It’s the 2nd day of school and time to re-learn MLA. I hope this year’s writing and reading endeavors include mythology, Milton, and more personal readings (Sedaris, Bukowski…).
Tips for students:
1) Being an English student does not mean that you have inherent essay writing powers. CREATE A FREAKING OUTLINE, and organize your jumbled student thoughts.
2) Check out a writing lab/center, and/or have someone besides yourself, read your work.
3) Do some personal reading. It improves your vernacular. You will appreciate the extended vocabulary. Also, it’s a great excuse to not listen to the student who thinks they know everything and wants to verse you in their extensive knowledge before or after class.
4) Buy post-it notes. Use them frivolously, like, for example, to remind yourself that you should only be on facebook for an hour and that you have other things to do (says the post-it on my laptop).
5) Proofread your work DAYS before your essays are due, but at least a day after you’ve written it so that you can see it with fresh less-biased eyes. It will greatly improve your drafting/editing skills, and therefore you will have a larger selection of portfolio (/graduate and or career application writing sample)-ready work.
So here’s the deal. (Scroll down for the awesome video.)
The WPA Council had this contest for Writing Centers across the nation (probably just in the Midwest–I did not fact check this) in which they asked participants to create an elevator pitch to garner hype about The Framework for Success for Post-Secondary Writing.
Right. The What?
The Framework for Success for Post-Secondary Writing.
Sooooooo…basically WPA is an acronym for Writing Program Administrators….Council. AND, ‘Post-Secondary,’ in terms of education, is a fancy phrase for tertiary, which is just another fancy term for ‘higher education,’ you know, us college pupils. And basically, the framework is just that, a set of instructions or tips that helps students cultivate habits for successful college writing.
…Or, literally this: “this Framework describes the rhetorical and twenty-first-century skills as well as habits of mind and experiences that are critical for college success.” (Rough citation: http://wpacouncil.org/ , page 1)
Here’s the framework: http://wpacouncil.org/framework
So, back to the contest… The contest was 2-fold: one part was a video, no longer than 2 minutes, highlighting the framework; the other part was a bumper sticker design with a catchy original slogan.
Our video is beautiful, but it my have been a bit too creative for for the idea of the framework, which is a simpler concept (as in, the videos that did make the cut were a bit less dramatic and a bit more pbs-esque). But, the bumper sticker did make it to the final round, because it is awesome.
For he (or she/or they) are jolly good fellows at the University Writing center.
There once was a girl, who was completely in awe of computers. She could only do simple tasks: type, print, log in to online (back when your providers and browsers were one in the same).
She had trouble a lot in highschool. She would type a file at home on her word processor made by Microsoft, and when she arrived at school to edit, finish, and/or print it, it would not open on any of the school’s Apple computers. She grew a hatred for apples. (All kinds: Washington Red, Yellow, and Green.)
But then, one day, she took an Html class in which she built a simple website. Then she took a Desktop Publishing Class. And then she went to college to take a hord of computing classes that have to do with general computer literacy, math, video production, and the like. Oh, and she’s read parts of this book:
And now, at the writing center, people think that she is a wizard.
But low and behold, she is not.
Oh, and for story-line and consistency purposes,
Macs can stand in as a sort of Voldemort
(Harry Potter’s evil nemisis).
It is the beginning of June. The earliest of summer school classes will begin next week, with the bulk of them coming in the week after that. This week constitutes that short transitional period between school, and the rest of summer. All the suspended disbelief of having no classes has died down. We are in acceptance of this fact. We will revel in it. We will do everything. We will do nothing.
Everything [ev-ree-thing] pronoun. adjective.
1: something important, used to express an opposite of little amount (effort, activity, etc.)
Ex: Sara- “Oh, I’m doing everything this summer.”
(Sara is not doing “everything” this summer, but she is going to Lollapalooza, learning bass, and attempting to create an Iphone app.)
Ex, used as an adjective: “But Sara, Sean is everything you ever wanted.”
(Sean is not everything Sara ever wanted like a parakeet, new shoes, or an entourage. Sean is, however, a gentleman.)
Nothing [nuhth-ing] noun. verb. adjective.
1: no thing; usually something, but not as much something as usual.
Ex: Joe is on Facebook doing nothing as usual.
(Joe is actually engaging in an activity best described as “Facebook stalking.”)
Nothing as a contraction of “not a thing”
1: virtually no thing, usually refers to tangible objects within a space
Ex: As Joe reaches for the bag of chips, Sara replies, “There’s nothing in there.”
(Although, there are small pieces of chips and crumbs located in the bag.)
– Abridged Student Dictionary
(these definitions are
in no way formal or documented,
despite the accuracy they appear to possess)
APA style, format, referential context, whatever—is the devil.
Why? might you ask?
Because I’m an English major. I have a hard enough time attempting to sort out all the commas and periods in my bibliography in MLA format. (Thats partially a lie, there’s a “period” after each referential component, like the date, the author’s name, the title of the work, and so on.) AND—did you know that you can get away with italicizing AND/OR underlining the title of a book??? They’re virtually interchangeable (said the Purdue owl) and I find that very hard to deal with.
(I know, you’re thinking: if that’s the worst of your problems, I am playing a microscopic violin for you right now.)
But then, THEN, the NERVE of these American Psychological People who associate themselves with their running heads, abstracts, proper graph displaying techniques, and calling everything a “manuscript.”
It was not then, nor now fair to have an abstract. If the rest of us want to find out something about a piece of writing, we must delineate that from the title, word of mouth, or BY GOLLY read the entirety (or the first and last paragraphs of each section) of the work, dangit!
Then the “running head.” If for some reason, I am reading some such manuscript, and decide that I have forgotten what it is about, then there is something terribly wrong with me, or the writer. He or she is too long-winded, using phrases that are better suited for pretentious and inflated condescension rather than academic speech, boring me to death with the over-explanation of concepts, or boring me into a state of arrested consciousness with the under-explanation or otherwise ambiguous declaration of obvious matters. OR— I am exhausted from other such articles, distracted by the surroundings of the cafe, and/or completely uninterested in the revelations that the author has made in his or her field of research. I can almost guarantee, that if it has a running head, it’s probable the last one.
AND then the chosen name of “
manuscript.” Let’s call it a piece, a piece of writing, an essay, an article, research, a study, even a “work” (foretelling the task that one must undergo to read such a piece) but a manuscript?
A manuscript (being completely irrelevant to what its actual definition might be) is connoted by the idea of something being, long and unintelligible due to translation purposes or the passage of time (which is, again, a completely made-up definition by yours truly).
Example: The ancient manuscript of Cleopatra’s contemporaries foretold of the demise of Egyptian civilization.
With that being said, I return to my scheduled reading of: