This sentence is not a thesis statement! You’re right, it does make an argument and take a position on the topic of school uniforms; however, it does not provide reasoning or supporting evidence, nor does it pass the “so what” test.\n\nLet's read over the options for a strong [[thesis]] one more time.
If you’re not always sure when to use a comma, you’re certainly not alone! Comma splices show up in almost everyone’s writing.\n\n<img src="" width=”400” height=”350”>\n\nA comma should be used for a few main purposes: \nTo separate equivalent items in a list of three or more.\nExample: I went to the movies with Lucy, George, Sue and Phil.\n\nTo separate [[independent clause]]s that have been joined by a conjunction, like <i>and</i>, <i>but</i>, <i>because</i>, <i>or</i>, etc.\nExample: I went to dinner with Lucy and George, then Sue and Phil joined us for a movie.\n\nTo separate introductory words or phrases.\nExample: Before going to bed, I always brush my teeth.\n\nTo separate parenthetical phrases (phrases which provide additional information which is not essential to the sentence).\nExample: I began studying at Carleton University, which is located in Ottawa, in the fall of 2013.\n\nNow that we've gone over commas, do you want to talk about other forms of [[punctuation]] or [[grammar]]? \n
Semi-colons are perhaps the piece of [[punctuation]] that troubles students the most—in fact, many professors will ask that their students not employ semi-colons at all because they are so often used incorrectly! But there’s no need to be scared off by the punctuation if you remember this one simple rule: semi-colons can only be used to separate two <i>complete</i> phrases. This means that on either side of a semi-colon you should have a complete sentence with a subject and a predicate. You should use a semi-colon when you have to complete clauses that are closely related to each other and you want to emphasize the close relationship between them without the use of a conjunction.\n\n<img src="" width=”400” height=”300”>\n\n<font color=”red”>Correct:</font> Bob stayed home from work today. He is sick.\n\n<font color=”red”>Correct:</font> Bob stayed home from work today; he is sick.\n\nBoth of the above examples represent grammatically correct constructions. <i>Bob stayed home from work today</i> and <he is sick</i> are complete clauses that are closely related to one another in meaning, so they can be joined by a semicolon.\n\n<font color=”red”>Incorrect:</font> Bob stayed home from work today; sick.\n<i>Sick</i> is not a complete clause so it cannot be set apart by a semicolon.\n\n<font color=”red”>Incorrect:</font> Bob stayed home from work today; Genevieve is the employee of the month.\nBob’s absence from work and Genevieve’s status as employee of the month are (as far as we know) unrelated, and thus cannot be separated by a semicolon.\n\nNow that we've gone over semicolons, do you want to talk about other forms of [[punctuation]] or [[grammar]]? \n
Different disciplines, and different professors, use different citation styles. The most common styles are MLA, APA and Chicago; be sure to check your syllabus or ask your professor to find out which one you should be using!\n\nIt is very important to understand how to correctly cite your work when you're researching, whether you are directly quoting from someone else's work or just paraphrasing. Resources like the <a href = ""> Purdue University Online Writing Lab</a> and the librarians at MacOdrum Library can provide with the most useful information on proper citations. \n\nPlagiarism (presenting someone else's work as your own, whether it is done intentionally or not) violates the University's Academic Integrity policies and is a very serious issue. You can easily avoid it by learning how to properly cite your work!\n\nWhat's next--do you have any concerns regarding understanding your [[assignment]], [[choosing a topic]], [[brainstorming]], [[essay structure]] or [[grammar]]?
