Skip to Main Content
OASIS Writing Skills

Webinar Transcripts:
Writing a Capstone as a Multilingual Writer: Practical Tips and Resources, Part 2

Transcripts for the Writing Center's webinars.

Writing a Capstone as a Multilingual Writer: Practical Tips and Resources, Part 2

Presented December 8, 2020 

Last updated 12/11/2020


Visual: The webinar begins with a PowerPoint title slide in the large central panel. The room also includes a captioning pod, Q&A pod, chat pod, and files pod.

Audio [Anne]: Hello everyone and welcome.  I'm Anne Shiell, and I’m the resource manager of student and faculty resources at the Writing Center. You’re joining us for our “Writing a Doctoral Capstone as a Multilingual Writer: Practical Tips and Resources, Part 2.  December tends to be a busy time for folks.  We are so glad you're joining us either live or watching the recording and if you haven't seen Part 1, don't worry.  You will still get a lot out of today's webinar and we have a link to Part 1 at the end of the presentation here.


Visual: Slide changes to the following: Housekeeping

The slide says “Housekeeping” and the following:  

  • Recording will be available in our webinar archive
  • Download files from “Files” pod
  • Polls, files, and links are interactive
  • Use Q&A box now or email us later
  • Ask in the Q&A box, or select “Help” in upper right corner of the webinar room

Audio [Anne]: Before we begin, let's cover a few quick housekeeping things.  First, we are recording this webinar so you're welcome to access it at a later date in our webinar archive.  We record all of our webinars of the Writing Center so I mentioned part when we have a whole number of other webinars that are -- you may want to check out as well.  The slides are available to download from the file pod here in the webinar room and I should say, the slides are in a PDF version rather than a PowerPoint, so those are available in the files pod as well as a certificate of attendance.  You can download them whether you're watching live or the recording later.  

Also, whether you are attending live or watching the recording, the polls, files and links are all interactive in the presentation.  You can use the Q&A box now or you can email us later if you have any questions and comments.  Sam, who I’ll introduce in a moment, and I will be watching the Q&A box throughout the webinar and we will be happy to answer any questions you have about the session as Dayna is talking, and you are welcome to send any questions there if you're having technical issues and we will do our best to troubleshoot, but if you're have any technical issues or questions note that there is a help button at the top right corner of the webinar room.  That will take you to Adobe’s technical support and that is the best place to go if you need some technical help.


Visual: Slide changes to the following: Presenters and Facilitators

Slide shows images of:

Presenter: Dayna Herrington, Form and Style Editor and Coordinator, Capstone Multilingual Student Writing Support, Walden University Writing Center, Office of Academic Editing
Pronouns: She, her, hers

Facilitator: Sam Herrington, Form and Style Editor, Walden University Writing Center, Office of Academic Editing

Facilitator: Anne Shiell, Resource Manager of Student and Faculty Webinars, Walden University Writing Center, Pronouns: She, her, hers

Audio [Anne]: Our presenter today is Dayna Herrington. She’s one of our form and style editors and our coordinator of capstone multilingual student writing support of the Writing Center and Sam Herrington is facilitating along with me, and not pictured, but I’d like to give a thank you to Susie who is our captioner for today.  With that I will turn it over to you, Dana.

Audio [Dayna]:  Thank you.  And thank you to all of you for participating in today's poll before we begin today and it looks like we have 50 percent of people who responded to the poll saying you are the pre- proposal stage working on your prospectus and looks like there are 40 percent of you working on your prospectus and 10 percent walking -- working on the final study and nobody at the form and style page but thank you for participating.  That gives me a sense of where you are, and it helps me know where better to focus today so thank you again.     


Visual: Slide changes to the following: Housekeeping

Slide title: General Overview

Slide Content:

  1. Follow faculty and document expectations (Part 1)
  2. Follow expected rhetorical structure (Part 1)
      • Linear; writer-responsible
      • Develop arguments with evidence and analysis
      • Cite all ideas that come from other sources
  3. Develop scholarly voice (Part 2)
  4. Spend time on revision and proofreading (Part 2)
    • Revise for sentence-level grammar

Use Form and Style website resources (Parts 1 and 2)

Audio [Dayna]: Like Anne introduced, this is Part 2 of Writing a Doctoral Capstone as a Multilingual Writer: Practical Tips and Resources.  In case you joined us with part one -- you may have heard this caveat, but I think this is worth repeating.  Before we dive deeper into the ideas in today's webinar, I want to acknowledge that I know that aspects of writing the dissertation and the capstone aren't unique to multilingual and international writers.  But that said when you add another language or add a new culture to the mix, it can often amplify the challenges of such a large writing project.  So I do hope you will be able to leave today's webinar with strategies and resources in hand that will help you live VA some of the extra challenges and if you join us or listen to the recording for part one of the series welcome back to part 2.  If not, welcome to part 2 -- part 2 anyway and feel free to go back and watch the archived recording of part one of the series if you would find it to be helpful.  

