The Writing Center

December 3, 2010 § Leave a comment

Today I visited the IUPUI Writing Center and worked with one of their fine writing tutors to review and refine my thesis proposal.

At the beginning of the meeting Keva, the tutor, asked what I wanted to get out of the hour-long session. I’d fortunately thought about what would be nice to come out of the meeting with and was able to offer specifics to her —  I wanted to review and refine my justification and limitations and identify an appropriate citation method to apply in my final document as opposed to focusing on grammar or other matters. “Great!,” she said (or at least that’s what she said in my remembrance.)

After establishing what I was there for and briefing her on the components of my proposal and subject matter we got down to doing work. She began by reading word-by-word my proposal out loud. This is something that is always recomended to writers but not done enough. I rely on it when I get to a section that troubles me but rarely (if ever) read aloud the whole piece. This alone offered great value and I identified some issues simply because she stumbled or paused at times due to clarity. After reading a paragraph we commented on and discussed what we had read, noting what revisions were needed.

After reading through the two sections, justification and limitations, and marking the document up, she located and gave me a document outlining the Chicago Manual of Style and we reviewed the handout for the sections that applied to my document.

Besides providing a tremendously helpful second or third set of eyes to read my proposal, and highly-trained eyes at that, I came out of the meeting having realized that while my background in journalism gives me a strong writing base to build on, Associated Press (AP) style is different than the fine art of academic writing.

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