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

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!   

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... 

Insights from a summer of remote learning

Published by Julia Lane

Former Writing and Learning Peer Grace L. reflects on her experiences with remote learning in the summer 2020 semester. She offers tips to help you set and maintain boundaries to support both your academic success and your health and well-being. 

We wish you the very best for this new kind of learning adventure and hope that these insights from the summer semester can help you get set up for success! 

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

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. 

Broken EAL student's monologue

Published by Julia Lane

By Daniel Chang 

PhD candidate and SLC Writing Consultant Daniel Chang writes about his experience being an EAL student for the past 10 years. In this post he questions the image of EAL students as "broken students" and reinforces the idea that language issues are experienced by everyone.

The Summer Semester is almost over! Get a jump on Fall...

Published by Julia Lane

By Daniel Chang 

It's summer and the semester is almost over! But before you take that well deserved break, have a look at these housekeeping reminders to make sure you are ready for next term. 

The Student Learning Commons as a Community of Practice

Published by Julia Lane

By Dr. Julia Lane, SLC Writing Services Associate 

Welcome to the SLC In Common Blog. I hope you will come to think of this space as part of your Community of Practice as an SFU student. 

What is a Community of Practice and why would I want you to think of the SLC and the In Common blog in this way? Good questions! Read on to find out more...