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Webinar Transcripts

Academic Writing for Master's Students

Presented January 2017

View the recording

Last updated 5/14/2019

 

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Housekeeping

  • Recording

Webinar is being recorded and will be available online a day or two from now.

  • Interact

Polls, files, and links are interactive.

  • Q&A

Use the Q&A box to ask questions.

Send to writingsupport@waldenu.edu

  • Help

Choose “Help” in the upper right hand corner of the webinar room.

Audio: Hello everyone and welcome. It's great to see such a nice group here, and thank you so much for joining us. My name is Beth and I'm going to get us started by going over a couple of quick housekeeping notes before I hand over the session to our presenter today Brittany. So, a

couple of quick things, the first one is to note that I am recording this webinar and I'll post the recording in our webinar archive so you are more than welcome to come back to this session and take a look at it later, if you have to leave or if you'd just like to review the information you're more than welcome to do so.

The other thing to note is that there are lots of ways for you to interact with us today. Brittany has a couple of chats planned so we encourage you to interact with her and your fellow classmates during those. You can also click the links in the PowerPoint slides, those are interactive and they’ll open up in a new tab on your browser so you can open those up and take a look at them during the presentation or just save them for later.

You can also ask questions and get answers to those questions throughout the webinar as well so there's a Q & A box on the right side of your screen and myself and my colleague Rowland will be monitoring that Q and A box and we do welcome any questions or comments that you have so we're happy to help with that and to give you some more information or to answer those questions. I do also like to note though that if you think of a question after the webinar is ended, we do welcome those questions at our e-mail address which is writingsupport@waldenu.edu and I'll make sure to display that email address at the end of the webinar as well.

And then the final thing to note is that if you have any technical issues, you're more than welcome to let me know in the Q and A box. I can usually help with a couple things and I have a couple of tips and tricks I can give you, but there is also a help the button at the top right-hand corner of the screen and that's the best place to go for any significant technical issues. And so, with that I will hand it over to you Brittany

 

Visual: Slide changes to the title of the webinar, “Academic Writing for Master’s Students” and the speaker’s name and information: Brittany Kallman Arneson Writing Instructor, Walden Writing Center

Audio: Sounds good. Thank you, Beth. And thank you so much everyone for joining us this morning -- it's morning where I am. I know its afternoon or other times of day for some of

you. We have people calling in from all over the world today, which is one of the things that I love most about working for Walden is the wide geographic diversity of our student population, so thank you all for typing your locations and also your master’s programs into the chat box when we were convening earlier. It's really interesting to see all of the different programs that you guys are in and the different subjects that you guys are studying as well. Really exciting. So, I'm excited to talk about information that will be pertinent to those programs in this webinar.

My name is Brittany Kallman Arneson, and I'm a writing instructor here in the Walden Writing Center. I've worked for Walden for about four and a half years. Feels like a lot longer than that, and like most of my colleagues or all of them I should say, I love my job and I really love working with all of you Walden students, it’s just really fun to get a chance to learn about the things that you're passionate about and learn about how you interpret that social change mission that Walden has, so thank you all for being such great students and for working with us in the Writing Center.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Agenda

  • (1) Writing center basics
  • (2) Your unique needs as Master’s students
  • (3) Key services for Master’s students

Audio: This is our agenda for today's webinar. I'm going to start by just going over some Writing Center basics. Some of you may be familiar with our resources here at the Writing Center but some of you may not so I just want to go over some quick basic things about what it means to go to the Writing Center at Walden.

Then we'll talk briefly about your unique needs as master's students. I'm going to let you share some of the challenges that you found as you work on writing in your master's programs and then I'll also talk a little bit about what we see when we work with master's students here in the Writing Center. And finally, the bulk of the presentation will be a presentation on some key services for master's students and sort of helping you navigate the many services that we have available here in the Writing Center so we'll wrap up with that.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Resources by Mode

SYNCHRONOUS

  • Webinars
  • Chat
  • Social Media

ASYNCHRONOUS

  • Paper Reviews (myPASS)
  • Website
  • Modules
  • E-mail
  • Podcast

Audio: So, here's just that quick overview I was talking about in terms of what it is that we offer at the Walden Writing Center. At a brick and mortar university of course when you say go to the Writing Center it's pretty obvious what that means. You figure out what building it's in, you go there, you walk into a room and there are staff there who can help you and kind of explain their services or sit down with you and take a look at your writing.  But of course, here at Walden as an on line university we don't have that physical space where students can come and so sometimes students get confused about what it means if their instructor says I need you to go to the Writing Center or you need you to work with the Writing Center. So, I want to be really clear that that can mean a lot of different things here at the Walden Writing Center and I've divided those different things up into synchronous and asynchronous at categories here and those are terms that we use a lot here in the Writing Center.

Synchronous essentially means real-time like we're doing right now so I'm sitting here and you guys are sitting in front of your computers and we're all kind of chatting with each other in real-time and then asynchronous, that means the opposite of that, so something that doesn't involve retime interaction with another person but that's still instructional or may involve some kind of back and forth just that sort of happens over the course of a couple days or something like that.

So, some of the synchronous services that we offer are webinars like this one. We offer a chat service which I'll go into a little bit more detail about later. We're on social media, we're on Facebook and twitter so you can find us there. We also have a blog so those are places where you can find instruction and also just supports and interaction with us.

