Monday, December 6, 2010

Still Working During December Intercession???

Here are the hours of locations where you can keep working on campus …

The University Center for Writing-based Learning (the Writing Center) is closed during December Intercession, but there are still many places to go for help, support, and workspace as you continue writing:

1. DePaul Libraries - most of the libraries are open through December 22nd, though some have limited hours on weekends. See the library website for details: (Tip: Working late in the Loop? Check out the Law Library in the Lewis Center. It is open late, and on weekends).

2. The Adult Student Center - on the 11th floor of the DePaul Center is another resource and “place to go” for adult students, with support staff and group workspaces.

3. DePaul's computer labs are still available - see locations and hours here

4. Available 24/7 are the SNL Writing Guide for students online, and the Writing Center’s really comprehensive online resources for students working on papers.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Need the L4 competence? Take LL 153 Writing Together - Writing Well this Winter at the Loop

LL 153 Writing Together – Writing Well: A Community Approach to Academic Writing and Personal Narrative will take place at the Loop campus in the Winter Quarter 2011. Course meets Saturdays, 9AM – 1PM.

In this 6-credit course, you will:
-Earn L4 and another competence (A3A, H1X, or H2X).
-Practice your personal narrative writing skills, and learn how they can benefit your academic writing skills.
-Participate in an in-class Community Writing Workshop. You will practice your writing and get help and support from your classmates and instructors.
-Learn how writing together can improve communities.
-Learn to Write Together and Write Well!

Questions? Contact Steffanie Triller at 312-362-7631 or

Register at The syllabus for this course is available at

Monday, November 8, 2010

Finalize Your Papers with the Writing Center!

Are you finishing some of your writing projects as the end of the Autumn Quarter approaches? Why not review your work with an experienced peer from the Writing Center?

Your last chance to utilize the Writing Center's services at the Suburban Campuses is Saturday, Nov. 13th from 10 to 11:30 AM. Writing Groups facilitated by our consultants meet at the Oak Forest, O'Hare, and Naperville campuses. For more information, visit
No appointment is needed to use this service! Just show up!

The Writing Center offices at the Loop and Lincoln Park Campuses are open for regular service until Tuesday, Nov. 16. Visit for information about Face-to-Face and online tutorials. During this time, you may also submit papers for Feedback by Email.

For more information or to contact us, visit

Friday, November 5, 2010

Now Accepting Student Submissions for the SNL Writing Showcase

Consider submitting your best written work for the SNL Writing Showcase! The awards won't be given out until April 2011, but submissions are welcome all year. Students can see previous winners and download the 2010-2011 application here:

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Anxiety and Stress Management Workshop Nov. 4 at DePaul

Are your end-of-the-quarter deadlines stressing you out? Check out the "Anxiety and Stress Management" workshop at DePaul! The Commerce Undergraduate Program Office (CUPO) and the Actively Choosing Education (ACE) workshop coordinators are offering this free workshop to students. Details are below:

Anxiety and Stress Management Workshop
(DePaul Center, Suite 8500)
Thurs, November 4 4:30-5:30 PM
We will learn practical ways to manage test anxiety before, during, and
after an exam. This is a great workshop to learn how to manage your
stress as we approach finals!

Offered throughout the year, other workshops have focused on time management, planning for writing assignments, and study skills. Please contact CUPO at or 312/362-5358 for more information.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

National Day on Writing is Wed. Oct. 20 - Check out SNL's contribution at DePaul Student Center!

In celebration of the National Day on Writing, the "Gallery of Writers" display will be in DePaul's Lincoln Park and Loop Student Centers from 11-5 on Wednesday, October 20. Several of SNL's faculty, staff, and students will be represented on a group poster, so please check it out!

The University Center for Writing-based Learning will also have a table set up for people to come make their own posters to add to this collection; anyone who contributes to this display will receive a free t-shirt that says, "I Write with Pride". All those who contributed to SNL's poster are welcome to stop by the tables or either Writing Center office to pick up their t-shirts, too.

Your support and participation are greatly appreciated. The UCWbL is excited to showcase the many writers in the SNL program!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Why do SNL writers participate in the Suburban Campus Writing Groups?

