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Archive for the ‘USF Writing Studio Blog: Tips, News, and Updates’ Category


Professionalism: Five Format and Style Tips to Make Your Paper POP!

Monday, March 14th, 2016 | Posted in USF Writing Studio Blog: Tips, News, and Updates by dmfarrar | No Comments »

Rob Blog Pic 3

Written by Rob Alexander, an MFA student in Creative Writing and Assistant Coordinator for the Writing Studio

Although misguided, young Calvin below makes some interesting points, specifically about what a graduate thesis looks like. Whether you are writing a graduate thesis or a first-year composition paper, you must follow certain formats and style (which may vary, depending on your professor) to make your paper look clean and professional.

Rob Blog Pic 1

Watterson, Bill. “Calvin and Hobbes.” CalvinandHobbes.com. Web. 25 Jan. 2016. <http://www.gocomics.com/calvinandhobbes/1989/10/31>.

Tip 1: Read your assignment guidelines to find out which style to use! I cannot stress this enough. MLA, APA, Chicago, and others all have a unique style and format to follow. If you choose the wrong one, your paper will still look good but will not be the correct fit. It would be the equivalent of wearing a tuxedo to a swimming meet, or a ball gown to a job interview.

Tip 2: Now that you know what style to write in, make sure you write in that style! If unsure on all the rules and regulations, visit your local writing studio or do some research online. A fantastic site for such questions is the Purdue Owl, which covers MLA, APA, and you guessed it, Chicago.  Important note: style does not only mean citations. Headings, title/cover page, page numbers, spacing, font, etc., all of these can be affected by whatever style your professor has assigned.

Tip 3: Speaking of fonts, please use a non-irritating font and a reasonable font size. The standard is Times New Roman, size 12. Personally, I suggest that you always use Times New Roman, size 12. Don’t be cute. And don’t try to hit the page count by making your font larger or margins smaller. Professors read hundreds of papers a semester and will know when something doesn’t look write, no matter how sneaky you are. If you absolutely despise Times New Roman, serif fonts are deemed acceptable. As always, read your syllabus to see if your professor has a preference or has banned any outlaw fonts like Jokerman.

Tip 4: Nothing screams amateur as much as a glaring typo. Proofread your work. Proofread your emails. Proofread your texts, twitters, snapchats, everything. Sure, we are human. We make misteaks. But when a professor sees that you wrote dime store instead of dinosaur, they may view you as lazy, or might think that you rushed through the assignment. Read your paper out loud. Read your paper backwards sentence by sentence. Have a friend read the paper. Say it with me now. No more dime stores! Make dime stores extinct! As for grammatical and punctuation errors, check out The Writing Commons, and the wide variety of information they offer.

Tip 5: You may have noticed that I’ve been using exclamation points and bold lettering. What’s that old saying? “Do as I say, not as I do.” Yeah, that. Don’t use exclamation points. Don’t bold words. Don’t write in ALL CAPS. DOESN’T THIS FEEL LIKE I’M YELLING? DOESN’T IT LOOK UNPROFESH? Also, do not abbreviate words or use slang. Spell it out. Do not be unprofessional. Many professors will also tell you not to use contractions, which means, don’t use can’t and won’t, couldn’t and shouldn’t, etc.

To conclude, I would like to say that your professor or instructor trumps all. Always follow the professor’s guidelines. Keep in mind, errors of sloppiness can greatly alter how your professor reads and responds to your paper. Don’t anger the beast. And beware the frumious Bandersnatch. The simpler and cleaner your paper looks, the better.

My last metaphor of wisdom: beauty is only skin deep. Skin covers up the meat and bones and blood, which can be unsettling if seen. However, without all that chunky stuff inside, skin is just a loose and raggedy bag. You still must write content, cite your scholarly sources, and make intellectual/stimulating arguments. Content is not style. You can write a great paper that looks sloppy, but you can also write an awful paper that looks fantastic. Both are poor choices.

Let’s see how it worked out for our boy, Calvin.

Rob Blog Pic 2

Watterson, Bill. “Calvin and Hobbes.” CalvinandHobbes.com. Web. 25 Jan. 2016. <http://www.gocomics.com/calvinandhobbes/1989/11/04>.


Finding Your Topic via Google Scholar

Friday, March 11th, 2016 | Posted in USF Writing Studio Blog: Tips, News, and Updates by dmfarrar | No Comments »

sashi blog pic 3

by Sashi Gurram, a PhD student in Civil and Environmental Engineering and Writing Consultant

Okay! You have an academic paper due on a topic about which you know nothing. If you are a seasoned writer, you already know how to get started on this. But if you have never written a paper, you might be panicking, “How do I get started?” or “Where can I find the resources?”

Well, don’t freak out yet. In fact, as a Writing Studio consultant, I usually get a few students every semester who specifically come for advice on finding research articles. There are several online academic database search engines that you can rely on to search for these resources.

But, the question is, “How do I know, which database or search engine is apt for me?” Perhaps the best place to start is Google Scholar!

According to the University of Illinois Library, “Google Scholar is an online, freely accessible search engine that lets users look for both physical and digital copies of articles. It searches a wide variety of sources, including academic publishers, universities, and preprint depositories.” While Google Scholar is not entirely perfect, few disagree about its user-friendly features and usefulness for the uninitiated. All you need is a set of key words that are related to your topic. For example, if your topic is titled “Impact of traffic-related air pollution on human health,” you can simply type in the words traffic, pollution, and, health into the Google Scholar search bar, as shown below.

Sashi blog pic 1

The results are generally sorted by their relevance to the keywords although you can also sort them by year using the sort by date link on the left side of the page. Often, the title of an article gives a good indication of its relevance to your topic. For example, in the figure above, the first 4 articles seem to be close to our topic. However, in some cases, it may not be possible to decide the relevance of an article simply based on its title.  If this is the case, you can open the specific paper and quickly read through its abstract to see if it matches with your topic of interest.

Using these techniques, you will find at least one article of interest within the first two pages of the search results. Otherwise, you may try modifying (by either adding or removing) your keywords. Additionally, you can also filter these results by year using the date filters on the left side of the search page. Once you find an article of interest, you can use it to search for additional related articles in two ways; 1) using the reference list at the end of the article, you can find similar articles that are cited by this study and 2) using the Cited by link below the article on the Google Scholar page, you can find similar articles which cite this study. In this way, budding academic researchers can use Google Scholar’s features to their advantage and successfully navigate the maze of academic research.

To start researching, visit Google Scholar here!


Coming Up with a Good Essay Topic

Monday, February 29th, 2016 | Posted in USF Writing Studio Blog: Tips, News, and Updates by dmfarrar | No Comments »

Jessica T Blogby Jessica Thompson, an MFA student in Creative Writing and Writing Consultant

One of the most common issues beginning college students have is difficulty coming up with compelling essay topics. Many students’ natural inclination is to choose subjects they think they are “supposed” to write about, such as highly debated topics they hear in the news (think gay marriage or medical marijuana), or the specific examples their instructors mention in class. Don’t give in to this urge! The best essay topics are those that you are most interested in, and most willing to research deeply.

While the common topics we hear argued on television day after day might be easier to write about before doing research, they won’t really challenge you and are likely boring and tedious for your instructor to read since she probably sees them rehashed semester after semester. Also, the example an instructor mentions in class is just that–an example. Some students think if the instructor mentions a topic it indicates the instructor really likes it and the student will win points for choosing a topic the instructor likes. Probably not! It’s more likely that writing your paper based on the teacher’s example will make it look like you couldn’t come up with an original idea.

So, how can you come up with an original, interesting, smart, detailed essay topic?

Step one: Brainstorm the top five things you like the most. Students often compartmentalize, separating their personal lives and interests from their academic lives and interests. Unfortunately, this can lead to really boring research topics that students don’t care about. You know all the fun, cool stuff you like in your everyday life? There are researchers studying it in an academic way, and you can write about it for school as long you know how. You might not know how yet because you haven’t done the research, and that’s okay.

At this step, simply brainstorm a list of things you like the most, even if they are things that sound non-academic such as chocolate chip cookies, instagram, dogs, Netflix, and breakdancing. For each topic you come up with, brainstorm as many related topics as you can think of. For chocolate chip cookies, this might include boutique sweets shops, sugar addiction, and comfort food. (Note: the Writing Center at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill has an excellent list of brainstorming exercises you can do to help expand upon your original topic.)

Step two: Pick the lens through which you want to view your topic. This might already be decided for you depending on the assignment and the class. If you’re in an ethics class, for example, you probably have to write about ethical issues surrounding your topic (i.e., should chocolate chip cookies and other sweets be sold in public schools?). Other classes, however, particularly writing courses, might allow you to approach the subject through the lens of any discipline. Marketing and advertising experts will focus on how to best sell chocolate chip cookies, while those in the medical field will focus on how chocolate chip cookies affect human health. (Note: the USF Writing Studio helps with “pre-writing,” which includes brainstorming topics and how to frame your paper. Make an appointment if you’re getting stuck on this step.)

Step three: Start skimming the academic literature. Visit the USF libraries homepage and search for your topic, limiting the results to academic and peer-reviewed sources. This will help you find ways scholars have studied and written about your topic. Try limiting your search topic by keywords indicating the lens through which you want to view the topic. For example, if I want to study how chocolate chip cookies make people feel, I might search “chocolate chip cookies mood,” or “chocolate chip cookies psychology.” If these limit my search to too few results, I might decide to expand my topic from “chocolate chip cookies” to “cookies” in general, or “dessert,” if “cookies” still returns too few results.

After doing a few searches, you will probably have a good idea of whether or not your favorite topic is one that has been researched before. (Note: almost everything has been researched before, so if you’re having trouble finding results, consider contacting a USF librarian for help.) If the first topic you brainstormed isn’t returning enough results, try the second topic you brainstormed, or one of the first topic’s subtopics.

Step four: Settle on an awesome topic and dig in. Once you’ve found a topic or subtopic that you are interested in and that has some solid-looking scholarly articles about it, make your decision to stick with it and continue doing research. This is also a good time to draft a thesis statement. You don’t want to simply use the first few articles that pop up as your sources and begin writing about them. Be sure to skim the abstracts of several articles and choose those that will best fit your thesis.

Final tip: Once you find a topic or two that excites you, write about these in more depth and from different perspectives in each class you take. You can write about different facets of chocolate chip cookies for classes in business, psychology, economics, biology, and more. With that approach, instead of simply doing assignments for the sake of the class, you are building expertise that you can take with you when you go into the job market or to graduate school. Of course, if you find that you hate writing about your chosen topic, that’s a good sign that it’s time to pick a new one, in which case you can begin the process over again at step one.


Something about That “-s”

Friday, February 19th, 2016 | Posted in USF Writing Studio Blog: Tips, News, and Updates by dmfarrar | No Comments »

Paul Blog Pic

by Paul Flagg, an MA student in Library and Information Science and Writing Consultant

One of the most common errors in writing I have seen in the writing studio involves words that can be spelled multiple ways, such as “anyway(s),” “forward(s),” “backward(s),” and “toward(s).”

Which of these words do you tend to use? Think about the differences in how you talk and how you write.

In actuality, all of the aforementioned word variations are correct in some way, but they are not always acceptable to use in any writing scenario.

Although none of the terms are technically incorrect, they can be used to demonstrate the nature of the writing or its place of origin. For example, “backward,” “forward,” and “toward” are all related in that they can be both adjectives and adverbs, meaning they either modify or describe a noun (adj.) or that they alter the meaning of an adjective, verb, or another adverb, most specifically in terms of manner (adv.).

These expressions might also vary based on American English versus British English. In standard American English, “backwards,” “forwards,” and “towards” most often omit the “-s,” whereas British English includes it. A simple way to remember this, according to Grammar Girl, is by thinking of Americans as accustomed to taking shortcuts, or perhaps the simplified way of doing things.

When it comes to the word “anyway” versus “anyways”—an adverb—differences in spelling can be used to express formality. Oftentimes, in casual (or informal) conversation, people will say “anyways.” This is an acceptable use of the term, but it is known for its informality, whereas “anyway” would be the more proper reference. For this particular word, it may be safest to omit the “-s” in all uses. But, for those that like to use this variation, feel free to use it in written discourse between close friends or family to indicate a more personal nature of conversation.

British English v. American English
UK Spelling US Spelling
axe ax
backwards backward
cancellation cancelation
colour color
forwards forward
grey gray
liquorice licorice
likeable likable
mum(my) mom(my)
pyjamas pajamas
storey story
towards toward
traveller traveler

Writing as a Social Process

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016 | Posted in USF Writing Studio Blog: Tips, News, and Updates by dmfarrar | No Comments »

Ryan Blog Pic

by Ryan Blank, a PhD student in Rhetoric and Composition and Writing Consultant

I’m a second-year PhD student in Rhetoric. As a student, I take three courses each semester, often averaging 450-600 pages of reading per week. As a graduate assistant in the department of English, I teach one technical writing class each semester and work 10 hours per week in the Writing Studio. Of all my professional commitments, my time in the Writing Studio is the most fulfilling. Here I work a vast array of writers: first-semester students in their first college writing class looking for a second opinion on paper topics or structure; PhD students in Computer Engineering or Literature or Women & Gender Studies or Art History looking to refine articles for publication or chapters of their dissertations; professors, instructors, or recently graduated writers that are applying for positions at new programs; even other writing consultants!

One thing that all of my writers share is a desire to improve their ability to communicate ideas of varying sophistication to a variety of audiences, ranging from familiar correspondences to lay audiences or disciplinary specialists. Composition itself is a great equalizer: it puts writers of all ability levels through the same inventional obstacles. This great leveling that is writing necessitates that:

We must conceive of a topic worth exploring or an argument worth delivering. In other words, having decided upon a topic, we must invent or create the best proofs, warrants, or arguments to develop.

We must sort through myriad possibilities for the arrangement of our discourse, ultimately deciding on the line of reasoning that seems most befitting of our audience and purpose.

Having come up with a topic and explored a variety of trajectories for our work, we must then find the most decorous, or perhaps proprietous or suitable style in which we will compose. From what vocabulary should we compose? A high level, best suited for delighting an audience? Or perhaps a more accessible middle register, more suitable for everyday speech? Further, how complex or simple should our sentence structures be?

These are the building blocks of composition and have been such for some 2,500 years. It is easy to get lost or overwhelmed by the subtleties of composition, and so even the most “advanced” writers benefit from second opinions. In fact, Cicero, the greatest Roman orator and the genius behind the systemization of what would become the rhetorical canon (invention, arrangement, style, memory, delivery, the latter of which are more germane to oratorical performances) developed his greatest orations with the aid of his most trusted servant!

Writing, like speaking, is inherently social and is informed by our interactions with and understanding of others. From the inception of rhetoric—from the Ancient Greek ρητορικε (rhetorike), itself derivative of ὁ ρητορ (ho rhetor), a word meaning orator—the composition and presentation of discourse has been studied and taught as necessarily social and has existed in public realms.

What I hope to have shown through my own brief exploration of the composition process is that from our earliest understandings of education and composition—rhetoric—people have composed with the help of others and for the reception of others. This makes the services available through the USF Writing Studio perfect for writers of all levels and abilities during any stage of the writing process.

A fun read on the life of Cicero:

Cicero: The Life and Times of Rome’s Greatest Politician


Relax, it’s just literary analysis!

Friday, January 15th, 2016 | Posted in USF Writing Studio Blog: Tips, News, and Updates by dmfarrar | No Comments »


by Danielle M. Farrar, a PhD candidate in Literature and Coordinator of USF’s Writing Studio

So your teacher told you that you have to write a literary analysis paper.

Are you uncertain about what literary analysis is?

Are you feeling anxious because you don’t think you’ve ever done literary analysis before?

I’m here to tell you to relax.

The majority of students have done literary analysis and are usually unaware of this. If anyone has ever asked you to read a literary text and then write about it in ways that weren’t a summary of its plot, then its highly probable that you have done literary analysis.

As a life-long lover and long-time student of literature, I took the process of literary analysis for granted because it was what I was used to writing: why would I write any other way or about anything else? When I became an instructor of literature and the literary analysis genre, I was faced with a very different perspective of this genre: how do I teach literary analysis?

What IS literary analysis, and what is it that we’re actually doing when we DO literary analysis?

The short answer is we’re analyzing literary texts. But what does this mean?

Analysis is a cognitive practice whose task doesn’t change based on the medium being analyzed: dissecting something at the micro level as a means to discuss how it reflects, embodies, or suggests something about the macro level. Literary analysis is no different.

The etymology of analyze suggests an unfastening or loosening up (a relaxing of sorts), which essentially means we take something complex and break it down into parts. We then look at these smaller parts in order to say something about the whole. To help us know how to break the whole into pieces, we have literary tools (sometimes referred to as literary conventions or devices) to help us with this, such as metaphor, symbolism, allusions, flashbacks, and so on and so forth.