And then our asynchronous services include paper reviews. MyPASS is the name of our scheduling services for our paper reviews. And I’ll going into more detail about that later. Our website, which is filled with lots of resources that you can look at on your own time. We have some self-paced modules that you can work through to build skills. Again, I'll go over these later.

We have an e-mail account and we also off a pod cast if you learn via listening rather than reading. That can be a helpful way to do that as well. So those are some of the things that we mean when we say use the Writing Center or go to the Writing Center here at Walden.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Resources by Subject

  • Writing
    •  

Idea development

  •  
  • APA
    •  
    •  
    •  
  • Grammar

Sentence structure

Word choice

  •  

Audio: I also wanted to quickly cover the fact that all of these resources, these different sort of modes of instruction cover a wide range of writing topics as well, so even the term "writing" of course can be very broad and might mean a lot of different things depending on your context or what it is that you are struggling with or want to work on and our resources cover all these different things.

We cover some of the basic writing category like organization, idea development, paragraphing, that sort of thing. Like thesis development. That would also fall into that category, forming an argument. We cover all things APA so reference and citation formatting and other things that sort of fall into that APA style category and then we also deal with sort of mechanics and grammar so sentence structure, word choice, tone, punctuation would also fall into that category. We recognize that students come to us with a wide range of different needs and we try to create resources that meet all of those needs.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Chat Box:

What writing challenges do you face as you work toward your Master’s degree?

Audio: Okay. So now I am eager to hear from all of you. And just take a few minutes. We’ll maybe take five minutes here to get your responses. I'm really curious to hear what writing challenges you have faced as you've worked towards your master’s degree. So, this can be anything. Again, it can fall into any of the categories we just talked about or other categories as well. But what are the things that you have been struggling with or maybe this is something that even a faculty member has said in feedback on a paper that you need to work on. I'm going to mute for just a second and let you start typing and then I'll come back in a moment and kind of verbally summarize what I'm seeing in the chat box.

[silence as students respond]

Okay. I'm seeing lots of great responses here, and a lot of them are overlapping, which is great. I think that kind of can help sometimes to see that you're not alone in struggling with certain issues. A lot of people mentioning APA formatting, citations and references, that sort of thing.

So yep, that's a common one and a hard one to kind of wrap your head around, sometimes it feels like there’s a lot of rules. It seems people are talking about organization, talking about writing a strong argument.  Passive voice, yep, that's one that a lot of Walden students struggle with as well. Idea development, organizing thoughts. Some of your responses are pointing to struggling with maybe the writing process as much as your kind of struggling with kind of learning specific things about how to write correctly. And those are things that we cover and work with students on in the Writing Center as well.

When to use personal pronouns, yeah, that one gets a little bit tricky a bit as well so we can definitely talk about that a little bit more as well and I'll point you to some resources that can help you. Scholarly tone, uh-huh.

Oh yeah this is a great one from Denise. How to put in my own words when the author says something great.  Yeah, and that kind of paraphrasing problem is something that we see a lot of students struggling with and we even struggle with sometimes as writers too. That can be really challenging especially when the author is so articulate already. Thank you so much for these great responses.

I see a couple more people typing so I'll let you type your responses but we'll start to wrap up this chat so we can move forward in just a second. I'm seeing a couple of other responses here that have more to do with the research process, so I just want to note if you're struggling with things like keywords when researching or finding unique sources, things like the Walden library, that's the place to go with help for those kinds of things and it can be difficult sometimes to navigate where to go for what so of course certain things overlap between the library and the

Writing Center, but anything that has to do with searching for resources, that's the library, and they're wonderful if you've never worked with them before so those of you who said those are things you struggle with, I highly recommend that you reach out to the Walden library or go to their website.

Alright Great. I'm going to wrap up this chat now just in the interest of time but thank you all so much for your great responses and I hope that you find some direction in terms of resources that can help you with those challenges as we continue the webinar.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Unique Needs of Master’s Students

  • Professional experience vs. writing experience
  • Shorter programs = less time to develop skills
  • Writing in a specific, practice-based field

Audio: So, one thing that I wanted to do before we jump into those resources is talk about what we in the Writing Center sort of see as the unique needs of students in master's programs here at Walden, and these of course aren't as specific in terms of writing challenges as the things that you guys mentioned just now, but I think that some of these things are actually reasons for why certain things were coming up as themes in that chat that you guys just participated in, and some of these things may resonate with you and some of them may not, but one of the things that sort of seems like a theme that we notice in master's students as opposed to students in other programs at Walden particularly doctoral students is a lot of you are coming into these programs with vast, vast professional experience and you're maybe getting your degree in order to continue in your profession and advance in your profession, so it's maybe more of a practical degree than an academic degree.

Of course, it's academic and you're doing academic writing here but you may be coming to this program with less writing experience than somebody who is looking to teach in a particular field or publish in a particular field. There's certain nothing wrong with that. We are wowed every day by the professional experience that you guys bring to these programs and that we encounter when we read your writing. So really, really amazed by that but I'm sure some of you have found that you're maybe a little rusty in your writing skills because you've been working in a practical hands on fields for a long time that maybe doesn't require you to write academic papers so that's definitely a challenge that we try and meet you in that place when we develop resources in the Walden Writing Center.

And another challenge is just that, again as opposed to a doctoral program your master’s programs are shorter. A lot of times they're a couple years long and that just gives you less time to develop some of these skills. It may feel like you’re kind of rushed through some of that so what I'll be doing too is trying to point you to ways to find the most pertinent resources for you as quickly as possible so that you can advance as quickly as possible through your maybe a little bit shorter degree program.