In academic writing, we usually prefer to write in the active voice; however, a lot of people write in the passive voice without even knowing that they’re doing it.\n \nWith the active voice, the subject (noun) of the sentence is an active agent; this means that the subject/noun should be performing the verb. \n\nExample: Jane Austen’s novel <i>Pride and Prejudice</i> illustrates the popular marriage-plot genre of the nineteenth century.\n\nIn this sentence, the subject (Jane Austen’s novel) is performing the work of <i>illustrating</i>.\n\nIn the passive voice, the subject of the sentence is being acted upon rather than performing the action itself. \n\n<img src="" width=”400” height=”350”> \n\nSometimes, the passive voice can be difficult to spot when you are using your [[strategies for proofreading and editing]], but there are some clues you can watch out for! A sentence is probably written in the passive voice if its subject occurs after the verb, if you begin the sentence with <i>By…</i>, and sometimes if your main verb is a derivative of the verb “to be.”\n\n\nExample: The popular marriage-plot genre of the nineteenth century is illustrated by Jane Austen’s novel <i>Pride and Prejudice</i>. \n\nIn the above sentence, the verb phrase (<i>is illustrated</i>) occurs before the subject (<i>Jane Austen’s novel</i>), and the verb “to be” (<i>is</i>) overpowers the more informative verb (<i>illustrate</i>); these are two good clues that this sentence is a passive construction.\n\nThere are several reasons that academic writing prefers the active voice over the passive. The active voice features a strong agent and is therefore more convincing. This is an important quality when you are writing an argumentative essay; you want your reader to be convinced of your argument.\n\nThe passive voice often results in a wordy construction. Academic writing often values concision so that you will make your points as clear and simple as possible; an unnecessarily wordy sentence can sometimes be confusing for your reader.\nNevertheless, there are occasionally good reasons to use the passive voice. \n\nIf you have a good reason for emphasizing the predicate or verb phrase of your sentence (and consequently deemphasizing the subject) than you can use the passive voice.\n\nIf you need to vary your sentence structure to avoid repetition and boring phrasing, than you can potentially use the passive voice.\n\nNever write in the passive voice unintentionally; you should always have a thought out and justified reason for using it!\n\nDo you have any other questions about [[grammar]]?\n
Choosing a topic is the first step for any assignment, and it is often the first roadblock! It can be difficult for students to narrow down their choices and commit to one topic. Before making any decisions, you should always make sure you understand your [[assignment]] and what's expected of you.\n\n<img src="" width="400" height="200">\n\nThe most important thing to remember when you're choosing an essay topic is to follow your instincts. Whether you're choosing from a list of suggested topics or starting from scratch, it's a good idea to do what interests you most. When you're reading through your list of choices, or thinking back on course material there's probably something that stands out to you right away. Maybe it's a lecture that you really enjoyed, or just a topic you'd like to read up on; either way, that will be a good direction to pursue. If you choose a topic that you're interested in, you will find the assignment a lot more enjoyable, and that will come across in your writing! Your research will be more thorough if you enjoy reading about your topic, and your writing will flow more easily if you don't have to force it! Not to mention, your profs and TAs will be happy to see that you're enjoying your work!\n\nHowever, it is also important to make sure that there exists sufficient information and [[citation]]s surrounding your topic and do some quick, preliminary research before you fully commit. It's always disappointing when you start working on an assignment only to find that you don't have enough research to finish it!\n\nOnce you've chosen your topic, it's time to start [[brainstorming]]; we can help with that at the WTS!
At the WTS we will be more than happy to help you learn to proofread your essays and assignments <i>yourself</i>, but we will not do it for you. This is a common misconception about the WTS. \n\nOur goal at the Writing Tutorial Service is to help students become better writers; we are able to do this more effectively if we provide students with editing and proofreading skills that they can take with them forward into their academic careers, rather than simply helping them get higher grades on individual papers.\n\n<img src="" width="250" height="350">\n\nHowever, WTS tutors will be happy to help you with any of the following steps of the writing process: [[brainstorming]], [[choosing a topic]], writing a [[thesis]] statement, [[essay structure]], identifying recurring problems with [[grammar]] and developing your own [[strategies for proofreading and editing]]. Would you like to go over any of those options?\n
Hey! Welcome to the Writing Tutorial Service (WTS)! \n\n<img src="" width="350" height="200">\n\nAt the WTS, writing tutors work one on one with students to help them develop their writing skills. To do this, we try to let students direct their own appointments to ensure that their concerns are being addressed. In an attempt to mimic this structure, this mock appointment allows the reader to navigate through hyperlinks and choose what information they would like to read. Let's get started!\n\nIs this your [[first visit]], or have you [[been here before]]?
