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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

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! 

Challenge yourself with your academic writing: A Writing and Learning Peer's perspective

Published July 7, 2020 by Julia Lane
Challenge yourselves and each other to see what you can accomplish!

"Writing papers is either the bane of an undergraduate student’s existence or, for the few like me, it’s an experience that can be learned from. But I didn’t always think like this..."

 

Writing and Learning Peer Harvin B. shares his thoughts about how students can rise to the challenge of their term papers. 

This article was originally published in The Peak (SFU's student newspaper) and is re-published here with gratitude. 

 

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. 

Facing White Privilege

Published June 15, 2020 by Julia Lane
thank you to Henry V. Robertson Jr. from Alert Bay, from the Nuxalk Nation in Bella Coola whose art is featured here

In this blog post, SLC EAL Coordinator Dr. Timothy Mossman shares some writing that he did during his doctoral studies in a class (EDUC 925 - Critical Literacies in Multilingual Contexts) led by Dr. Dolores van der Wey. 

The SFU Library recently issued the following statement about anti-Black racism and white supremacy: https://www.lib.sfu.ca/help/academic-integrity/solidarity-black-lives-matter 

We in the Student Learning Commons recognize that race-based violence is not new, nor simply an issue for us to pay attention to during "flashpoint moments" like the one we are currently experiencing. With this post, Tim shares part of his journey learning to see his own privilege. 

We share this post as encouragement for others as we take on this troubling, difficult, and necessary work. 

Trigger warning: this post includes references to residential school trauma and to homelessness. 

Tips for Navigating Online School in 2020

Published June 9, 2020 by Julia Lane
9 practical tips to help you succeed with remote learning

Writing and Learning Peer Molly M. shares 9 practical tips to help you navigate remote learning in the summer 2020 term. 

If you have tips of your own to share, get in touch with us at slc-incommon-blog@sfu.ca 

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. 

Welcome to the summer semester! A few housekeeping reminders...

Published June 2, 2020 by Julia Lane
It's that time of year again... check out our friendly housekeeping items to get started on the right foot!

By Daniel Chang

PhD candidate and SLC Writing Consultant Daniel Chang welcomes you to the summer 2020 semester and offers some important reminders for how to get the most out of this term.

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. 

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