New Years Resolutions? January 25, 2013Posted by jhicks in : Uncategorized , comments closed
If your resolutions include starting earlier on assignments, be sure to add visiting the Writing Center to your strategy for a good paper. We can help you understand the prompt and make a plan. Then come by for editing and proofreading help.
Unclear about citations? We have all the style books and will help you search out the rules that apply to your source.
LATE NITE QUESTION? A consultant is waiting for you on Facebook chat Sunday – Thursday nights from 9-10:30 PM.
Welcome Valpo Students, Fall 2012 August 17, 2012Posted by jhicks in : Uncategorized , comments closed
New to campus, please stop by the Writing Center to say hi!
Our consultants would like to hear where you’re from and how your first few days are going. It’s never to soon to share your Core questions or first writing assignments.
If you’re a transfer or grad student, we’re ready to answer your concerns about writing assignments here for many classes.
EVERYONE . . .Drop in at the WC on facebook chat Sun-Thurs, 9:00 -10:30 PM. We answer questions, brainstorm, or just listen if you need to rant about writing.
WANT TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT? Go to https://tutor.valpo.edu . You can choose a time that works for you. Of course, you can always drop in.
APA Answers: In Your APA Manual and Online August 15, 2012Posted by jhicks in : Citation & bibliography, Nursing , comments closed
Best Pages to Tab in Your APA book
- Table of Citation Styles, p. 177
- Reference examples, p. 193
- How to refer to secondary sources, p. 178
- Sources found online, p. 189
- How to use quotes well in APA; see example sentences, p. 171
- Hyphenation table, p. 98
- Numbers, p. 111
Excellent Online Resources
- APA blog (Google apa blog) or http://blog.apastyle.org: has an excellent search feature; entries from APA staff and reader responses are informative and entertaining.
- APA Twitter feed: alerts you of unusual style conventions.
- Free online tutorial from APA on the APA basics: http://www.apastyle.org/learn/tutorials/basics-tutorial.aspx
- APA FAQs: http://www.apastyle.org/learn/faqs/index.aspx
Staring at a blank screen? March 13, 2012Posted by arussell in : Getting started , comments closed
It has happened to all of us: you read the prompt, you have an idea about what you want to write, but somehow the words just don’t come out. Minutes drag by, and turn into an hour, maybe two. What’s a writer to do?
One of my favorite writing tactics is what I’ll call the “15 Minute Blitz.” If I’m unsure about what I want to write or how I wanted to get started, I employ this tool to get something on that screen in front of me. I set a timer for 15 minutes and type continuously until the timer goes off. I’m not allowed to reread what I’ve written or to go back and make any changes. When I’m finished, I at least have something on the page. I feel better because now I know I have something, and now I can begin to refine my ideas. It’s a lot easier to work with something you already have on the page than stare at a blank screen while ideas swirl around in your head.
This tactic is also a great way to realize what you really want to say about something and can even yield your thesis. It’s similar to stream-of-consciousness writing, in which one simply writes what is on his or her mind continuously for 15 minutes. Stream-of-consciousness writing often surprisingly yields a new conclusion at the end, and the 15 Minute Blitz can work the same way! Without adding all researched, textual support, simply type out what you want to say and why you believe it to be so. Then you will see what your real thesis is! After you’ve cemented what you are trying to say with your paper, you can go back and break up evidence into paragraphs and add the necessary textual support!
Staring at a blank screen? Try the 15 Minute Blitz today!
Writing a Lit Review March 10, 2012Posted by jhicks in : Citation & bibliography, Literature Reviews, Nursing, Uncategorized , comments closed
WHAT IS IT?
The hardest thing about writing a literature review is understanding why you need one. The lit review prepares your reader for your own analysis or research. A lit review assures the reader you have looked at others’ research on the topic, and it summarizes that research in light of your study.
HOW SHOULD I ORGANIZE IT?
The first sentence should identify the topic or issue of concern so that the review has a focus. You will talk about the other articles as they relate to this focus. To organize the order of the articles, group them by some similarity. For example, the American Psychological Association guidelines (APA) suggest you can group articles in several ways within the body of your review: “Similarity in the concepts or theories of interest, methodological similarities . . .or the historical development of the field” (1.03, Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edition). You should also mention conflicts you discovered, gaps in research, or a new perspective (Writing Center, UW-Madison).
Lastly, longer lit reviews often explain how you chose the articles–for example, the search terms, databases, or years. You can also list other limiting criteria such as research related only to adolescents, a particular racial group, or a theory or treatment.
HOW DO I WRITE IT?
After clarifying the problem, write in a simple WHO-DID-WHAT or WHAT-DID-WHAT pattern that uses the past tense: Davidson et al (2006) examined the effect of . . .
Several studies examining childhood obesity focused on genetic influences (Jones, 2004; Goldstone, 2005; Alfi, 2006) concluding that . . . .