There's nothing more intimidating than a blank screen, and free-writing can be a great way to overcome writer's block and get your ideas flowing! \n\n<img src="" width="400" height="350">\n\nThe goal of free-writing is simply to get ideas out of your head and onto the paper; write down anything that pops into your head regarding the topic of your assignment. Don't worry about grammar, sentence structure, vocabulary, or even making sense--you can take care of that later. It's easy to get caught up in writing the "right" thing, free-writing helps us get around that. \n\nFree-writing doesn't work for everyone! Some people prefer more linear methods of [[brainstorming]].
A good thesis statement makes an argument. It will present a topic, and state your position on that topic. Your thesis is the central part of your essay; your entire essay should be dedicated to proving your thesis (although the thesis statement itself will appear in your [[introduction]]). Without a thesis, your paper will simply be recounting a bunch of unfocussed information; it is very important to give this information purpose by using it to prove a central argument.\n \nA strong thesis should be composed of two parts:\n1) It will state your position on a topic (this means that it will take an argumentative position).\n2) It will provide your reasoning for taking this position/state the sub-points that support your position. This is what we call the “so what” element of your thesis.\n\nThe “so what” element of a thesis can act as a sort of test to see if you have a strong thesis or not. \nWhen you think you’ve come up with a good thesis, ask yourself the question: “So what? Why does this matter? Who cares?” \n\n<img src="" width="300" height="225">\n\nIf your thesis answers this question, then it’s good! Let’s try it. \n\nWhich of the following two sentences makes the best thesis statement? (Click on your answer.)\n\n[[In my opinion, it is outrageous for students to be forced to wear school uniforms.]]\n\n[[School uniforms should not be mandatory in public schools because it would stifle students’ creativity, take away students’ rights, and cause students to lose interest in school.]]\n\nNow that we've been over the thesis, would you like to discuss [[essay structure]] more generally?\n
It can be tricky to develop an "academic" tone in your writing; a lot of students have trouble deciding what sort of vocabulary is appropriate for an academic essay. Unfortunately, there is no easy answer for this problem. The solution comes with experience--the more academic writing that you read and produce, the more familiar you will become with the appropriate tone. There are, however, a few tips I can offer you!\n\nTypically, academic writing is quite formal. This means that you should avoid using idioms (expressions whose meanings cannot be understood from the individual words that are used, but have a separate meaning as a whole unit, ex. <i>a piece of cake</i>). Idioms are too colloquial in a formal essay. \n\nAdditionally, you should avoid using contractions in academic writing. This means that instead of using words like <i> don't, can't, won't, isn't, shouldn't, </i> etc., you should spell out the words (<i>do not, cannot, will not, is not, should not,</i> etc.).\n\n<img src="" width="200" height="350">\n\nAcademic writing also requires you to use discipline and subject specific vocabulary. This vocabulary refers to the terminology that you hear in class, and read in your textbooks and research. When using this terminology, you should always keep [[your reader]] in mind and remember to explain yourself when necessary.\n\nAlthough academic writing is formal in tone, you don't want to sound like a thesaurus. You should use advanced and appropriate diction, and it's always good to use synonyms to avoid repeating the same words over and over again, but you don't want to fall into the thesaurus trap. A lot of students get carried away trying to sound "scholarly" and they turn to the thesaurus for every word; this is unnecessary. Students who do this often end up misusing words, and, as a result, their writing becomes confusing and wordy. If you write concisely, your ideas will be more clearly expressed to your reader. \n\nDo you have any more questions about [[grammar]]?
A colon can be used for a few different purposes. In all cases, however, a colon follows an [[independent clause]].\n \nOne of the main purposes of a colon is to introduce a list of items. When using a colon to introduce a list, you should start with a complete phrase as an introduction to the listed items.\n\n<b>Example:</b> I bought several different types of fruit at the grocery store, including: apples, oranges, grapefruit and pears.\nA colon can also be used to make a direct comparison. In this case, the colon should follow a complete phrase.\n\n<b>Example:</b> Although I eat many different types of fruit, only one is my favourite: mango.\n\nA colon can also be used to introduce a quotation. \n<b>Example:</b> All the cashiers greet customers with the same phrase: “Hello, and welcome to the grocery store.”\n\nNow that we've gone over colons, do you want to talk about other forms of [[punctuation]] or [[grammar]]?
The introduction is one of the most important parts of any essay. It allows you to organize your own thoughts and ideas, and also helps to familiarize and orient your reader within your argument; these functions are why we often call it the “roadmap” of your essay. \n\n<img src="" width="700" height="300">\n\nYour introduction plays a few different roles in your essay. Firstly (and predictably), your introduction should introduce your topic. Usually, your opening sentence will do the job. You should start your intro with an attention-grabbing sentence that is relevant to your subject and lets your reader know what the rest of your paper will be about. \n\nThe next step is to provide any background information that you deem necessary in order for your reader to understand your paper. Sometimes background information will include historical context, definitions of discipline-specific terminology, or maybe theoretical framework—anything that you think [[your reader]] will need to understand before you begin your argument.\n\nNext, your introduction should outline the main points of your argument. Like a roadmap, your introduction will highlight the important stops and milestones of your paper. Many students find it tricky to know how much detail to include in their introductions. Generally, a good rule of thumb is that no key argument should come as a surprise to your reader because it should have been presented in your introduction; however, you usually do not need to provide supporting evidence or [[citation]]s for these key points until you get to the [[body]] of your paper.\n \nFinally, your introduction will present your [[thesis]]. This is the central part of your argument and it is very important to make sure you have a strong thesis. Your thesis will usually appear towards the end of your introduction, although there is no rule dictating that it has to, or that it must be the final sentence of your introduction; your thesis can go wherever you think it fits. However, it is often logical to present your thesis at the end of your introduction because your roadmap will build up to your argument, and your argument is expressed in your thesis.\n\nIt is important to note that there is quite a bit of flexibility within the introduction. You can present the information in whatever manner you think works best, you can use two paragraphs if you need to (remembering proper [[paragraph]] structure), and there is no set length (although many people recommend that your introduction be roughly 10% of your whole paper). I know this can be frustrating advice when you’re looking for answers, but writing a good introduction requires you to follow your instincts, and do what you think is right.\n\n<img src="" width="250" height="350">\n\nOne piece of advice that I can offer is that you shouldn’t get caught up in what you think is the “right” writing process! You don’t have to write your paper chronologically—this means that your introduction doesn’t have to be the first thing your write just because it will appear first in your paper. Many people find it easier to start with the body, and then write their “roadmap” once they’ve already written and established all of their key points. Other people like to start with the introduction and use it as their own “roadmap” or outline. It's important to figure out which strategy works best for you!\n
The correct use of punctuation can be a difficult concept for many students to grasp simply because there are so many forms of punctuation, and so many uses for each form! Almost everybody runs into trouble with [[commas]], [[semi-colons]] and [[colons]] from time to time.\n\n<img src="" width=”400” height=”350”> \n\n
Proofreading and editing are the last steps in the writing process, which means that they often get passed over--sometimes we just run out of time and we just need to get it done.\n\n<img src="" width="450" height="250">\n\nNevertheless, editing is a crucial stage of the writing process. I think we've all gotten an assignment or two back with a lower grade than we had hoped for, accompanied by the comment "needs proofreading"! Those assignments are what remind us that we need to schedule time to look over our work.\n\nAlthough we cannot edit your paper for you here at the WTS because we are not a proofreading service, we can go over a few [[strategies]] and tips that might help you learn to better edit your own papers!
After [[choosing a topic]] it's time to start brainstomring! The point of brainstorming is to get all your ideas down on paper. Don't worry about making sense just yet! We're just trying to get all your thoughts together in one place. Once you have all your ideas together, we'll look for patterns and connections to try to make sense of them. Sometimes it's easier to brainstorm when you can talk to someone about your ideas, that's what I'm here for at the WTS!\n\nOne useful strategy for doing this is making a mind map! It might look like this: \n<img src="" width="400" height="350">\n\nOr it might be more linear, like this:\n<img src="" width="250" height="400">\n\nAnother strategy is to try [[free-writing]] on the topic!\n\nOnce you're done brainstorming, it's time to start planning your essay. Do you want to talk about [[essay structure]]?
Great! We're always happy to have returning students. As you already know, tutors from the Writing Tutorial Service can help you with any stage of the writing process with the [[exception of editing and proofreading]]. \n\nWhat can I help you with today? Once we’ve carefully looked over the requirements for your [[assignment]], maybe you'd like to talk about [[brainstorming]], [[choosing a topic]], writing a [[thesis]] statement, [[essay structure]], [[strategies]] for editing, or recurring problems you're having with [[grammar]].
Pronouns, when used properly, can be a really useful way to avoid repetition. However, the overuse or unclear use of pronouns can leave your readers very confused. \n\n<img src="" width="475" height="250">\n\nA pronoun is a part of speech which takes the place of a noun. There are two types of pronouns: impersonal pronouns stand in for things (it, this, those, etc.) and personal pronouns substitute nouns which refer to people (me, my, him, hers, they, etc.). Sometimes when we write it can be difficult to avoid repeating the same subject over and over again; this is where pronouns come in handy.\n\n<b>Example for personal pronouns:</b> Jane went to Jane’s favourite store to buy Jane a new dress.\nThis sentence is grammatically correct, but it’s repetitive so we use pronouns.\n\n<b>Example:</b> Jane went to <i>her</i> favourite store to buy <i>herself</i> a new dress. \nThe use of pronouns to can become confusing, however, when a sentence includes more than one noun for which the pronoun could stand in.\n\n<b>For example:</b> Jane and Jenny went to her favourite store to buy herself a new dress.\nIn this sentence, there is no way for the reader to know whose favourite store the girls are going to, or who is buying a new dress; this means we have used vague pronouns.\n\n<b>The sentence should read:</b> Jane and Jenny went to Jane’s favourite store so that Jane could buy herself a new dress.\n\nThe problem of vague pronouns can occur with impersonal pronouns as well. This problem occurs most frequently with the pronouns “this” and “it.” When using these pronouns, we have to be very careful to make sure that the reader can easily infer what “this” or “it” refers to. \n\n<b>For example:</b> In Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Charlotte Lucas marries for money and Elizabeth Bennett marries for love; <i>this</i> was uncommon for women in the nineteenth century.\nIn this sentence, the pronoun “this” is vague because the reader can’t know for sure what it is meant to refer to: was it uncommon for women to marry for love or for money in the nineteenth century? This use of the vague pronoun illustrates a general rule, that the word “this” should never occur in a sentence without an accompanying noun.\n\n<b>For example, the sentence could be rewritten to say:</b> In Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Charlotte Lucas marries for money and Elizabeth Bennett marries for love; this decision to marry for love was uncommon for women in the nineteenth century.\n\n<b>Another option would be:</b> In Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Charlotte Lucas marries for money and Elizabeth Bennett marries for love. Elizabeth’s decision to marry for love was uncommon among women in the nineteenth century.\n\nIt’s very important for your writing to be as clear as possible! It won’t matter how brilliant your ideas are if [[your reader]] can’t follow who or what you’re talking about. Do you have any other questions pertaining to [[grammar]]?\n
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Faulty Agreement is a problem with which many students struggle, but it’s simpler than you think! This grammatical error occurs when different parts of a sentence don’t match up; this could be because the noun and verb do not agree in number, the nouns and [[pronouns]] don’t agree in number, or when the pronouns don’t agree with each other. The key to solving these problems and avoiding faulty agreement is maintaining consistency within your sentence.\n\nA proper sentence must exhibit subject-verb agreement; this means that your noun and your verb must have the same number. If your noun is plural than so is your verb; if your noun is singular than your verb is too—be consistent! \n\n<img src= width=”400” height=”350”>\n\nFor example:\n1) <font color=“red”>Incorrect:</font> Many of the <i>books</i> that I have read <i>depicts</i> life in nineteenth century England. (plural subject/singular verb)\n <font color=“red”>Correct:</font> Many of the <i>books</i> that I have read <i>depict</i> life in nineteenth century England. \n2) <font color=“red”>Incorrect:</font> <i>My friend</i> always <i>receive</i> helpful feedback from tutors at the WTS. (singular subject, plural verb)\n <font color=“red”>Correct:</font> <i>My friend</i> always <i>receives </i> helpful feedback from tutors at the WTS.\n\nSubject-verb agreement can get a little trickier when we start dealing with irregular nouns (which the English language is full of!). Some words that tend to be confusing are: media, …\nFor example:\n<font color=“red”>Incorrect:</font> The <i>media is</i> always covering celebrity gossip.\n<font color=“red”>Correct:</font> The <i>media are</i> always covering celebrity gossip.\n“Media” denotes a plural subject, which is often confusing because many people treat the media as a single entity, when in reality it is a plural noun and should be treated as such!