And then this is similar to the first bullet point, but it relates less to your experience and more to the specific kinds of writing that you're being asked to do in your programs so a lot of you are being asked to write specifically about your profession and about a specific practice-based field, and that can be challenging because sometimes you may have experience writing, you know, more generally in the past maybe in undergrad or even in high school you learned kind of basic writing tips but now you're being asked to write in the specific context of your profession and that can be challenging as well. So those are some of the things that we hear from master’s students and that we observe in master’s students and what I want to do now is give you the opportunity to take a look at some of our resources and I'll try and frame it in a way that helps you kind of know where to go depending on where you're at mentally, emotionally, also, in terms of your learning or what it is you need to work on.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Navigating the Writing Center

  • Quick help
  • Ongoing development
  • Specific skill-building
  • Unique student populations

Audio: And so, I've actually divided our resources up into these four categories and I hope that these will help you kind of navigate the Writing Center and navigate the resources that we have available. So, to begin with, I'm going to offer some resources that are just super quick help resources. If you're in a moment where you're just feeling really discouraged or you've got a  paper due tonight and you really need help with something and you can't figure something out, we do have resources available to you immediately so we'll talk through those.

Then I want to show you some resources that are go ahead for ongoing development so if you feel like you're pretty good right now but you want to develop over the course of your degree program we have resources that are great for that the and then I'll go on and talk about some specific skill building resources that we have so you maybe have identified an area of weakness or area of improvement for yourself or maybe you have instructors in your courses who kind of are saying the same thing, oh, you really need to work on grammar or I'm noticing that you're having a hard time with topic sentences or something like that so if you have something like that in mind I'll show you kind of what resources you can look at that can help you build those specific skills.

And then finally I'll cover a few unique student populations that we see at Walden and the unique resources that we have that address those students' needs.

I'm going to pause for questions in the middle of this, so, I'll do the quick help resources and the ongoing development resources and then I'm going to pause and have you guys do a couple questions, and then we'll do specific skill building and specific population. So do continue to type your questions in the Q and A box and Beth and Rowland will answer them. And those questions that are coming up a lot I can address those questions aloud as well. Excuse me. I'm coming down with a little cold so let me take a quick drink of water and then I'm jump into the quick help resources.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Quick Help

Audio: Okay. All right. So where to go if you need help quick, right, like now this second or maybe within one to two days. Let's talk about where to go if that's your situation.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Immediate Help: Navigating the Website

Image of the Walden Writing center home page

Audio: So, if you need immediate help, really the first place to go is going to be our website, and sometimes I know students are like I know how to do a website. What I really want is to interact with a human being and we get that and we do have those opportunities available and I'll talk about those in a minute but let me just give a little plug for our website. This is no ordinary website. It is so robust. Some of you have probably spent some time on it before. Some of you will be new to it but there's tons and tons of resources on our website and not only does our website offer answers to your questions, it also offers kind of support and guides for how to navigate the writing process and things like that, so we have done a lot of work to try and make it field supportive, feel interactive, feel intuitive to you as students, and so I do want to spend a little time showing you our website because it really is a great place to go as kind of a hub, even a hub to kind of help you find other resources other than the website to answer your questions.

So, what we're going to do is Beth is actually going to show her screen, and I'm going to direct her around the website a little bit, and then you can kind of get a sense of how you might navigate the website when you're looking at it as well.

[Beth shares her screen for the Walden Writing center website]

Beth: All right. Brittany, you should be able to see my screen now. Let me know if not.

Brittany:  Yep, I can see it. So great. So, Beth has -- there we go. I maximized for myself but I don't think I did it for anybody else, right? Just for me?

Beth: Yep, you should be good.

Brittany:  Okay. Great. Great. So, Beth has gone to the Writing Center home page and you can see the URL up at the top of the browser here is academic guides.waldenu.edu/Writing Center/home and this is linked to your student portal and other places so it's pretty easy to find kind of around Walden but that is what you can type into your browse if you can't find a link to it somewhere else and this home page is really the hub for all things Writing Center. It's kind of like walking into the Writing Center at a brick and mortar university. And I want to show you a few different ways that you can navigate the website. If you're interested in kind of exploring these blue boxes that are down at the left-hand side have some of the most commonly searched items, so a lot of students are looking for information on paper reviews, Grammarly, Webinars and those things. So that's where you can go to get quick information on stuff that students are often looking for.

Then our information is organized across the top in drop down menus across these tabs and that's a little bit more robust and there's a little bit more detail in those so can you explore that way as well. We have the broad categories across the top and the drop-down menus give you more detailed subcategories under them so you just hover over those tabs and then if you scroll down and click, you can find more information on those subtopics.

So those of a couple of ways to browse. And then I want to show you our two ways to search the website as well. So, the main way I suggest students start with actually is this quick answers box which is right in the middle of the home page. This has prepopulated questions that we often get from students, so staff from the Writing Center have actually spent time reviewing all of the questions that we get from students and typing those questions into a database and then creating these really great answers to those questions.

So, Beth has asked quick answers what is APA and quick answers have provided her with a number of different answers that responds to her question and you can see the top hit there what is APA or APA style is probably the most relevant one to her question. Why don't you click on that, Beth, and we can look at what the quick answer, answer looks like. So basically, what this is a short summary answer to the question first, so really basic. But then also additional resources on that topic are linked at the bottom of the quick answer. So not only does the answer your question but it also sort of curate’s other resources on that topic for you. And so, it can also work as kind of another way to navigate the website because it points you to other resources that we have that talk about that topic or instruct on that topic. So that's one way to search.

