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Webinar Transcripts:
Meet and Exceed: The Academic Writing Expectations (AWE) and You

Transcripts for the Writing Center's webinars.

Meet and Exceed: The Academic Writing Expectations (AWE) and You

Presented May 5, 2014

View the webinar recording

Last updated 4/25/2018


Visual:The webinar begins with a PowerPoint title slide in the large central panel. A captioning pod, Q&A pod, and files pod are stacked on the right side.

The slide says “Housekeeping” and the following: 

  • Recording
    • Webinar is being recorded and will be available online a day or two from now.
  • Interact
    • Live participants & archived viewers:
      • Polls, files, and links are interactive. 
  • Q&A
    • Live participants
      • Use the Q&A box to ask questions.
  • Help
    • Archived viewers:
    • Help & troubleshooting:
      • Choose “Help” in the upper right hand of the webinar room.

Audio:Hello, everyone. We're gonna go ahead and get the webinar started. It's about that time. So, thank you so much for joining us. My name is Beth Oyler. I am the writing center coordinator for webinars. But I’m also a writing instructor, and I’m going to be helping Hillary, our presenter, facilitate this webinar. So, before I get started and hand it over to Hillary, we're gonna go over a few housekeeping things here. First, I wanted to let you know that the webinar is being recorded, so if you do have any technical issues or if you have to leave early for any reason, you're always welcome to go back to our webinar archive to watch the recording. For everyone attending live as well as anyone watching that recording, please feel free to interact with any of the polls, files and links that we provide. For example, Hillary’s provided some great links in the web links pod that she thought would be helpful for you as well as some files like the PowerPoint slides, in the files pod. Please feel free to access those and take a look at them throughout the webinar as Hillary’s talking. 

For everyone attending live, we have a Q&A box that will be available for you. And I’ll be monitoring that Q&A box. Please feel free to send any questions or comments my way. I'd be happy to hear from you. And I know Hillary will be stopping for questions at a couple points during the webinar, so I can make sure to send on questions to her as well as appropriate. For anyone watching the recording, and of course, once you leave the webinar, you're more than welcome to send questions to That’s a great place to go for more information. And then if you do have any technical issues, please feel free to let me know in that Q&A box. I can do a few things to help you out, but if you have any further issues or are looking for further help, there's a help button at the top right corner of your screen, so I encourage you to use that as well. That's adobe's help and troubleshooting option.

All right, so with that, I’m going to hand it over to Hillary.


Visual: Slide Changes to the title of the webinar, “Meet and Exceed
The Academic Writing Expectations and You” and the speakers name and information: Hillary WentworthWriting Instructor, Coordinator of Undergraduate Writing Initiative, Walden University Writing Center. 

Audio:Thanks, Beth. I just want to welcome everyone tonight to "meet and exceed:  the academic writing expectations and you." I’m gonna start my web cam for a special treat here tonight. It's fun to see everyone live like I am an actual person and not just audio and not just text. So welcome, everyone. I liked hearing where everyone was calling in from as well. So, my name is Hillary Wentworth. And as I wrote in the chat box earlier, I’m joining the meeting from my home in Portland, Maine. I’ve been with the writing center since 2010, and in my role as an instructor, I work one-on-one with students to improve their writing, and I also focus on undergraduate writing initiatives. So that means I am here for you. I am a dedicated point person for bachelor's level students. In other words, I’m here to answer any writing questions or develop resources for you too. I’m particularly excited about this webinar on the academic writing expectations because they help students build writing skills throughout their program. So, it's something that I’m really passionate about, and I hope that you find useful. So, on that note, I’m gonna end my web cam here. Say bye for now. And get started on what we're actually going to be focusing on today.


Visual: Slide changes to the following: Session Overview

•      Audio: Academic Writing Expectations (AWE)


Examples at each level

Improvement strategies

Technology tips

  • Writing Center support

Audio:So, in this session, we'll discuss the overall purpose of the undergraduate academic writing expectations, AWE., I sometimes will refer to them as a-w-e, or AWE. During the presentation.

So, I just want to make it clear that everyone knows what that abbreviation stands for. We'll also talk about where we can go to read through the AWE guidelines and what is required at each course level. It's okay if you don't even know what the AWE are. That's why you're in the webinar, right? We'll also talk about how to improve your writing and using the AWE and point out some writing center resources that will help support that growth.


Visual: Slide changes to the following: Poll:

What is your current course level?

Audio:Okay. So first, we are going to get a gauge of where we all are in our programs. So please click on the level of the current course you are taking. This will help me tailor the presentation to whoever is here.

