The Writing Studio
Extended Hours Friday, April 29th:
9 am – 9 pm
Extended Hours Sunday, May 1st:
1 pm – 9 pm
9 am – 9 pm
1 pm – 9 pm
The Library will be closed from December 24th 2015 – January 4th 2016
Studio closes on 12/10 at 4 pm and will re-open on 01/11 at 10 am
Friday, 12/4: 4-9
Sunday, 12/6: 5-9
During finals week, in addition to our normal hours, the Writing Studio will be offering extended hours for walk-in consultations. Appointments are not required for these extended hours, and clients will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis.
Wednesday, 11/25: 10am – 2pm
Thursday, 11/26: Closed
Friday, 11/27: Closed
Sunday, 11/29: 1pm – 5pm
When arriving at a topic for this blog, I asked several of my friends to quickly self-assess where they believed their writing fell short. While I informally surveyed both native and non-native speakers of English, the answer I got was almost unanimous: transitioning or writing smoothly. Transition words and phrases, though seemingly inconsequential, act as the hinges that solidify the overall structure of a written work, allowing a writer to concisely and effectively communicate his or her ideas.
In learning how to write an essay, children are presented with the concept of logical organization in a fairly straightforward way. The five-paragraph essay that we learn as elementary school students makes use of simple transitions that organize our essay. For instance, in a five-paragraph essay addressing why war is bad, a student may begin with “Firstly…,” transition with “Secondly…,” “Finally…,” and conclude with “In conclusion.”
This pattern of organization is completely acceptable and actually encouraged at an elementary school level. Sometimes, these organizational routines carry over at the high school and college level. However, once writers mature, such a formulaic construction is seen as juvenile, uninventive, and imprecise. Transitions such as “firstly, secondly, finally etc.” carry little information. Furthermore, they may be rather anemic in terms of their ability to facilitate smooth writing when compared to the plethora of transition words and phrases that are out there.
But what exactly constitutes a good transition word? The good news for you is that they are words you already know, but may have been neglecting in your writing: but, however, still, therefore, meanwhile, additionally, subsequently. The bad news is that the answer to qualifying a good transition is not universal. Transitions ought to be used purposefully, based on context and intended meaning. The web below illustrates the numerous categories of transitions and offers a few examples. Visit this link for a more comprehensive listing.
by Meghan O’Neill, a Doctoral Candidate in Literature and Writing Studio consultant
Here’s a simple blueprint for sprucing up your discussion posts: read, reflect, reply. Let’s discuss.
Read: Begin by reading your professor’s instructions and discussion prompt to ensure you understand what you are being asked to write about. Then read your classmates’ posts. Read as many posts as you can to get a clearer sense of the whole discussion. Reading several posts will reveal trends and controversies in the discussion, and guide you in crafting your replies.
Reflect: Before writing your replies, take time to think over everything you just read. Increase your understanding by rereading posts with which you agree and disagree. Let your emotions cool and remember your classmates are reasonable, well-meaning people just like you.
Reply: Respond with an open-mind and friendly tone; remember to call your classmates by their names. Always be courteous to your classmates by validating their points-of-view, but without compromising your own position. And support your points with new evidence that hasn’t been talked about yet. Your classmates will be grateful to you for bringing up fresh material they can respond to in their replies to you.
For further information, check out Jennifer Yirinec’s insightful online discussion tips at the Writing Commons.
As of January 2014 the Writing Studio has expanded hours and increased the number of Writing Consultants available for appointments.
Mon – Thurs: 10am – 9pm
Fridays: 10am – 4 pm
Sundays: 1pm – 5 pm
Writing Center Graduates
Roni Browdy, MA, English
Jason Carabelli, MA, English
Kristen Gay, MA, English
Micah Jenkins, MA, World Languages
Gloria Munoz, MFA, English
Melissa Nye, MA, World Languages
Kate Pantelides, PhD, English
Claire Stephens, MFA, English
Katie Waddell, MA, English
Kimberly Karalius, MFA, English
The Writing Center appreciates the support of the community and hopes to increase its ability to reach out to students, staff and faculty at USF. Please consider making a donation to help us continue our mission.
Each year, the USF Writing Center supports the efforts of students and faculty in all disciplines at any stage of their writing process. The Writing Center conducted a survey of 2,387 students during the 2011-12 school year. We are happy to share that many students who responded reported a marked improvement in their writing grades and 92% of those who responded believe that the skills developed in their writing center consultations will translate to their work across the disciplines.