Beth is going to go back to the home page and I'll show you our other way which is just this basic search box in the top right-hand corner. This works more like your normal website search on any other website. So, Beth is going to search for master's students and this is what the search results looks like for just the basic search. Beth, if you wanted to scroll up for a second, I wanted to show that they can categorize here. So, you can look for all and it will show you all of the results, that's anything that lives on our website.

But then you can also categorize the results by web content, that's that website tab or blog posts which are also produced by the Walden Writing Center and accessible through our website but are on our blog which means the tone is a little bit more informal. The instruction just might be a little bit different from the instruction that you get on the website, so you can categorize it that way. We also have a form and style tab but that's for students who are working on doctoral work so you guys don't need to worry about that one. And then if you scroll down, you'll see the content is just organized again in order of relevant. So, there’s lots of information about different things that are pertinent to master’s students here. And you can click on those and search through them on your own time.

Beth, if you want to go back to the home page, I want to show all of you how to find a couple of new pages that we have that are specific to students in master's programs. So, if you go to getting started and click on that, and then scroll down, you'll see on the left-hand side these brown boxes are categorized by student group and down near the bottom it says for master’s students so if you click there, this is our getting started page for master’s students. That's you. And this is a point I want to really emphasize over the course of this webinar. We have a lot of resources that are super relevant to you guys as master’s students that aren't going to say master’s students on them. That's because, you know, across the board the write process and certain aspects of writing are really the same depending on if you're an undergrad if you're working on a master’s degree or working on a doctoral degree.

So, what you can do with this resource is just sort of trust that the things that we've put together here and that we've linked out to are indeed appropriate for you to use as master's students even if they don't say masters anywhere on them so that's one of the ways that we recommend you use this getting started page. It's also just a helpful way to kind of navigate our resources. So, I won't spend too much time here because I'll let you guys kind of navigate that on your own time but I did want you to know that this page was here.

And Beth, I want to quickly show the masters capstone page which is linked at the very bottom of this page, and this is the only place that this page is linked right now, everyone, and that's because it's brand-new and our web master is on vacation but we think that it's going to sort of live somewhere more permanently and easier to find later but for now you can access it by going to this getting started page and scrolling to the bottom. Beth, if you want to click there. This is a page that's all about writing the masters capstone and you can see Beth is showing you the different areas that you are linked on the left-hand bar there so there's a lot of information about kind of navigating that process, how to get started, writing, revising and proofreading and then some tips that might be specific to your program, so obviously you guys are all in a really wide range of programs and you may have different requirements depending on what program you're in, so we've tried to point to some of those here as well.

Again, I don't want to spend too much time going over this because you all are capable of looking through it on your own but I did want you to know it's there and for those of you who are at that stage or maybe getting close to that stage this is something we definitely hope you use and give us feedback as well because it is a new resource and if there's anything that you wish you were seeing here that's not here do let us know, e-mail us and we'll try and add it. All right. I think that is all I need to do for our website tour right now.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Immediate Help: Navigating the Website

Image of the Walden Writing center home page

Audio: Just in the interest of time, obviously there's lots more that I could show you specifically on the website, but we don't really have time for that right now, so do ask questions if you have specific questions about navigating the website and we'll try and answer them in the Q and A box.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Immediate Help: Podcast Episodes

Image of a writeCast podcast list

Audio: All right. So, another way that you can get immediate help other than the website is by accessing our pod cast and we have been producing these pods cast episodes for maybe three years now and I'm very happy to be one of the cohosts. It's been so fun and Beth who is also here is my cohost and so the most of the episodes that you'll see that have been produced in the last couple years feature me and Beth and before Beth came on one of our colleagues Nick who doesn't work at Walden anymore was a cohost and so, you'll hear his voice in some of the earlier episodes. These episodes are on a wide variety of writing topics and we take a really sort of casual conversational approach. They're accessible through iTunes. You can listen to them on your phone you can listen to them while cooking dinner or in your car.

So, we hope that they A, provide a sort of different way of thinking about and talking about writing issues, maybe a more engaging way than some of the other resources that we have available for some people and then also we want it to be a really accessible way so we know you guys are busy and working on a lot of different things. You work full-time in addition to pursuing this degree and this can be a way to squeeze in some support in writing even when you're doing other things at the same time. I should say too all the links are live here on these slides so if you were to click to pod cast that would take you directly to our pod cast page and you of course can do that later when you download the slides.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Immediate Help: Grammarly

  • Grammar-checker

Like Word’s spell check

No formatting

Can make mistakes

Use Waldenu e-mail address

Audio: I also wanted to talk briefly about Grammarly which is a grammar checker software system that is available to all Walden students. The cost of that is included in your tuition, so this is something that we send students to a lot who are just struggling with some basic grammar things. It is a machine. It's not a human so it does occasionally make mistakes but it's pretty good and it's a really great place to start I think if grammar is something that you struggle with.