[Pause as student’s type]

Okay. Let's just give it a couple more seconds. All right, it looks like a lot of us are in the 4000 level, so towards the end of our program. And then some of us are not quite sure or might have

Multiple course levels that they're working in, and that's fine too, because we're gonna be going over all the range of levels. So, what do the academic writing expectations have to do with the level? Well, they were created by the college of undergraduate studies in 2013.


Visual: Slide changes to the following: AWE Purpose


Writing expectations for each course level


  • Help students grow as writers
  • Emphasize writing as a process
  • Provide clear, consistent standards

Audio:About a year ago. And essentially the AWE are writing expectations for each course level, and naturally, those expectations get stricter as you progress into those higher level courses. So just as you get more knowledgeable in your subject matter throughout your undergraduate career like nursing or business or education, you will gradually get more knowledgeable about writing by following these guidelines. The AWE creates this growth model for students, but they also create consistent standards from course to course so that you won't be getting mixed messages from faculty. Ideally, that's what will happen. Everyone will be kind of a standard level, and there won't be any miscommunication about what is expected.


Visual: Slide changes to the following: AWE Location: Writing Center

An image of the Walden University Online Writing Center is shown on the screen

Audio:Now, where can we go to access the AWE? There are two options. The first one is within the blackboard classroom. Along the left navigation pane, you can click on "academic writing" directly below "course information." it's identified by the red arrow in this image. The expectations for your particular course level will appear. For example, because the class shown here is Walden 1000, the displayed expectations are for 1000-level courses. And you can click on the embedded links to access pdf documents and save to your computer.

Beth: Hillary?

Hillary: Oh, yes.

Beth: Just real quick, I think there's a little muffled noise that makes it a little bit difficult to hear you. It might just be your mic moving around. It kind of sounds like something's rubbing up against the mike there. Sorry. Just wanted to let you know.

Hillary: Oh, I’ll try not to move too much.

Beth: Sorry, about that.

Hillary: No.

Beth: Thanks, Hillary.

Hillary: The second location is on the writing center's website. You can click the undergraduate tab on the left, and then on the left side bar, click "academic writing expectations." here we have outlined the standards for each course level as well as provided a chart on the right under "AWE at a glance," and that will give you the progression of standards as you continue at Walden. Is everything going better, Beth? Or are you still hearing that noise?

Beth: I’m hearing it a little bit. It's not quite as pervasive as before, but it's still there just a little bit.

Hillary: Okay. Sorry.

Beth: You're clear now.


Visual: Slide changes to the following: AWE at a Glance

Increased understanding and demonstration of

  • sentence-level,
  • paragraph-level, and
  • essay-level writing skills.

Audio:Hillary: so, here's a good visual for the AWE it's important to think of these guidelines not as just another requirement but as an opportunity to expand your writing skills. So, as you move from course to course, your knowledge and understanding grows sort of like a balloon or a ball as shown on this slide. The 2000, 3000 level includes everything you learned at the 1000 level and more. The 4000 level includes everything before and more and so forth. Throughout you will be working on your sentence level, paragraph level, and essay level writing skills. And over the next few slides, we'll talk about what those mean, and we'll talk about each level in more depth.


Visual: Slide changes to the following: AWE 1 (1000-Level)

  • Sentence-level writing skills
  • Paragraph-level writing skills
  • Use of evidence to support a claim


Audio:Okay. At all level 1, you'll focus on your sentence level and paragraph level writing skills. These are the building blocks of a paper, and they're important for a foundation of strong writing. But what do they actually mean? Well, sentence level includes grammar or punctuation, syntax, and how to compose clear and direct sentences. Really, clear expression. That's what you're striving for there, that you want the reader to understand completely what you are saying. Paragraph level involves organizing ideas into cohesive chunks or paragraphs. You will also work on choosing evidence to support a claim, that last point here. Evidence is any information from your course readings like facts, statistics, direct quotations, or paraphrases by an author. Using evidence like this rather than your own opinion or experiences is a hallmark of academic writing so that's really going to be what you want to strive for. And that's why we want to see this from you early on, even in this first level.


Visual: Slide changes to the following: Student Writing Example 1

Introduction to a paper:

Magnet status may be achieved by revamping the nursing structure within a hospital. Magnet status is consider a journey. To reaching this point requires years of preparation and developing a foundation. Powder Hill Medical Center is a place with 500 beds in California.

Audio:Now you've had a good couple of minutes to read through this introduction to the paper. So, this is a student example from level 1. And from reading this introduction, we know that the topic is magnet status, right? We can get in there that magnet status is the main idea of the paper. But we're not really sure what magnet is. It's just referred to as a journey here, which is rather vague.

What kind of journey and for whom? Those are the kind of questions that I’m asking. There are some grammatical issues with phrasing here: "to reaching this point" and "magnet status is consider a journey." so those aren't exactly precise at the sentence level. Also, the powder hill info does not seem to be connected to the surrounding material. It's just kind of thrown in there at the end. We can see, though, that the student is attempting to use information about magnet status. And is attempting to establish the topic. So, there's a sense of practicing here which is what we like to see in level 1.


