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

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

Published by Julia Lane

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

Drawing of Eagle
Published by Julia Lane

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 by Julia Lane

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 by Julia Lane

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. 

Grammar Camp: Common expression errors Part 2: Pronoun perplexities

Published by Julia Lane

Way back in February, I posted a "Part 1" of this mini grammar camp series on "common expression errors." You were promised a Part 2 focused on Pronouns (and a Part 3 focused on apostrophes!)... 

Well, a lot has happened since February and it kept not seeming like the right time to bring the blog focus back to grammar. 

To be honest, it still doesn't feel like the right time to do that. But, the part of me that loves rules and structure is feeling all kinds of out of whack recently. Posting this blog entry helps to soothe that part of me in two ways: 

1. It corrects a lingering issue (i.e., that of a Part 1 with no Part 2 or 3) 

2. It puts my focus on the comforts of the system and structure of grammar. 

Of course, grammar rules (like other rules) are made to be broken, and so those comforts can only extend so far. 

But, I do hope that this momentary diversion into the world of grammar can provide some interest and/or clarity and/or curiosity and/or comfort for you too. Part 3 on apostrophes is also coming... 

Be safe. Be well. Use grammar. 

 

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.

Writing anxiety

Published by Julia Lane

Feeling anxious about writing your term papers this semester? You aren't alone! In fact, writing anxiety is experienced by writers across all genres and all stages of writing experience. This blog post explores the topic of writing anxiety and provides some practical suggestions for how to address the anxiety you may be experiencing. 

Note: this post focuses on "every day" writing anxiety and not clinical anxiety. If your anxiety is unmanageable, please get support from SFU Health and Counselling or from another health care professional. Your well-being matters! 

Reflective writing

Published by Julia Lane

This post explains the genre of reflective writing, which is often what you are expected to do if you have a (critical) journal or analytical response assignment in your class. 

This explanation of reflective writing starts from Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein's (2012) statement that such assignments "require that you demonstrate that you have thought about what it is you think" (p. 222). Graff and Birkenstein are focused on writing in the social sciences, but the idea that you have to think about what you think is broadly applicable to any reflective writing task.