You can access information about Grammarly and get signed up on those blue drop down tabs -- not drop down tabs but the blue tabs on the left side of the website that I showed you before and they're pictured here as well and it really functions a lot like Word's spell check Microsoft Word's spell check but it checks for grammar.  It's not going to help you with formatting and things like that and it can make mistakes but it's definitely a good place to start if grammar is something that you struggle with so if you need feel you need a check of your grammar and your paper is due tomorrow definitely check out Grammarly and run it through there before you turn-it in.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Help within 1-2 days: E-mail and Live Chat

  • writingsupport@waldenu.edu
  • Find current chat hours on home page
  • Access via any page on our website

Audio: And there’s a couple ways you can get help within just one to two days so one of those ways is by e-mailing us. Beth mentioned this e-mail address everything but I'll say it again. Writingsupport@waldenu.edu is the Writing Center's e-mail address and we do promise a response within 24 hours unless it's a holiday or something like that. So, you can usually expect a response within 24 hours there and that's a great place to take questions on reference formatting, questions about how to use our system, any short question. We don't review papers through that e-mail address, but any other question really that's a good place to send it.

And then also we had a chat service that we've had for the last couple of years, and this is live chat, so you will be chatting in real-time with somebody as long as you can access it during the hours that we offer it and that's the only reason why I've put it here in the one to two days slide because there are certain times when we're not able to staff that chat service. So, the hours on our home page on the website and you can take a look at those and the way you start a chat with us is by access this little tab on the left-hand side of any page of our website that says chat with us. If you click on that it will give you an opportunity to type in your question and if we have somebody on staff who is staffing the chat at that time if it's during our chat hours you'll get a response to your chat and be able to chat back and forth in real-time with somebody and that's a great resource as well if you're needing quick help.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following; Ongoing Development

Audio: Okay. Let's talk about what to do if you just want to sort of develop your skills over time and over the course of your program. If you're looking for ongoing development.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Ongoing Development: Paper Reviews

  • Purpose:
  • Provide feedback by appointment to help develop skills long-term.

Mini writing lesson:

Comment on some, not all of a draft

Use and learn from feedback (apply)

Help you take ownership of the revision process

Audio: And the main resources that I'm going to plug for ongoing development is our paper review service. Many of you have probably used our paper review service before. We see about 50% of our paper reviews that we do in our paper review scheduling system are from students in master's programs so we see you a lot. We'd love to see you more, so I recommend if anybody has never used this service before, it's for anyone. It's not necessarily just for people who feel like they're really struggling with writing but if you do feel like you're really struggling with writing and you need help this is the place to come and we really look at this service as a way to provide feedback and develop skills long term. So, we hope that you'll come to us and get feedback and then you'll come back and get more feedback and develop those skills over time.

And it really works kind of just like a mini writing lesson, so your writing instructor is going to comment on some but probably not all of your draft. They're going to expect you to use and learn from your feedback and apply it between appointments to make sure that you're making progress so it's not a proofreading service or an editing service. We do expect you to also do some work on the other end and we really want to use it as a way to help you Walden students take ownership of the revision process.

We know because we're all writers too that that process can be really tough and that it can take a lot of energy just to kind of just stay motivated and working with a paper review service can help you with your motivation as well. If you know you have an appointment coming up that can help motivate you to get a draft. If you have feedback from an instructor that can motivate you to get back to your draft. So, this again is a really great way to build skills over time.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Paper Review Logistics

  • Make an appointment

myWalden portal

myPASS scheduling system

  • Complete form

Give details

Express concerns and areas for help

  • Attach paper

5:00 a.m. ET day of appointment

OR immediately

  • Relax (whew!)

Feedback via e-mail

Audio: I want to talk just a little bit about what this looks like when you actually make a paper review appointment and what happens after that.  The very first thing you're going to do is make an appointment. You're going to go that through your, my Walden portal. You can also get to our scheduling system through our website. Our scheduling system is called my pass so that's what

we mean when we refer to that.  After that you're going to be prompted to complete a form about your appointment.

So, we do ask you some questions about what you want to get out of the appointment and what program you're in and those kinds of things and we also ask you let us know what your concerns are, what areas you want help with. We really rely on that communication from you to make sure, we give you the best feedback as possible. 

Then we ask you to attach your paper. We can’t do the review obviously unless we have a paper from you. So that’s the next step.  And the deadline for attaching a paper is 5 a.m. eastern time the day of your appointment. Of course, you can attach it immediately when you make the appointment but just know you don't have to do that unless you've made an appointment for the same day. If you've made an appointment for the following week and you want to do more work on your draft before you attach it that's totally fine and we encourage that. Just make sure that you go back and attach it before 5 a.m. eastern time the day of your appointment so that your instructor has it when they start their workday.

The next step is relax. You don't have to do anything after you attach your paper until you receive our feedback via e-mail and you'll receive that feedback by the end of the next day after your appointment. So, if your appointment was on Tuesday you can expect feedback bit end of the day on Wednesday or before. And so, there are times in our scheduling system like it might say your appointment is for 10:00. That's just a limitation of our scheduling system which is designed for Writing Centers that also work with students in real-time but that doesn't mean that anything special is happening at 10:00.

All you have to do is make sure that you attach your appointment by that -- or attach your paper by that attachment deadline and then you just wait for the feedback so you can work on other stuff and you don't need to be available by phone maybe in the middle of your workday or anything like that and then you'll just look for that notification e-mail that your review is  available and you can go back into the system and access it and apply the feedback.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Questions?

Audio: Okay. That's it for the first two categories, so I want to pause just for a minute or two for some questions. Beth and Rowland, have you guys seen any questions from students that it would be helpful for me to answer aloud?

[silence]

Are you guys there, I'm not hearing anything.

Rowland:  Hi Brittany, can you hear me?

