This page highlights some advice and resources. Please look again at the Writing Resources drop down menu to find information on writing in the disciplines: Humanities, Social Sciences, Math, Science and Business. There are also pages on essay writing, report writing and cover letter/resume writing.
Other University Writing Centers — OWL Purdue
Grammarly – Free Student subscription – grammar and spell check
Textbooks and Handbooks — The CU Writing Center has a library of textbooks and handbooks available for faculty and students to use. Please visit. The textbooks are primarily writing or technical communication course texts.
Trigger Points: A Little Advice with Big Effects
Transitions: E.g. However/Therefore/Moreover — these don’t work the way you think they do. The sentences these transitions connect must be written carefully so that the transition word is merely stating the obvious, i.e., so that the reader can figure out the relationship even without the transition word. The sentences you are connecting should be structured so that the beginning of the second sentence repeats or focuses on some part of the preceding sentence. Much stronger transitions are words (subordinators) like Because/Although/If/When/While. Be sure you know the difference among the three types of connectors. e.g. for contrast: But/However/Although.
AND doesn’t work the way you think it does. In spoken English we use it all the time to connect sentences and phrases. We use ‘and’ instead of ‘but’ or ‘in order to.’ Writing gives you the opportunity to replace ‘and’ with something more accurate. Examine and replace your ANDS!
Headings don’t work the way you think they do. Putting in a heading does NOT mean that you can start a new topic without any reference to the previous topic. The first sentence after the heading should summarize or refer to the previous section and then explain the connection to the current section.
Use Terminology. Many students avoid terminology because it doesn’t feel like their normal speech, but remember the purpose of any course is to make you more comfortable with the terminology and concepts that are important for that discipline. Use the terminology. Here is a great website with activities for the Academic Word List which is not discipline specific.
Revising should be braver and wilder and more comprehensive than editing. Following is the draft of a policy for a student handbook with some peer feedback. Below that is an edited version and a revision. Can you see the difference?
Given the comments, which of the following is a Revision?
The mentor-mentee relationship is meant to be fundamentally different from that of the student-instructor relationship. In the latter the student is dependent on the instructor and is learning basic skills from the instructor in the instructor’s subject area. It can also be expected that the student is refining academic skills in reading and writing and can ask the instructor for guidance. In the mentor relationship the roles are different. The mentee is considered to be an inductee into a professional community who has her/his own ideas about what is important and interesting and who has internalized at least the basics of the professional standards. The mentor is an experienced member of the community who will answer questions, troubleshoot and discuss issues of interest in the field. It is not the mentor’s role to teach the student how to research, write, or format according to a stylesheet.
It is not the mentor’s role to check that The student MENTEE has made SHOULD MAKE the changes suggested or to proofread the papers. The mentor should not need to read papers over and over again. If the student MENTEE still needs help in these areas, then s/he needs to find that help with peers or through the university in the Writing Center.
The mentor-mentee relationship is meant to be fundamentally different from that of the student-teacher relationship. The Mentee now is considered to be a participating member of the professional community who has her/his own ideas about what is important and interesting and who has internalized at least the basics of the professional standards.
How to get the most out of being a mentee
- Foster the relationship so the mentor will be a great reference
- Be on time and follow deadlines
- Impress the mentor with your courtesy, interest, hard work and knowledge (all important features for future recommendations)
- Always take the mentor’s comments seriously; you don’t need to agree with them, but you should never ignore them.
- Impress the mentor with your strengths; be clear to yourself what those strengths are
- Ask for help with your weaknesses; be clear to yourself with what those weaknesses are; follow-up on whatever the mentor has recommended as a way to address those weaknesses such as finding a tutor.
- Recognize that this is YOUR project and the mentor is there to assist you
- You should be the one who runs the meeting making it clear what kind of assistance you are looking for
- Take notes
- Have specific questions about drafts, feedback, or readings
- Present the mentor with your best drafts
- Always spell check and grammar check
- Be sure to have incorporated all previous feedback
- Get help from a tutor if you’re having any difficulty with your writing