The Suburban Campus Writing Groups continue on Saturday, Oct. 9 from 10-11:30 am and will meet at the Oak Forest, O'Hare, and Naperville campuses on all Saturdays until Nov. 13. Visit for more information.

Why should you come? Read on to find out why your classmates are participating:

"The writing group held at the Oak Forest campus is very valuable for these reasons:

1. The distance is great!
2. The time on Saturday is great.
3. The group is small, giving me the attention needed.
4. I got to know a Writing Center consultant who I can submit my papers to during the week for Feedback by Email!
5. The Group Leader is relaxed, very helpful, and knowledgeable, making me feel comfortable with what I need to learn."

"The Suburban Campus Writing Groups have been a very positive learning experience. Not having any background with academic writing, I found myself second guessing my material and not knowing how to critique it. The staff was great with their assistance, but it was the interaction with other students that provided the best return on time invested. While I have used this workshop to review class materials, I have also used the resources for a sounding board for blog materials, ILPs and my resume. I would suggest that everyone take advantage of these sessions to make your writing better. You will see improvement and gain confidence very quickly after a few sessions."

"I actually have received more than I expected from the Suburban Campus Writing Groups. The SCWGs helped me opened my mind to think outside the perimeters of a box. The SCWGs gave me a chance to talk when no one may want to listen, expand outside the box, and converse through writing without boring someone. The Groups help me to dig deep into the recesses of my mind and actually 'VENT' or 'UNLOAD'."

“This was a perfectly timed and very positive experience for me. When I say that Morgan 'saved my life,' I am exaggerating only slightly. I had been carving away at the block marble and trying to find the 'angel' within it before he led me to the answer. Following that meeting, my instructor recognized the improvement between successive drafts, and my submitted final earned a good deal of praise from her.”

“Tom and Morgan were knowledgeable, polite, enthusiastic, and they appeared to really enjoy what they were doing. Their engagement with each of us created a comfort zone. I felt and saw in other participants a willingness to share ideas and to address specific writing challenges. I enjoyed the immediate and warm connection between all of us and felt that newcomers immediately became part of the group. I saw courtesy, respect, patience and encouragement. I saw (and felt no lack of my own) excitement when ‘something clicked.’ I just wanted to run right home and get to work, rather than avoid the assignment as happened when I lacked focus.“

Monday, October 4, 2010

Get Started and Get Help: Advanced Project Workshops will take place this Saturday at the Suburban Campuses

Are you:

Working on an Advanced Project but stuck in a rut?
Confused about how to go about the research process for your Advanced Project?
Trying to remember how to cite the journal you referenced in your Advanced Project?
Worried that your Advanced Project is due soon and you do not know where to begin?

If any of these applies to you, consider attending an Advanced Project workshop at one of the Suburban Campuses this Saturday afternoon. The Writing Center will be offering Advanced Project workshops this Saturday, October 9th, on all Suburban Campuses. As part of the workshop, students will develop a plan to complete the Advanced Project, review proper citation style, and explore various research methodologies. Students will also have the opportunity to view and discuss previous Advanced Projects.

AP workshops will take place after the regularly scheduled Suburban Campus Writing Groups. Please contact Tom McNamara to RSVP. View the schedule for the Suburban Campus Writing Groups at the O'Hare, Naperville, and Oak Forest campuses here:

Monday, September 20, 2010

ILP workshops begin this weekend

On September 25th at all Suburban Campuses, the Writing Center will be hosting a workshop for any SNL student interested in brainstorming, developing, proposing, or writing an Independent Learning Pursuit.

If you:
  • want to do an ILP but do not know where to begin;
  • have begun your ILP but want some guidance as you work through the process;
  • have a draft of an ILP that you would like to workshop;
  • want to develop a proposal and schedule for completing your ILP;

this workshop is the place for you! The workshops will take place at the Naperville, Oak Forest, and O'Hare campuses following the regularly scheduled Suburban Campus Writing Groups. To reserve your spot, contact Tom McNamara.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Writing Tools for Back-to-School Time

Write or Die by Dr. Wicked ( If you have a hard time getting started writing or tend to get stuck, try this fun tool to get words flowing. Cost: Free.