I have 5 main points here and these are my 5 main steps that you can use to successfully write a dissertation or doctoral study or project study. The ones that are bolded on the slide is where we are focusing on today.  In part one of the webinar series, we talked about following faculty and document expectations and following the expected rhetorical structure of US academic English.  So today we are going to dive into to number 3 which is developing scholarly voice and tip number 4 which is spending time on revision and proofreading.  And revising for sentence level grammar and to number 5 using form and style website resources.


Visual: Slide changes to the following: Develop Scholarly Voice

  • Developing scholarly voice requires time and practice 
  • The more you actively read in U.S. academic English = the more developed scholarly voice
    •  Take notes on useful terms 
    •  Use a thesaurus
    •  Use a corpus

Audio [Dayna]: Let's go ahead and dive in.  We will start today with the third practical tip to successfully write deck -- writing as I'll multilingual writer and that's scholarly voice.  Developing scholarly voice in US academic English takes a lot of time and practice.  But the more you actively read in US academic English the more developed and more scholarly voice becomes.  By active reading, what I mean by that is focusing on the text in front of you and not just reading it for the ideas but also for how the ideas are organized and how the ideas are developed.  

I suggest taking notes on useful terms.  You can do this by taking notes for example on common verbs that are used in your field of study or specific expressions that you see in published writing that you can use to introduce topics or build arguments or show agreement or disagreement.  Or how to summarize or close a discussion.  I also suggest taking notes on field specific vocabulary that you see in published writing.  As well as the use of transitions and other linking devices.  How does the published writer show how what idea relates to the next?  These ideas go back a little bit to what we talked about in part one of the webinar series in terms of organization and development.  Again, if you missed part when I encourage you to go back and watch that archived recording.     

Other general strategies to develop scholarly voice include using a thesaurus.  To expand vocabulary use in the writing and using a corpus which is a large collection of text that you can use to search and learn about academic phrasing and formulaic expressions and I will talk more about the idea of using a corpus in the upcoming slides.     


Visual: Slide changes to the following: Scholarly Voice Tips 1
Be aware of word choice and the vocabulary shift that occurs in U.S. academic English:

  • Consider verb choices
    • “Gone down” vs. “decreased”; “come up with” vs. “develop”; “look at” vs. “examine”
  • Consider concision and specificity
    • “A lot of” vs. “considerable”; “gotten more intense” vs. “intensified”
  • Avoid anthropomorphism
    • “The article discussed many ideas” vs. “Smith (2020) discussed many ideas”

Audio [Dayna]: On the next slide I've included some bullet points of more specifics so you can use help develop scholarly voice.  As a writer you want to be aware of the word choice and the vocabulary shift that occurs in US academic English.  Note that some of the bullet points on the slide contain hyperlinks to more information and I feel like there's a lot of information here.  We can probably spend the entire webinar on just these next few slides.  So, I will summarize these, and I encourage you to go back and click on the links after today's webinar to learn more.

The first one and one really simple place to start to improve scholarly voice is with verb choices.  Often in English there are choices between phrasal and prepositional words, and these are verbs with more than one part.  They are verbs that are used more often in spoken English.  The other choice for verb choices in English often is to use a more formal academic one-word verb that many of these come from a Latin origin.  If you choose the formal one-word verb it can elevate your scholarly voice often.  A few examples that have in the slide are gone down which is an example of a phrasal or prepositional verb.  Verse of the one-word verb decreased.  Or come up with versus develop.  Or look at verses examined.

While all of these verbs are grammatically correct if you choose the one-word verb, it's a really easy way to elevate your scholarly voice.

