Writing Madness 2nd Place – Focusing Ideas in the Paper!

by Courtney

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-A thesis statement reflects the main idea of your paper, summarizing the main idea and central message.  Avoid vague words and overly explicit statements.

-Remember to introduce your thesis statement early in the paper so that you can frame your ideas with this focus.

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-Break the goals of the assignment down individually and spend some time reflecting
how you’ll meet expectations now that your
topic has been selected.

-Consider re-writing the prompt in your
own words to ensure that you’re properly understanding what you’re being asked to
write about.

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-Once everything is on paper, you’ll be able to
make connections on the page and substantiate
the claims of the thesis.

-When you’ve taken time to brainstorm ahead
of time, you’ll be best equipped to center in on
the most vital ideas.

 

 

 

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-Once you’ve been able to maintain distance from your paper, you’ll be able to see where you’ve rambled or lost your train of thought through your paper.

-After you’re feeling refreshed, you’ll be able
to produce well-paced and supported ideas.

 

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-Much like an outline to start your paper, but a
reverse outline is a way to check in that your
ideas are clearly articulated.

-Use this method to see how your ideas connect together and how firmly they relate  to your
thesis statement.

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-Here at The Hub, we have strategies to help
you focus your draft and suggestions on how
to approach revisions.

-Plus, it’s good to get another perspective on your writing, because another person may be able to pinpoint where you may lose focus.

The Most Frustrating Writing Issue for UIS Students

The time has come to announce the winner of our Writing Madness bracket we have hosted throughout the month of March. We have had an outstanding voter turnout over the last few weeks, and we want to thank each and every person who took part in our project.

Without further ado, the self-reported most frustrating writing issue for UIS students is…

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Staying Motivated!

STAYING-MOTIVATED
Dana is thrilled to have represented this writing issue!

This result means that our second place goes to “Focusing Ideas in the Paper.” We will be doing posts for each of these issues in the very near future to provide tailored resources that will help you sort them out in your writing. Be looking for those very soon!

Thank you again to all who participated!

Writing Madness Consolation Post #8 – Citation!

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

by Erica

As we’ve finally come to the end of our Writing Madness bracket, we must recognize the fallen. Our writing topics have led a valiant effort to claim the title of “most maddening.” We thank you for your votes and for following us on this journey of frustrations. One of these fallen is Citations, our third place finalist. Citations can be tricky. Beyond just MLA and APA, one of the most challenging parts is knowing when to cite and how to cite. Citations aren’t just another requirement for your paper, but are important ethically as well. When we cite, we give credit for others’ ideas and show that we’re familiar with what has been written about our topic. Here at The Learning Hub, we acknowledge that it can be difficult to know when to cite, what to cite, and how to cite. To help you navigate those questions and prove your ethics and knowledge as a writer, we’ve created a handout to help you avoid plagiarism by citing properly.

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 check back tomorrow to find out which is the most frustrating writing issue faced by UIS students.

Writing Madness Consolation Post #7 – Thesis Statements!

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

by Raven

Thesis statements are a frustrating aspect of writing that many college students struggle with. It requires the writer to sum up their thoughts into a concise statement to provide a focus for the essay. Any weakness in the thesis will no doubt be apparent throughout the entire essay. However, have no fear. There are a few tips to make writing a thesis statement a little less stressful.

One helpful tip is to have an outline for your thesis. Write down some notes on what your argument is about and what points you’re going to use to support it. Once you have those notes, organize them into a concise sentence or two stating your main argument and your supporting points.

Another piece of advice is to write down your thesis on a separate piece of paper or type it on a different document, and refer back to it periodically. It is easy to drift away from the main point of the essay when writing, so having that thesis statement easily accessible will help create a clear and consistent paper.

The final tip is to seek assistance. As UIS students, you have many options. You can utilize your professor’s office hours by asking them to review your thesis. You can also take advantage of the Learning Hub’s many services. This can take the form of making an appointment with one of our writing tutors, or taking advantage of our numerous writing handouts.

These are just a few tips to making the process of writing a thesis statement easier. For more information see our handout on thesis statements.

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 conclude on Tuesday, March 28th at 12:00pm CST!

Writing Madness Championship Bracket Voting Begins!!

The time has finally come. You have been voting all month, and here we finally are. Thank you so much to all who have participated so far in our Writing Madness bracket! We are beginning our final round of voting in our championship bracket. The two winners of last week’s Figurative Four continue on to battle for the end of it all. Who will it be? Vote now to make your voice heard! Voting concludes at 12:00pm CST on Tuesday, March 28th!

Writing-Madness-Bracket4

Our final round of voting is live now! If you are a UIS student and would like to participate, you can find the survey here:

LINK TO SURVEY

Voting will close at 12:00pm CST on Tuesday, March 28th. Check back next Wednesday when we will reveal the winner of our Writing Madness bracket, and the most frustrating writing issue faced by UIS students!

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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