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

Different ways of approaching the academic essay

Published by Hermine Chan

Many students don’t find the academic English essay structure natural — it can seem repetitive, direct, and rigid. It’s important to recognize that the English essay structure is just one mode of thinking!   

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... 

Grammar Camp: Verb tenses in essays -- chronology or relativity?

Published by Julia Lane

Guest blogger Deeya B. returns with a Grammar Camp installment that explains the difference between chronology and relativity as approaches to academic writing. How does that relate to grammar, you ask? She will show you how these different approaches to writing give you clues for how you should be using verb tenses in your papers. 

Check it out! 

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. 

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: Myths & truths Part 2

Published by Julia Lane

By Dr. Amanda Goldrick-Jones, SLC Writing Services Coordinator 

In Part 2 of Myths and truths, Amanda offers a definition of grammar that you may not have considered before. She then goes on to dispel three grammar myths and offer one grammar truth. 

If you missed Part 1, read it now. 

Grammar Camp: Myths & truths Part 1

Published by Julia Lane

By Dr. Amanda Goldrick-Jones, SLC Writing Services Coordinator 

In Part 1 of Myths and truths, Amanda explains that there are probably fewer grammar "rules" than many of us assume. Then, she takes apart four common myths about grammar. 

If you want a challenge, try taking the quiz before reading these posts. See how well you can distinguish grammar rules from grammar myths. 

Read Part 2 of Myths and truths coming up in one week!