Archive for May 2011

How to improve your grade on the next paper

May 27, 2011

You have received feed back from your first assignment. Maybe your mark wasn’t as high as you hoped it would be. There are comments on the paper but maybe you don’t really understand them. This is what you should do:

1. Make a list of all the errors indicated on your paper.

2. Use your Grammar handbook (Checkmate or The Little Brown Handbook from FAW 1 and 2) to look up the errors. You can also read ahead to lession 11 in the Course Guide and use the index at the back of the Student Writer for information.

You are welcome to use an excellent free resource from McGraw Hill called CATALYST.

It has several modules about writing, research, grammar and punctuation help etc.

Type in www,

You will see your textbook The Student Writer title on this page.

In the center of the page you will see the Catalyst Link.

Click on it.

There are 4 modules. The last one deals with grammar and punctuation.

I highly recommend that you take advantage of this resource. Also I would like feedback from any of you using this product Top of Form.

3. The good thing about CATAYLST is that there are practice exercises you can do to help you learn the proper use of grammar and punctuation. You can see your score and know where you need extra help.

4. If you have done all of the above and you do not understand how to correct the error – contact me or somebody at the Academic Writing Centre (University of Windsor) or Learning Commons (St. Clair College)

5.Give yourself a day or two extra before having to hand in the paper. Don’t wait until the last minute. Finish the paper and give yourself at least an hour before you proof read. It would be best to give yourself a day or two.

6. Do more than one proof reading of the paper. Proof read first for content. Do you have 3 solid points for your thesis? Does each point have 3 proofs?

7. Proofread for style. Do the sentences flow well? Do you use transitional words and phrases to guide the reader through the paper? Do you vary the sentence style?

8. Proof read for grammar and punctuation. Look at the list of errors you made last paper. Search the paper specifically looking for those same errors.

9. It is always a good idea to get a friend to proof read your paper. It would be good to give that friend a list of possible errors to be on the look out for – those errors you made on your last paper.

Take strategic steps to correct the errors you made on the first paper. Give it your best effort. We will look at specific common errors and how to avoid them in other sessions.



Aim for an A and obtain it!

May 13, 2011

For both my St. Clair College and University of Windsor students, this week launched a new semester. Some students have a really demanding schedule – going to school year round taking a full course load. Others are doing just one course so that it will lighten their load in the Fall semester.

Many students must balance school with work. Not many students are independently wealthy. Tuition and books are expensive. Some students are married and have children; even the single students would like to have some type of family and social life. Is it possible to juggle all these things together and be successful in all of them?

YES! You can aim for the high grades and achieve them. Here are some tips to doing your first assignment for me. Although the contexts are different, technical writing or essay writing, the steps are the same.

1. Read the question asked of you and highlight it. Analyze the wording of the question to see if there is more than one part. Understanding what you are doing is really important. If you  do not read all the words in the question, you will not answer completely.

2. Look at the template shown to you. Did you follow it exactly? If it says single space – then single space. If it says double space then double space. Do you have a proper introductory sentence in your cover letter or memo ? Do you have a proper good will close: give thanks (to your proof reader or to your instructor) and give your school email and phone number. If you leave any of this out – you will lose marks.

Put your initials. Are there any enclosures? Remember to copy to file – copy: file

my page would look like this:



Copy: file

3. Do NOT wait until the last minute to hand in your assignment. Get it done early so you can have a chance to proof read it. Leave some time between proof reading and editing. The experts recommend about 3 days – Ms. Legebow realizes that this may not be possible with your schedule – and even 1 hour would make a difference.

4. Get a peer proof read for you. Someone else might catch the errors you do not.

5. Be sure your name and student number is clear on the assignment as well as the course code. If there is a title page for the assignment – follow the template exactly as shown.

Doing these things will give you a good start to aiming for your higher grades and achieving them. Give it your best! Aim for an A and achieve it!