Visual: Slide changes to the following: AWE 2 (2000/3000- Level) 2

  • Sentence-level writing skills
  • Paragraph-level writing skills

But also: essay-level writing skills

  • Use of evidence to support a claim

But also: credit to sources

Audio:Now, we'll move on to level 2. So, students are expected to display sentence and paragraph level skills. Those same ones as level 1, but also to work on the essay level skills. Essay level means thinking about the assignment as a whole and guiding the reader with an introduction, a conclusion, and a strong overall argument you are using that evidence again, but now you must also give credit to the source. At Walden, we use the APA Style of citing sources. So essentially what that means is you include a citation in parentheses, and in that parentheses, you include the author and the year. That way the reader understands exactly where you got that information and you ensure academic integrity.


Visual: Slide changes to the following: Student Writing Example 2

Magnet recognition is awarded by the American Nurses Credentialing Center and is a symbol of the hospitals commitment to excellence (Smith, 2012). Through time, dedication, and colaboration Magnet status may be achieved by revamping the nursing structure within a hospital. Powder Hill Medical Center is a place with 500 beds in California. In this paper, I will explain Powder Hill’s journey to attain magnet.

Audio:Now, of course we have an example of this as well. And this one I’ll just read aloud because i like to read things aloud. It's easier to hear the rhythm and to understand the connections that the author is making. And i actually recommend this for you as a writer to -- if you write a first draft, read through it aloud, even just to yourself. It doesn't have to be -- to -- doesn't have to be read to anyone. But you can catch errors, and you can catch some connections that are not really solid in your work. So i do recommend this. "magnet recognition is awarded by the American nurses

Credentialing center and is a symbol of the hospital's dedication to excellence. Magnet status may be achieved by revamping the nursing structure within a hospital. Powder hill medical center is a place with 500 beds in California. In this paper I will explain powder hill's journey to attain magnet." there is now a more specific definition of magnet status, right? It's that first sentence there. And note how that definition is accompanied by a credit to the source:  smith, comma, 2012. 

The writer is working to bring together the idea of powder hill and magnet status by stating the paper's purpose in that final sentence. "in this paper i will explain powder hill's journey to attain magnet." there are still some mistakes in punctuation, spelling, and some generalities, like explaining a medical center just as a place but the writer is developing at this stage. I hope you can see how this paragraph is more developed and a little bit more specific about what the paper

Will entail. This attention to the larger paper is an indication of essay-level writing skills.


Visual: Slide changes to the following: Chat

AWE 3: What would you expect in this level? What do you think you’ll be required to show or do? 

Audio:Okay, we're gonna break out a chat pod now. And before we go into level 3, I’d like you to think about what you would expect at this next level. What do you think students are required to show or do? Add your prediction in the chat box here.

[pause as student’s type]

It looks like we have a couple people typing so that's great. There is no real right answer here. It's just a prediction. So, go ahead and add your two cents.

[pause as student’s type]

Okay, maybe just a couple more seconds, and then we'll move ahead. Okay, everything that people have said has been really great. So, we have some people saying there's just more strict

Adherence to APA format, which is good. More grammar correctness being shown. No punctuation errors. More attention to the parts of speech. Great. And then proper writing of the paper in APA style. So, all of those things indicate a little bit of a higher level than what we've been talking about with all level 1 and all level 2. So, these are all right in a sense.


Visual: Slide changes to the following: Awe 3 (4000-Level) 3

•      Sentence-level writing skills

  • Paragraph-level writing skills
  • Essay-level writing skills

But also: academic expression

  • Use of evidence to support a claim
  • Credit to sources

But also: reference list

Audio:So, let's move on and see exactly what all level 3 contains. So, this course belongs to the 4000 level of courses which a lot of you indicated that you're at. At this stage, you're required to display appropriate academic expression in addition to all those other skills, that we’ve been talking about. 


So academic expression refers to the tone of your writing, the words you choose, how formal you are. In academic writing, we want to avoid slang, contractions, the second person point of view, that's the "you," questions and metaphors because these all represent a casual or a conversational style of writing as if you're talking directly to the reader. To work on your academic expression, ensure that your word choice is clear, direct, and formal. At this stage, we are also building on the requirements for using evidence. As a lot of you said, APA style guidelines will probably be more strict. That's true. Now, not only are you crediting the source, but you're also including a reference list for full publication information.


