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Showing posts from October, 2012

Academia's Best Kept Secret: How to Make Use of Your University's Writing Center

During the process of working on your thesis or dissertation, you may find yourself considering the possibility of hiring an outside editor or at least finding another pair of eyes to read your dissertation work.  Even if you have the best of relationships with your dissertation or thesis committee, it's sometimes helpful to have an outsider's point of view, and particularly someone who can take the time to work with you more closely and give you more feedback than an adviser may be able to.  In the coming days, I'll be talking about the pros and cons of hiring outside help, along with some tips for choosing the right editor, but before you look for one, you might want to consider a resource many students overlook--the University writing center.   While generally thought of as resources for undergraduates, many writing centers also offer to read small, discrete portions of graduate papers and dissertations.  While the focus will be on a learning/tutoring relationship

Enter the Conversation: Find Your Voice in the Scholarly Literature

Enter the Conversation: Find Your Voice in the Scholarly Literature Does the literature review section of your project intimidate you? Is it hard to figure out what to include and why?  Are you unclear about what your readers need to see? You can get beyond your hesitation to write the review of literature by imagining yourself in an ordinary conversation. Entering a Conversation How do you enter a conversation? When you are new to a group of people, does it take a long time to find your voice? When some of them are better known than you are, do your words get stuck in your mouth? When you are interested in the conversation and have something to contribute, is it hard to figure out how to start? Do you sometimes feel you blurt out a thought? I bet your apprehensions about writing your review of the literature are similar! So use the same strategies! In ordinary conversation, how do you speak up? Conversation Strategies Here are some strategies you probably u