Serving students and faculty since 1971

As tutors we often hear students’ frustrations about not being able to have enough to write about for writing assignments. If this is a problem for you, the first thing you might want to try is reading. This might not be the best time to pick up the latest vampire series, though. Try reading something from one of the many library databases that our wonderful Thompson Library has to offer. You can do it right from home if you choose. Instead of using Google, try a database in the field of which you are writing. Reading scholarly journals helps to become familiar with the academic voice. Often our favorite books or websites are written in a less formal style than is expected for academic writing. Scholarly journals might not offer the same thrill, but you’ll be reading material that generates ideas and that’s what will help you add content that counts to your paper.

While you’re reading, pay attention to how the paper is structured, the terminology, and think about the intended audience. Eventually, you will be writing more papers with these characteristics as you move into your major studies. Assume the persona of an author in your field and imagine yourself in your dream job, writing for students like yourself who are aspiring to work in the field you’ve chosen. Of course, this is just an exercise, but eventually you may be writing articles for future students, so try out the mindset while you are still a student yourself, with professors around to guide you.
And don’t forget, the Marion E. Wright Writing Center tutors are here to help as well. Check out our website to make an appointment. Hope to see you there!