Visual: Slide changes to the following: Student Writing Example 3

Magnet recognition, awarded by the American Nurses Credentialing Center is a symbol of the hospital’s commitment to excellence (Smith, 2012). Through time, dedication, and colaboration, a hospital can achieve Magnet by revamping its nursing structure. One such hospital, Powder Hill Medical Center (2013) is a 500 bed facility in California which is on thes journey to attain Magnet. Powder Hill should work on nursing education, nursing involvement, and patient satisfaction.


Powder Hill Medical Center. (2013). The facility. Retrieved from

Smith, J. (2012). Magnet recognition. New York, NY: Professional Nursing Press.

Audio:Now, of course, we have a writing example for this level as well. What makes this level 3 example from different from level 2? Well, the writer has more attention to the flow of the information. 

And let me read it aloud so you can hear that flow. "magnet recognition awarded by the American nurses Credentialing Center is a symbol of the hospital's commitment to excellence. Through time, dedication, and collaboration, a hospital can achieve magnet by revamping its nursing structure." one such hospital, powder hill medical center is a 500 bed facility in California. Powder hill should work on nursing education, nursing involvement, and patient

Satisfaction." there's a good rhythm there, I think, and that's due to some transitions like "one such hospital" to guide the reader. 

There's also a thesis statement now. In level 2 that final sentence of the introduction was focused on - this final sentence here, let's see where does it start" powder hill should work on nursing education, nursing involvement, and patient satisfaction." So, in the previous level, the final sentence of the introduction was focused on what will happen in the paper. Now this final sentence is focused on the argument for change. The writer thinks that powder hill should work on three specific areas. The rest of the paper then will likely go into what is currently wrong with those areas and why they are important to improve. So, this is more of an argument than exactly detailing what will happen in the paper. And a thesis statement is an indication of higher level writing ability.

We will also see a reference list here for each source cited in the paragraph. The reviews list goes at the end of the entire paper. In this example, we're just doing it at the end of the introductory paragraph, but it will go at the end of your paper. And it's organized alphabetically by the author. The first reference here is a web page about powder hill medical center. And the second entry is for a book. Note how the title of the book is italicized and placed in sentence case. And sentence case means that you'll just capitalize the first word and any proper nouns, and then if there's a subtitle, you'll capitalize the first word of the subtitle.


Visual: Slide changes to the following: Awe 4 (Capstone) 4

  • Sentence-level writing skills
  • Paragraph-level writing skills
  • Essay-level writing skills
  • Academic expression

But also: error-free presentation

  • Use of evidence to support a claim

But also: high-quality, credible sources

  • Credit to the source
  • Reference list

Audio:Moving on to level 4. This is the highest, and therefore it corresponds to the capstone stage of your program. Here, your instructors are looking for perfection, we all hope, right? Or near perfection. That is why error-free presentation is included here. A capstone is the culminating document in your Walden undergraduate career, so you want to make sure it is presented professionally and with appropriate voice and formatting. Not only should you continue to use evidence, cite sources, and include a reference list, but instructors need to see high-quality credible sources. Sometimes it can be hard to determine what is credible. Generally, any website content, especially sites like Wikipedia and, are going to be less credible than articles in established scientific journals. The library has a guide to evaluating sources that you might find helpful. And I’m going to, if I can, plop it into the web links area so that everybody can access that. Beth Hillary, if you want to put it in the -- in our notes, I can put that in there for you. I can send that out to the students. Hillary great. Thank you.


Visual: Slide changes to the following: Student Writing Example 4

Magnet recognition, awarded by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, is a symbol of the hospital’s commitment to excellence (Smith, 2012). Through time, dedication, and collaboration, a hospital can achieve this award by revamping its nursing structure. One such hospital, Powder Hill Medical Center (2013), is a 500-bed facility in California that is on the Magnet journey. In particular, Powder Hill should work on nursing education, nursing involvement, and patient satisfaction to attain recognition.


Powder Hill Medical Center. (2013). The facility. Retrieved from

Smith, J. (2012). Magnet recognition. New York, NY: Professional Nursing Press.

Audio:So here is the student writing example at level 4. So, there are some subtle differences now that we are in this level. You might notice some proofreading to catch comma and spelling errors. So, the student has really looked through and caught those little apostrophe and comma errors. There's also an additional transition and clarification of the thesis. Down here, the final sentence. Now the reader knows why nursing education, nursing involvement, and patient satisfaction are important and how they are related to magnet. They need to be improved in order for powder hill to attain magnet recognition.


Video: Slide changes to the following: AWE Guidelines: Strategies

Audio:Now, before we head into some strategies for building your skills, I’d like to take a pause for questions. Beth, are there any questions I should address now?

Beth: Yeah. We had a few questions sort of about balancing using sources and including your own ideas. Do you have any tips for students on how to do that?

Hillary: Sure. I think later on we're going to be talking a little bit about the MEAL Plan, which is just a way to think about a paragraph.

