Posts for Current undergraduate students

A peek into my writing practice: How I’m structuring my own write-from-home sessions

A close-up of Nadine's beloved timer cube.

A few weeks ago Elise Vist wrote about how tough writing is right now as part of her blog post about how to get the most out of the WCC’s Virtual Writing Cafés. Like many of you, I’m finding certain aspects of working from home challenging; it’s tougher than ever to research and write. But there is still writing to do: I have blog posts, grant proposals, and online workshops to finish and you might have course assignments, journal articles , or a dissertation to work on.

WCC Workshops Go Online!

Image of the WCC Workshops banner

Alongside the rest of UWaterloo, the Writing and Communication Centre (WCC) has been working hard to transition our services into an online format for the Spring 2020 term. Our team is tirelessly striving to ensure that we can continue to support you as much as possible throughout the changes brought by the ongoing pandemic. As a result of these efforts, we are excited to announce that on June 1st, we will be launching the Spring 2020 WCC workshops on a new LEARN website! 

Getting the most out of Virtual Writing Cafés

Image of a cup of coffee, pen, and lined paper

It’s always hard to write. Even as someone who loves writing, I hate sitting down to actually do it. Especially now, with the paradoxical pandemic life of being exhausted, wired, busy, bored, lonely, and completely overwhelmed with Zoom-based social activities, it’s really, really hard to write my seemingly endless dissertation.  

Academic Success During Isolation 

Photo of planner and writing materials

With campus closures and classes staying online, it can be hard to transition from the structured schedule of classes and other activities to large blocks of free time. Here are some of our tips for managing writing assignments while you’re home all day. We encourage you to mix and match techniques to suit your needs! 

Tip 1: Create a Schedule  

Revising your assignment ft. Google the rapper

Google logo in a snapback hat.

Have you ever tried getting Google Translate to rap before? It’s probably one of the funniest things you can do with translate, outside of totally messing with Disney songs. When I’m not using translate as a means to laugh though, I’m using it to revise my essay by having Google read it out loud to me. Granted, that usually is also very funny, as the automated voice has a habit for tripping over lengthy sentences as well as butchering incorrect spelling of words. Use that last bit with caution though, Google Translate does have a habit for pronouncing everyday words like “get” very wrong.

Forgotten Punctuation and Shakespeare

Painting of William Shakespeare surrounded by different punctuation marks

When I was younger, the more pieces of punctuation I could add to a written work, the more I felt like some sort of literary genius. “Yeah, I’m ten and can use a comma, period, exclamation mark, and question mark within two sentences. I’m just that cool.”

An Exam Essay Survival Guide

Exam essays can be intimidating. Summarizing an entire course in a few pages doesn't seem humanly possible, right?

Well, it's certainly not an easy undertaking — but as a seasoned veteran of exam essays, I can ensure you with confidence that it IS possible. Summarized in four key takeaways, this guide is what I've learned about exam essays and how to survive them.

Managing self-care through self-reflective journal writing

Two journals and two pencils on a white desk.

Life is a balancing act and sometimes it can really test our perseverance. We are constantly juggling and multitasking a number of different things from work, assignments, plans with friends, personal downtime- you name it. There can be so much on your plate that it’s hard to prioritize your mental well-being. When this happens, it’s time to take a step back and practice some self-care strategies.

The power of synonyms: the good, the bad, and the in-between

Man sitting at a desk with his laptop and his notebook beside him.

When it comes to writing, every word has an impact and brings meaning along with it. In our assignments, our job is to take these different meanings and weave them together to be clear, engaging, and provide information to our audiences. Yet, when we get stumped or feel like our work is getting too repetitive, we turn to Google or Microsoft Word to help find synonyms. Sometimes this can work wonders, but other times it can have negative repercussions.

Tips and tricks on how-to write a professional email

Man typing on his laptop.

Ever email your professor or employer and click the send button, only to realize seconds later it was littered with typos and grammar mistakes?

The art of professional email writing can be challenging if you’re not too sure where to start. Learning the dos and don’ts of what to include will not only steer you in the right direction but help you develop your professional persona. Having a professional voice in writing and in speech is important because it establishes how you want to be perceived. There are so many ways you can let your professional side shine, and emails are one of them.

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