Writing Madness Consolation Post #6 – Conclusions!

The second round of our Writing Madness bracket has concluded, which left us with four writing issues that won’t be participating in the next round of voting. The Learning Hub’s writing staff have picked two of these four, and this week we will be presenting them along with specific resources to help you overcome your frustrations with them. This time? Conclusions!

by Patrick

The conclusion is the most exciting part of the paper, not only because it’s finally over, but also because the conclusion is what your reader remembers the most about your work. It is, therefore, a grand opportunity to leave your imprint in the minds and hearts of readers. How?

First of all, by telling the public why the work in your paper is so important, and why the discussion/debate about the issue needs to be energized or revised. Secondly, it is also the appropriate time to call to action and take a stand, because if nothing is done about it, somebody will incur a heavy loss.

If only one person reads, analyzes, gets up, and acts, you have done your job; with a little practice, you could convince droves to act according to your views. None of this is possible, however, if your conclusions are weak and non-compelling. Conclusions are important indeed!

For more info on how to write effective conclusions, take a look at our conclusions handout below:

For more tips, see the Learning Hub’s handout on writing introductions below, visit the Learning Hub’s website for more handouts on writing skills, make an appointment with a tutor, and keep your eye on this blog!

I hope you found this resource helpful, and remember to vote in the final round to determine the most frustrating writing issue faced by UIS students. Voting will commence on Wednesday, March 22nd and will conclude on Tuesday, March 28th at 12:00pm CST!

Writing Madness Consolation Bracket #5 – Structuring a Paper!

The second round of our Writing Madness bracket has concluded, which left us with four writing issues that won’t be participating in the next round of voting. The Learning Hub’s writing staff have picked two of these four, and this week we will be presenting them along with specific resources to help you overcome your frustrations with them. This time? Structuring a Paper!

by Alex

I’m not much of a betting woman, but if I was, I would not have bet Structuring a Paper would lose to Staying Motivated. That’s what’s so exciting about Writing Madness: who knows who’s going to come on top!

However, Structuring a Paper did at least scrap its way into the Educational Eight, and I’m pleased to be writing about this particular topic. Despite how much it makes me want to throw my computer…

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*NOTE* One laptop may have been harmed in the making of this post

Over several years as a tutor, I’ve come up with a couple of strategies that I’ve found helpful and have led to a safer, more secure environment for all electronic devices. I hope some of these ideas and resources may be helpful to you on your writing journey.

  1. Organize using a pattern that fits with your assignment
    For certain assignments, certain patterns of organization make sense to use—no need to reinvent the wheel.
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Check out our handouts below about the three most common organizational structures: hierarchical, logical, and chronological.

  1. Let your thesis and purpose determine its structure

While writing during my undergrad, my ideas would often run away and leave me with a disorganized paper that was in no way connected to what I was supposed to be arguing.

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For me, returning back to the purpose of the assignment and the thesis statement was crucial to help me refocus. Sometimes, I would write the thesis statement on a post-it note and stick it to the side of my computer to remind me what I was supposed to be connecting each paragraph back to. This helped me maintain the structure and prevented me from going astray.

  1. Don’t be afraid to restructure

Sometimes, even the most well-planned outlines go awry. Maybe you discover you have more or less to say about a particular section than you anticipated, or you may even find some ideas aren’t as strong as you envisioned.

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That’s ok—revising the structure of a paper at the end of the paper is an important process that ensures your paper as strong as it can be—don’t feel like you need to stick to a particular structure just because it looked nice on your outline.

For more tips, see the Learning Hub’s handout on writing introductions below, visit the Learning Hub’s website for more handouts on writing skills, make an appointment with a tutor, and keep your eye on this blog!

I hope you found this resource helpful, and remember to vote in this week’s Writing Madness competition! Voting is open until 12:00pm CST tomorrow, March 21st. Voting in the final round will commence on Wednesday, March 22nd!

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Writing Madness Consolation Bracket #2 – Revising/Editing!

The first round of our Writing Madness bracket has concluded, which left us with eight writing issues that won’t be participating in the next round of voting. The Learning Hub’s writing staff have picked four of these eight, and over the next week we will be presenting them along with specific resources to help you overcome your frustrations with them. This time? Revising/Editing!

by Alec

In high school, when I thought of revising and editing I often thought of them together. In fact, it’s no coincidence that they’re listed together in our Writing Madness bracket for March. They’re the things we know we’re supposed to do after writing to make sure that we don’t sound silly, right? Technically, yes, but as the presence of “Revising/Editing” in this challenge suggests, most of us have a complicated relationship with the post-drafting process of writing. It might even be news to some readers that revising and editing are two very different things. Although this short writing won’t do justice to the handouts, let’s go over the different between the two.

Revising, in an academic setting, is the process of taking a second look at your paper on the global level. What we mean by “global” is ensuring that all the major components that need to be there are there. This, for example, includes ensuring that you have met the assignment criteria, that the core parts of your argument are present, that you’ve presented those parts in an organized and patterned manner, and that your overall presentation is clear for your audience. These pieces often serve as the backdrop of your paper and are the things that your audience will, most likely, never truly appreciate. They will, however, know something is amiss if they are gone or haven’t been properly checked.

Editing, which we often call proofreading, is the process of making your work neat and consistent at the sentence level. This includes, but is not limited to, spelling, punctuating, citations, and formatting. Editing is important because it ensures that the work you have created meets some form of writing standards, set by you or your professor, so that your audience can appreciate a distracting-free read.

In the handouts attached you can explore the details of each of these processes and explore strategies for you to implement them into your own writing process. Although we often think of Editing and Revising as frivolities that would be nice if we have time to do them, they are often the difference between your audience thinking about your topic or thinking about your errors. Which do you think your audience prefers to be thinking about?

Revising

Editing

If you click on the link below, it will take you to our home site, where you can check out other resources to improve your writing skills and prepare you for academic, professional, and civic writing.

UIS The Learning Hub Handouts

Writing Madness Consolation Bracket #1 – Commas!

The first round of our Writing Madness bracket has concluded, which left us with eight writing issues that won’t be participating in the next round of voting. The Learning Hub’s writing staff have picked four of these eight, and over the next week we will be presenting them along with specific resources to help you overcome your frustrations with them. First up? Commas!

by James

The mysterious, perplexing, and maddening comma.  When do we use it?  When do we not use it?  It is a strange little piece of punctuation which helps avoid accidental cannibalism.  What do I mean?  Well consider this phrase “let’s eat, Grandma”.  Pretty harmless no?  Well take out the comma and the sentence becomes “let’s eat Grandma”.  Seeing as eating elders is frowned upon in our society you can see why the comma is important.  Yet, sometimes, it is hard, to tell, how many commas, one should use.  Clearly that sentence had too many.  For more information regarding commas please take a look at our handout below.  Despite being rather mystifying comma’s are not nearly as maddening as Citations, which was one of this week’s winners.  Check in soon for the next round or Writing Madness!

If you click on the link below, it will take you to our home site, where you can check out other resources to improve your writing skills and prepare you for academic, professional, and civic writing.

UIS The Learning Hub Handouts