In their 2008 study that compared after school eating patterns of latchkey children to those of children in after school daycare settings, Zhang and Smith found a correlation between . . .
The generalizability of Quantro’s 2006 study was limited because the survey was based on a convenience sample; nevertheless, her conclusion that . . . .suggests the value of a more controlled study.
For examples and more detailed instructions, check with these writing centers:
The Writing Center at the University of North Carolina: clear and detailed how-to
University of Washington Psychology Writing Center: lengthy discussion related to psychology lit reviews
The OWL at Purdue: clear discussion and guidelines for a lit review in social work
Online Help with APA March 9, 2012Posted by jhicks in : Citation & bibliography, Nursing, Quoting, Uncategorized , comments closed
Online APA help may provide what you need for unusual citations—twitter, facebook, YouTube videos, web pages with no author, interviews, lecture PowerPoints, and so forth. Although APA notes that such sources may not be appropriate for research-based writing, these sources contribute to a variety of writing that uses APA style.
- APA web site: http://www.apastyle.org/ that provides Frequently Asked Questions at http://www.apastyle.org/learn/faqs/index.aspx Examples: How do I cite email, facebook, twitter, when should I use a slash?
- APA blog: http://blog.apastyle.org
- Twitter feed for APA
- Writing Center lib guide: http://libguides.valpo.edu/writingcenter
Annotated Bibliography March 1, 2012Posted by jhicks in : Christ College, Citation & bibliography, CORE, Getting started, Nursing, Work & Vocation Unit , comments closed
An annotated bibliography has the complete source entry following MLA, APA, Chicago, etc. style and an annotation, which is a summary and/or evaluation of the source in relation to your topic. An annotated bibliography helps you read critically, eliminating some sources and noting values of others. As a student, the annotations force you to dive into research that may help you form a thesis. In an annotation you might . . .
Summarize–topic covered, main arguments, sources, organization.
Assess–evaluate the source in relation to a topic; how is it similar to or different from other sources in your bibliography; comment on whether the source is reliable or biased; decide on the goal of the source and whether this goal was met.
Reflect–how this source may be useful for your research; how it may have expanded your ideas; how has it shaped your argument?
Annotation style? You should write in complete sentences; some entries are short; others may be a paragraph.
EXAMPLES –The Purdue OWL (online writing lab) has excellent advice. Read the entries for annotated bibliography to see some useful examples. If you are using APA syle, refer to your manual for more detail.
the dash! March 1, 2012Posted by mlester in : Correctness, Editing, Uncategorized , comments closed
The dash was Emily Dickenson’s favorite punctuation. It is often confused with the hyphen, but but it is much more cool. It is used to set off material that deserves special emphasis. When typing, use two hypens to form a dash, with no space before or after.
So if you have a list to set off, a restatement, or an idea that you want to stand out in your writing, a dash can help you do that.
Example: Mary took a few steps back, came running full speed, kicked a mighty kick–and missed the ball.
CORE WORKER PROFILE PROJECT February 23, 2012Posted by jhicks in : Uncategorized , comments closed
FIRST THINGS FIRST . . .WHAT IS IT? An interpretation of an interview is common in various courses, such as criminology, education, counseling, communication, theology, and nursing. So your work on the CORE worker profile will help you develop skills in research, interviewing, observation, and analysis that you will use again. Writing consultants are familiar with your CORE worker profile and are anxious to help you.
WHICH COMES FIRST, THE CHICKEN OR THE EGG? Should you choose a person or a vocation/work area first? If no ideas for a person come to you immediately, you could do some research first–the egg first approach. For example, if you’re interested in social services for youth, read a little bit in the field to find career options. Armed with job titles, you can search for someone to interview. Usually, people feel talking about their work is a professional responsibility they are eager to carry out. Of course, librarians will help with research; writing consultants can help too.
CHOOSING THE INTERVIEWEE –the chicken first approach. We can help you frame the email that will land you the interview, if your choice is someone you don’t know well.
PLANNING THE INTERVIEW A planned interview is a good interview. A good interview yields a good paper. Before your interview, picture the kind of paper you want to write . . .what makes sense for this person or profession? What kinds of questions should you ask to help you fulfill your plans.
See the heading for CORE, Work & Vocation (look right) on the blog for more help.
Also, go to our libguide for more help with this project. Choose the tab for Writing Tasks for Courses.
Quick! Citation help, please! November 29, 2011Posted by jhicks in : Christ College, Citation & bibliography, CORE, Nursing, Quoting, Uncategorized , comments closed
A Pocket Style Manual MLA, APA, Chicago (CMS)
The Little Seagull MLA, APA, Chicago (CMS), and CSE
Purdue Online Writing Lab Search for all styles
Lib guides at Valpo Help with annotated bibliography, APA text style, etc.
APA Blog From the APA itself things not in the book: how to site YouTube, other online sources, test banks, etc.
APA FAQs from APA