Brittany: Yeah, I can hear you Rowland

Rowland: I did have a couple questions on basically if a professor has requested help -- or a student focus specifically, on introductions or conclusions, is there information on that? Basically I guess how I -- can you talk about maybe what potentially a student could be, for instance, finding those types of information on the website, you know, versus maybe requesting that specific type of information in a paper review versus requesting a quick answer versus, you know, an e-mail slash chat. Again, I guess basically be touching again on the plethora of, the myriad of resources available to any type of information they happen to be looking for.

Brittany: Sure, that's a great question. So, my very next category is that sort of specific skill building category and I am going to talk about ways to find resources that sort of point you to resources that can build those specific skills so that would be relevant to this question for sure. But I mean the fact is any time you have something that you're wanting to work on, all of these resources are appropriate for you to use. I'm mainly just collecting the resources that are most appropriate for the different scenarios that you might find yourself in.

But yeah if you were struggling with intros and conclusions or that was feedback you had gotten from an instructor in your course you can use all of the things that I've shown you so far to find information about that. So, you can start with the quick answers search or the search in the upper right corner and just type in introductions and conclusions. I know you would find some resources because I know that we have resources on the website about that topic. Additionally, as you mentioned, Rowland, you certainly can mention to a writing instructor once you make a Writing Center appointment for a paper review that introductions and conclusions are something you're working on or that you struggle with.

Or even if you've gotten that feedback and you don't really know what that means or you don't know exactly how to start working on introductions and conclusions after having gotten that feedback from an instructor. If you type that into your appointment form when you make your appointment, we can definitely help you with that and your writing instructor here in the Writing Center can link you to some resources that are specifically tailored to you and that can help address some of those issues. So certainly, the two resources -- or the two areas I should say that I have covered so far would be appropriate for those but I also will be talking about some more resources that are even better for specific skill building in just a minute.

So, for whoever asked that question hang tight and there will be a little bit more information about that in just a second. Rowland, do you have maybe one more? I think we have team for one more question and then I can jump into the other two categories.

Rowland: Sure. The most recent one I have is I guess if you could talk about the required time management balancing efforts, you know, that students would need to have when it comes to the time frame of a paper being due versus -- I know you just mentioned how long it takes to get a paper reviewed. Can you talk a little bit about fitting that into the student's write process with regard to when a paper is due and how long it takes to get a paper back?

Brittany: Yes, absolutely and that's such a good question especially because we know how strapped for time you Walden students can be. Like I mentioned before we know you work full-time and have little kids and voluntare in your community on top of getting this degree. We are in awe of you and recognize how busy you are and we try to design our resources around what we know about how busy you are. So, in response to that question specifically there are a couple of strategies that I would recommend.

The first one is to submit a paper for a paper review appointment that you've already turned in. You can submit it with instructor feedback if you want. Just make sure that you note you've done that on purpose and ask some specific questions about your instructor feedback so your instructor knows you've made a good faith effort to apply that feedback before submitting it to the writing center or you can apply whatever feedback you got from your course instructor and then submit it to the Writing Center. That might seem a little bit counter intuitive but we actually -- we try to make our comments as instructional as possible and so that means that those comments would be helpful to you even after the fact and would be something that you could apply to future papers.

So, what we're looking for are patterns in your writing and linking out to specific resources that would help you with those patterns or making instructional comments that can help you with those patterns. So that's one way to avoid the stress of trying to get an appointment before your paper is due. Now we recognize that's not always the most helpful thing and sometimes you do want feedback before you have to turn a paper in, and so what I recommend to students in that situation is just to think ahead and look ahead on our schedule, so our schedule opens appointments two weeks in advance, so that means this morning I think at, when the new day turned over at 12 a.m., a new day's worth of appointments opened two weeks from now and not to say you have to get up at 12 a.m. eastern time and get an appointment but the earlier in the day you check our schedule the more likely you are to find an appointment two weeks from today. Sometimes our schedule is really full. Other times it's more open so that kind of depends too. Don't get discouraged if you take a look at the schedule and aren't able to find anything. New days appointments will open or sometimes students cancel appointments that they've made or we have to mark an appointment as a no show if a student hasn't attached their paper by the deadline so keep checking back.

And just remember that you don't have to have a paper ready when you make an appointment. Just know you're going to spend the next week or so working on a draft and getting that paper attached to the appointment by the deadline so that's another way that you can address that kind of time management issue. Otherwise it's just a matter of knowing our policies and understanding the way that we work. We do give ourselves that two-day turn around just because we need that flexibility in our own schedules. We need to make sure we have flexibility built in if people get sick. We are all human too those of us who work in the Writing Center so we're trying to find a really good balance between serving your needs as students and also recognizing our own humanity and the needs we may have in the center.

So that's a great question and if anybody has more questions about that we'd be happy to answer them through e-mail or chat or things like that as well. All right. Thank you so much for those questions. Keep them coming in the question and answer box. Rowland and Beth will be able to answer them for you.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Specific Skill-Building

Audio: And let's take a look at some resources that are good for specific skill building.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Skills: Live Webinars

  • Live 1-hour sessions on writing, grammar, and APA.
  • Check the calendar to register
  • Click link sent via e-mail at time of webinar
  • Presentation
  • Polls, quizzes, and chats
  • Q&A with staff

Audio: So, the first specific skill building resource that I'm going to recommend is live webinars and you all know what those are because you're in one route now so I won't spend a lot of time on this slide but as I hope you're discovering live webinars are a really great way to get  information and build skills in Realtime.  Some of our webinars are more focused on skill building than others. This is more kind of an informational overview but a lot of our webinars are targeted towards students who are working on specific areas of writing and you can see those categories if you take a look at our calendar.

