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

Celebrate your academic integrity this week

Published by Julia Lane

SFU's Academic Integrity week is September 28 - October 2, 2020.

We know that this year is unlike any we've had before. You are learning from your own home, in front of a computer. In this context, academic integrity can be even more challenging than usual. It is also even more important. 

Participate in academic integrity week to learn more about how to complete your work with integrity, and to celebrate the ways you already approach your learning and your work with honesty and integrity. 

Writing a Professional Email: 101

Published by Julia Lane

Former SLC English as Additional Language Peer Bessie W. returns with tips and tricks for writing a professional email. Just in time to help you reach out to your professor or TA to get clarification on those first assignments... 

Join the Conversation Partners Program

Published by Julia Lane

Former SLC English as Additional Language Peer, Trina Lal, shares reflections on the benefits of participating in the Conversation Partners program. The program continues online during SFU's remote instruction. Sign up to participate here

Happy birthday to our blog!

Published by Julia Lane

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! 

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). 

Become part of the SLC team (virtual interviews available!)

Published by Julia Lane

The Student Learning Commons is scouting out new talent for our Writing and Learning Peer and English as Additional Language Peer programs. 

Both positions will allow you to develop transferable skills in the areas of client service, interpersonal skills, giving effective feedback, and cross-cultural communication, and will give you access to a professional reference as well as a private study/social space in the library.

We hope you will join our team! Apply now through http://myinvolvement.sfu.ca as part of posting #5254. The posting will be available until April 20, 2020.

A trauma-informed approach to difficult course material: Part 2

Published by Julia Lane

SLC EAL Peer Ashley K. returns with more information about using a trauma-informed approach to learning. She shares more information about a trauma-informed workshop co-facilitated by Jennifer-Lee Koble and Jennifer Dehoney. She also offers 8 important self-care tips. 

To read the interview she conducted with Dr. Elise Chenier, click here

If you are in need of support, please reach out. A particularly good resource for immediate support is My SSP. 

Maintaining social cohesion in a time of social distancing

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Published by Julia Lane

Graduate Writing Facilitator Kate Elliott and Writing Services Coordinator Julia Lane provide you with some information about how the Student Learning Commons has responded to the COVID-19 outbreak and the subsequent closure of our in-person services. 

In this blog post, you will get information about how you can continue to get support through the SLC, remotely. 

We hope everyone is keeping well - physically, emotionally, and mentally - during this time of increased stress and isolation. 

If you have questions, please reach out to us at learning-commons@sfu.ca 

(content reposted from the Canadian Writing Centre Association Blog

A trauma-informed approach to difficult course material: Part 1

Published by Julia Lane

How do we take care of ourselves when we are introduced to difficult material in class? This is a question that SLC EAL Peer Ashley K. asked herself as she embarked on . her learning journey in HIST 436, which focuses on a close reading of Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

As part of her work to answer this question, she sat down to interview the course's instructor, Dr. Elise Chenier. This two-part blog series begins with a transcript of that interview. Here is a powerful idea that emerged from their discussion, 

"my main goals is not just know the breadth and depth of the problem intellectually, but to know it in their bodies. In my opinion, when you know it in your body, then it changes you, but to know it intellectually, you can still hold that at a distance and you don't necessarily see why you should change anything about the way you do anything" (Dr. Elise Chenier). 

In part two of this series, Ashley K. shares some self-care tips that she learned through a workshop offered by Jennifer-Lee Koble and Jennifer Dehoney during the class. 

Take care of yourselves. If you are in need of support, please reach out. A particularly good resource for accessing immediate support is My SSP

Grammar Camp: Common expression errors Part 1: Subject-verb agreement

Published by Julia Lane

This is Part 1 of a 3 part series focused on common expression errors that can arise in writing. The focus in this post is on subject/verb agreement, and it highlights some types of sentences that can pose particular challenges for ensuring subject/verb agreement.