Welcome to the new semester, and for those of you new to APU, welcome to our community and to your new program! We at the Writing Center share your eagerness for a career that integrates your faith and personal calling. Thus, I am excited to help prepare you for your new topics, new projects, and new assignments.
Students often ask us about how to become better academic writers. While, of course, we have many suggestions that can help in this process, the most central one is: take your writing seriously. Taking your writing seriously means also taking your abilities seriously. Yes, of course you have weaknesses. What writer doesn't? You have abilities, too, though. Instead of doubting your ability, consider whether your method is causing you undue difficulties.
One of the best tips I can give is to follow the timeline shown on our “Planning Your Paper” flier as you receive writing assignments.
As we all know, college students are busy people. This leads to many of us procrastinating on our assignments. Even those who are not procrastinators often start thinking about the content later than is ideal.
Ideally, we should begin considering our possible topics and reading research materials that might support them as soon as we receive an assignment. That consideration means that this week, when you receive all of your syllabi, is the right time to get started on some of your midterm and final projects! This seems counterintuitive, because our respect for the professors' knowledge and preparation leads us to think of the assigned readings and the lectures on the concepts as the first steps of our learning. However, the more you engage in the subject, the more you learn. Professors make excellent guides, to be sure. But you can till the field before they plant the seeds. Let us all be the good soil instead of the rocky soil this semester! In order to help you be good soil, I would like to highlight a few of the insights found on the flier mentioned above.
If you properly plan your writing, you can break even very large projects into more manageable sections. I hope our flier will help you do so, and that we can all look forward to a productive semester of strong academic growth!