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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. 

Happy Holidays from the SLC

Published by Julia Lane

Wishing you all safe and happy holidays. See you in the new decade (2020)!

Reading Guide

Published by Julia Lane

Get your summer semester off on the right foot by learning how to read smarter, not harder (or longer)!

Graduate Writing Facilitator Jennesia Pedri has generously shared with us a Reading Guide that she created to support her own reading during her comprehensive exams for her doctoral studies in the School of Communications. As Jennesia explains, the guide aims to help you read more efficiently and effectively. It also aims to make itself obsolete: eventually you won’t need it because you’ll begin to automatically ask yourself these kinds of questions as you read.

Join the Student Learning Commons Team!

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

Self-explanation for studying

Published by Julia Lane

I'm sure I don't have to mention that it is exam time! In this blog post, Donya Samadi --  PhD student in Educational Psychology and former Graduate Facilitator with the SLC -- shares how the concept of self-explanation can be applied to studying. 

Self-explanation, Donya explains, may be beneficial because information previously learned is recalled and integrated with new information to generate a self-explanation. In this way, self-explanation is a connection and elaboration to prior knowledge. When engaged in self-explanations, learners can develop new meaningful associations, and further understand the content they are studying. 

The common comma: Part 2

image of a comma
Published by Julia Lane

Welcome back to the wonderful world of commas!

SLC Writing Coordinator Amanda Goldrick-Jones, PhD, helps us understand the "unwanted comma," or when NOT to use commas in our writing. 

Missed Part 1? Check it out here