The calendar is linked here on the slide but it's also available on our website, and it will tell you all of the upcoming live webinars so then you can just click a link like you did for this one and sign up and then of course you know what's included in a webinar a presentation like I'm giving right now. A lot of interaction like polls, quizzes and chats. Most of our webinars that are more skill specific involve more of that than this one does and then Q and A like you're engaging in with Beth and Rowland.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Help with Skills: Recorded Webinars

  • Over 50 hours of instruction

Same as live sessions…just without the live people!

APA, writing, grammar, assignment-specific, writing for social change, practical skills

Audio: We also record all of our webinars that we present and we put those recordings in our webinar archive and that actually turns out to be over 50 hours of instruction on writing topics so if you aren't able to make a webinar that's offered live, I highly encourage you to check out our webinar recording archive and take a look at the different topics that we offer webinars on there. So, these are all exactly the same experience, just not in real-time. You can do all the same things that would be able to do in a live webinar like take the polls and see the chat box and things like that and they're categorized by topic so if grammar is a skill that you need to work on you can find webinars on grammar. If APA is a skill that you need to work on you can find webinars on APA. So, I highly recommend you take a look at that webinar archive.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Help with Skills: Self-Paced Modules

  • Self-paced tutorials & diagnostic quizzes:
    • APA citations and references
    • APA style
    • Plagiarism prevention
    • Grammar
  • Premodule Quiz                                                                                                         
  • Tutorials
  • Videos, practice, webpages, blogs
  • Postmodule Quiz
  • 80% score
  • Infinite attempts
  • Certificate of Completion

Audio: We also offer self-paced modules.  These are relatively new. I guess they're not that new anymore. But we do want students to know that these exist because they're a really great way to build skills and then test your knowledge that you've built over the course of the module. So we have modules on APA citations and references, APA style, plagiarism prevention and grammar and they start with a premodule quiz where you sort much test your knowledge at the starting point. Then you go through a series of tutorials and then you take a post module quiz to see how much you've learned so that's a really cool part of modules that is not really replicated in our other content.

And then you can also print a certificate of completion. This is can just be something cool to  keep for yourself but it's also a way to show faculty members to show you've studied a particular topic. If somebody is recommending you go to the Writing Center and look work on X, you can show it to your professor.

I'm going to take one more drink of water and I'll be right back. Okay.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Unique Populations

Audio: So, I want to also just talk quickly about some unique student populations that some of you may fall into and point to some of the resources that we have that are designed for the needs of those student populations.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Multilingual and International Students

  • Amy Lindquist, Writing Instructor
  • Dayna Herrington, Dissertation Editor
  • Coordinators of International and Multilingual Student Writing Supp

Audio:  So, we work with a lot of multilingual and international students here at Walden. And we're thrilled to do that. We love the diversity that we see here at Walden but we also recognize that these students have unique writing needs and we design resources specifically to address those writing needs. So, we actually have two folks on staff at the Walden Writing Center who work on developing resources for multilingual and international students and their names are Amy and Dayna. They're pictured here. These are great smart people who have a background in teaching English as a second language or kind of related topics.

And they're great, so just know that they're there and if you fall into one of these populations, you've got people who are advocating for you and who are creating resources for you. There's a few resources that are especially valuable to these students that I think to these students that I've linked to here on the slide. I'm not going to show those in great detail now but know those are there. Those links are live and you can click on those to find more information. So, we have a page for multilingual students. We have a great webinar series on mastering the

mechanics of the English language and we also have grammar modules.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Students with Disabilities

  • Students may register with Disabilities Services
  • Writing Center provides specialized sessions
  • disability@waldenu.edu
  • 800-925-3368 ext. 3121205

Audio: So those are some great resources for multilingual and international students. We also work with students with disabilities through Walden's disability services office and I don't have a ton of detail here because the way that we work with a student really depends on the particular disability that they have, but if you are a student with a disability, you can register that disability with Walden's disability services office, and then tell them that you want to work with the Writing Center and they will link you up with a writing instructor who can provide a specialized session that might have some different aspects to it than the way that we normally work with students in my pass that can accommodate your disability. That's something that we're really passionate about and we want to make sure that we can work with you so if you have a disability and you aren't registered with disability services you can do so by contacting them either e-mailing or calling them at the number that's pictured here on the slide if you are registered with them and you didn't know you could work with the Writing Center through them feel free to reach out to them and they can tell you what the next steps are.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Military Students

Audio: And then finally we have some resources that are specific to military students. We know we have a lot of students at Walden who are in the military or who have formerly served in the military and maybe writing about issues related to the military so we do have a military services office here at Walden. That's that first link but we also have some writing specific resources for military students. We have a special webinar called academic writing for military students that's linked there and we also have a special section on our reference examples page that shows military references so if you're writing on a topic related to the military you might be using government sources or other kinds of sources that are unique to that topic and waive created examples how to create those reference entries for those specific source types and you can check those out there.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Master’s Capstone

Audio: And finally, this is just sort of floating out there. It doesn't really fall into any of those categories but I wanted to make sure and highlight that anybody who is in a master’s degree program you're going to be writing a masters capstone at some point and I did show you that master’s capstone page that lives at the bottom of the getting started page for master’s students right now. Hopefully it will be displayed somewhere a little more prominently soon. So do take a look at that if you are come up on this stage or at this stage.