The "m" stands for "main idea," the "e" for "evidence,"

The "a" for "analysis," and the "l" for "lead-out."

And so, in each paragraph, you're gonna want to have that evidence that supports your main idea, but the analysis part is where you really get to shine and you get to explain the evidence and how it relates to either your -- your own situation, if it's more of a personal -- a personal assignment, or how the evidence relates to the argument that you're trying to propose. So really, there should be a balance, yeah, of evidence and analysis. So not every sentence has to be cited.

There will be some points where you are allowed to give your own interpretation of that evidence.

Beth: That's really helpful.

Hillary:  It can be hard sometimes -- don't use your opinion, because sometimes there's a thin line between opinion and commentary, right? So, in commentary, you want to be using just word choice that is formal. You want to stay relatively objective and specific to the evidence that you are analyzing. With opinion you're just sort of saying, "I think this; I think that," without any sort of backing in the evidence if that makes sense.

Beth: Yeah, I think that's really helpful, Hillary. There were also some questions about thesis statements. And so, I wondered if you could talk a little bit about how the relationship between evidence and a thesis statement?

Hillary: Right, well, a thesis statement is what you are proposing in the paper. So, it's your argument. Like in that example, it was about what a hospital should do to improve and gain magnet status. So, in the rest of the paper, as a reader, I’m gonna be looking for, okay, what is the evidence that this is the right course of action? So, each piece of evidence in your paragraph should kind of build on that argument that you've proposed at the beginning of the paper. It's sort of like a little mini argument in the larger argument. That's the function of the paragraph.

Beth: And you actually mentioned the next question I was gonna ask you, Hillary. This is fitting together very well. [laughter] One question -- and was more sort of about who – who are you writing for? And so, I wondered if you could talk a little bit about what kind of reader students are writing for in academic writing?

Hillary: Right, great. So, when we talk about audience, we talk about your instructor, right? Because that's who ultimately, you're writing for. That's who's grading your work. But we also like to think of a reader who's sort of perched on your shoulder and has no idea what you're studying, what the context of the paper is, someone who just kind of picks up your paper off the ground and wants to learn from it. That should be the person that you're writing for too. So, the paper is sort of a self-contained space where you want to have enough background so any reader can understand exactly what you're saying and the argument that you're making. In that same way, you should not use information that's too specific to the course assignment or too specific

Referring to a course resource. You should do it in a way that any reader would understand. For example, just using the author's name to explain a resource rather than saying "in last week's reading, this happened," because the outside reader is not gonna know what last week's reading was.

Beth: Thank you so much, Hillary. That's -- I think that's really helpful. I know, for me, it's really useful sometimes to just take a moment and read my writing with that perspective of the outside reader, because I can get so sort of ingrained in my topic or ideas that I forget that someone else has to understand them as well, for them to be effective.

Hillary: I know. It would be great if we could just plug something into our brain, and it would automatically go on the page, and it would be understood by everyone, but we're not quite at that point yet, so we still need to use our writing skills. [laughter]

Beth: Do you have time for another question, or do you want to wait until you've gone through the strategies?

Hillary: I can do one more if you want.

Beth: Okay, this is a question specifically -- and tell me if you're gonna talk about this in the strategies part -- about in-text citations and avoiding plagiarism. Do you have tips for that?

Hillary: Yeah, so essentially you want to be citing a source whenever you're using information that is not common knowledge. So common knowledge would be who the current U.S. president is, or that the earth is round. Those kinds of things that everyone knows. So, what that means is you'll have that citation every sentence that you have evidence in it. And then you have the analysis where you're explaining that evidence. And what that citation does is it says these are someone else's ideas. If you are also using someone else's words, you'll need to put that information in quotation marks and also include the page number. And so that's how you prevent plagiarism if you want to use the exact wording of a source. 

We also like to stress paraphrasing. And paraphrasing is putting those words of another author in your own words or in your own phrasing, just so that you can kind of integrate the information better with your own analysis and your own flow of the entire paper. So, it's seen as more of an academic -- higher level of academics to use paraphrasing. Now, you get into trouble with paraphrasing when you just try to exchange a few words here and there so that the Turnitin report, you know, kind of doesn't have a high similarity number. That's considered plagiarism still because only a few exchanges of words is still really essentially the same words of that original author. So, what you want to do is read through and focus on an idea or a fact rather than the actual words that are being used. And I like to tell students to read through an article and then kind of look away and talk either to yourself, right, because I love talking to myself apparently, because I like reading things aloud, talk it out to yourself. This is -- will get you a -- let you have a good grip on what the article is saying. And get your own phrasing to explain it. And then go back to the computer and type up what you have just said. And that's probably gonna be a better paraphrase than what you try to do if you just stared at the article and went right from that. I’m sure there are other suggestions for that, Beth, but those are the ones that came to me.

