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Drawn Together, Torn Apart: The Rollercoaster That Is Collaborative Writing

Jul 5, 2017
By Emily GarciaSince my second year at Appalachian, teachers have joined their students together to create what is either a very fun, educational, and useful experience or a very poor, frustrating stab at my faith in humanity.  At its core, the group project is meant to build and strengthen the collaborative muscles that most career paths require.  Feeding off of group members’ ideas can create a project that is more creative, in-depth, and rounded given the extended perspective...

More Bitterness with Bibliographies

Jul 5, 2017
Dear Writing Diary:I read your response about the positive qualities of bibliographies, and I guess I see your point about using them to streamline my research process, but I’m still pretty jaded about having to write them all the time.  I’ll trust what you said about teachers’ intentions. Taking a second look, teachers probably aren’t assigning bibliographies because they don’t trust me or because they want to punish me.  Still, writing these things certainly feels like punishment....

Beginning with the End in Mind; Developing a Process of Evaluation

Jul 5, 2017
By Michelle KizerDuring my last three years here as an ASU student, writing consultant, and an instructor, I have learned that regardless of the course, most students are required to complete some type of final project that involves research. This means that you are going to have to comb your way through dozens of websites, books, library databases…and did I mention tons of journal articles…in order to find resources that will work with your project. In fact, you may even locate hundreds of...

Don't Be; Just Do

Jul 5, 2017
By Bailey FaulknerAfter completing three years of college, I can honestly say that I don’t remember every assignment I worked on in high school. The math has faded away, and my memories of chemistry have completely dissolved. With that said, I’ve recently realized that some high school lessons haven’t completely slipped my mind. Specifically, my junior and senior year English teacher taught me one thing that I still use in nearly every formal writing assignment that I’ve ever had in college—...

Read All about It

Jul 5, 2017
By Morgan PruittAs a college student writer, you have an audience. Yes, you are a writer, and yes, you have an audience whether you want one or not. How do you know for whom you are writing? Is it your professor? What does “audience” even mean? In this case, your audience is any person who will read your work. The first audience you have is you. You are your own reader. Other people in your audience will depend on the situation. If you are writing for a class, your audience will include your...

Decoding Long Assignment Sheets

Jul 5, 2017
By Bryce ArghiereIn the Writing Center, the only things we read more of than assignment sheets are papers. If you’re like me and a lot of writers who come in for sessions, you have probably at some point had difficulty boiling down a long assignment sheet. Faced with a page-plus of paragraphs, bullet points, deadlines, options, and requirements, it can be hard to get started on a paper.Even if your essay assignment sheet looks like an essay in itself, there is good news: confusing as they may...

Celebrating Traditions: Thankful for Grammar Mechanics

Jun 28, 2017
By Michelle KizerEvery year many of us celebrate the wonderful tradition of Thanksgiving by sharing a great meal with family and friends. This time together gives us all a chance to celebrate our gratitude for the good things in life. So keeping with the spirit, let’s double our fun and celebrate another tradition that we should all be thankful for: the tradition of grammar mechanics! Yes, this means ending punctuation, commas, colons, and semicolons! While grammar mechanics may not sound like...

Bitter Bibliographic Baggage

Jun 27, 2017
Dear Writing Diary,It has happened again. My teacher assigned a research paper, and, predictably, I have to include a bibliography at the end. This time I have to use APA. Last time it was MLA, and I have another teacher that wants us to write everything in Chicago Style, whatever that is. I seriously don’t understand why teachers are so uptight about this citation business. I’m really starting to believe it’s arbitrary, and teachers make us do it just to give us more opportunities to make...

The Apostrophe Strikes Back

Jun 27, 2017
By Chelsea Zimmerman“Always use apostrophes when something is missing, you should.” – Yoda(Translation: Apostrophes DO stand in for something that is missing.)Correct: Luke didn’t complete his training before facing Darth Vader.Incorrect: The Rebel Alliance wasnt able to escape the evil forces of the Empire without the help of Luke Skywalker. (Correct: wasn’t)“Use an apostrophe to indicate a span of years, we do not.” – Yoda(Translation: Apostrophes DO NOT need to be used when indicating the...

Swimming Through an Ocean of Assignment Sheets

Jun 27, 2017
By Bailey FaulknerSummer classes here at ASU seem to come and go almost as fast as summer showers in Boone.  It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you leave school each day with a growing stack of assignment sheets in your folder and on your mind. Focusing on the details of an assignment sheet is especially important when taking any sort of writing class. Assignment sheets will be your guide through each writing assignment, so paying close attention to them before you begin writing is...