The next bullet point is considering concision and specificity.  Remember that scholarly writing should be clear and precise answer specific.  Again if you compare the phrase a lot of versus the single word considerable, or the phrase gotten more intense versus intensified, if you choose those one word phrases like considerable or intensify, the more specific and more concise your word choices, then the more scholarly your voice is as well.

Avoiding anthropomorphism is the third bullet point listed on the slide.  Anthropomorphism is the attribution of human characteristics to nonhuman entities.  The language is less concise and less precise, and this can lead to ambiguity or misleading communication so and example that I included on this slide is, the article discussed many ideas.  An article is not human so it can't discuss anything.  If our revised is to say something like Smith 2020, discussed many ideas, I can get rid of the anthropomorphism here and use much more precise language.

There's also -- this elevate scholarly voice because the communication is more clear.


Visual: Slide changes to the following: Scholarly Voice Tips 2

  • Consider how to use boosting and hedging appropriately to avoid hyperbole 
    • “All teachers do this” vs. “Many/Most teachers do this” 
  • Consider the use of midposition adverbs for more formal writing 
    • “It is necessary to follow the law carefully” vs. “It is necessary to carefully follow the law”
  • Keep in mind that per APA 7, Section 4.16, the first person is preferred over the third person usage of writers referring to themselves as the researcher
    • “The researcher conducted semistructured interviews” vs. “I conducted semistructured interviews”

Audio [Dayna]: On the next slide, the next tip is to use boosting and hedging to avoid hyperbole.  You might be wondering what I mean by this.  You can boost claims with words like, often or most.  Or you can hedge claims with words like might or sometimes or perhaps.  And the boosting and hedging makes the language more believable and more accurate.  So, for example, rather than saying something like, all teachers do this.  You might change that word all too many or to most to hedge the language a bit and make it more believable.  Sometimes I think in an effort to create more scholarly voice, the language instead becomes unbelievable because of overgeneralization or hyperbole.  The next bullet point on the slide is the use of mid position adverbs for more formal writing.  Adverbs I find to be a really interesting part of speech in English.  That they can often slide into various [indiscernible] in the Sentence so we sometimes see them at the beginning of a sentence or at the end of a sentence or sometimes before the verb in the middle of the sentence.  Often when moving the adverb to mid position it can elevate the scholarly voice.  So, for example, think of the sentence, it's necessary to follow the law carefully.  And carefully is the adverb.  You can change that to it is necessary to carefully follow the law.  So just moving the adverb to the mid position can elevate the scholarly voice here.

Another tip on this slide is to keep in mind that per APA the first person, I, is allowed and is actually preferred over the third person usage of writers referring to themselves as the researcher.  The use of ideas not detract from scholarly voice, instead it elevates it because the language is more clear and more precise.  I do want to note that we tend to get a little off questions on this in the writing center because this might be different than what you have previously learned but again I want to emphasize that the first person, I, is allowed and even expected where appropriate in APA.


Visual: Slide changes to the following: Scholarly Voice Tips 3

  • Avoid the use of the second person you to address the reader
    • “As a nurse practitioner, you have to decide how to divide up your time among all your patients” vs. “Nurse practitioners have to decide how to divide up their time among all their patients”
  • Avoid contractions
    • “can’t” vs. “cannot”; “won’t” vs. “will not”
  • When possible, use the active voice over the passive voice
    • “The study was conducted by Thompson” (passive) vs. “Thompson conducted the study” (active)

Audio [Dayna]: Continuing to the next slide, a few more specific tips but the first one to address the reader.  This can in fact alienate readers who don't feel like they are the, you, who is being referred to.  Here is an example.  As a nurse practitioner to decide how to divide up your time among all your patience.  If I'm reading this and not a nurse practitioner, I might feel alienated and not the intended audience for the writing and I might continue not to continue reading but instead you might to revise the sentence like nurse practitioners have to decide how to divide up their time among all their patience.  The second person you is gone and I don't feel alienated anymore as a reader.  And again, the sentence is more clear and more precise.     

The next bullet point says to avoid contractions.  Like can't or won't and instead you want to write -- write out the whole word so can't is written as cannot and won't as will not.  One last tip, when possible choose the active voice such as Thompson conducted the study rather than the passive voice, the study was conducted by Thompson -- the active voice is more act -- active and precise and it's showing who the author is.  You will notice that a lot of these scholarly tips that I have talked about relate back to this overall arching idea.     