Freedom ( Use this handy tool to block your internet access for a set period of time if every time you start on a writing project, you find yourself checking your e-mail, CNN,, your e-mail, Facebook, and so on. Cost; $10.

The Citation Machine ( and KnightCite are both applications that will help you create correct citations in a variety of citation styles. Cost: Free.

Endnote is software that will help you with citations and allows you to build a searchable database of sources for big research projects. DePaul has a site license for Endnote, which means you can download it for free through Campus Connect. To learn more, see Cost: Free to DePaul students.

Monday, July 26, 2010

How to Cite a Cereal Box by Martine Courant Rife, JD, PhD

This video teaches the fine art of extrapolating from citation "rules" to fit the many kinds of sources not covered by any specific rule. It makes the point that MLA (as well as APA) citation styles are not a set of rules so much as a set of principles that you can learn how to apply.

Thanks to SNL Writing Instructor Kathryn Wozniak for finding this video.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

New Opportunity to take Academic Writing for Adults and earn 2 competences

Registration is now open for Writing Together – Exploring Academic and Community Literacies. This fall course offered at the Loop campus is the required Academic Writing for Adults (L4) Competence, with an additional community-based service learning component. In addition to practicing the much-needed academic writing skills that are key to success at the School for New Learning, students in this class will be trained to lead writing workshops for Chicago area adults who participate in community programs that offer literacy and other adult education courses. Students in this course will complete 20 hours of community service by leading a 4-5 week personal narrative writing workshop in the community. Students will also have the opportunity to tell their own stories in an in-class writing workshop and use academic writing to explore literacy themes.

This class is excellent for current and future teachers, writers, students interested in the nonprofit sector, students interested in popular education, individuals interested in spreading a love of writing to Chicago’s low-income communities and anyone who would like to earn the L4 competence with either the H2H or H2X competence. The syllabus for this course can be viewed on the SNL web site: 

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Who takes Writing Workshop?

Rita Leganski

In my spring 2010 class, I had a student who was completing her degree with Creative Writing as a Focus area, and who wished to concentrate on her advanced project, a series of short stories. She was a talented writer, but had not taken any formal writing courses. She had completed two stories prior to the start of the quarter, which we used as her writing samples, and I centered my instruction on various literary techniques. Class instruction consisted of discussion of readings and exercises in the following texts:  The Elements of Style (Strunk & White); Sin and Syntax (Constance Hale); and, What If? (Bernays and Painter).

We workshopped those first two pieces in terms of point of view, connotation, abstract vs. concrete, structure, and style. She then made several revisions and applied what she’d learned in the writing of two new stories. Of particular note was her application of ethos and pathos as well as employment of a motif that joined all of the stories together.

This student’s workshopping efforts culminated in the production of four different short stories that showed how the lives of the various protagonists had been affected by the same event. Collectively, the stories comprised an opus titled "Olam Ha-Ba: A Story in Four Voices," for which she won an Award for Excellence and was selected to speak at Naperville’s Scholars’ Night.

I had another student who was at the beginning of her academic career. She had not decided on a Focus area yet, but felt it would be some facet of business. Prior to Writing Workshop, she had taken Critical Thinking and we used her final paper from that class to practice revising. It was clear that she was quite accomplished at critical thinking, transition, proving a thesis statement, organization, and correct grammar; however, it was also clear that she showed an inclination toward clutter, as seen in sentences that were sometimes 40+ words long and so heavy that they lacked meaning.

Classroom instruction included using the prompt: “What am I trying to say?” and discussing the Hacker online exercises, various handouts regarding clutter, and a careful examination of an example of one of E.B. White’s revision process. Concision became our goal. We concentrated on identifying redundancy and metadiscourse, and by the end of the course, she was producing clear, concise, coherent sentences. The following examples show how she revised the same paragraph from draft 1 to draft 3. Draft 1 includes a 43-word sentence.

Draft 1:
"This essay ties to our course segment on morality. It intends to send the reader into thought about recognizing these tragic events of human rights should they occur in the future under different cuircumstances, and have an understanding of the challenges that exist which may tempt us to turn a blind eye. We will never know if there could have been any intervention that would have been successful is [sic] saving the majority of the six-million Jews murdered in the Holocaust. And we don t know for sure if we can prevent a like event in the future. But we can commit to being more observant in general, and acknowledge some retrospective learnings, as well as potential missed opportunities of the past..."