For example, if you are reading a literary text and notice that a similar metaphor is repeatedly used, you may want to take note of that. Why would the author repeat the metaphor? What does its repetition suggest? How does its repetition inform your interpretation and why? What does the repetition of THAT metaphor imply about the overall text? The genre? The historical context? The human condition? You can see here how an analysis of the micro (the repeated metaphor) assists in the interpretation/understanding of the macro (the human condition).

For additional how-tos with literary analysis, visit the WritingforCollege.org’s page about critical and interpretive analysis. This resource provides some constructive advice on how to execute this type of essay.

If you need additional help with understanding your literary analysis assignment or would like an extra set of eyes on your work, feel free to schedule an appointment with the Writing Studio.


A Few Pointers for Writing an Out-of-This-World Literature Review

Thursday, November 5th, 2015 | Posted in USF Writing Studio Blog: Tips, News, and Updates by dmfarrar | No Comments »

Vintage red rocket is on the green asteroid, backdrop blue space.

Vintage red rocket is on the green asteroid, backdrop blue space.

by Sashi Gurram, a PhD student in Civil & Environmental Engineering and Writing Consultant

Literature reviews are an essential part of a university’s academic curriculum. You can bet that you will perform at least one literature review, in the form of a thesis, dissertation, or even an essay for a class by the end of your program.

What does a literature review typically do? The answer to this question varies depending on the end goal of your writing project. Some literature reviews, which focus less on the analysis, require you to simply summarize the literature whereas others require you to synthesize the literature in addition to the summary. In general, a literature review identifies the current state of knowledge on a given topic and also identifies the gaps in the research and raises interesting questions that need further research. So, how can one perform a good literature review?

One of the key points to remember before embarking on a literature review journey is to be focused. It can be very easy to get lost in the jungles of books, journal articles, and reports when you do not know or keep track of for what it is you you are looking. As such, it would help to clearly identify the topic of interest and also the bounds of the literature review. For example, if you are performing a literature review on the “taste of Brazilian coffee,” you should find out articles that specifically talk about taste of Brazilian coffee. It might be tempting to also review literature on the “taste of Hawaiian coffee,” but that would be beyond the focus of your literature review unless your literature review seeks to identify the similarities or differences between the taste of Brazilian and Hawaiian coffees.

Raising questions enables one to write an effective literature review. There might be a natural tendency to trust reading material especially the material of scholarly nature. However, questioning the material in terms of its methods, limitations, and conclusions, often produces an effective, engaging, and critical literature review.

Finally, a good organizational structure helps build a good literature review. You can perform a literature review either in chronological order, starting from the oldest to the latest or in thematic order where the literature review is layered by themes. For example, while performing a literature review on “air pollution’s impact on human health,” you can discuss the literature on this topic in a chronology (i.e., 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, etc.). Alternatively, you can discuss this topic by looking at air pollution’s relation to cancer, cardiovascular diseases, asthma, and allergies under separate subtopics.

Additional details that can help in writing effective literature reviews are detailed by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Birmingham City University.

You can also read one of our older blogs that discuss literature reviews and synthesis matrices found here.


Thesis Statements

Friday, October 2nd, 2015 | Posted in USF Writing Studio Blog: Tips, News, and Updates by dmfarrar | No Comments »


by Joanna Bartell, a Doctoral Candidate in Communication and Writing Consultant

Everything you write is intended to express something. Whether you’re writing a poem, short story, essay, article, or diary entry, you are writing with the intent to express. With the exception of free-writing (stream-of-consciousness writing), your writing is about something, and somewhere in each piece of writing you produce, there exists an argument, or thesis. As the organizing principle for your writing, developing a strong, concise thesis is key to the coherence and clarity of your work.

As a student at USF, it is likely that most of your writing will be academically driven pieces that integrate course concepts, course readings, personal observations, research, etc. Therefore, this short post will focus on academically motivated writing. While the type of writing assignments may vary from course to course, and while different types of academic writing require different levels of formality, the academically driven writing you do as a student requires a guiding principal.

This guiding principal is your thesis, and, when constructed with some thought and care, it will accomplish a significant amount of work for you. Perhaps you’ve heard one of your professors liken thesis statements to movie trailers. Take a look at this trailer for The Bourne Identity:

Based on this trailer, we understand the basic premise of the movie. We know that Jason Bourne, somehow associated with the U.S. Government, ended up shot and floating in the ocean after a failed assassination attempt on a prominent world figure. Now, the U.S. Government wants Bourne dead; but Bourne is suffering from amnesia, and has no memory of his past before waking up on the boat that saved him, and he is left running for his life as he tries to figure out who he is, who wants him dead, and why. Importantly, we also know that Jason Bourne is kind of a badass.

