Thursday, February 23, 2012

New Generation of Citation Resources

If you’ve been using Son of Citation Machine to help cite sources for your writing, you may want to think about upgrading to Zotero. Zotero is a free web-based tool used with Firefox that helps writers formulate and store citations for academic papers. Zotero’s tagline is “It’s never been easier to collect, manage, cite, and share your research sources,” and the range of services that it offers to users certainly seems to back up that assessment. Zotero offers the below (

• Automatically capture citations
• Remotely back up and sync your library
• Store PDFs, images, and web pages
• Organize with collections, tags, and related
• Access your library anywhere
• Fully searchable PDFs, notes, and citations
• Cite from within Word and OpenOffice (link)
• Take rich-text notes in any language
• Import/Export your library
• Collaborate with private or public groups (link)
• Open source, free, and updated constantly

If you have an iPhone, you can also take advantage of a Zotero plug-in called BibUp. This app allows you to create a citation by scanning a book's barcode. The BibUp allows you to easily create bibliographic references by scanning books barcodes and extracts of text. "The references, including the OCRed text, can be viewed on a web page and collected using the Zotero plugin for Firefox." For more information on BibUp, visit here.

A similar application for the iPhone is Quick Cite. To be used independently of Zotero, this app allows you to scan a book's barcode and then emails you the citation in APA, MLA, Chicago, or IEEE styles. To download, visit here.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Reading at Loop Campus on March 1st

As part of The Association of Writing and Writing Programs (creative writing) conference held in Chicago from February 29th through March 3rd, SNL Faculty members Deborah Holton and Patricia Monaghan will join other writers in presenting a short program of original fiction, nonfiction and poetry. Please join if you can and feel free to invite friends! The reading will be at the loop campus, 1 E. Jackson Blvd. Chicago, IL - The DePaul Center (Room 8011) on Thursday, March 1st at 6:15PM.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Calling all SNL student writers!

The 2011-2012 SNL Writing Showcase wants YOU to submit your best writing to for consideration today!

Think about submitting any "A" paper or an Independent Learning Project that received glowing feedback. You may submit up to three pieces of writing. Entering the showcase allows you to share your accomplishment with others and provide inspiration to your fellow SNL students as they work on their writing assignments. Excellent submissions will be recognized at the Spring Awards Luncheon.

To download this year's application and to view entries of previous winners, please visit

The importance of failure in the creative process

“The success of failure: Pulitzer winner’s surprising road to the top” discusses not only the writing process, but also more generally the importance of failure and grit for creativity. Jennifer Egan, the Pulitzer winning author of A Visit from the Goon Squad, sometimes writes up to 50 or 60 drafts of her novels. While she calls her first drafts “terrible,” she tirelessly works to improve upon them by editing, outlining, and discussions with other writers; and then by repeating each step as many times as necessary. "The key is struggling a lot," Egan says. Egan allows herself to engage in the creative struggle, which requires her to “fail” several times in her writing process before she finds her way to the often-successful end product. In writing and other creative endeavors, failure can actually pave the way to creativity; one just needs to allow themselves to learn from mistakes rather than be paralyzed by them. Read the full text here:

Happening Now: February "Bootcamps" for SNL Students

Back by popular demand, the UCWbL's "bootcamps" are for SNL writers with an incomplete grade on their transcripts. These bootcamps will help you get back on track, and they include faculty-led sessions to create a supportive academic environment for you to get assistance with your writing and research. Students working on an Advanced Project or Independent Learning Pursuit are also welcome to attend the boot camp and write in the presence of experienced faculty and tutors.

The dates are as follows:

Saturday, February 18 – Loop – 9 AM to 1 PM Lewis 1309
Saturday, February 25 – Loop – 9 AM to 1 PM Lewis 1309
Monday, February 27 – Loop – 5:30 to 9:30 PM 14 E. Jackson 15th Floor

In order to register, send an email to with your name, DePaul ID#, and incomplete course title(s) you wish to work on at least three (3) days prior to the session. Bring a flash drive, your copy of the incomplete contract, and all prior assignment preparation materials with you to the session. Please let your faculty mentor know you plan on attending.

Monday, February 6, 2012

For your viewing pleasure…new items on the SNL Writing Website!

Visit the SNL Writing Website,, for the below:

1. A new interview with SNL graduate and former Writing Center Tutor Stephen Hall in which he tells how SNL students can be successful writers, discusses working on his Advanced Project, and tells how the Writing Center can help SNL students.

Recognizing the writing-intensive curriculum of the SNL program, Stephen encourages SNL students to enjoy writing as a process. Even though SNL students have many demands on their time, he believes that it is helpful to view writing as a several step endeavor. Stephen says students need to take time to think about the given writing assignment, time to jot down and outline ideas, and time to write multiple drafts. He offers the example of his own work on his Advanced Project on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and how he allotted himself plenty of time to delve into the material by thinking, researching, and writing about ADHD before he started his first draft.

As an UCWbL tutor, Stephen reminded students how they are uniquely positioned to develop their writing stylistically. This sound bite captures Stephen’s attitude towards taking advantage of the academic writing process, “So often outside of the academic world, there aren’t a lot of opportunities to own your own voice and to communicate that voice. The School for New Learning certainly fosters an atmosphere where one’s voice can be discovered and heard.” Stephen closes by encouraging students to use the UCWbL not as an editing service, but rather as a place to explore the entire writing process from ‘end to beginning;’ first determining what the final outcome of any given writing project will be.

2. Are you writing an Independent Learning Project this quarter? If so, visit here to view two new sample ILPs in the focus area, titled "Learning Six Sigma Theory" and "Collecting and Classifying Folklore."

*Please note that the interview with Mary Erl on writing 10 Independent Learning Projects has been moved from the main page to the ILP page,