Why It Helps to Work Collaboratively on Writing

Have you ever written something and gone over it CAREFULLY several times, print it out, start to hand it in and see a typo IN THE FIRST SENTENCE?

Yeah, me too.

Why is it so hard to proofread our own work, and even more importantly why is it so hard to not catch obvious gaps in logic, structure, organization, or flow? Well, our brains are very good at delegating less important stuff (details) and filling in the blanks as we try to process the more important stuff (main points). Our eyes and our brain adapt quickly and can trick us.

four circles with missing parts form an illusion of a square that isn't there

The Kaniza Square

This is why it helps when we are trying to compose material to communicate a message.  We may think our ideas are complete, but it helps to talk to someone else and see if we really communicating our ideas effectively.

This is where the Writing Center can help YOU!  We are not editors, we don’t  just “proofread” your paper to “fix it”– we DO talk with you, listen to you, and read your material with you to make sure that you are communicating what YOU want to say in a way that others can understand.  We can give you strategies to help you improve YOUR writing  process.

Watch this site for postings this semester in this blog about the writing process.  I hope we can offer you some helpful strategies.

Meanwhile, start the semester off right by coming in to the writing center (or the branch near you), get to know some of the staff, and make an appointment to go over your overall strategy for writing.

Tip #1

Assemble all of your syllabi for the semester- check to see what classes will require papers or projects.  Write the deadlines on a calendar and work backwards.
Allow time for-
1) Brainstorming ideas
2) Collecting resources – read about the topic as written by respected experts
3) Organizing ideas –  outline or draw charts to check idea flow
4) First draft
5) Writing refined version
6) Revision and proofreading
7) Revising it some more
8) Putting it aside – re-read some of your sources
9) Re-reading what you have written
10) Making the final copy

We are here for you EACH step of the way. Make an appointment today.
If you want to read more about why we don’t see our own mistakes-
visit- http://www.wired.com/2014/08/wuwt-typos/


Why we can’t catch our own typos

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