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In Common: The SLC blog

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

Join the Conversation Partners Program

Published September 1, 2020 by Julia Lane
Join the SLC's Conversation Partners Program today - meetings continue online!

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

Lost in Translation: Apna dhyaan rakhna in English

Published August 25, 2020 by Julia Lane
Read this post to learn about a common Hindi phrase, and why it is difficult to translate Hindi into English due to the sentence structures they use.

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 second post comes from former Writing and Learning Peer Educator and frequent blog contributor, Deeya B., and highlights her mother tongue, Hindi. 

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

Published August 4, 2020 by Julia Lane
In this grammar camp post, learn about chronology and relativity in academic writing and what each approach can reveal to you about verb tense.

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! 

Lost in Translation: Kerekere in English

Published July 28, 2020 by Julia Lane
Launching a new occasional blog series about the languages we speak and what gets lost (or added or changed) when we translate them!

The In Common Blog team is excited to launch this "Lost in Translation" series. In these 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. 

The idea for this series comes from Daniel C. suggestion to include more multilingual content on the blog. 

Our first post comes from English as Additional Language Peer Educator and frequent blog contributor, Ashley K., and highlights an Indigenous language spoken by her family, iTaukei. 

Happy birthday to our blog!

Published July 14, 2020 by Julia Lane
Happy second birthday to our SLC blog, established July 17, 2018

We first posted to this blog two years ago on July 17th (you can read that post here). 

To celebrate our blog birthday, we did a short interview with the Graduate Writing Facilitator who first suggested the idea, Daniel C. Daniel is a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Education. Read on to learn more about him! 

Revising for grammar: Articles ("the" and "a")

Published June 23, 2020 by Julia Lane
Part 1 in an ongoing Grammar Camp series about revising for grammar

Former Writing and Learning Peer Deeya B. is back with an ongoing, occasional series about revising your work, with a specific focus on grammar. This series is part of the larger blog feature "Grammar Camp." 

In this post, Deeya focuses on the use of articles ("the" and "a(n)") and how to self-edit your writing with an eye to your article use. 

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). 

Grammar Camp: Common expression errors Part 3: Apostrophe angst

Published May 5, 2020 by Julia Lane
Finally, the final instalment in the three part series on common expression errors

Does this word need an "s"? An apostrophe? An apostrophe "s"? 

If you often find yourself asking such questions, you've come to the right place.

And what better time to get those answer than when you are stuck inside between (the strangest) spring term and the forthcoming (entirely remote) summer term? 

Here to finally complete the promised three part series on common expression errors, it is Apostrophe Angst! 

If you want to review the previous two posts, you can read them here: 

Part 1: Subject-verb agreement 

Part 2: Pronoun Perplexities 

Enjoy! 

Be safe. Be well. Use grammar. 

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