Freshman Learning Community Writing Papers 101

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Tips for freshmen on how to successfully write college papers

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Freshman Learning Community Writing Papers 101

  1. 1. A Head’s Up on What is Expected at the College Level
  2. 2.  1) Follow the directions. If you are uncertain about how to proceed, then ask the instructor. ◦ Faculty assign projects/papers for a reason. They are attempting to determine if you have acquired the necessary skills to be successful in class.
  3. 3.  You are either indicating that 1) you are way too important to have to follow the faculty’s directions, or 2) that you are just not bright enough to read and follow the directions. Neither of these reflects positively on you as a student.
  4. 4.  If you do not know how to change page margins or double space your document or any number of additional directions given to you by the professor then what should you do? We want you to succeed and want you to ask for assistance.
  5. 5.  Purchase a dictionary and learn how to use it. Spell check WILL NOT catch all of your mistakes. ◦ Many of you misused: to and too; there and their and they’re; then and than.
  6. 6.  The expectation is that you learned all of this in 5th grade. No faculty member enjoys bleeding red ink on student papers correcting elementary writing mistakes. The solution is: do not make them! Triple check your paper before you turn it in. Have a friend read it before you turn it in.
  7. 7.  Don’t belong in college writing!!! Do not belong in college writing  Examples: I’m, couldn’t, don’t, wasn’t, isn’t, shouldn’t…….. Write out both words! It looks much more professional.
  8. 8.  “Pretty much” is pretty much a big NO NO. As is etc So is b/c LOL is never appropriate in college writing.
  9. 9.  Example: My sister and me are like best friends, we can overcome anything. While this sentence is fraught with concerns one of the most outstanding is the use of ANYTHING. One thing I really enjoy is trying new things. Remove THING from your writing!
  10. 10.  Beginning immediately: replace your high school vocabulary with more mature language. Example: “more women are getting into the work force…..” ◦ Better: “more women are entering the work force……. Example: My dad got a new job… ◦ Better: My dad secured a new job; my dad applied for and received a new job
  11. 11.  Example: “…..and the expensive cost of getting an education……” ◦ Better: “ and the expensive cost of earning an education…..” Example: As I got older ◦ Better: As I grew older… REMOVE “GOT, GETTING” FROM YOUR VOCABULARY!
  12. 12.  Example: Once I got to UGA everyone made me feel welcome. ◦ Better: Once I arrived at UGA everyone made me feel welcome.  Better yet: Once I arrived at UGA, the students from my fraternity and in my classes made me feel welcome. REMOVE “GOT, GETTING” FROM YOUR VOCABULARY!
  13. 13.  A lot………… These two are just plain ugly. “there were a lot of kids in our neighborhood”, ◦ NO: there were many, numerous, a large amount…… “my family and I care about each other a lot” ◦ NO, you care about each other a great deal, tremendously…..
  14. 14.  Example: “As America’s economy begins to go into a recession….” ◦ Better: As America’s economy enters a recession………..
  15. 15.  Example: “…….the hard work that goes into raising a child…..” ◦ Better: “……….the hard works that is necessary when raising a child…..”
  16. 16.  DID.. In high school I did cheerleading and soccer. NOPE> ◦ You “participated in” cheerleading and soccer
  17. 17.  Example: I have met some really inspiring women that make me want be better. ◦ I have met some really inspiring women who have made me want to be better. Example: I have a dad that loves me a lot. ◦ I have a dad who loves me more than life itself 
  18. 18.  Nowadays………replace with TODAY. “Because of the fact that”……just state the dang fact already!!!! “Kids” are baby goats……not human beings!! “goes” this word is used far too often and too inappropriately….
  19. 19.  Be careful here… Many made this mistake…. “I spend an hour weekly with this child at his or her school during their lunchtime. ◦ So very close…………I spend an hour weekly with this child at his or her school during his or her lunchtime. Be aware of when you are talking about an individual and when you are talking about a group of people.
  20. 20.  “While growing up, your parents’ occupations greatly affect your everyday life.” WHOSE PARENTS ARE WE TALKING ABOUT HERE? MINE OR YOURS? ◦ Should say, “while growing up my parent’s occupations greatly affected my everyday life” OR: While growing up, one’s parents’ occupations greatly affect ones everyday life.
  21. 21.  I would say that I did like making the change of coming to college. I was ready at this point in my life for a change. My personality started to change with the changing environment. What do you notice here?
  22. 22.  I cannot claim to live everyday of my life with joy, however, I have discovered the beauty of choosing joy. Nothing sets my heart on fire more than caring and instilling joy in people around me. I believe the greatest gift I can bring is to be joyful and spread joy. What can be done here?
  23. 23.  Example: People interest me but sometimes they can really get on my nerves. WE (as in generic Americans) tend to know what “get on my nerves” means….. Do not assume the reader understands this… Better: People interest me but sometimes they [annoy me when they talk rudely] [irritate me when they chew with their mouths open] SPECIFY WHAT IT WAS THAT BOTHERED YOU?
  24. 24.  Be overly, overly careful of the words you choose You do not know if your professor is gay or straight; religious/nonreligious; married/not married; child-full/child-free Example: “……children are a blessing from God……… Be careful with what may be perceived as a judgmental overtone!
  25. 25.  Be careful about passing your judgments and attitudes in your writing. Such as: referring to families with children as “normal”….. ◦ meaning families without children are ABNORMAL? Better to say “traditional” as it has no judgment attached to it.
  26. 26.  Read and reread and reread your work. Read it as if you did not write it! Critique it as if you did not write it. Have your friend read it….and be brutally honest, not as a friend. You do not need a friend to blow sunshine up your skirt…you need someone who is kind and luvs you to tell you your paper is awful before your instructor has to 

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