Draft 2:
"This essay ties to our course segment on morality. Individually and within society as a whole, we should have learned enough to recognize and intervene if another Holocaust were to occur. By reviweing the past and noting the direction of our future, we can hopefully understand the challenges that may tempt us to turn a blind eye."

Draft 3:
"We should have learned enough not only to recognize but to inervene if another Holocaust were to occur. By reviewing the past and noting the direction of our future, we can identify the challenges that may tempt us to turn a blind eye."

It is of particular note that she applied the listing and freewriting techniques to refining her choice of a Focus area, and has gone from Communications to Telecommunications in the process. 

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Memorial Day Writing Groups Schedule

Because the Oak Forest and O'Hare Campuses are closed for the Memorial Day holiday, no Writing Groups will meet on those campuses on Saturday, May 29.  Participants of those groups are invited to participate in Groups at Naperville or the Loop this weekend.  You might also utilize the Writing Center's online services for assistance.  For more information, visit

Writing Groups will meet at the Naperville Campus at 10 am and 12:30 pm on Saturday, May 29.  The Loop Writing Group will also meet on Saturday, May 29 at 10 am in Lewis 1600.  Take advantage of these opportunities to polish final drafts of your essays!

Email Tom McNamara at with any questions.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

SNL Writing Instructor Kathryn Wozniak to start PhD program

This fall, writing instructor Kathryn Wozniak will have special empathy for the many SNL students who are working full-time and attending school. Like you, she will be juggling school with work. She has decided to pursue her doctorate at De Paul in Computer Science. 

Yes, you read correctly, a writing teacher getting a PhD in Computer Science. 

Kathryn plans to study Human-Computer Interaction and Instructional Technology. She explains that her goal is to join "scholars and researchers in understanding and creating tools that effectively accomplish face-to-face writing tasks in virtual settings."

We look forward to benefiting from her creations!

Monday, May 10, 2010

2009-2010 Writing Showcase

The SNL Writing Program congratulates the following authors on having their excellent work chosen for the 2009-2010 Writing Showcase:

Mark Fung, "Analyzation and Application of the Creative Writing Process"

David Graham, "Polly's Dilemma"

Monique Maher, "Birth"

Robert Martin, "Identifying and Addressing Deficiencies in United States Healthcare"

Leonard T. Musielak, "'Google-ing' China: An Ethical Analysis of Google's Censorship Activities in the People's Republic"

Edward Pinkowski, "Warsaw, Chicago, and Greek Tragedies"

Amy Tesch, "Creativity Can Lead to Better Health . . . Care Reform"

Joan Travers, "My Skydiving Mishaps: A Quick Lesson in Physics"

You can read many of these pieces of writing on the Writing Showcase webpage (

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Is your writing all over the place?

So was the writing of famous mystery writer Agatha Christie. A new book on Christie's notebooks reveals that her writing process was far from orderly: "The notebooks contain thousands of ideas, many dated years before the work they appeared in was finished, few of them consecutive, since she scribbled in whichever was nearest to hand. At any one time, Christie would have half a dozen notebooks going." from "The Mystery of the Messy Notebooks: Why Agatha Christie's method was utterly deranged" by Christine Kenneally on Slate. 

Christie apparently sometimes resolved to get better organized, but never really did. Her process worked for her. If your process is not working for you, look at how some other writers go about the process of writing on Real Writers in Action and get some suggestions for ways to make your process go more smoothly on How to Write a Paper.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Writing Groups Starting this Saturday at Loop, Naperville, Oak Forest and O'Hare

Writing Groups are a great way to make progress on ILPs and Advanced Projects as well as to get help with papers for your classes. Here is what SNL students have had to say about their participation in Writing Groups:

“This was a perfectly timed and very positive experience for me. When I say that Morgan “saved my life,” I am exaggerating only slightly.  I had been carving away at the block marble and trying to find the “angel” within it before he led me to the answer. Following that meeting, my instructor recognized the improvement between successive drafts, and my submitted final earned a good deal of praise from her.”

