Thursday, July 19, 2012

New Advanced Project and Research Seminar Proposals Posted on SNL Writing Guide

Are you currently working on either Advanced Project or Research Seminar proposals? If so, the SNL Writing Website,, has been updated with new AP and Research Seminar sample proposals, projects and papers. All of the newly posted items were 2011 – 2012 Student Excellence award winners. Check them out today!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

New 5 week Writing Course available in the Fall (A5, A2X, and FX competencies available)

WriteNow: National Novel Writing Month
Course Description: November has been designated National Novel Writing Month, and over 200,000 participants each year challenge themselves to write a book-length project during this month. As part of this 5-week course, SNL students are invited to earn competence by accepting a similar challenge: Anne Lamott said that the most important ingredient for writing is the act of “sitting.” During five weeks in October/November, students will focus on this seemingly simple act of the creative process. The focus of the course is on the generation of written material – the quantity rather than the quality. As such, students choose their own fiction or nonfiction writing topic(s) and project for these five weeks, and may use the material they create in a later effort (ILP, AP, etc.) To kick off one session, a group of professional writer panelists will reflect on their own creative processes as they have developed their latest works.

Dates/Time:     LATE START Fall 2012 Quarter
                        Class meets Wednesdays in the Loop 10/10, 10/17, 10/24, 10/31, 11/7

Credit Hours:  2

Students must choose one competence only: A5, A2X, FX

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

SNL student, Jason Spitzer, gets published

SNL Student, Jason Spitzer, is a lifelong soap opera fan and invited him to write about it! He writes about his passion for daytime television in his articles titled, "Love in the afternoon: An ode to soaps" and "My favorite soap was canceled...Now what?!" Last month, Jason flew to Los Angeles to cover red carpet arrivals for the Daytime Emmy awards. Of the experience, he says, “Everything is happening so fast and I'm just along for the ride!” 

Anxious about writing for school?

If so, you are not alone. Here is what some other SNL students had to say about writing for school:

It’s a challenge, especially the writing. Pretty much just getting back into it. — Jessica

Yeah, I had mouth sores. — Sam

Jessica and Sam were two of twenty-five newly returned adult students whom I spent over sixty hours interviewing in the fall of 2008. Twenty-three of these students expressed significant anxiety about writing for school. Like Sam, some had anxiety so intense it produced physical symptoms like mouth sores and muscle spasms. The main sources of their anxiety were not knowing what to write because they had a hard time imagining the university and not knowing if they were writing well enough because they had a hard time imagining themselves in the university. As David Bartholomae has pointed out, “every time a student sits down to write for us, he has to invent the university for the occasion” (60). Because adult students are less likely to have the academic currency and cultural capital of their younger peers, inventing the university can be particularly challenging. As Sam put it, “I don’t fit in here; I don’t know what I’m supposed to do.”

Many students find that it helps to know that they are not alone in their anxiety about academic writing, so you can help yourself and your peers by sharing your concerns with them. You will also find resources to help you on this website.

The excerpt above is from SNL Writing Coordinator Michelle Navarre Cleary’s article, "Anxiety and the Newly Returned Adult Student," which appeared in Teaching English in the Two-Year College (TETYC) 39.4 (2012): 364-376. The article is available for download at:

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Writing Bootcamp - Wednesday, July 25th

The School for New Learning and The University Center for Writing Based Learning are offering an upcoming Writing Bootcamp to help you get your assignments finished!

- Do you have an incomplete grade? A final project that is dragging on?

Finish your missing assignments, ILP or AP through Writing Boot Camp. Attend the upcoming faculty-led session on July 25th. This program is designed for SNL students who currently have an incomplete grade on their transcript or students working on writing assignments. Sessions are set up to increase the likelihood students will complete necessary courses to obtain a bachelor’s degree. Sessions offer a supportive academic environment, writing assistance, and help with library services so that students can get assignments completed.

Session Date: Wednesday, July 25, 5:30pm-9:00pm
Session Location: Loop Campus, Daley Building 14 E. Jackson Blvd., Room 1325 Chicago, IL


To Register: Email your name, DePaul ID# and the incomplete course title(s) you wish to work on to at least 3 days prior to your desired sessions (messages to this email are reviewed by DePaul / SNL college faculty and staff only)

Items to Bring to Session(s): Please bring a flash drive, your copy of the incomplete contract, all prior assignment preparation, including research material, assignment instructions, and assignment writing format (APA/MLA). Please let your faculty mentor know you plan to attend.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

SNL Writing Showcase Winner, Kristine Shultz, discusses her writing process

SNL student Kristine Shultz, was one of this year's winners of the annual SNL Writing Showcase. SNL Writing invited her to guest blog about some of her “aha moments,” struggles, and tips and tricks for writing at SNL below.

As could be expected, I refined my process of writing as I progressed through my classes at DePaul. For my purposes, I separate writing methods and products into two categories: Narrative and Academic. In either method I use the technology available to my best advantage. Search, language options, and cut/paste functions are my best friends and I use them liberally. In stark contrast to the technology available at the stroke of a key or click of a mouse, it never fails to amaze me that the structural rules I learned writing fourth grade themes form the solid basis for all my writing.

When writing a narrative piece I find myself working in a free form style, jotting notes on scraps of paper for future development, creating outlines to be revised and filled in. Because narrative writing draws almost exclusively from my imagination and memory, I find that I hop from one thought to another and back again. I can often compose a piece from start to finish in one sitting but have embraced the value of re-reading it the next day with a fresh eye. The process of gathering the bits of my narrative has a dream like quality. The process of knitting these pieces together into smooth coherence requires careful editing, ordering and transitions. My process for writing academic papers incorporates all the elements of narrative writing with the very important addition of using a spreadsheet.

Early in my experience at DePaul, my academic writing skills took a huge leap in Applied Research. I read about and employed an extremely valuable method using excel spreadsheets to record concepts and quotes as I read journal articles. I recorded all pertinent information: title, author, page number, etc. and created citations for each source. As I moved through my outline, I replaced the tedious and time consuming method of paging through hard copies of articles for highlights or margin notes by electronically searching my file for a concept or key word. At this point, my academic writing was far more easily done, my citations were more accurately documented and creating my source page was reduced to a minute’s long process of copying, pasting and sorting alphabetically. I cannot recommend this method enthusiastically enough.

 If I am limited to offering only one suggestion to undergrads regarding writing, it is to avoid turning in assignments at 2:00 a.m. no matter how confident you are in your final product. The few hours between your completion and when you awaken the following day all too often reveal errors in grammar, obvious duplications or worse. Like many undergrads, I learned this lesson the hard way.

When I attended my first information session in Naperville to learn about the DePaul School for New Learning, I vividly recall the session leader declaring “This is a writing intensive program”. I also recall my reaction. I steeled myself and thought “…well, if that’s what it takes I’ll take my best swing”. Although I was intimidated, I saw it as a challenge to be faced with strength and tenacity. I dare say I met this challenge and emerged the victor.

To read Kristine's winning showcase entry, please visit: