Friday, April 3, 2015
You’ll be assigned to complete many different kinds of writing tasks in college (such as article reviews, literary analyses, or lab reports), and not all of them will look like the famous five-paragraph essay you learned to write in high school English. There are significant differences among the writing genres you’ll encounter, but there are a few qualities that all good pieces of academic writing have in common. Here are five pitfalls to avoid if you’re going to write an excellent paper of any kind.
1.Hiding your main idea (or not having a main idea). Depending on the type of assignment, your main idea may be called your thesis statement, your purpose statement, or your research question. It may be at the beginning or the end of your paper. But you need to have one, and it needs to be clear to your reader.
2.Not having an outline. Don’t worry; this doesn’t have to be the highly formal “I, A, 1, a” type of outline. You don’t even have to make an outline before you begin writing—some people like to write a messy draft first and then organize it later. But at some point, you need to get your paper into an order that’s logical and easy to follow. Each paragraph should have one topic and should lead clearly into the next paragraph.
3.Using sources irresponsibly. In many assignments, you’ll be asked to quote, paraphrase, and/or summarize source material. Appropriate types of sources vary greatly depending on the type of assignment, but you always need to make sure you understand and properly represent each source (even if you will ultimately disagree with it) and give the author credit using the citation style your professor requires.
4.Assuming the reader thinks just like you. Since your reader (professor or otherwise) is not inside your head, you need to be clear about any assumptions that underlie your argument, define terms that you’re using in a specific way, and check your logic to make sure you haven’t made any unexplained leaps.
5.Not proofreading. Ideally, your paper will go through several revisions as you work to make it clearer, more convincing, and better supported with sources. But after you’re finished revising, you still have one step left: proofreading. In this step, you check for surface-level (but still important) errors such as misspellings, missing words, and incorrect punctuation. Try reading your paper aloud when you proofread. You’re more likely to catch mistakes if you see them and hear them.
If you follow your professor’s guidelines for the assignment and avoid these five pitfalls, you’ll have a solid paper that you can be proud to claim as your work!
What pitfalls will you be avoiding the most? Which ones did we miss? Use #5pitfalls to share your thoughts on Liberty Landing!Postedby Luis Lucchini at 4:52 PM | Permalink
Thursday, March 5, 2015
Your local gym may be the most common place to start working towards your fitness goals, but if you struggle to show up regularly or dislike the monthly fees, it’s nice to have other options. Lifting weights and running on a treadmill are just a couple ways to stay healthy, but if they aren’t fitting your schedule or giving you any enjoyment, here are 10 other ways to get in shape - no gym required.
Friday, February 20, 2015
As the director of the Center for Writing and Languages, I’m passionate about helping students learn to write clearly and effectively no matter what they’re writing, including emails. As an LUO instructor, I’ve received many clear and personable emails from students, but I’ve also received some that made me cringe. From those two areas of experience, I give you this list of practices to keep in mind when emailing a professor.
Just remember that in most cases, you won’t be able to meet your LUO instructors face to face, so unless you talk on the phone, your written communication is the only way they’ll be able to get to know you. One of the best ways to make a good impression on your professors is to write emails that are polite, correctly spelled, and clear, and that sound like they were written by a real person—you!Postedby Luis Lucchini at 2:46 PM | Permalink
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
If you’ve been to a gym recently, it’s no secret that the floor is a bit more crowded and the machines are harder to come by. Losing weight and getting fit both remain in the top ten most commonly set New Year’s resolutions. While many resolutions rarely last, a new year is a great time to reevaluate where you are and what you want to accomplish. In the forefront of the mind of a Christian is that we are stewards of all that God has blessed us with, including our bodies. Romans 12:1 says, “I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.” But how can you keep that resolution you set after a winter of extra couch time from being a long forgotten January promise?
So as we enter 2015 here are my top five tips for getting and staying fit all year long.
1- Find What Works for You
There are hundreds of exercise routines and programs that promise to be the “magic bullets” to healthy body, but remember, the best exercise is the one you can stick with! Don’t force yourself to run if you hate running and if you aren’t into working out in a gym, find an outdoor routine you’ll enjoy. There are so many modes of exercise out there so it may take a few tries until you find something that works for you. If you strive for consistency in whatever routine you follow, it will pay off.
2- Start Slow
Don’t try to do everything at once; if you haven’t run since high school, starting off by signing up for a marathon is asking for an injury. Take your time and remember, it’s not all or nothing and some is definitely better than none. In the same way you wouldn’t give a second grader a three inch novel for their first book report, you shouldn’t set yourself up for failure by doing too much too soon. Once you have developed sustainable exercise habits, you can build up the duration, frequency, or intensity of your program.
3- Set Goals
Set realistic but challenging goals and write them down. You’ll want to make sure your goals are very specific and measureable so you can easily see when they are achieved. Make sure you include a time frame to keep you focused. For example, “I want to get in shape” is not a great goal, however, “I want to be able to be able to complete a Turkey Trot 5k in November 2015” is.
4- Tap into the Power of Accountability
I cannot stress enough the importance of community. Working with a qualified fitness professional or registered dietician is a wonderful decision if you have that opportunity, but even the support of a friend or spouse can increase the likelihood of you sticking with a routine when you encounter difficulties.
5- Rely on the Lord
Pray for God to give you strength to care for his temple and to use the journey to help you grow spiritually. Challenges and difficult situations often facilitate the most personal growth, so it’s clear that God has so much to teach us through the process of changing old habits.
By considering these five tips you can start on an enjoyable and sustainable fitness journey. Remember, it’s not a 6 week challenge or a 12 week plan- it’s every day, taking small steps to take care of the body God has blessed you with. So, what do you find that works for you? What goals will you be setting for yourself? Use #Fit15 to talk to us on Liberty Landing!
Postedby Luis Lucchini at 1:01 PM | Permalink
Friday, January 9, 2015
It's that time of the year again. In another week we will be watching the ball drop and a new year will break the dawn. How has the past year been for you? Has it held lots of surprises or been rather quiet? Has it meet your expectations or been a tough year? I know for me, it's been a little bit of everything - Highs and Lows.
So what will 2015 look like for you? What goals, dreams and hopes are waiting just on the other side of January 1st? What kind of habits do you hope to break? What habits do you hope to start?
I asked our Online Communities staff this very question - "What are 10 good habits to start in 2015?" - and here is the list we came up with:
So now it's your turn. What suggestions do you have? What habits are important for you to cultivate in this new year. You can leave your thoughts on Liberty Landing, using #2015habits!
Postedby Luis Lucchini at 4:21 PM | Permalink