As you know, the point of movie trailers is to give audiences a clear idea of what the movie is about, how it will develop, and why they should be interested. Your thesis statement should accomplish the same general tasks so that your readers understand the main point of your writing, have a general idea of what you’ll discuss, and have a sense of what is interesting about your topic or argument. Essentially, your thesis statement should answer the questions, “What is this?” and “Who cares?” Just like the movie you want to see, the point of your academically driven writing should not be a mystery.

Your thesis statement should:

  • Offer readers a road map of your paper
  • Informs your readers how you frame/interpret the subject matter
  • Informs your readers of the significance of the subject matter
  • Makes a disputable claim/argument
  • Act as the organizing principal of your paper

Finally, as the organizing principal of your writing, the rest of your points, paragraphs, and arguments throughout the rest of your paper will continuously work to support and refer back to the thesis statement in your introduction.

Below are some resources that offer tips, examples, and illustrations to help you conceptualize and construct strong, clear thesis statements for your writing assignments.


Moving Forward: Setting Limits and Making Choices in Your Writing Process

Monday, April 27th, 2015 | Posted in USF Writing Studio Blog: Tips, News, and Updates by dmfarrar | No Comments »

by Wendy Duprey, a Doctoral Candidate in Rhetoric and Composition andDuprey Blog Pic Writing Studio consultant





In preparation for the final weeks of the semester, consider this question from the problem-solving work of Herbert Simon:

“What is going to facilitate action rather than paralyze it?” [1]

As writers, we can become paralyzed with feelings of fear, anxiety, helplessness, and even apathy when we feel overwhelmed by a task.  Sometimes a task feels too large to complete before a deadline; other times we feel stuck at a certain point in our writing process, unable to find a way to move forward.  During these times, we often need to set limits and make choices in our writing process.

Setting limits and making choices in our writing process requires creating realistic and attainable goals.  Rather than aiming for “the perfect paper” or “the best project,” learn to satisfice.  According to Simon, satisficing works when we look for good, better, or satisfactory ways to solve a problem, rather than the best or most optimal way.  Since writing is an activity that consistently calls for discovering “what’s next,” it is helpful to think about multiple possibilities that would satisfice the next move in your process.  Figuring out your next good move depends on a number of factors:

  • The writing task: At the Writing Studio, we usually begin our consulting sessions by reviewing the project description or the writing assignment with the writer. We do this because the assignment sheet typically outlines the requirements, criteria, and boundaries of a particular writing task.  As consultants, we want to understand how to think about the piece of writing as readers.  By turning to the writing task, it shapes our expectations and frames appropriate ways to respond as readers.  A good way to move forward, then, is to think about where you are in the writing process in connection to the writing task: Am I satisfying all of the external requirements?
  • The writer: Particularly in moments when we are pressed for time, such as at the end of a semester, we need to be mindful of our individual limits. Limits are useful to think about and honor as writers because they create a respectful space for us to work and live within.  Although some of us thrive on the externally-placed limits of a deadline, we need to consider our internal, embodied, and environmental needs as well.  Some questions to consider might be: What responsibilities and commitments do I need to maintain while completing this writing project?  Realistically, how much work, in terms of time, energy, and effort, can I devote to the project without it becoming detrimental to my health, well-being, and relationships?
  • The audience: Writing is a highly creative and empathic activity, requiring us to imagine our audience’s needs in relationship to our ongoing process and emerging text.  Understanding that our readers also have limits can be a useful guide for helping us make choices.  At the Writing Studio, we help writers understand our limits as readers when we ask questions such as, “What do you mean here in this sentence?” or “Can you help me understand why this term is important for your project?” These are often clarifying questions, as a way to help the writer and the reader reach a common ground of understanding.  Throughout your writing process, practice asking the question, “What will satisfy my reader’s needs and expectations?”

With looming deadlines and final papers just around the corner, the Writing Studio encourages all writers to schedule an appointment or drop in for a Compression Session to have a conversation about your writing.  As one writer recently shared, “It’s better to have a dialogue about my writing than a monologue in my head.”  We invite you to come in for a productive dialogue and move forward with your writing process!

[1] Simon, Herbert.  The Sciences of the Artificial. 3rd Ed. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1996.  Print.

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