Visual: Slide changes to the following: Practice

In the chat box, revise this sentence for improved scholarly voice

This researcher thinks that the Every Student Succeeds Act needs to be revised on account of the fact that a lot of students are still failing standardized tests.

One possible revision: The Every Student Succeeds Act should be revised because many students are still failing standardized tests.

Audio [Dayna]: After all of the tips let's do a little bit of practice.  What I would like you to do is try to revise this sentence that I have on the screen for scholarly voice.  And remember that there is not just one right answer here.  So, the sentences, this researcher thinks that the every student succeeds act needs to be revised on account of the fact that a lot of students are still failing standardized tests.     

This original sentence is completely grammatical, and I should point that out but it's 28 words long and the language can be more scholarly.  I'm going to go ahead and put myself on mute for a minute.  And if you -- give you a chance to type in your own revision for the sentence in the chat box below and then we will talk about it.  Go ahead.

[Students respond in the chat box]

Lots of people are still typing so I will give you another moment to try this revision of the sentence and then we will chat.

Thank you for giving us a shot.  I am seeing different answers coming to the chat box.  Some are going into the Q&A box, if you can copy and paste it into the chat box that will work better because we can all see the revisions here.  All I am seeing so far make the sentence more concise and more scholarly.  Every single possible revision seems to do that.  We have things like I think that every student succeeds act needs revision as many students are stealing -- are failing standardized test but that's more elevated and more scholarly and more concise.  The -- this researcher thinks that every student succeeds act needs revision for the reasons that students are still failing a standardized chats -- remember we want to get rid of the researcher if we can.  I think every student succeeds act needs to be revised.  On the fact that a lot of students are still failing standardized test.  Yes, and we have some more.  Every student succeeds act needs revision because most students fail standardized test but that is super concise nice job.  Etc.  There are lots of possibilities here.  So, I want to know that there's not just one right answer but I wanted to make that clear.  One possible revision that I did here is I said the every student succeeds acts should be revised because many students are still failing standardized tests.  So, in the original sentence that was 28 words long.  My revision I got it down to 16 words.  Again, this is one possibility.  But a couple of things I wanted to and note about why I chose to revise the way I did.  The person -- I wanted to get rid of the words this researcher because AP refers to refer to yourself in the first person if you need to and I decided I didn't even need the first person.  I was going to get were the researcher so I got rid of the researcher and I attempted to be more concise and specific.

I also decided to change the phrase on account of the fact that, to because.  On account of the fact that was 6 words long and I change it to a one-word phrase and I changed a lot of which is 3 words to many which is one word.

Again, this is just one way to revise the original sentence.  Minute of you have come up with alternate ways that work just as well as mine so thank you for trying that one.


Visual: Slide changes to the following: Practice 2

In the chat box, revise this sentence for improved scholarly voice

The article looked into how different styles of leadership are and aren’t effective (Smith, 2018).

One possible revision: Smith (2018) investigated the effectiveness of different styles of leadership.

Audio [Dayna]: Let's go ahead and do one more.  In this case, the original sentence is, the article looked into how different styles of leadership are and aren't effective.  Smith 2018.  Again, I want to point out this original sentence is 13 words long.  Minus the citation.  That's a lot shorter than the previous practice sentence but the scholarly voice can still be improved here so again just like the previous practice there's not just one right answer here.  Take a minute and see if you can review -- revise the sentence and add it to the chat box.  I will go ahead and go on mute so you can think more clearly.

[Students respond in the chat box]

I am seeing lots of great revisions coming into the chat box.  The article examined the effectiveness of different leadership styles.  Really clear and Smith looked at effectiveness of different styles of leadership -- Smith overview the effectiveness of different styles of leadership -- chatbox -- so many of you guys are doing an awesome job.

All of your possibilities seem to have elevated the scholarly voice in here is one possible revision that I came up with.  My revision was, Smith 2018 investigated the effectiveness of different styles of leadership.

In this revision, a couple of things that I decided to do, the first thing was to eliminate the anthropomorphism here.  So, remember the article can't look into something.  But a human can.  So in this case, Smith who was the author, who did this, I moved at to the beginning of the sentence for clarity so it's more clear who did what so basically the first thing I did was try to eliminate the anthropomorphism.  I also changed the phrasal verb looked into, to investigated. To make it more elevated and more scholarly.  And I revise the phrase, how different styles of leadership are and aren't effective to make it a more concise phrase, the effectiveness of different styles of leadership I saw many of you had done the same thing there 

My revision is 9 words long rather than the original 13.  Again just to reiterate, my possible revision is just one way to look at the original sentence but you might have come up with another way to do it as well and I encourage you to continue revising writing for scholarly voice using those tips on the slides that we discussed here.

