about a time you were in an unfamiliar or uncomfortable situation. What did you do to make the situation better? What did you learn from the experience? After a few seconds, I recognize this assignment as …

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Growing Your Essay Up: Part 2, Breaking out of the 5-Paragraph Essay

And we're back to our short series about "maturing" our essays! Last week we talked about more sophisticated thesis statements; now, we're going to investigate structures. The task of essay writing is undoubtedly daunting for many; specifically, the challenge of synthesizing information, relating it back to the thesis, and providing appropriate support can be overwhelming. …

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Ask a Specialist: Breaking out of Writer’s Block

We had a great October meeting with our writing tutors! As we are starting to see longer papers and projects in the Writing Center, we thought we'd ask about writer's block this month. Here's our question: Have you ever had a bad case of writer’s block? How did you overcome this “malady” and finish your …

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Growing Your Essay Up: Part 1, Breaking out of Divisions of Proof

Welcome to our new short series on "maturing" your essays from high school to college expectations. Today, we'll begin with what is often the most important element of a paper - the thesis. What does your thesis writing process entail? While some students count struggling not to set their papers afire as a reasonable part …

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Quick Tip #17: Keep a Writing Notebook

While this PhD Comic was just released this week, that illustration summarized much of my first graduate school experience years ago - I had great ideas but forgot them as soon as I tried to add them into my papers.  Frustrating, right? A few years later I went back to graduate school for a creative …

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Why Go to the Writing Center?

The Writing Center is open again - hooray! And as our reservation system on the WCOnline fills up this week, one name we might not yet see among our appointment is yours. Why should I go to the Writing Center you might be asking yourself. Maybe you're thinking you're too shy, scared, embarrassed (or other …

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A Spartan Sneak Preview: The Writers are Coming!

A few years ago, I asked a writer friend of mine to visit one of my first-year writing classes. She came for a full session - offering a short reading, Q&A, and a talk about the writing life. My students loved her. One of the first comments someone said after she left was: "I didn't …

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Voicing the Words on the Page (Part II)

By Luke Coulter Recently, I wrote a blog post about embracing voice when it comes to writing essays. Today, I want to talk a little bit more about voice and how it can help both your writing and your life. Back in 2009, I was teaching English in Hanoi, Vietnam. I had very little teaching …

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#2bORnot2B: Meme of the Week

Earlier this week, we talked about giving in to boredom with the hopes that daydreaming can free your mind for creativity ...today we tackle the question of writing anxiety.  What does writing anxiety look like?  These comics explore that feeling: So, how can you get started again? Well, we know that sometimes fear of starting …

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Time to be bored?

It's mid-July.  The initial excitement of summer vacation has worn off - it's hot outside and maybe a small part of you is actually starting to miss having a schedule / more of a set purpose like you do during the school year. But, as this article which has been popping up frequently over social …

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