Eating Your Turkey

Throughout the month of November, The Learning Hub has discussed how undertaking preparing and cooking the turkey for your Thanksgiving dinner is like going through the various stages of the writing process. In this final video of our series, Brock and James discuss how eating your turkey and surveying your Thanksgiving dishpocalypse is like the reflection process in writing.

 

 To learn more about how you can come up to The Hub for appointments, visit our website where you can find our contact information, helpful resources, and lots of other information!

Carving and Serving Your Turkey

Throughout the month of November, The Learning Hub will be discussing how undertaking preparing and cooking the turkey for your Thanksgiving dinner is like going through the various stages of the writing process. This video? Carving and Serving your turkey – it’s like going through the revising and editing step of the process, and Patrick goes over Office 365 and Microsoft Word’s grammar assistance functionality.

 To learn more about how you can come up to The Hub for appointments, visit our website where you can find our contact information, helpful resources, and lots of other information!

Cooking Your Turkey

Throughout the month of November, The Learning Hub will be discussing how undertaking preparing and cooking the turkey for your Thanksgiving dinner is like going through the various stages of the writing process. This video? Cooking your turkey – it’s like going through the writing step of the process, including research, constantly evaluating how you’re approaching the project, and thinking about the bigger picture.
 To learn more about how you can come up to The Hub for appointments, visit our website where you can find our contact information, helpful resources, and lots of other information!

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.

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…

monkey
via Giphy
*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.
square wheels
via Giphy

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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via Giphy

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.

up
via Giphy

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 #3 –

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? Introductions!

by Daymon

Last week in the writing madness bracket, staying motivated bested writing introductions by a very narrow margin, so let’s take a moment to visit with that frustrating and fickle introduction as it loses its place in this highly competitive bracket.

Here are three tips for writing introductions, plus a link to the Learning Hub’s helpful handout with additional pointers and annotated samples:

  1. Don’t try to make your introduction do too much work.

We often have many things running through our mind when trying to compose an introduction. We know it’s the first thing our readers will see, so we want to make a good impression, but we also know that we need to have a clear claim and possibly some background information on our purpose.

If we try to do too much in our introductions, though, they will drag on, the connections will be imprecise, and—worst of all—they might not set up the rest of the paper very well.

Keep in mind that other paragraphs can do some introductory work, too. For example, the second paragraph might be a good place to provide some historical context.

Also, remember to keep the scope narrow. When we’re in the middle of a writing project, we might inflate the scope of this issue and think the best place to start is with the entire world, all of history, or the wide, wide universe: “Since the dawn of time…”; “People all over the world…”; “Throughout the history of our universe…”

This is not the best place to start because such statements are likely far outside the scope of this writing project, so try to begin with what tells audiences the most in the least amount of space.

This brings us to the second tip…

  1. Be aware that grabbing readers’ attention means different things depending on the context and purpose.

Scientists want to learn how an experiment furthers our understanding of an issue. Literature scholars are curious about how language use might give us a new perspective on a work. Business administrators want new solutions to problems that impede advancement.

Considering these audiences help us think about what will grab their attention. Don’t try to make that biology paper appeal to an English major. Make it appeal to a biologist.

But most of all, maybe you should just put the intro off until later…

  1. You don’t need to write your introduction first.

If writing the introduction has become an excuse for not writing the rest of the paper, you should probably move on and come back to it later. In fact, sometimes we need to write a draft before we have a really good idea of what we want to write about in the first place. It’s too much to ask to start writing an introduction when we first need to start exploring and organizing our ideas in body paragraphs.
Putting off your introduction until later in the process might just help you finish that project sooner.

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!

Also, don’t forget to vote in our writing madness bracket: https://uislearninghub.wordpress.com/2017/03/08/writing-madness-round-two-voting-begins/