Archive for the ‘Writing Advice’ Category

Getting Back in the Swing of Things

Since the summer, I’ve gone from having no job to having four jobs and I can tell you with certainty: my life is hectic. It’s often difficult to manage commuting, weird and inconsistent schedules, and actual work, all while making time to eat, sleep, and go to the gym. Maybe you’ve heard a lot about […]

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“If things don’t work out like you want this time around…”

This month, we’re writing about music: Choose a song that describes your writing successes or failures. Since I’m currently trying to get my thesis proposal approved, the song that first sprang to mind was Linkin Park’s “In the End.” It’s been a frustrating process; I know what I want to write, but I’ve had a […]

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Let’s Be Real

The best writing advice I ever got and gave is to write sincerely. Working in the CWE, I see a lot of writers using an enormous vocabulary, trying to sound “sophisticated and intelligent.” While not inherently a bad idea, trying to sound “sophisticated” (whatever that means) often has the opposite affect. When I see people […]

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Literary Analysis: the Text Behind the Text

Ahhh, the Spring: a time for new beginnings,  new life, and, for many first year writers, an introduction to writing about literature on the college level.  Literary analysis is an important concept to learn. Most literary texts have meaning beyond their surface- level meaning, and not being able to puzzle it out is kind of […]

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How to Analyze Poetry

Analyzing poetry is crazy difficult to do–and even more difficult to explain.  So let me introduce you to someone who has taught me a lot about it during my time at the Center for Writing Excellence.  Norm is amazing at helping writers understand poetry.  From eavesdropping on his consulting sessions, I’ve learned how to help […]

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Meme all the things

With my master’s thesis deadline creeping forward, I am acutely aware that I start every day like this: And end every day like this: Procrastination is a dirty word to writers, but the looming, incredibly important deadline of a thesis has made my procrastination especially productive.  If I’m not working on my paper, it better […]

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Asking for and Accepting Help

Although I am already three weeks behind schedule, my final project (a proposed 60 page thesis) is not looming over me with threats of missed deadlines and canceled graduation ceremonies—at least, not yet! This week, I began to outline and flesh out one chapter, about accumulation and inheritance, both of which I am arguing are […]

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Start Early: The Most Obvious but Least Observed Writing Advice

The most helpful tip I have for writing is also, probably, the most obvious: start early! This semester, I wrote a total of 44 pages for three classes.  On top of that, I finished on time, or early, for all three papers. The only thing that made this possible was starting early. Don’t get me […]

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Intimidation: Getting over your fear of writing

A friend of mine is currently applying to MFA programs for Poetry.  To prepare for his graduate applications and experience, he has begun reading faculty writing. He is applying to six schools, and each school has several poetry professors, which means a lot of reading, if he plans to read all of their published work. […]

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How I discovered a new way to write

I just finished my final essay for my summer class in British Lit. Usually essay writing is a stressful process for me. I wait and wait until the last minute and then stay up all night writing and wondering why I waited so long. This time, I did still wait to get started, but I […]

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