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

Improving your thesis statement

Published by Hermine Chan

It’s that time of the semester when essays are assigned! They say the most important sentence in your essay is your thesis statement. But how do you write a good thesis statement?  

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

Published by Julia Lane

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 by Julia Lane

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 by Julia Lane

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. 

Speaking between two cultures: An interview

Published by Julia Lane

The SLC Conversation Partners Program pairs EAL students with volunteer peers. Conversation partners then meet on a weekly basis throughout the semester.

In this blog post, SLC Peer Bessie W. interviews two of her conversation partners to hear their unique perspectives on the program and their experiences at SFU. 

Reflecting on English as Additional Language Peer Educator Training

Published by Julia Lane

Guest blogger and English as Additional Language Peer Educator, Ashley K. writes this week about her experiences with EAL Peer training. In particular, she reflects on a lecture presented by Dr. Ena Lee, Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education. Dr. Lee's talk focused on the "commonsense discourses" of English language learning, and how these "commonsense" ideas are often actually wrong. 

Ashley connects this talk with her experiences doing a "Pluriligual Identity" exercise and reflecting on her own connections with language learning, identity, and culture. 

 

Six word stories

Published by Julia Lane

Sharing more of the six word stories we have collected by asking members of the SLC community to reflect on their mistakes and/or what they've learned from them. Enjoy! Maybe you'll see yourself in some of these micro-stories! I know I do... :}