Get Writing Tips and Tools in Upcoming Webinar
A November 13 Writing Center webinar will give graduate students insight into resources that can improve their grammar, word choice, style, spelling, etc.
At the graduate level, the writing concerns of native and non-native English speakers overlap; wrestling our ideas into words is work! Moreover, graduate students must learn the discourse, citation, and argument styles specific to their disciplines. Non-native English speakers face additional challenges. Learning prepositional phrases (going to or toward?), remembering articles (a book, the book, or just book?), and memorizing new synonyms to vary one’s prose (can I substitute posit or postulate for argue?) takes time and effort.
Once a piece of writing has been drafted, an “outside” tool can help to refine its language and ideas, and to fix any errors. Peer review is the ultimate outside tool in the academy, and a professor’s feedback stands in for this during graduate school. We often, however, seek to refine a piece of writing before we send it to these parties. We can — and should — share our writing with classmates or consultants at The Graduate Center’s Writing Center. But how can we edit our papers on our own?
Start by finding a spelling and grammar checking tool that you like. The one built into Microsoft Word is robust. Writefull, a free extension compatible with all major operating systems and writing software, uses natural language processing to check your academic text against vast databases of correct language. It gives feedback on spelling, grammar, word choice, and style, and offers fixes, synonyms, and alternative sentence structures.
When you’ve identified areas in your writing in which you’d like to improve, practice! Nigel A. Caplan’s Grammar Choice for Graduate and Professional Writers offers excellent exercises for eight grammar topics with names like “Clause Combination” and “Hedging, Boosting, and Positioning.” The “Activities for ESL Students” page of The Internet TESL Journal offers useful quizzes, tests, exercises, and puzzles for non-native speakers.
If you find this advice helpful, join The Writing Center’s English Language Tools & Resources webinar on Wednesday, November 13. In it, you’ll learn about tools and resources to help with grammar, spelling, word choice, sentence structure, and other English language topics. The goal of this webinar is to help you find tools and strategies to strengthen and edit your own writing.
This webinar is open to all Graduate Center students: ESL/ELL students; native English speakers; master’s and Ph.D. students; science, humanities, and social science students.
Register online for English Language Tools & Resources webinar on Wednesday, November 13, 1:30 p.m.–2:30 p.m.