An Alternative to the Outline: the Zero Draft

By: MacKenzi McQuide

I remember how overwhelmed I felt by my first major college research paper. I had chosen my topic (more or less), done all the research, and even had a clear idea for my thesis. There was only one problem: I had no idea where to begin. I was drowning in piles of research, swimming through a murky blur of abstracts, results, and discussions, compiling half-asserted claims into ill-formed mental paragraphs. As I tried to mentally piece together what research went with each supporting claim, I found myself more and more lost and more and more confused. To combat this seemly unachievable research paper, I knew I needed to do some sort of prewriting.

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Statistical Writing in an Academic Setting

By: Angelo Sisante

Generally, there are two types of people in college: those good with numbers and those good with words. Left brained or right brained, it doesn’t matter. When the time comes for you to do some statistical writing, you will need to be good at both. I will assist you with helpful tools and hints in approaching this task. Most of this information can be applied to any statistical paper; however, I will be mentioning how to use a Document Element, which is specific to Microsoft Word. Despite that, these tools can be used across any writing platform.

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Writing Theses: A Consultant’s Perspective

By:  Lindsy Sullivan

Developing a thesis can be tricky, and sometimes it can be the hardest part of writing a paper. During my time as a writing consultant, I’ve realized that not every trick works for every student; everyone learns differently. This prompted me to interview my fellow writing consultants, hoping to hear some of their own tips for writing theses. Here are their suggestions:

Annie: First, ask yourself what interests you. Next, ask yourself why that topic interests you, and then brainstorm a rough thesis.

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College of Education Entrance Essay

By: Cory Anderson

Many future teachers, especially those who are not trying to become English teachers, struggle with their own writing. This can make the essay that is required to be accepted in the College of Education look quite daunting. Nevada is consistently ranked as the state with the lowest education system. Therefore, future teachers are now required to become highly qualified before they are given their own classroom. When applying for the College of Education at the University of Nevada, Reno, students are required to fill out an application, write an essay, and pass the Praxis I test before they are allowed to take higher-level education classes. Given that many of the students that are applying to the College of Education in Reno are products of Nevada’s education system, it is important to write an essay that shows that students are fully capable of becoming the future of Nevada’s education system. Teachers are being entrusted with the futures of many young minds, and it is important that they prove that they can be radicals in a system that is desperate need of reform. However, in order to achieve this radical overhaul, students must start at the beginning by being accepted into the College of Education. Below, I have provided a checklist of what the most important elements are of a “good” essay when applying to the College of Education.

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“Once more, with Feeling”: Writing a Competent Statement of Purpose

By: Reece Gibb

Penning statements of purpose can be a soul-sucking ordeal—such writing is daunting, but for the reason that it requires of applicants feats of embellishment and ingratiation to which they may not be accustomed. However, such processes need not be a trite display, without vigor. Instead, one need only embrace the mindset that statement writing is something of an academic assessment. They are meant as a litmus test of a candidate’s personal investment in the field they wish to pursue. For the better part of a decade, scholars have scrutinized the requisite properties of such statements, concluding what committees desire most are a candidate’s involvement in the field and how the accrued knowledge can be supplemented in the years to come.

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Stylistic and Tonal Differences in Academic Writing

By: Stewart Matzek

Many college students are surprised by academic writing in a university environment, particularly because it is a great deal more taxing than high school writing. This shouldn’t be unexpected – university standards are naturally more difficult – but some students may be even further surprised to learn that even within academic writing itself, there are significant tonal and stylistic distinctions.

These differences can improve any research paper, literature review, or argumentative essay. This post intends to detail a few common academic writing styles, including examples and how to use these styles and tones.

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50 Shades of Black and Blue: A Guide to Rewriting Your Paper

By:  Sierra Becze

Your paper is due at noon on Tuesday. After waiting until Monday night to write it, you stroll in at 12:01, paper raised high above your head as if you are standing on the Olympic podium, holding the gold medal the your hand. The feeling of triumph empowers you. You can do anything. And as you march into class, you swear the entire class is chanting your name, congratulating you on writing this paper.

Fast forward to a week later and you are sporting a massive bruise on your forehead due to slamming your head on a table. The hand written words OFF TOPIC written in blood-red ink seem to mock you. You haven’t felt this kind of defeat since Jimmy Franklin beat you at a game of tether ball in the fourth grade. Luckily for you, I’ve experienced the dreaded, blood red ink and am here to help.

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Anatomy of a Writing Consultant

by: Zoey Rosen

Ah, the Writing Consultant. A magnificent creature when examined closely. The complex parts that make up such a person work together in their natural habitat, the Writing Center, to aid the writing skills of the students of our university. Though they have different majors, backgrounds, and experience levels, they have a few critical things in common:

Citation Skills—Plagiarism is never okay; it is important to cite others’ work. Using a mindful eye, consultants see when citations are miswritten, and provide you with help for APA, Chicago, MLA, and so many other types of citations through proofreading, resource checking, and providing careful attention so as to help every student.

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Thesis: Making the Most of the Writing Center

By: Miranda Smith

How to Make the Most of Your Writing Center Appointment when Bringing in a Thesis, Dissertation or Group Project

Large projects can have unique challenges, and the Writing Center can help you with them, such as consolidating all of your research articles, organizing your ideas in a cohesive format, or looking over your grammar and punctuation. One item to keep in mind, however, is that it is not possible to go through an entire draft of one of these projects in one session, and you wouldn’t want to. Your paper deserves feedback from more than one sitting because you have put in a lot of time and effort. To get the most out of your appointment(s) when bringing in a thesis, dissertation or large project, keep the following tips in mind:

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A Capital Issue, Degrees in Academic Writing

By:  Aaron Smale

Whether you are an incoming freshman or an established grad student, you may find it necessary to communicate your professional or academic titles, degrees, and certifications. In a lot of cases, how you use these titles in writing can be slightly daunting—do you capitalize the degree’s title or the discipline? What’s the difference between saying you have a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience? To address this sometimes confusing issue, we will discuss some strategies that you can use to make sure that you’re citing degrees and certifications correctly.

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