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

Writing a Professional Email: 101

Published September 22, 2020 by Julia Lane
Tips for writing a professional email

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... 

Come OUT! and Write with us…

Published June 4, 2020 by Julia Lane
Sharpen your pencils and your writing skills with write OUT -- a joint SLC/OOC writing initiative.

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. 

Flowery Language: Does it really make your writing more beautiful?

Published May 19, 2020 by Julia Lane
Time to stop and smell the flowers... and to ask ourselves whether flowery language is really improving our academic writing

Former Writing and Learning Peer Deeya B. returns with another post to help you do well in your writing courses this semester. 

In this post, Deeya debunks myths about "flowery language' and the value of such language in academic writing. 

As Deeya explains, flowery language occurs when elaborate words are substituted for simple ones and longer sentences are used to try to convey multiple ideas. However, flowery language often backfires and makes students sound less confident in their understanding of a subject.

In this post, Deeya will explain more about what flowery language is, why students choose to use it, and why it often has the reverse of the intended outcome. 

How to get your writing done this semester...

Published May 12, 2020 by Julia Lane
It isn't magic... it's the Student Learning Commons!

Imagine this: you’re typing away ferociously with the little time left for you to hand in your term paper. It’s due tonight, and although you had three weeks to write it, there were other more important assignments on your plate. It’s not that you didn’t know you had to write this paper too, but you were pretty confident you knew what you wanted to say and could put all of your ideas into words in one afternoon. It is now the afternoon of your paper’s due date. You’re scrambling, fumbling over the keyboard, ideas circling in your head but all of them sounding like a thought vomit on paper. You’re tired, overwhelmed and unable to comprehend your own words. You rush to the SLC for a drop-in session, praying that your peer educator can work a miracle and save your grade...

In this post, Writing and Learning Peer Deeya B. shares pro tips to help you get your writing done this semester and get the most out of the Student Learning Commons. 

It isn't a miracle, a magic spell, or a silver bullet, but if you follow these steps, you may find that your writing process this semester is that much easier (or, at the very least, slightly less painful). 

The parts of speech: The last 4

Published July 16, 2019 by Julia Lane
Learn about Adverbs, Prepositions, Conjunctions, and Interjections: What they are and how to use them in your writing!

Welcome to second installment of our Grammar Camp series on the Parts of Speech. 

If you didn't catch it or want to review, check out last week's post, which covered nouns, pronouns, adjectives, and verbs.

This week's post covers adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections

Thanks for Dr. Amanda Goldrick-Jones, SLC Writing Coordinator, for developing and sharing this content. 

The parts of speech: The first 4

Published July 9, 2019 by Julia Lane
Learn about Nouns, Pronouns, Adjectives, and Verbs: What they are and how to use them in your writing!

In this Grammar Camp post, Dr. Amanda Goldrick-Jones, SLC Writing Coordinator, provides an overview of 4 basic parts of speech. There are 8 basic parts of speech, so stay tuned for next week's post about the last 4, and for two self-test quizzes for you to test out your newly acquired grammar know-how!

You can also jump to Part 2

Got Assignments? Get the Assignment Calculator!

Published May 28, 2019 by Julia Lane
Get the assignment calculator to help you with your next writing project. Image by Calculator by Maria Zamchy from the Noun Project

It's that time of semester when assignment deadlines can start to feel like they are piling up on you. And, it can be especially hard to get down to work when the sun is shining! 

Let the assignment calculator help you to break down your assignments into manageable steps. That's just good project management! 

The common comma: Part 2

Published April 9, 2019 by Julia Lane
learn when NOT to use commas in your writing!

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

The common comma: Part 1

Published March 14, 2019 by Julia Lane
learn to use commas in your writing

Perhaps you are starting to gear up for term paper writing? If so, you might be wondering when you are REALLY supposed to be using commas...

SLC Writing Coordinator Amanda Goldrick-Jones, PhD, returns to help us understand that common piece of punctuation, the comma... and maybe, just maybe, how to save our relationships? 

Poems vs. papers: Not as different as you’d think!

Published February 15, 2019 by Julia Lane
Congrats on your CBC poetry prize Natalie, and thanks for sharing these writing tips with In Common!

Award-winning poet and SFU Communications student Natalie Lim guest blogs for In Common this week! 

Check out Natalie's top tips for how a creative writing practice can help strengthen your academic papers. As a bonus, Natalie offers some fun and helpful writing exercises to try out! 

Congrats to Natalie for winning the 2018 CBC Poetry Prize with her poem Arrhythmia.

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