And then I also just want to reiterate for students that we do review master’s capstones documents in my pass in our asynchronous paper reviews. And that's something that can be a little bit confusing for students because we also use the term capstone to refer to students who are working on their doctoral work, and that is stuff that we don't review so sometimes you may see us, you know, type something that says we don't help capstone students. We do help master’s capstone students in asynchronous reviews and that is a service you can use at any stage of your program so just keep that in mind as well. We're happy to take a look at those for you.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Questions?

Chat Box:

What Writing Center resource will you use on your next assignment?

Audio: Finally, I want to open it up for questions, but I also -- I'm going to have Beth put another chat box up here and while Beth and Rowland are voicing the questions that have come up over the last 15 minutes or so, I want you guys to just take a moment to reflect on what Writing Center resource you might use on your next assignment based on what you've learned in this webinar. So, thanks for your responses there, and Beth and Rowland, anything else that's come up that I can answer aloud that's come up over the last 10 or 15 minutes?

Rowland: Hey this is Rowland. If you could -- I guess it was another question. It was after it was covered. Could you please just mention one more time that the, how the time slots in the scheduling system are arbitrary. There's a little bit of confusion with regard to the times don't really matter but again just how they're arbitrary.

Brittany: Yes, and I know that can be really confusing.  I wish there was a way that we could use the p-articular system that we're using and take those time slots off but unfortunately that's a limitation of the software at that we're using. Otherwise it's a really great software and that's why we continue to use it. The main thing to keep in mind is that you don't need to be available at any particular time to speak with somebody on the phone or have a video chat or e-mail back and forth with anybody. Your appointment doesn't happen at a particular time of day and so if you see a time of day listed on the schedule, that's sort of immaterial to your appointment.

The way that the appointments work is you attach your paper to the appointment, your instructor down loads that paper, saves it to their computer, reads it and types instructional comments in it and then reattaches it to the appointment within essentially within 24 hours but we like to say by the end of the second business -- or the seconds day rather just to be as clear as possible. So again, if your appointment was today, Thursday, you could be guaranteed that you would get your reviewed paper back by the end of the day Friday tomorrow. So that's how it works ask a lot of students get confused and they think my appointment is at 10:00 that means I have to be available at 10:00 but you don't. All you have to do is make sure your paper is attached to your appointment by 5 a.m. the morning of the day of your appointment so the day of your appointment does matter.

So, for instance if you have an appointment on the schedule for today whether it was at 10:00 or 3:00 you would just need to make sure that your paper was attached to that appointment by 5 a.m. eastern time this morning, Thursday morning. And then by the end of the day tomorrow, you would have an e-mail saying your paper is ready and showing you how to retrieve it and then you could just go back and take a look at those instructional comments on your own time.

So yeah, that is really confusing and we apologize for the confusion but once you do it once you get the hang of it. It's pretty simple and if you have any trouble or you're confused as you're trying to make an appointment that's a good time to reach out to us either e-mail or see if we're available on chat to get some support. We're always happy to support you as you're working on making an appointment. Great question.

Beth: Hey, Brittany, can you hear me?

Brittany: Yes, I can.

Beth: Hi. Welcome back. Thank you. We haven't really had any other questions. So, I wondered if at this point you could just kind of give any sort of last thoughts or last suggestions or kind of like the last thing you want to leave students with maybe, and I'll just switch the slide to our e-mail and everything like that too so I can wrap up after that.

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Questions:

Now: Let us know! · Anytime: writingsupport@waldenu.edu

Continue the conversation on Twitter with #wcwebinars

New to Walden and academic writing?

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

Audio: Brittany:  Sure. Yeah, I guess as far as closing thoughts I just want to reminds you all that going to the Writing Center at Walden means a lot of different things and you can take the initiative to decide which resource is the best for you and it's totally fine to explore those resources and figure out what works best for you. So you have to sort of match up what it is you want to learn. So, you want to learn about APA you can do it through webinars or modules or paper review, you can do it through a pod cast. There's numerous ways that you can build that knowledge but you might have a particular learning style that kind of has an affinity to one of those but not the others and you may not know that until you start to explore some of them.

So really I guess what I'm sending you out to do now is go ahead and explore some of our resources, click around on our website to see what we have available to you and then think about who you are and what you like and what your life looks like and what kind of time you have and all those kinds of things and that can help you take ownership of navigating our resources and really finding the best resources for you to build the skills that you need to build as an individual writer. And I should also just reiterate that if at any step along the way you're feeling lost or you aren't sure that you really do have the autonomy to make those decisions yourself, we're here for you via writingsupport@waldenu.edu, via twitter or Facebook. You can always reach out to us that way or via chat if you can find us on there during our chat hours to help you and guide you, so certainly the staff at the Walden Writing Center can serve as kind of a concierge for you in matching you up with services. So, I hope this webinar has given you some confidence to navigate those resources on your own as well.

So that's all I have. I'm so happy that you guys all came today. Thank you for your attention.

Beth: Wonderful. Thank you so much Brittany. I love that too the focus on reaching out for help because we are here to help for sure. With that, everyone we're going to go ahead and end the session today so thank you to Brittany for her wonderful presentation and Rowland for your help in the Q and A box. Thank you everyone for attending and do watch for the recording or e-mail us if you have any questions and we hope to see you at another webinar

 

End Transcript