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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?  

Lost In Translation: Gaa jau, everyone!

Published by Hermine Chan

In these Lost in Translation posts you can expect to read about common words and phrases that result in interesting (and sometimes funny) translations when we try to explain them in English. 

Contributions to this series come from across the SLC and we also welcome submissions from the wider university community. 

Our third post features Cantonese, one of the most difficult languages to learn for non-native speakers, but it is one of the dialects that sounds the closest to ancient Chinese. 

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

5 Steps to Help You Recover from Midterm Season

Published by Julia Lane

Communications major and SLC Writing and Learning Peer,  Ayomide G. is back with a companion piece to her post on having a successful midterm season

We at the SLC hope you have all come through the midterm season well, and hope that you enjoy these 5 steps for effective midterm-recovery! 

(and we promise not to mention how close finals are now... okay, maybe we'll mention it once...) 

Glossary of grammar terms

Published by Julia Lane

It's a New Year and it's time for a new installment of our Grammar Camp series! 

SLC Writing Coordinator Amanda Goldrick-Jones, PhD, is back with a glossary of useful grammar terms to help you with your writing... and with breaking the ice at your next party!