“Tom and Morgan were knowledgeable, polite, enthusiastic, and they appeared to really enjoy what they were doing.  Their engagement with each of us created a comfort zone. I felt and saw in other participants a willingness to share ideas and to address specific writing challenges… I enjoyed the immediate and warm connection between all of us and felt that newcomers immediately became part of the group. I saw courtesy, respect, patience and encouragement. I saw (and felt no lack of my own) excitement when ‘something clicked.’ I just wanted to run right home and get to work, rather than avoid the assignment as happened when I lacked focus.“

The Writing Center's Writing Groups will meet on the Loop, Naperville, Oak Forest, and O'Hare campuses on the following Saturdays during the spring term:
  • April 10th, 17th, and 24th
  • May 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th
While you are not required to attend all eight sessions, we do request that you make some commitment to the groups, since our goal is to help you become a more effective writer through consistent collaboration and conversation.
Groups meet at the following times on each campus:
  • Loop: 10:00-11:30 am
  • Naperville: 10:00-11:30 am, 12:30-2:00 pm
  • Oak Forest: 10:00-11:30 am
  • O'Hare: 10:00-11:30 am
If you are interested in joining a group or would like more information, please email the Writing Groups coordinator. Be sure to include your campus and preferred session.

Tom McNamara
Writing Groups Coordinator
Phone: 708.692.7078

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Got an A on a paper?

Good for you! Please consider submitting your paper to SNL's Writing Showcase. The Writing Showcase celebrates the outstanding writing SNL students do for their classes and Independent Learning Projects. Excellent submissions are recognized at the Spring Awards Luncheon. 

Please consider submitting your paper today. The deadline for submissions this year is April 1st.  You can find the submission form here: 

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Writing Center Outpost in Loop Adult Student Center

The UCWbL is pleased to announce that the Writing Center will have a new Outpost location in the Loop campus beginning Tuesday, March 2. Like our Lincoln Park Outpost in Richardson Library, the Loop Outpost will serve writers on a walk-in basis only. The new Outpost is located in the Adult Student Center, room 11017 of the DePaul Center. It is open to all students and will operate on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 to 6 p.m. 

To learn more about the Writing Center's many on-campus and online services, see

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Having trouble with citations? Wondering what the heck MLA and APA are?

For many of your papers, you will need to use sources. When you use sources, you'll need to cite them. You can find information about how to do this on the Writing Help page.  However, you might also find these videos helpful:

Friday, February 5, 2010

Reminder: No Writing Groups This Weekend!

All regular SCWG participants have received an email notifying them that there are no Suburban Campus Writing Groups on Saturday, Feb. 6. DePaul is hosting the Chicagoland Writing Center Conference, and all group leaders are attending so that they can continue their professional development and better serve SNL writers!

Groups will resume next weekend. In the meantime, SNL writers are invited to use Feedback by Email or schedule IM/Webcam appointments. Information on those services can be found at

To see more information about the conference in which the group leaders will be participating, visit

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Check Out the Writing Center!

Watch the video below to find out more about the services that the Writing Center offers DePaul students and graduates!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Look Familiar?

Writing Groups begin this Saturday (Jan. 16) at Naperville (10 am and 12:30 pm), Oak Forest (10 am) , and O'Hare (10 am). Email to reserve your spot!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Suburban Campus Writing Groups: Will You Be There?

Many of your SNL classmates participated in the Suburban Campus Writing Groups in the fall. Will you be there this winter?

Through the groups, writers of all levels improved their writing through the feedback of peers and consultants from the Writing Center. All regular participants plan to take part again next term, and they’re hoping you’ll join them!

As a participant, you’ll learn to closely read yours and other’s writing, helping you construct and revise your writing more effectively than ever before!

Though you’re not required to be present each week, regular attendance is the best way for you to solidify your skills through the groups.

Writing groups during the winter term meet from Jan. 16 to Mar. 6 (with the exception of Feb. 6) at the following campuses:

Oak Forest: 10-11:30 am

Naperville: 10-11:30 am, 12:30-2 pm

O’Hare: 10-11:30 am

Email Tom McNamara at if you’re interested in participating.