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Read The Page November 18, 2011

Have you read the latest issue of The Page, the Collaborative for Multilingual Writing and Research’s e-newsletter? In this nicely designed PDF, you’ll learn more about what the Collaborative’s members have been up to. For instance, the Collaborative has recently hosted  workshops and book clubs for multilingual writers, particularly those studying at DePaul’s English Learning Academy. But to find out more, you’ll just have to take a read yourself.


It’s Procrastination Time Again! November 15, 2011

What’s this, another post about procrastination during finals season?  A total surprise, I know.  But, dear UCWbLers, I have something to confess:  I had a really hard time writing this post.  I too have finals work that I should be doing (probably right now as I write) and I too suffer from procrastination.  In the spirit of honesty and alleviating some of my own stress along with yours, here are a few strategies that have served me well (and probably will again, in the next week or so).



Things to do with those textbooks you can’t sell back November 14, 2011

Did you spill coffee on the pages of Wuthering Heights? Did the campus book store clerk reject your pristine copy of Intro. to Biology, claiming that a new and improved edition will be used next quarter? Many of us have been there. (more…)


A prescription for the flustered writer who strives for “little animal icons”: 750words.com

Does anyone use 750words.com?

I came across an article in the Writing Lab Newsletter this week that explains and discusses the “web-based application.” Jackie Grutsch McKinney from Ball State University claims, “[750words.com] has made a daily writer out of me when nothing else has.” “Geek in the Center” explains the site’s utility and includes an interview with its founder, Buster Benson. (more…)


Scrawl Radio, This and Last Week November 12, 2011

From this past Friday, 11.11.11, the Scrawl team discussed the news of the momentous day. For this word of the day, there is a twist! Not only does the SCRAWL team have to figure out their own word of the day, but there is a challenge word for the listeners. Later on we hear from John Whitehead with Gadfly Online. Also, guest Backwoods Jim comes on to read his own Craigslist posting.

And the Scrawl episode from Friday, Nov. 4th, plays some blasts from the past. The team discusses what writers teach us peer tutors and how much we appreciate them.


When in doubt, ask a question! November 10, 2011

One tutoring technique I find useful, whether the appointment is written or face-to-face, is asking a question as a way of overcoming an obstacle. It is not unusual to encounter a sentence that has multiple meanings, or is so overwritten that the meaning has become obscured, or just doesn’t make any sense at all. In these instances, it is perfectly acceptable, even advisable, to say “You know, this could be read a couple of different ways” or “I’m really not sure what you mean here, what did you intend?” Not only does this open up the possibility for exchange, it removes me from the position of having to be in complete control of the paper. I don’t have to know everything. Each session is a process, and the client and I discover that process together. (more…)


What is YOUR favorite Chicago used bookstore? November 9, 2011

With the closing of Borders, it’s starting to seem like there are more used bookstores in Chicago than first-hand bookstores. Certainly used bookstores ARE “green” — keeping paper out of landfills — and are exemplars of recycling — paper, of course, but ideas and images too. I love prowling through used bookstores. Do you?  (more…)


Ishmael in Space: Discussing Moby-Dick on the Web

I’ve never read Moby-Dick. Yes. I’m an English major, and I haven’t read it. It wasn’t assigned in high school, and the quarter system here at DePaul just doesn’t seem to lend itself to a highly involved and intellectual read. I’ve put it off in my private life for other reasons too.  There’s this mythology around the Great White Whale in American culture that is frankly, quite frightening.

“Call me Ishmael.” (more…)


Preventing Tutor Fatigue November 8, 2011

We’ve all had it happen.  You’ve had four face-to-face appointments so far today, your eyes hurt from staring at your computer screen, and in walks your next writer.  You want to give them your best and help them with this paper, but it feels like your head is going to explode if you have to explain the difference between a passive and active verb again.  You bite back a groan and get up to meet them.  You forget why you’re tutoring and just want to go home and take a nap.  Like I said, it happens to the best of us: tutor fatigue. (more…)


Finals Inspiration from Jack Kerouac November 7, 2011

Beyond the typographical errors (or stylistic choices? Hey, he’s following his own tip number 13.) of Jack Kerouac’s “Belief and Technique for Modern Prose” lie gems of wisdom, and some of the same advice peer writing tutors often dispense. Here are a few to guide you as you work on your final papers: (more…)



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