Posts for the Topic writing tools

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.

5 Great reasons to write

Quilt pattern square design, reading "writing and communication centre" in the middle (against a yellow backdrop).

Since September 2017, the Writing and Communication Centre has been providing the space and materials for a quilt composed of student voices. Quilting is a metaphor for the community that we have here, as well as the writing process itself since both involve parts coming together to form a whole.

Some of the thought-provoking prompts suggested by staff include “What are your opinions/frustrations/joys about writing?” “How do you feel about writing today?” and “I like writing because…”

Revisiting Google Ngram: What we can learn from Corpora

Ancient inscription captioned "It doesn't mean a thing, but boy, will it drive them crazy a thousand years from now?"

So I’ve been thinking about Google’s Ngram Viewer and how it applies as a teaching tool. Although it doesn’t directly translate, Ngram reminded me of a really handy tool that we use regularly at the Writing Centre. I’ve also realized that many people may not have encountered it before. So, I present to you: the Now Corpus.

Choosing Effective Transition Words: A DIY Guide

Matrix meme captioned "What if I told you not all transition words don't mean the same thing"

Seeing as I tend to write a lot of blogs focused on process/approaches to sustainable writing practices, it may be a good time to write something more applied (and plug some of the resources from the website). This post is inspired by a common experience throughout the semester; quite often, I find myself directing students to the Transition Phrase bank in our Resources section.

An experiment with Google Ngram Viewer or: how I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb

Dr. Strangelove meme captioned "Gentlemen, you can't fight in here. This is the war room"

At the Writing Centre, we’re always looking out for new teaching strategies and tools. So when one of my colleagues mentioned Google Ngram Viewer (I was shamelessly trolling for blog posts ideas, to be honest), I was intrigued. What is it? What does it do? And more importantly, how does Google keep creating these things?

An introduction to university writing

An introduction to university writing

You have graduated from high school and been accepted to The University of Waterloo. Congratulations! As you begin your university studies you will encounter many kinds of writing assignments. To help get you started, here’s a brief guide to expectations for university-level writing.

Writing at university follows specific conventions

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