Episode 146: Patchwriting – What It Is, and How to Avoid It

Patchwriting is a form of plagiarism that most students aren’t aware is plagiarism – substituting in words into the sentence structure of a source. It’s like Academic MadLibs. In this episode, Adam and Dinur compare paraphrasing to patchwriting, explain why patchwriting is a form of plagiarism, and go over how to paraphrase instead of patchwrite. […]

Episode 108: How to Narrow Your Scope

Many students come up with great topics and arguments for their essays and research papers. The topics are timely, they’re important, they’re interesting. The problem is, these topics are also big enough that they will not fit in a ten-page paper! How do you handle this? Join Adam and Dinur for some help. Show Notes […]

Episode 103: Writing as Construction – The First Draft

You’ve identified the shared ideas in your sources by finding examples and creating categories. You’ve written literature review paragraphs to tie together those shared ideas and how they’ll help your audience. And now what?  Now it’s time to write your first draft and edit it, so it makes sense. Show Notes No Show Notes This […]

Episode 101: Writing as Construction – Building a Paper from the Ground Up

Many students are told to write papers. Often, the directions are limited to formatting: double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font, a certain number of pages or words. But in college, you often don’t get much more than that for directions. Your professor might choose a topic, or tell you which topics you can choose from, […]

Episode 86: Writing as (American) Football

You’ve gotten a prompt for a term paper, or an essay question on an exam. How do you answer the question effectively? Join Dinur and Adam for Dinur’s sports metaphor “Writing as Football,” to learn how to set up, write, and complete these kinds of assignments! Show Notes No Show Notes This Episode

Spelling Errors, and How to Avoid Them

Many students today tend to “write like they talk.” This means that their writing may not take notice of things like spelling and sound-alike words. In a first draft, that’s understandable. Some students don’t realize that the word they wrote isn’t the word they meant to use. Others are hoping for the best, because they […]

too many ideas

The Too-Many-Ideas Problem

So your teacher just told you that for your final paper, you need to write eight pages on a course-related topic. Let’s say it’s a course on race and ethnic problems in the United States. That’s a really big topic, and as a result, too many ideas start to spill into your mind. You could […]

citation styles

Making Citations Easy

Too many students have been trained into stressing out about the minutiae of citation styles. They worry that a misplaced comma, or an underline instead of an italicized string of words, will bring their grade down or fail them on a paper. Fretting about MLA, Chicago or ASA style takes up more of their time than […]

college paper

What Kind of Paper Does Your Professor Want to See?

When students get an assignment for a “paper,” many times they don’t have a clue what kind of paper it is. Too many times, they assume it’s an essay, full of opinions, like just about every paper they’ve written in high school. They think a college paper is just another paper. But there are several […]

choosing a paper topic

The ACE Method for Choosing a Paper Topic

One of the biggest problems students report with college writing assignments is choosing a paper topic. In college, you’re expected to pick your own topic, most of the time – but most college students have never had the training in how to do that. In high school, they were always provided with a topic and told […]

page count

Page Count is Professor Shorthand

Many students see meeting the page count or word count as the goal of writing a paper. They have to churn out 1,000 words or 10 pages to meet some standard that isn’t made clear to them. As a result, they turn in badly written, hurriedly written, rapidly typed, non-proofread pages full of words. They […]

Three Things To Help You Write an A+ Research Paper

If you’re a brand-new college undergraduate, the chances are good that high school didn’t teach you what your professors expect you to know about doing college research. Instead of research papers, you were probably taught the inverted-pyramid essay, the five-paragraph essay, or the expressive essay. This means that when the dreaded research paper rears its head […]