Thank you again for participation in trying these couple of sentences.


Visual: Slide changes to the following: Spend Time on Revision and Proofreading


  • Language and writing skills are acquired over time
  • Daily English and academic English are two distinct skills sets 
  • Writing is an iterative process
  • Multiple drafts are expected
  • Revision might be the most time-consuming part of the process
  • See the Self-Editing pages

Audio [Dayna]: Let's move on to the fourth practical tip which is to spend time on revision and proofreading.

Remember that writing and language skills are acquired over time.  You need to be patient with yourself up as you learn to write in US academic English.  It also is important to remember that daily English and academic English are 2 distinct skill sets.  This means that you can be fluent and comfortable in daily English and still struggle with the shift to academic English.  Remember that academic English is nobody's first language and takes time and practice to improve.  So, remember to be patient with yourself.

Writing in US academic English is often considered a process as well.  In the American educational system, students are taught the different steps to this.  Brainstorming, drafting, revising and proofreading, a lot of times spent on these different steps in the process at school and students are often given feedback in multiple stages throughout the process.  So, for example, teachers might give feedback on outlines or rough drafts.  Class time might be devoted on peer-review envision -- revision and some other cultures there's much more of an of business on the product approach to writing which is the final copy of the writing is turned in without previous feedback.  If you come from an educational system where [indiscernible] was use you might be a surprised at the focus in the process of the American educational system.  Multiple drafts are expected in this approach to writing.  And revision is an essential part of the process.  In fact, I would even argue that sometimes revision might be the most time-consuming part of the process.  So, revision is also really iterative, and this means that might happen at different stages of the writing process.  And it will continue to happen again and again understanding the importance and the time commitment the revision in your own writing process can lead to a better overall end product.

I encourage you to bookmark the page at the bottom the slide on self-editing and we will talk more about the ideas in the next few slides and it's good want to bookmark for after this presentation.


Visual: Slide changes to the following: Self-Revision Strategies

  • Plan for revision time
  • Plan and prioritize (cannot do everything at once)
  • Be aware of writing strengths and weaknesses
  • Address program degree requirements
  • Follow faculty instructions and address feedback
  • Ensure that the writing reflects your intended meaning
  • Use reverse outlining

Audio [Dayna]: We know that self-revision at the capsule stage of the writing process becomes even more of a challenge because of the overall length of the document.  The time that it takes to complete the study and the fact that you might not write the manuscript in the order in which it is presented.  So, they help with this, you want to develop self-revision is -- revision strategies.  First be sure to plan for revision type of the remember that revision is an essential and time-consuming part of the revision process.  Or of the writing process.  And remember that revision of the capstone level is more of an iterative process.  You should expect to go over the same passages more than once to self-edit for different things.  Second, you might want to make a revision plan and prioritize how to make the revisions.  You can't do everything at once especially in such a long document.  So instead you want to decide on a handful of things to focus on at each realm of division and you can move them from bigger picture to smaller picture and address one thing at a time.  Just not everything at once.

Third, be aware of your own strengths and weaknesses as a writer.  If you know that you often have difficulty with your introductions, you can keep this in mind as you write.  So, you can focus on this in an earlier draft.  If you know that you often have difficulty with academic word choice, you can keep this in mind so you can use a thesaurus or develop other strategies to improve.

The fourth and fifth sets on the slide address programmed agreement -- degree requirements of following faculty instructions and addressing feedback back to the first practical tip that I talked about in part one of the webinar series.  On following faculty and document expectations.  So rather than going through those again I suggest reviewing the ideas there.  Check your writing reflects your intended meaning.  You can try reading your writing out loud to yourself or to someone else.  Or alternatively come you can have someone read your writing out loud to you but if you do this it will give you a chance to hear the words outside of your own head and give you the opportunity to listen for how the ideas and the words pulled together and or where the ideas become confusing.