\n\nSimilarly, the nouns and pronouns in your sentence must show consistent number agreement. \n\nFor example:\n<font color=“red”>Incorrect:</font> It’s always nice to see a <i>student</i> taking the initiative to improve <i>their</i> writing. (singular noun/plural pronoun)\n <font color=“red”>Correct:</font> It’s always nice to see a <i>student</i> taking the initiative to improve <i>his or her</i> writing.\n <font color=“red”>Correct:</font> It’s always nice to see <i>students</i> taking the initiative to improve <i>their</i> writing.\n\nFinally, pronouns must agree with each other. This means that you must be consistent with your point of view. If you are writing in first, second or third person, make sure you stick with it!\n\nFor example:\n<font color=“red”>Incorrect:</font> <i>One</i> might argue that exercising regularly is the most important part of maintaining <i>your</i> health. (Third person pronoun/Second person pronoun)\n <font color=“red”>Correct:</font> <i>One</i> might argue that exercising regularly is the most important part of maintaining <i>one’s</i> health.\n <font color=“red”>Correct:</font> <i>You</i> might argue that exercising regularly is the most important part of maintaining <i>your</i> health. \n\nI hope that clears things up! Do you have any more questions about [[grammar]]?\n
The conclusion is prone to being the weakest part of an essay because it is usually the last thing you get to when you’re writing and it is often rushed; this is especially true for students who are working with deadlines! Nevertheless, you should always try to finish your paper on a good note. The conclusion is your last chance to convince your reader of your argument, so you want to take advantage of it!\n\n<img src="" width="450" height="350">\n\nThere are three main factors that you should consider when writing your conclusion. Firstly, remember that the conclusion of an essay is meant to concisely review the main points of your argument and remind your reader of what you’ve already said. Secondly, your conclusion should never present new information or arguments that haven’t already been discussed in your [[introduction]], [[thesis]] and [[body]]. Thirdly, a concluding paragraph will generally start with specific information and move towards more general directions for the future. \n\nThe conclusion is the final segment of proper [[essay structure]], but it is not the last phase of writing you essay. Once you've finished writing the bulk of your paper, you still have to think about [[strategies for proofreading and editing]], [[citation]], and checking to make sure you've met all of the [[assignment]] requirements.
The body of your paper is where you ‘show your work,’ so to speak. This is where you expand on the key points that you outlined in your [[introduction]], and where you prove your argument/[[thesis]]. The body will take up most of the length of your essay. However, like we said earlier, there is no set length or number of paragraphs for the body; forget about the “hamburger essay” or the 5-paragraph essay that you might have learned about in high school. The body of your essay will be as many paragraphs, and as many pages as you need to fully develop your topic (or to meet your assignment requirements!). \n\nThe body of your essay is where you will include your research, evidence, and quotations in order to prove your argument, make sure you use [[citation]]s! Be sure to always present your evidence in proper [[paragraph]]s which are organized in a clear and logical manner. You should always be able to defend why one paragraph follows another. \n\n<img src="" width="400" height="200">\n\nIt’s a good idea to consider transitions between paragraphs when you’re writing the body of your essay; if your paragraphs are well organized it should be easy to transition from one paragraph to the next. These transitions can be made through topic (opening) sentences, and concluding sentences which can help you to relate one paragraph to the next. The [[brainstorming]] process should help you with organization!\n\nAccording to proper [[essay structure]], your body will be followed by your conclusion. Do you want to talk about what goes into a good [[conclusion]]?\n
An essential part of doing well on any assignment is making sure that you understand what your instructors expect from you. It's important to read your assignmnet instructions over very carefully before you get started, but don't forget about them after that! Sometimes it helps to keep looking back to your assignment handout as you work to make sure you're covering everything that you're supposed to; you can use it like a requirement checklist when you've finished writing!\n\n<img src="" width="450" height="250">\n\nIf you need further clarification, never hesitate to talk to your professor or TA! Their job is to help you, and they'll be happy to see you taking initiative in your work. No one knows what is expected from an assignment better than the people who assigned it to you! You should take advantage of that resource. Once you understand the assignment, you will be in a better position for [[choosing a topic]], [[brainstorming]], and determining your [[essay structure]].\n\nAt the WTS, we want to make sure that we are on the same page as your professors and TAs, so we want to look over your assignment instructions with you! Please remember to bring it to every appointment.
An independent clause is a phrase that can stand on its own as a simple sentence; it contains a subject (noun) and a predicate (verb). \n\nExample: The house is red.
Everybody works differently, so some of the strategies that work for me might not work as well for you. It might be worthwhile to try out a few different strategies to see which ones you like best! Here are a few that a lot of students find helpful:\n\n1) <b>Give yourself time!</b> By the time you're ready to edit your paper, you've already spent hours and hours immersed in your essay. Give yourself a break! Take a day off and don't even look at your paper (if you can afford it, if not at least take a few hours) so that you can come at your paper to edit with fresh eyes. You'll find that you have an easier time spotting the mistakes!\n\n2) <b>Read out loud!</b> You might feel a little silly the first time you do it, but reading out loud will help you to catch mistakes that you might otherwise skim over. When you read out loud you have to look at each individual word, but it's easy to skim when you read silently. Reading out loud also allows you to look at your writing from a new perspective. So when you've finished writing your essay, try reading through it a couple times to your roommate, your cat, or just to yourself!\n\n3) <b><font color="purple">Try changing the font and colour!</font></b> Like reading out loud, changing the font or colour of your writing changes the way you'll look at the words on the page. When you've been staring at your essay on the screen for so long it becomes pretty easy to start skimming, and that's not good when you're trying to edit. Just don't forget to change it back before you hand in your assignment!\n\n5) <b>Print off a hard copy of your paper!</b> A lot of students find it easier to read carefully and thoroughly on paper rather than on screen! Working with a hard copy also allows you to take notes more easily than with a word processor. \n\n6) <b>Get a friend to read over your paper!</b> Peer editing is a great resource! It always helps to get a fresh set of eyes to look over your paper, especially someone from your class who is familiar with the material you're working with!\n\nI hope these tips will help you develop your own strategies for editing, and I hope you understand why the WTS can help with every stage of the writing process with the [[exception of editing and proofreading]]! Is there anything else you'd like to talk about today? Maybe we could go over [[choosing a topic]], [[brainstorming]], [[essay structure]] or [[grammar]].
You’re right, great job! This sentence takes a position against school uniforms AND supports that position. If you ask yourself, “so what?” you can easily answer that school uniforms would have negative impacts on students’ creativity and enthusiasm for school, as well as infringe on their rights. You, as a reader, do not have to agree with this statement in order for it to be a good thesis statement. Whether or not you are in favour of school uniforms, this statement meets all the requirements for a good thesis. \n\nI hope that helps explain what makes a good [[thesis]] statement!
In that case, I'll give you a run-down on what exactly it is that we do here. The WTS is meant to help students develop their writing skills and improve their academic writing. To do this, writing tutors will help students along any stage of the writing process (with the [[exception of editing and proofreading]]) during one-on-one appointments lasting 50min each. This means that we can help with [[brainstorming]], [[choosing a topic]], writing a [[thesis]] statement, [[essay structure]], and developing your own [[strategies for proofreading and editing]]. No matter which of these areas you’re looking for help with, it’s always a good idea to bring your [[assignment]] handout with you to your WTS appointment so that we can get an idea of what your professor is looking for!\n\n\nThe WTS also puts on workshops throughout the year for all of the topics named above, as well as for common issues with [[grammar]]. These workshops are held either in classroom (when professors request it for particular courses) or on the fourth floor of MacOdrum Library. Our workshops are always announced online on <a href="">our website</a>\n\n<img src="" width="350" height="200">\n\nNow that we've covered all that, what can I help you with today?