Beth: Yeah. [laughter] And thinking about the paraphrasing, that's exactly what I would suggest too. I added a link to our APA citations page in the Q&A box. So that's gonna be a great resource too for seeing that sort of basic example of how to format citations. But I’ve also included a link to the APA webinars that we have that are recorded as well, and that's gonna go really in-depth on APA so if you're just looking for more APA instruction, I encourage you to take a look at that. And one other plug. I apologize, Hillary. I promise I will stop talking in a second here. We are having a paraphrasing webinar next week I believe. Yeah, at the end of next week. So, feel free to take a look at the webinar schedule if you haven’t signed up for the paraphrasing webinar that's something you're more interested in learning about. And you'll be able to get some practice in during that webinar. So, I encourage you to sign up for that if that interests you. Okay I’ll hand it back over to you Hillary


Video: Slide changes to the following: Strategies

  • Break it down and build skills gradually

Example: Paragraph-level

            Limit paragraph to 1 idea

            Write topic sentence

            Read about MEAL plan and apply

            Add transitions to connect sentences

Audio:Hillary: Well, practice makes a perfect, and it's a great way to kind of segue into this next portion of the presentation where we're talking about strategies, practicing. And what we're gonna do here is break down the larger AWE skills into smaller chunks so that they seem more manageable to you. For instance, to build your paragraph skills, you could start by limiting each paragraph to just one main idea. Sometimes students like to cram multiple ideas into a paragraph, and really, you should take time to develop each individual idea and give it its own little space. So, this might be something you might work on in AWE level 1. And then as you move to level 2, you might work on writing strong topic sentences to tell the reader what to expect in each paragraph. So that sentence that's the first or second sentence of a paragraph. And after you feel comfortable with that, you might learn the other components of a paragraph like we talked about before, evidence, analysis and the lead-out sentence, part of the MEAL plan. And you could practice applying that strategy to your own. Finally, you could concentrate on the flow of the sentences by adding transitions as appropriate. And so, when we talk about transitions, we talk about "additionally, therefore, moreover, also," words like that that show a relationship between the sentence that came before and the sentence that comes after. And we did see some of those in the higher level of the student examples.


Video: Slide changes to the following: Strategies 

  • Break it down and build skills gradually

Example: Essay-level

            Consider audience and purpose

            Develop purpose statement

            Strengthen Intro and Conclusion

            Ensure logical flow of paragraphs

Audio:Okay, for essay-level skills, you might want to start just by considering your audience and purpose. And we talked about audience and purpose before, so this should be something that you're thinking about. Who are you writing for and why? Remember that in awe 1, you are not required to display essay level skills, but that doesn't mean you cannot be practicing in this area. Once you understand the "why" of the assignment, try writing a purpose statement to tell the reader what the entire paper is about and why it is important. We saw that purpose statement in awe level 2. Then you'll work on strengthening your introduction and conclusion and making sure that the paragraphs flow logically. When grouped together, you want your paragraphs to tell a story. And therefore, build on each other. So that story might be a sequential one where you are describing steps in a process, or it might be a thematic one where you are relating ideas to each other. And as i said before the paragraphs are like many arguments in your larger argument that is your thesis statement.


Video: Slide changes to the following: Strategies

  • Test your knowledge
  • Exercises for audience, purpose, tone, and authority
  • Paraphrasing exercise
  • Interactive quizzeson punctuation and sentence fragments
  • Academic integrity tutorials
  • Grammar tutorial

Audio:You can also build your skills by testing yourself. On the writing center website, we offer exercises for academic writing including audience, purpose, tone and authority, and paraphrasing, which you were talking about. We also have quizzes on punctuation and other grammar issues if you know that that's something that you're not quite comfortable with. The academic integrity tutorials provide a good overview of citing and referencing sources to avoid

Plagiarism, and additionally the APA webinar that's coming up this week is great. Finally, Walden university has a fun tutorial on grammar called "everything you wanted to know about

English but were afraid to ask." and I think that sums up some of us. It can be scary to ask about English because maybe it's been a while since you've had to even think about grammar, so you don't even know what to ask to get help. So, start there. These resources are linked on the slide, so you can download the slides and access these links through the PowerPoint.


Video: Slide changes to the following: Strategies

  • Embrace the writing process and set aside time for each stage

Reading critically


Writing the Rough Draft

Sharing Your Work

Writing the Final Draft

Reflecting on Your Writing

Audio:And I’ll also be showing you -- in a few slides, I’ll be showing the writing center website where we'll go over some of these resources. I know that the lives of undergraduate students are hectic, so between work, family, school and child care, there might not be much time for focusing on writing, but I want to challenge you to plan ahead and allow for in-depth, reading, drafting, and revision. On this slide, we have the writing process outlined in little circles. Going through these components of the writing process will ultimately help you become a more natural and poised writer. And as we know, written communication is not only important in your time at Walden but also to other aspects of your life like your workplace, like your interactions with friends and with colleagues.


