When I was on a plane, heading to the Bahamas, I got a random idea about comparing writing a paper and flying planes.

Starting a paper is just like trying to take off in a plane. Sometimes the takeoff is quick and smooth, while other times you are sitting and waiting. Sometimes it is hard to begin writing a paper, because narrowing your focus can take a bit of brain storming.

Once you complete the introduction, you are in the longest portion of the paper, which are the body paragraphs. The body paragraphs can be compared to the flight when cruising altitude has been reached. This comparison can be made because most of the flight is very calm, but there may be some unexpected writing blocks. Airplanes experience the same idea when the plane goes through turbulence. The turbulence the plane experience can be compared with the loss of focus in the body paragraphs, which causes for issues with the flow and coherence of the paper.

Ending a paper is just like landing a plane, because you have to get it just right. Have you ever been on a plane and the pilot lands too soon? The right is bumpy and you are trying to hold on tight. Well, if you end your paper too soon or have a poor conclusion, your reader can experience the same bumpy effects when reading. When writing your conclusion, you want to gently bring the reader to a nice gradually stop by restating your main points along with making those points connect back together.

So the next time you are writing a paper, keep an eye out for any off topic or loss of focus points in your paper. Remember you want your paper to be like a plane ride, smooth with easy transitions.

Breaking News: Paper Deadlines are Quickly Approaching!

IMG_2433I am reporting from the B-Level of the Library and I have noticed a high influx of students using the computers around me. It is that time of year, where papers are about due and the semester is about to end. With that being said, there has been some congestion in the Writing Center, especially during walk in hours.

I am going to give you some tips on how to efficiently and effectively manage your commute to the Writing Center.

Schedule your appointments in advance!

This is the key for securing your spot in the Writing Center especially during walk in hours. Walk in hours are a first come, first serve basis, so always check for appointment times. We also post daily availability on facebook and twitter.

Come Prepared

Being prepared doesn’t mean you have to have a complete draft or even a draft at all, but instead you should have materials that will help you in the Writing Center. The most important item to bring is the prompt. The prompt will aid both you and the consultant in understanding the assignment. The consultant will use the prompt in the session to make sure that your paper fulfills everything necessary.

Interact With the Consultant

The first time in the Writing Center might seems scary, but don’t worry. The consultants are your peers, meaning they are undergraduate students in various majors. As a consultant, I find sessions most beneficial to the writers if they do most of the talking; I do not want them to feel like they don’t have control of their paper. The consultant might throw out a general idea, hoping you would put your own spin on it. Also, the main thing to keep in mind is this is your paper. This means if you don’t like the consultant’s suggestions, you don’t have to use them. We give you these suggestions to aid you in your writing process.

Now that you have these tips, hopefully you will be more prepared to get the most out of your visit. Make your appointment ahead of time before it’s too late!

Spring Break Slip N’ Slide

slip n slideSpring Break can be considered a curse for most students and their academic work. Let’s be honest, nobody wants to think about writing an essay when you are spending time on a beach. Now that Spring Break is over, we must refocus your mind back to your school work.  There is roughly six weeks until finals week and that means final papers will be due too.

To keep yourself from getting to far behind, here are a few tips that I have found helpful when writing final papers.

1. Due Date
When writing your papers you should always know the due date for a couple reasons: prioritizing and pacing. You should always prioritize your papers based upon when they are due. For example, if your IDC paper is due in a week you should concentrate fully on that paper rather than your English paper that is due in three weeks. Along with prioritizing, pacing is very important. You want to make sure you allow yourself enough time to work on your paper in stages from brainstorming to proofreading. Also, writing your paper the night before is not a great idea because you will be more inclined to rush through the paper along with giving shallow explanations.

2. Technology
Distracting technology, such as Twitter and Netflix, should be avoided while writing. You will be shocked how fast you can write a paper if you are not constantly getting on Facebook or texting your friends. Just give yourself a good hour or two of being technologically withdrawn when you write your paper, you do not have to give it up entirely.

3. Sleep
Sleep is important to every aspect of your life, even writing! You need to make sure you are well rested when writing you paper if not your grade may suffer. When you are exhausted your brain’s relay slows down inhibiting you to fully concentrate on your paper. I see many Bellarmine students drinking coffee and writing papers all the time, but coffee is not the answer. Coffee may wake your body up, but your brain will remain exhausted. So if you find yourself tired, try taking a nap and allow your brain along with your body to rest. When you wake you will feel energized and ready to write your paper.

There are a lot more tips that could be discussed, but a lot are dependent on the type of writer you are. When writing your papers, you should develop your own techniques that help you avoid the Spring Break Slip N’ Slide.

Hopefully these tips will aid you in the writing process and do not forget to visit the Writing Center!