Correcting grammar in a paper often coincides with proofreading and editing, so it isn't something we can always help with at the WTS, at least not word-for-word; we prefer to help you identify your own [[strategies for proofreading and editing]]. We can, however, identify and discuss patterns and common grammatical errors in your paper and help you learn to fix them.\n\n<img src="" width="400" height="200">\n\nSome common problems that a lot of people run into include: [[faulty agreement]], writing in the [[passive voice]], [[diction and wordiness]], incorrect and misused [[punctuation]], and misuse of [[pronouns]]. \n\nDo any of these sound like problems you run into in your own writing? If not, maybe you'd prefer to talk about other components of essay writing, like [[choosing a topic]], [[brainstorming]], or [[essay structure]]. \n\n
It's always important to keep your reader in mind when you're writing an essay, both in terms of your intended audience and your literal reader (your prof or TA).\n\nGenerally, in academic writing we assume that our intended audience (who we are writing for) is an educated and knowledgeable reader who is not an expert in the topic. This means that we assume they know something about the field and topic that we are writing about, but that we still have to explain discipline and subject specific terminology. This strategy helps us to make sure that we are expressing our ideas clearly; it also proves to your professor that you understand the concepts that come up in your paper (if you are able to explain these concepts it proves that you understand them).\n\nIt is also important to remember the people who will actually be reading your assignment: your profs and teaching assistants. It never hurts to be considerate of the people who dictate your grades! Simple things like writing clearly and concisely, following assignment guidelines carefully, and always adhering to assigned page length will make life a lot easier for your graders, and they will appreciate that! \n\n<img src="" width="450" height="250">\n\nIt's also a good idea to visit your prof or TA in their office hours, you'll get a better idea of what they want from your [[assignment]] if you talk to them about it! \n\nWhat would you like to go over next? Do you have any converns about [[grammar]], [[essay structure]], [[choosing a topic]] or [[brainstorming]]?\n\n
A proper paragraph is a collection of complete sentences that expresses one central idea. There is no strict rule which dictates how long a paragraph must be. The purpose of a paragraph is to express one point or idea and the length of the paragraph should be appropriate to that idea; some points are more complex than others, and will therefore take longer to fully explain. Generally, a paragraph will be three sentences or longer, because it is unlikely that your point will be adequately expressed in fewer than three sentences. Likewise, a paragraph will usually be under a page in length because if it gets much longer than that, chances are you’re using it to discuss more than one idea. \n\nEach paragraph begins with a topic sentence. The topic sentence will inform your reader what the rest of the paragraph will discuss. You can use your topic sentence to test whether or not certain points belong in a particular paragraph. If any sentence doesn’t relate back to your topic sentence, than it doesn’t belong in that paragraph. Similarly, each paragraph ends with a concluding sentence which finishes off one idea, and transitions into the following paragraph (and the new idea within that paragraph). Every part of your essay, whether it is the [[introduction]], [[body]], or [[conclusion]] should be formed with proper paragraphs. When you're using your [[strategies for proofreading and editing]], try to remember to check for cohesive paragraphs! Make sure each paragraph is made of at least three complete sentences that communicate one common idea. \n\n
I’m sure you’ve noticed by now that a university level essay is a little different than the sort of essay you learned to write in high school. This discrepancy tends to be a source of stress for a lot of undergrads, especially for first-years, but don’t worry! High school is meant to provide a foundation for what you will learn in university; you’re not meant to start your undergrad already knowing everything there is to know, and your profs won’t expect you to! You’re here to learn.\n\n<img src="" width="350" height=”350”>\n\nMany high school students learn to write the 5-paragraph essay, which features an introductory paragraph, and exactly three body paragraphs, followed by one concluding paragraph. This format will not be useful to you in university—forget it! Strictly limiting your paper to five paragraphs will make it extremely difficult for you to adequately address the larger, more complex issues that you are required to discuss in university level assignments. It will also make it a bit of a challenge for you to meet length requirements (if you’re adhering to proper [[paragraph]] structure). \n\nAt this point, you’re probably asking, “So why do they bother teaching us something we can’t use?!”.\n\n<img src= width=”400” height=”350”>\n\nTeaching the 5-paragraph structure in high school is useful in that it teaches you the basic structure of an essay: [[introduction]], [[body]], and [[conclusion]]. While there is no strict limit to the length of each of these sections (especially for the body), these three segments are common to every well-written essay.\n