Video: Slide changes to the following: Strategies

Embrace the writing process and set aside time for each stage: 

Assignment Planner

Audio:One way to set aside time is with an assignment planner. We've created a checklist that you can use to map out deadlines for each part of the writing process. Based on the due date for the assignment, for instance, you might want to complete your reading at a certain time and then outline by a different date and so forth. The planner is accessed on the undergraduate tab of the writing center website.


Video: Slide changes to the following: Chat

What strategies have you used that have helped you succeed in your writing at Walden or elsewhere (job, personal life, with friends)? 

Audio:Now that I’ve discussed a few of my strategies for building writing skills, what are yours? Use the chat box to add to the discussion.

[Pause as students type]

Okay, Michelle says created an outline. Wonderful tip. I like how that sort of maps out the paper, and it's easier to -- I find it easier to go from outline to writing than just starting with the writing. Rough drafts, start the assignment early. These are all great. Read the paper backwards from the last sentence to the top. That's interesting, donna. I think maybe that helps you see how each paragraph is sort of connecting to the previous one. Okay. A couple more people are typing, so we'll just let them type, and we will continue on in a few seconds. Okay, Irene brings up a good point about reading the paper over to verify information is included. So, making sure that you're hitting each part of the rubric or each part of the assignment instructions. That's very important because you don't want to lose any points in that area. And then also ensuring the flow of the sentences and the ideas. Wonderful. Okay. If you do have more writing strategies you want to share, you can put them in the Q&A box, and we'll verbalize them later too, but now we're gonna continue on.


Video: Slide changes to the following: Technology Tips

•      Know the expectations.

Click on hyperlinkswithin the AWE for more info.

  • Access instructor feedback.

In Blackboard, click on Tools My Grades Comments.

  • Format papers professionally.

Use the undergraduate templates.

Audio:So as always, technology can be a friend or a foe. I encourage you to use these tips to embrace technology for added learning. They all themselves contain hyperlinks to pertinent areas of the writing center's website. Do click on them to learn more about the topics. Remember to read feedback from your course instructor rather than just looking at the grade itself. There can be a wealth of information in there for you. So, in blackboard access instructor feedback by clicking on tools, my grades, and then comments. Sometimes the comments will include a linked version of your draft with comments written on it. If you can't find the feedback, be proactive and write an email to your course instructor. This will show your instructor that you want to improve and that you're really dedicated to your own learning. To ensure your papers look professional and conform to Walden’s guidelines, use an undergraduate paper template. It already has the formatting prepared for you, like double spacing, like the title page, the running head, and you just plug in the content.


Video: Slide changes to the following: Writing Center Support

Explore the Website

Audio:In the previous slides, I’ve discussed some resources on the website. Now we're gonna jump out of the presentation and go to the actual website. So, I can point out where those resources are located. Okay, here is the writing center's home page [the image changes to the writing center’s home page], with our lovely faces there. First, we have the undergraduate tab on the left-hand side of that top ribbon. And we're just gonna click on that, and you'll see a long list of information for you on the left-hand side. The assignment planner is located here. I'll click on that and show you. You can download it as a -- as a Microsoft word document and that can help you move through your assignment. We also have the -- all the -- all the practice for audience directness, authority, purpose, and technique here. And we have the academic integrity tutorials. There's three different modules that you can go through. And finally, the academic writing expectations themselves. And you can click on each individual level to display the entire -- the entire content there. 

Now, you shouldn't just limit yourself to the undergraduate area, though, because there's other areas that will be beneficial for you, particularly writing resources in the center. If you click on this, you'll see a even longer list of topics along the left that go over the MEAL plan, that go over thesis statements and some other issues that we've been talking about this evening. I just want to point out one more:  scholarly voice. So that's that academic expression that we were talking about earlier too. Grammar, there is some pages on each punctuation mark, on fragments and run-on sentences, and there's a tutorial on Grammarly so that you can begin to use that free resource. And APA style, this is where you'll find our templates for writing as well as information on in-text citations and the reference list. One of my favorite pages is under APA. Style, common reference list examples. And it gives you common examples of each type of source, so a book, an article, a website, so that you can just model your own entries after these. Paper reviews, is where you can get one-on-one assistance from a writing center instructor like me or like Beth. And this will give you instructions on how to make an appointment in my pass, our new scheduling system. Okay, with that, I think I’ll go back to the presentation.


Video: Slide changes to the following: Tips for Undergraduate Writing

            Thursday, May 8 at 12:00 p.m. ET

Register today!

