Posts for the Topic planning

Hit ‘Reset’ on the second half of your term

real_talk

I think it’s safe to say we have all been there. Despite your best intentions, whether you have taken on too much or overestimated how long you can focus in a given day, the work has piled up and you’re stressing out about all that you need to do before the end of term. Boy, have I been there and more than once too.  

I’m not much of a gamer, but a concept I have always liked about video games is the option to hit reset. No matter how badly I felt I had messed up my term, I could start over from the beginning with a fresh slate.  

Planning

A man writing the parts of an essay on a board

At the drop-ins, I often have people coming who are in the beginning of the writing process. They have often run into issues when writing, such as running out of ideas, unclear writing, or weak arguments. Their mistake? They simply overlooked one important part of the writing process: planning.

As any writer knows, you need to plan out what you’re writing in order for it to be effective. Planning out your writing allows you to develop stronger arguments and be clearer in presenting them – both of which are essential to writing a successful university-level assignment.

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.

Tips for a successful term and university career

Colourful post-it notes decorate a cork board. The center post-it says "Make things happen" in capital letters.

University can be overwhelming; here are a few tips to help make things easier for you!

Get Organized

1. Plan ahead

Remember those “syllabuses” that your professors mentioned on the first day of classes? Perhaps you looked at them once or printed them out and they are crumpled at the bottom of your bag… If you haven’t already, dig them up and be sure to get acquainted with your syllabuses! Syllabi? Whatever you choose to call them, they are your maps to a well-organized semester.

Looking ahead: planning for the fall term

fall themed welcome back

September can bring many things: a new school, a new term, a new adventure or a new job. As the leaves are just starting to change, you may be too. A new school year can mean new goals, expectations, discoveries and challenges. As a student heading into my third year of studies, September represents a chance to get back on track and refocus. After a summer of working at the Writing and Communication Centre and seeing so many students achieve their own academic goals, face their own challenges and learn new things in their field, I’m excited to do the same.

Staying focused in summer

man studying at desk in vacation clothes

Gone are those days when summer only consisted of swimming, friends and sleep. Suddenly it's summer, and we are all working or studying. It seems that much harder to stay focused when the sun is out and the temperature is hot. It may be much more difficult to get your work done when it seems like this is the time for late summer nights, travelling and adventure. So today, I offer you a few tips on keeping yourself focused when it seems hardest too.

Holiday Wrap: Reflecting on the Past and Planning for the Winter Term

New Yorker cartoon captioned "I had my own blog for a while, but I decided to go back to pointless, incessant barking"

Seeing as this will be my final posting, this is a perfect time to reflect on the fall term and project to the upcoming winter term. Fittingly, one of the big takeaways from my experience with a vastly diverse group of students is plan ahead. And I don’t mean that in a remedial or punitive way at all. It’s more of a general sentiment on developing a process, a process which you’re concurrently tweaking as it develops. Perhaps this is too meta (considering this post is prefaced on looking forward), but I’ve heard that being self-referential on the internet is the thing to do.

9 Tips to Ace That Timed Essay

Image of a happy dog with the caption "Good luck on the exam, hope it isn't too ruff"

Exams are almost upon us, and a familiar sense of foreboding has settled over the campus. One exam element that can be particularly intimidating for some students is the timed essay: an exam question which demands a full essay on a topic that is typically revealed for the first time during the test. While these kinds of questions may seem scary, there are plenty of ways to make them easy for yourself. Read on for tips about how to prepare in advance of the exam and how to approach timed essays before, during, and after the writing process.

The 3 Rs of University Survival

When someone hears mention of the 3 Rs they usually think of reduce, reuse, and recycle (I do at least).  Well, I am here to tell you that there is another list of Rs you should look into if you want to survive university!  The list consists of being reasonable, being responsible, and being rational.  If you do not like using schedules for organizing your time, these 3 words will help you manage your time and think through choices you have to make.

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