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In Common: The SLC blog

SLC Blog: In Common. A stylized image of a diverse group of students in a lecture hall

The Student Learning Commons blog is your online writing and learning community

Happy birthday to our blog!

Published July 7, 2020 by Julia Lane
Happy second birthday to our SLC blog, established July 17, 2018

We first posted to this blog two years ago on July 17th (you can read that post here). 

To celebrate our blog birthday, we did a short interview with the Graduate Writing Facilitator who first suggested the idea, Daniel C. Daniel is a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Education. Read on to learn more about him! 

Challenge yourself with your academic writing: A Writing and Learning Peer's perspective

Published July 7, 2020 by Julia Lane
Challenge yourselves and each other to see what you can accomplish!

"Writing papers is either the bane of an undergraduate student’s existence or, for the few like me, it’s an experience that can be learned from. But I didn’t always think like this..."

 

Writing and Learning Peer Harvin B. shares his thoughts about how students can rise to the challenge of their term papers. 

This article was originally published in The Peak (SFU's student newspaper) and is re-published here with gratitude. 

 

Revising for grammar: Articles ("the" and "a")

Published June 23, 2020 by Julia Lane
Part 1 in an ongoing Grammar Camp series about revising for grammar

Former Writing and Learning Peer Deeya B. is back with an ongoing, occasional series about revising your work, with a specific focus on grammar. This series is part of the larger blog feature "Grammar Camp." 

In this post, Deeya focuses on the use of articles ("the" and "a(n)") and how to self-edit your writing with an eye to your article use. 

Facing White Privilege

Published June 15, 2020 by Julia Lane
thank you to Henry V. Robertson Jr. from Alert Bay, from the Nuxalk Nation in Bella Coola whose art is featured here

In this blog post, SLC EAL Coordinator Dr. Timothy Mossman shares some writing that he did during his doctoral studies in a class (EDUC 925 - Critical Literacies in Multilingual Contexts) led by Dr. Dolores van der Wey. 

The SFU Library recently issued the following statement about anti-Black racism and white supremacy: https://www.lib.sfu.ca/help/academic-integrity/solidarity-black-lives-matter 

We in the Student Learning Commons recognize that race-based violence is not new, nor simply an issue for us to pay attention to during "flashpoint moments" like the one we are currently experiencing. With this post, Tim shares part of his journey learning to see his own privilege. 

We share this post as encouragement for others as we take on this troubling, difficult, and necessary work. 

Trigger warning: this post includes references to residential school trauma and to homelessness. 

Tips for Navigating Online School in 2020

Published June 9, 2020 by Julia Lane
9 practical tips to help you succeed with remote learning

Writing and Learning Peer Molly M. shares 9 practical tips to help you navigate remote learning in the summer 2020 term. 

If you have tips of your own to share, get in touch with us at slc-incommon-blog@sfu.ca 

Come OUT! and Write with us…

Published June 4, 2020 by Julia Lane
Sharpen your pencils and your writing skills with write OUT -- a joint SLC/OOC writing initiative.

SLC Graduate Writing Facilitator Kate E. invites folks to join her for the Write OUT program -- a joint initiative of the Student Learning Commons and Out On Campus. 

Summer WriteOUT! sessions will include tips and tricks for:

  • Time Management (June 8th)
  • Writing Logically and Cohesively (June 15th)
  • Offering and Receiving Feedback (June 22nd)
  • Writing for Different Audiences (June 29th)
  • Making your Writing Interesting (July 6th)
  • Writing in English as an Additional Language (July 13th)
  • Respecting Writing in Different Disciplines (July 20th)
  • Descriptive and Creative Writing (July 26th)

All sessions are 11-1pm on Mondays. 

Welcome to the summer semester! A few housekeeping reminders...

Published June 2, 2020 by Julia Lane
It's that time of year again... check out our friendly housekeeping items to get started on the right foot!

By Daniel Chang

PhD candidate and SLC Writing Consultant Daniel Chang welcomes you to the summer 2020 semester and offers some important reminders for how to get the most out of this term.

Flowery Language: Does it really make your writing more beautiful?

Published May 19, 2020 by Julia Lane
Time to stop and smell the flowers... and to ask ourselves whether flowery language is really improving our academic writing

Former Writing and Learning Peer Deeya B. returns with another post to help you do well in your writing courses this semester. 

In this post, Deeya debunks myths about "flowery language' and the value of such language in academic writing. 

As Deeya explains, flowery language occurs when elaborate words are substituted for simple ones and longer sentences are used to try to convey multiple ideas. However, flowery language often backfires and makes students sound less confident in their understanding of a subject.

In this post, Deeya will explain more about what flowery language is, why students choose to use it, and why it often has the reverse of the intended outcome. 

How to get your writing done this semester...

Published May 12, 2020 by Julia Lane
It isn't magic... it's the Student Learning Commons!

Imagine this: you’re typing away ferociously with the little time left for you to hand in your term paper. It’s due tonight, and although you had three weeks to write it, there were other more important assignments on your plate. It’s not that you didn’t know you had to write this paper too, but you were pretty confident you knew what you wanted to say and could put all of your ideas into words in one afternoon. It is now the afternoon of your paper’s due date. You’re scrambling, fumbling over the keyboard, ideas circling in your head but all of them sounding like a thought vomit on paper. You’re tired, overwhelmed and unable to comprehend your own words. You rush to the SLC for a drop-in session, praying that your peer educator can work a miracle and save your grade...

In this post, Writing and Learning Peer Deeya B. shares pro tips to help you get your writing done this semester and get the most out of the Student Learning Commons. 

It isn't a miracle, a magic spell, or a silver bullet, but if you follow these steps, you may find that your writing process this semester is that much easier (or, at the very least, slightly less painful). 

Grammar Camp: Common expression errors Part 3: Apostrophe angst

Published May 5, 2020 by Julia Lane
Finally, the final instalment in the three part series on common expression errors

Does this word need an "s"? An apostrophe? An apostrophe "s"? 

If you often find yourself asking such questions, you've come to the right place.

And what better time to get those answer than when you are stuck inside between (the strangest) spring term and the forthcoming (entirely remote) summer term? 

Here to finally complete the promised three part series on common expression errors, it is Apostrophe Angst! 

If you want to review the previous two posts, you can read them here: 

Part 1: Subject-verb agreement 

Part 2: Pronoun Perplexities 

Enjoy! 

Be safe. Be well. Use grammar. 

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