            You’ll learn:

  • What we mean by “academic writing”
  • Top 5 ADAPT tips


Wednesday, May 7

Drop inbetween 6 and 7 p.m. ET

Audio:And we'll see where we are here. I'm gonna hand it over to Beth who's gonna talk about some more opportunities this week.


Beth: yes, because of course, I have not plugged webinars enough already. [laughter] In this presentation, Hillary. So, this Thursday, we have another webinar that I’ll be presenting and Hillary will be facilitating for me. Tips for undergraduate writing. And we're gonna get into a bit more of the actual examples and talk I think a bit more specifically about ways that you can work on your writing, and so this will be a bit more general. It won't be focused on the AWE at all, but definitely will help you achieve whatever level of the AWE requirements that you're at. So, I encourage you to consider attending that. And Hillary will be in advising for tutor talk on Wednesday, may 7th, between 6:00 and 7:00 p.m. So, I included that a link for that as well.

But all this information is always available on the webinars page at the writing center. So i just wanted to make sure that you guys knew about both of these things.


Video: Slide changes to the following: Questions

Now: Let us know!    ·


Looking for more ways to move to the next AWE level?

Check out the recorded webinars “What is Academic Writing?”and “Writing and Responding to Discussion Posts”

Audio:And then at this point, we're gonna end the webinar. With the rest of the time that we have left, we're gonna talk about any questions that anyone has. So, let me take a look and see what we have. Oh, sure. Hillary, this might be a great question for you to talk about a little bit, particularly since we talked about proofing and making sure grammar was all, you know, correct and everything. Could you talk a little bit about Grammarly, what it is and what it might be useful for?

Hillary: Sure. So Grammarly is a free automated sentence-level checker. So similar to Microsoft words’ spelling checker and grammar checker, Grammarly is just an automated program that scans your work for any possible errors in grammar, syntax, and punctuation. And then it highlights these potential errors and explains why it might be an error, and then you will have to do the detective work and figure out is this really an error, and how can I rectify it? So, it's not something that you can rely on completely. You'll still need to use your own critical thinking and your own ability to read through your material and identify any patterns that you see, but it can be a good way to get a quick read on your work. It also has a something called a citation audit in it which highlights matches to online content. So, it can be kind of a quick resource for checking for plagiarism as well. And I say that it's free because it -- if you sign up with your email address, you can get it for free. And what I realized recently is that there is a plug-in for Microsoft word as well so that you can get Grammarly within your Microsoft word program rather than having to upload to an external website. So that can be really beneficial.

Beth: Someone mentioned that they've used Grammarly to help them check for passive voice. So, if any of you have ever heard of passive voice, that's often sometimes something that faculty will comment on, not using passive voice, and that's something Grammarly can definitely help you with. And I’d say passive voice is something that's really tough. Because we use that in everyday writing, so Grammarly is helpful in pointing that out. Any other questions or anything else that anyone would like us to review or talk more about? I’m gonna wait just a second to see if any questions come into the Q&A box. But other than that, I did want to point out that as Hillary mentioned the PowerPoint slides are available in the files pod on the left side here. You can just click on those. They're the last one listed. And I also included a handout. It says, "where do i find help from the writing center?" and that's a useful thing, it’s mostly to help you decide, okay, i have this much time left before my assignment is due. Where would it be best to go for help in the writing center? Would it be enough time to email us or go on the website and look for information on my own or something like that? So anyways it's a useful resource just in helping you decide which resource is best in the amount of time you have to finish your paper. So, feel free to download that as well. I’m not seeing any questions come in. So, I wonder, Hillary, do you have any just last suggestions that you'd give? If you could tell -- if you could tell, you know, students one thing, what would you -- what would you suggest to them? One piece of advice.

Hillary: Wow. I can't believe you're narrowing it down to just one thing.

Beth: Well -- [laughter] Okay, one or two.

Hillary: Well, I really just -- I want students to enjoy writing. And I know that might sound a little corny or hokey, but I understand what it's like to be fearful of writing, and -- and if I can do anything to help get rid of that fear or get rid of that anxiety, let me know. My email address is on this screen so you can write to me directly. So, I want to put the fun back into writing. Really. [laughter] and then other than that, read aloud. I think that was the lesson of this presentation was read aloud.

Beth: Wonderful. So, I guess we'll go ahead and end the webinar for the evening, and I just echo what Hillary says is you're not alone in this. Please reach out. If you have questions, we're here to help. We want to make writing enjoyable, and we want to make writing at Walden as sort of easy and painless and as Hillary said enjoyable as possible. So, do reach out and let us know how we can help.  So, have a wonderful evening, everyone. Thank you so much for joining us. And hopefully we'll see you at another webinar, hopefully this week. Thank you, everyone.