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Why I Write June 25, 2012

A writer I recently tutored told me, albeit half-jokingly, that because she doesn’t enjoy writing, she doesn’t understand why people write. So here I am: writing to find out why I write. It’s tricky because I’m tempted to start off with “for as long as I can remember, I wrote,” but that’s probably not true. I want to say “we write because we love to,” but even those who love to write, like me, hate it sometimes. So, why do I write? I’d like to make a list: (more…)


Scrawl Season 4 Episode 8: Scrawl Signs off with some Snookie June 14, 2012

Greetings all ye lovers of Scrawl!

After some viewer feedback about our famous segment “Snookie’s Corner,” we thought to ourselves why not give our beloved fans what they want and dedicate an entire show to Snookie’s Corner! 


Mark, Tom, and Robert picked three of our best books yet.  We explore sexuality and relationships with men in Gia Spumanti’s life, the character in Nicole “Snookie” Polizzi’s Gorilla Beach.  Ethan Hawke’s The Hottest State offers us some great discussion about reliability in your narrator, as well as the narrator’s voice and tone.  And finally, things get weird, for Tom at least (which weirds out Robert and Mark), in our discussion of a young teens trip through puberty and sexuality in Pamela Anderson’s Star.


We also read some Tweets from Indie Hulk, play some awesome music, and close out by talking about Michael Showalter’s “The Apartment,” which offers us some great insights into how to avoid sounding like a young, inexperienced writer.


Thank you all for a great year and we will see you in the fall.  From Scrawl, sayonara and have a great summer!

Air Date: 6-1-12


Announcing Global Voices June 12, 2012


Narratives, photographs, reflections, research…Global Voices has it all!  Click here to access this years issue and to enjoy the work of DePaul University’s talented multilingual community.

Global Voices is an annual e-magazine published by the Collaborative for Multilingual Writing and Research, which seeks to showcase cultural and linguistic diversity.

Look for a new issue each spring and contact us at cmwr@depaul.edu if you would like to submit your work to next years edition.


Hot Topics in Writing Explores Writing Taboos June 6, 2012

Matt and Mo investigate the seamy side of the written word with their Taboo Topics in Writing episode. First, Tracey H. and Matthew F. divulge their most perilous stories of when writing turns bad situations worse. Then Mo and Matt tackle the toughest questions about writing on the internet. Why isn’t it discussed? What can we learn from Youtube comments? And what the hell was that guy even trying to say?! They team up with Scrawl Radio’s own Mark L. to get to the heart of the matter.


Writer to Tutor: Looking Back June 5, 2012

As a MA student applying to the Writing Center one year ago, I didn’t really think that being employed as a tutor would change how I write.  At 21, I was pretty sure that my writing style was set – and serviceable.  There was no need for a major overhaul, even if the UCWbL materials promised improvement in my own skills as well as the opportunity to help others with theirs.  Even during the WRD primer class in Fall Quarter, I didn’t really believe that learning about tutoring equated to learning about my own writing.  Something shifted over the course of the last two terms, however; I found myself writing differently (but not completely, of course), and I began to wonder: one year on – has being a tutor made me a better writer? (more…)


Quick Questions: On Strange Quotes June 4, 2012

Filed under: quick questions — Mia Amélie @ 10:23 am
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Part of our work at the Writing Center includes responding to “Quick Questions” asked by writers from within and beyond the DePaul community. By posting the questions from writers and answers crafted by our tutors, we hope you just might discover the answer to a question you have always wanted (or never thought) to ask!


When quoting an author in a research paper, do I duplicate it exactly as it shows up in the book, i.e., leaving the capitalized words in this quote (or do I not capitalize them?): “For this reason, people stayed close to home or, if forced to walk in the darkness, carried IRON or SALT or turned there clothing inside out (SEE PROTECTION AGAINST FAIRIES). Fairies rode forth on the WILD HUNT, hordes of them pouring out of their FAIRY MOUNDS and riding through the night, kidnapping people they encountered on the road. For this reason it was considered ill-advised to walk near a fairy mound on Samhain night, even more so than on ordinary nights.” (Mongahan, 407) (more…)


4 helpful websites for freelance writers June 1, 2012

Can you write? Do you need some extra cash this summer? Depending on your level of desperation (hey, we’ve all been there), consider putting your mad writing skills to work with one of the following sites:

1. Guru.com. Desperation level: Low. Whether you are an experienced freelance writer or are just starting out, Guru makes it easy to search for freelance work online. Anyone can search for projects, but you can only bid on them as a registered user. While it’s free to register, Guru takes a cut from the total project’s cost. Even though the top two project types are IT-related, the “Writing, Editing & Translation” category ranks third, with more  than 500 gigs to bid on. What are you waiting for?

2. Zaarly.com. Desperation level: Low. It’s free to both post and respond to freelance job offers using Zaarly, and it’s easy to sign up through Facebook. The biggest downside, however, is that there aren’t a whole lot of gigs available in Chicago. At the time of this writing, I found only one offer for writing services–$15 to rework one paragraph of web text. (Sign me up!). But until there are more users in Chicago-land, you might want to look elsewhere.

3. TaskRabbit.com. Desperation level: Medium. While it’s free to become a TaskRabbit (yes, that’s the moniker you’ll assume on this site), you have to apply, interview, and undergo an extensive background check in order to get started. Basically, how this works is that folks can outsource tasks they don’t want to do themselves in a competitive bidding process. You and other TaskRabbits bid on these projects, and the lowest bidder wins. Be sure to check out the jobs that fall under the categories Office Help and Virtual Assistance, where you’ll be more likely to put your writing skills to use.

4. Fiverr.com. Desperation level: High. What are you willing to do for $5?  While chugging a bottle of hot sauce in a $5 bet with friends is quicker than, say, transcribing a five minute audio clip, it’s definitely more painful. Actually, you’ll only get $4 after Fiverr.com takes its cut, but if you’re creative, or happen to talk like Patrick Stewart, you can make some quick cash without too much effort. Of course, there are the more pedestrian writing and editing gigs being offered, but it looks like the most popular jobs fall under the Fun & Bizarre category!

Whether or not you actually use one of these sites or different ones, one of the best things you can do to begin freelancing is buy a domain name and set up a simple website for yourself. You can still ply your trade using other sites, of course, but with your own site you can customize it with samples of your work, your resume, etc. If you’re a member of the DePaul community, you can always use Digication, but you won’t be able to have your own domain name. In any case, with a site of your own, you’d be able to market yourself in any way you see fit.

Have I missed other, possibly much better sites for freelance writers to ply their trade? If so, please leave a comment below!