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Going green in the workplace

green bike beside a wall

Being environmentally friendly does not have to be a part-time job at home. Many workplaces are now making efforts to create an eco-friendly workplace. By recently joining the Green Office Initiative led by Sustainability, the Writing and Communication Centre has made improvements throughout our office and learned a few things along the way. Here are some easy tips on how to become a greener workplace.

Getting where you need to be

brick wall

"The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something." - Randy Pausch

Rappelling down city hall for a good cause

Nadine rapelling

On June 8th 2018, while most people were sitting outside enjoying the weather Nadine Fladd, one of our Writing and Multimodal Communication Specialists, was 326 ft above ground rappelling down Toronto’s city hall.

A new chapter

group picture of the writing and communication center staff

Last week, we celebrated John Vardon who has made a tremendous impact in his 40+ years working as a Writing and Multimodal Communication Specialist at the Writing and Communication Centre. As John retires and starts a new adventure in doing so, we look back at his time spent here.

10 ways to recycle your old books

book shelf on a wall surrounded by plants

Books are hard to get rid of because like a vacation or lecture, at some point they either took us on a journey or taught us something. As a result many people end up with a collection of books that they haven’t touched in years. If you do decide to renew your library here are a couple of ideas on how to transform your books into new things or how to pass them on to someone else.

To quote or not to quote

girl with laptop writing in a notebook

Adding quotations to your writing is a great way to incorporate ideas from others to the conversation. The following post discusses the common problem of not knowing when to use quotations.

FYI: quote is a verb and quotation is a noun. Although, the word quote is now commonly used as a noun since language evolves and grows.

How to keep your reader intrigued

old man reading on a park bench

Within the first seven seconds of meeting someone, the average person will already have formed a first impression. Now, this could be due to a variety of reasons such as body language, tone or appearance. On the other hand, when it comes to writing, first impressions are formed differently. The first couple of pages give the reader a fairly good idea of whether they would like to continue or not. Here are a couple of tricks to keep the writer engaged.

How to take effective lecture notes

lecture room of university students sitting

While looking out at a first-year university lecture, you may encounter dimly lit faces of hundreds of students typing madly on their laptops, eager to preserve every word uttered by their professor. Now, if you were to walk over to an upper year university course, you may be met by less frantic typing or students who have taken to pencil and paper notes. Over the course of my undergrad, my note taking skills have evolved, and I have learned a few things along the way. Here I will discuss the different methods to take notes during lecture.

My top three writing distractions and how I deal with them

girl studying with laptop and notebook

One of my biggest challenges while writing is to do just that. In a society where we move on from one idea to the next rapidly, such as ten-second snapchat stories or brief tweets about our day, it is easy to lose focus on a task. Although there are a variety of things that can distract me from my work, I have narrowed it down to the top three and how I have dealt with them to increase productivity.

Put it in reverse!

hand drawing an arrow on paper

Sometimes you have to work backwards to move forward. If you ever find yourself stuck while writing (and unable to make it to the Writing and Communication Centre), creating a reverse outline may be your solution. This strategy entails looking at each of your paragraphs and summarizing the main idea you are trying to portray in 1-2 sentences. Even with an initial outline, your ideas change as you write, so this strategy allows you to take a step back and ensure that your writing flows like Niagara Falls.

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