Writing Center Resources
The Writing Center is not only a place where students can have one-on-one consultations about their writing. It is also a space that provides resources that students (and faculty) can access on their own. CTLR also maintains student resources in a Google folder for easy access. You can access it here. Additionally, find a document with a host of resources that informed the creation of our writing videos.
Frequently Asked Writing Questions
Most college papers need a thesis that argues a point that can be proven or demonstrated with evidence in the paper. However, writing in the sciences and social sciences might follow an IMRAD model that does not have a traditional thesis but a hypothesis and set of research questions. For more, check out Write Like a Scientist: A Guide to Scientific Communication, created by Middlebury faculty member, Dr. Costanza-Robinson.
Watch the Structuring Your Academic Essay and Read the Prompt videos and read the What is a Thesis? handout to determine if you need a traditional thesis. You can also use the Structure of an Essay worksheet to outline the structure of your paper’s argument, evidence, and analysis.
Q What is the difference between revision, editing, and proofreading? When should I use each of these?
There are many elements to the writing process and not all of them occur linearly or just once.
Revision is a large scale re-working of your writing structure, content, argument, and tone. When you revise, you may re-write entire sections of your essay or you change the tone, structure, or content to better suit your audience and writing context. Editing focuses on fixing errors, such as grammar, punctuation, word choice, citation conventions, etc. Proofreading is often the final stage of the revision process and involves editing writing at the granular level (word choice, tense, citation correction, etc.).
To learn more about the difference between editing and revision (and how to do both), review this resource which includes a comparison chart. You can also review this document for a deep dive on Revision, Editing and Proofreading.
You may also want to learn more about the writing process and how writing instructors teach student writers by reviewing Dartmouth College’s resource on teaching writing as a process.
While reviewing your writing, check all the components—your titles, introductions, thesis statement, paragraphs, flow, tone and conclusion. To encourage revision-provoking questions for each of these sections, watch the Revision video and see this list of considerations. And, of course, come visit the Writing Center. Peer tutors are a great stand-in for audience/readers and can provide feedback on your writing!
There are many ways to develop as a writer but, notably, they involve developing consistent writing practices and habits, engaging in the feedback process with other people (like peer tutors!), reading widely, and consciously developing one’s writing process to include things like revision (not just editing). To learn more watch the How to Grow as a Writer, Cultivating Good Writing Habits, and Working Through Writer’s Block videos. And, come to the Writing Center to do this work!
You can use the go/guides link to find subject guides and encyclopedias for each department as well as how to find, use and site resources. These are great references when conducting research. Librarians can always give you more advice on finding background information as well.
To focus a research topic, a researcher needs to narrow in on what specifically interests them about the topic and what question they might be trying to address. For a list of questions to guide this process see The Researched Essay: From General Subject to Essay Topic.
Center for Teaching, Learning, and Research
Davis Family Library, Suite 225
Middlebury, VT 05753