The last bullet point I've included on the slide is to try reverse outlining.  I hyperlinked to a smart guide on this as well.  Writers often create an outline before they write.  But with reverse outlining you actually create an outline what you have already written check that what is on your page matches your intention so it's a way to revise your writing by working backward.

If you haven't had a chance to try that yet I think it is worth giving it a shot.  It's a cool way to try some revisions.

Revising for the bigger picture concerns.  You're also wanting to revise for Sentence level grammar and one way to develop grammatical accuracy is to read accurately and analyze sentence level grammar in published academic documents.  I recommend reading published Walden doctoral studies and dissertations that I've hyperlinked to hear to analyze some of the sentence level grammar that you see there.  I've included one more link on the slide as well.  Tips for revising for sentence level grammar see can bookmark this link to check it out on your own.  And we will talk a little bit more about these as we go on as well.


Visual: Slide changes to the following: Revise for Sentence-Level Grammar

Use a corpus

Look in the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA) to search for grammatical structures such as sentence construction, verb tenses, subject-verb agreement, count versus noncount nouns, article usage, and preposition usage.

Using a corpus and this is something I mentioned in one of the first couple of slides but it's another really great way to revise for sentence level grammar and it's one of my personal favorite strategies.  A corpus is a large collection of text into can be so thing as general as the Internet or it could be something more specific such as the corpus of contemporary American English that I've hyperlinked to here.  You can use the corpus to search for grammatical structures such as sentence construction, verb tenses, subject verb agreement, count versus non-count nouns, article usage, preposition usage and other things as well.

There are 2 other hyperlinks include on the slide.  One is a video showing how to use a corpus.  And the other one is a smart guide which is a quick visual how to guide on using a corpus for revising for grammar and scholarly voice.

Both of those will be helpful to give a demonstration of how you can use a corpus for your own revision.


Visual: Slide changes to the following: Revise for Sentence-Level Grammar

Be aware of common sentence-level grammatical errors:

Audio [Dayna]: As you are revising for sentence level grammar it can be helpful to be aware of the most common sentence level grammatical errors and the ones that are listed on the slide here [audio issue] -- according to scholarly research Dayan Ferris.  Are provided hyperlinks to more examples and more information on these as well.  So, I'm not going to click on each one of these.  Because of time.  But in general, you want to watch for errors in sentence structures, including simple and compound and complex sentences.  And you also want to watch for errors in punctuation.  Specifically and especially to avoid fragments and run on sentences.

At the word level, you want to watch for errors in word choice.  Verb tenses and verb forms.  Word forms.  Subject verb agreement and nouns endings.  Pronouns, articles, prepositions and spelling.

Sometimes I find just giving a name to the type of air can raise your awareness of it and then allow you to better revise.


Visual: Slide changes to the following: Revise for Sentence-Level Grammar

Use a grammar revision journal

Self-awareness leads to effective self-editing

Audio [Dayna]: Another way to revise for sentence level grammar is to use a grammar revision journal.  Basically, this is a way to track common grammatical errors which I think can be really helpful because grammar errors often follow patterns.  You can find the grammar revision journal template in the hyperlink here.  And this template gives you a place to keep track of the type of error and example of the error, revision of the error and the grammatical rule.  Again, on this slide I've included 2 hyperlinks that you might find helpful.  One is the video that shows you how to use a grammar revision journal and shows you a couple of examples.  And the other is a smart guide which is a quick visual how to guide of how to use a grammar revision journal.

The overall goal of all of these strategies is to help you become more aware of your writing strengths and weaknesses. Because self-awareness can lead to effective self-editing.


Visual: Slide changes to the following: Proofreading Tips

  • Read aloud or listen to the draft read aloud by someone else
  • Make the document look different on the screen or on the page
  • Print out a hard copy
  • Use a ruler or blank sheet of paper
  • Proofread backwards
  • Proofread at specific time of day
  • Use grammar and spell checkers, but not exclusively
  • Take a break between writing and proofreading

Audio [Dayna]: In the previous few slides we looked at revision and now I would like to move on to proofreading.

Sometimes after all of your hard work, the very last thing you want to do is to sit down and spend more time proofreading.  Remember this is also a really essential part of this writing process.  It is when you don't want to skip especially in such a large and important document like the capstone.  On the slide I will get proofreading tips and the idea is not that you have to use all of them on this slide but you want to try some and find work -- find some that work the best for you but one ideas to proofread aloud.  Read the document aloud or listen to the draft read aloud by someone else.  This can slow you down so you can hear the difference in what you meant to write and what you actually wrote.

Another idea is to make the document look different on the screen or on the page.  Maybe you want to highlight and bold one sentence at a time but whatever you do, it allows you to focus on the one idea.  You also might try printing out a copy of your writing to proofread rather than trying to do it on the computer screen.  Another idea is to place a blank ruler or blank sheet of paper under each line as you read it.  This gives your eyes a more manageable amount of text to read and it slows you down.

The next idea is to proofread backwards but you can begin at the end of the work and work your way back through the document paragraph by paragraph or even line by line and this will force you to look at the surface elements rather than at the meaning of the documents.

The next bullet point is to proofread at a time of day where you are most alert to spotting errors.  If you're a morning person try proofreading, then.  You should use grammar and spellcheckers on your computer and use them but do so carefully and not as an alternative to doing your own spellchecking.  Computer spellcheckers often make errors and they might suggest a word that you don't want at all.  And they don't know the difference between the different uses of the word there.  Or spellings of the word.  And the last tip and probably one of the most important is to try to take a break from writing and proofreading.

Set your document aside for the night or day or even a week if you can or if you can't, even just for 20 minutes go get yourself a cup of coffee and come back.  This allows you look back of the writing with fresh eyes and will give you the chance to see things that you have might missed.


Visual: Slide changes to the following: Chat

What are your favorite revision and proofreading strategies? They can be ideas from these slides or your own ideas. Share your favorites in the Chat Box!

Audio [Dayna]: I have done quite a bit of talking and I've got 3 ideas of how to revise and proofread but I know from all of my work with students at residencies and DI and in the classroom that students themselves have lots of awesome ideas as well.  So what I'm hoping that we can do right now is give you a chance to share what are some of your favorite revision and proofreading strategies but these can be ideas from the slides I presented here or they can be your own ideas for revision and proofreading.  I will I'm going to go ahead and mute if you want to share ideas in the chat box, things that are worth having other writers like yourself try.

[Students respond in the chat box]

Please put your ideas in the chat box rather than the Q&A so it is easier for everybody to see.  I see lots of good stuff coming in.  I will give you another minute.

Lots of good stuff here, these keep on typing if you're thinking of something.  I'm going to go back through what I see.  Somebody said they love printing out the document and reading aloud.  Honestly that is one of the best things that works for me also.  I want to [indiscernible] as much as I can but I do a much better job with a piece of paper in front of me.  I love Grammarly and I give the person to a document that is very good and gives me his opinion.  That's a good multistep process and I also was going to recommend Grammarly and having a couple of steps for yourself is really important and do-it-yourselfers and then give it to somebody else.  Good old yellow highlight still works for me.  Good.  Grammarly again, a few more people.  And record yourself -- recording yourself reading it is a neat way to do it because then you can listen to it again.  Nice job.  Use a grammar checker and recheck and take time away from it.  Reading aloud to myself I do that probably every day.  My kids will often walk past my office and hear me talking myself -- I'm just checking what I wrote here.  Creating narration of your writing and listening to it.  Recording the whole thing I like that a lot reading out loud.  Grammarly.  Comment box to revise sections of the document and then go back and paraphrase.  I like that.  Printed out.  Read it again.  Print it out and read line by line.  These are great.  Thank you.  I am seeing lots of great ideas and the one I have never tried is recording myself and then listening to it. So, you have all given me something else I can try for myself.

Basically, there are lots of revision and proofreading strategies.  I think the overall take away is I encourage you to try something that you haven't already tried.  What I also encourage you to find things that work best for you.  It doesn't mean you have to do every single step on the proofreading checklist that I have listed here.  It means that you want to find a few that work and give them ago and make sure to give yourself that time that you need to do a full revision and full proofreading of your document.  Thank you.

Let's go on to the final practical step which is to use form and style website resources.     


Visual: Slide changes to the following: Use Form and Style Website Resources


Form and Style webpage: Use Quick Answers and the search tool

Reading to Write

Scholarly Voice


Form and Style Review Checklist

Audio [Dayna]: I mentioned some of the resources but I know it's worth repeating -- some of the next slides are specific to part 2 of the series so they're not just copy and paste it.  Also, I know there have been other hyperlinks of resources throughout the webinar today.  I saw the mentioned but a number of resources can get overwhelming so you if you haven't already I suggest downloading and saving today's webinar and the slides.  Which are in the files pod on the screen here.  So, you can have access to everything presented here and you can go back and bookmark things that are going to be most helpful for you.

Using the form and style website resources.  First, you can email us at with capstone questions and an editor will respond to you within 24 hours within the business week so that's an easy way to get in touch with us.

Next, I provided the link to the form and style web site itself.  If you have not bookmark this I suggest doing so.  If you want to search for something on the website, you can use quick answers and the search tool on the site and type in what you're looking for and it's an easy way to navigate what you will find there.

The next one is we spent a lot of time today talking about scholarly voice.  And remember that actively reading can dim -- can improve and improve scholarly voice as well so I hyperlink to a webpage we have on reading to write.  And I also hyperlink to the webpages we have on scholarly voice.

The next hyperlink is for the self-editing pages and it's worth mentioning them again because it can be helpful for revision and proofreading the capstone document.  The next hyperlink I have included here is for the form and style review checklist.  This is the checklist that we editors use as we edit manuscript and I suggest using this checklist for your own revision and proofreading process so you know what we are looking for as we read your final capstone document and you can make these revisions before we ever see your final document.


Visual: Slide changes to the following: Use Form and Style Website Resources

For Capstone Multilingual Writers

Capstone Multilingual Writing Tip of the Month

Doctoral Multilingual Writers Kit

Grammar and Mechanics pages

Grammar Checks and Strategies SMRTguides

Grammarly (on the Writing Center website)

The next resource slide shows a few more specifics for capstone multilingual writers.  First you can bookmark the 4 capstone multilingual writer pages on the form and style website pages -- they can be accessed from the slide here so if you only want to remember one leg that is going to go back to all of the capstone multilingual resources, this is it, the one to hyperlink.  On the hyperlink page above there is a capstone multilingual writing tip of the month.  And all the previous months are also archived.  Topics range from grammatical so for example such as [indiscernible] to maybe more holistic like keeping cohesion in the capstone documents.  Another resource worth bookmarking is the doctoral multilingual writers kit in this kit is directed specifically as doctoral multilingual writers who are working on their capstone or is rotation the kips contain tips and resources to help students navigate their final written documents.  There's also the grammar mechanics pages on the form and style website.  And these provide explanations and examples of some of those various elements of English grammar and punctuation that capstone writers often have questions about.    

The next link is to the grammar checks and strategies smart guides.  There are 3 smart guides in particular that I think you might find helpful.  There's a smart guide on using a grammar revision Journal and we talked about that earlier today.  There's another on using a corpus to revise your grammar is Scholarly voice which I talked about and there's a third smart guide on article you use flowchart and article words like, A, an, and you can also check that smart guide out.

And finally a few of you mentioned this in your own revision strategies is to try Grammarly and this is a free tool that is available to the writing center and I would suggest trying it out and using it.  And it can identify and help provide feedback regarding grammar and syntax and spelling errors.  And I will say that Grammarly is not full proof.  It is just a computer software so it might not for example, really help you with things like transitional phrases or expressions.  It is not specific to APA so there could be specific APA things that Grammarly will not point out or fix or no.  But it can still be helpful in the revision process for some of the sentence level grammatical errors.


Visual: Slide changes to the following: Questions? 

Audio [Dayna]: That is bringing us to the end of part 2.  We do have a bit of time for questions.  So, Sam and Anne, I will turn it back to you if there's anything you would like me to address.

[Sam]:  There weren't an awful lot of questions other than what you addressed already.  There was one student asking about advisors for doctoral students and I don't know how this works because it is outside of our department but do you know -- they don't have access to academic advisors?

[Dayna]: They do and in fact I do know that students get assigned an academic advisor -- doctoral students as well. But it is true that I'm not exactly sure how that works.

[Sam]: They should check with their chair and the chair is one of the best resources for student to make sure they keep in contact with them and also try the interactive tools that are called the doctoral coach and has lots of resources and is a useful thing.  The student is asking about a writing advisor.  You can always ask us questions at and that's the best I can offer right now.

[Dayna]:  I do see somebody in the chat box said we switch to doctoral advisors and that is somebody who is a doctoral level advisor but in terms of what kind of support you can get from us, level advisor  at the prospectus stage or before that, when you're doing your coursework, or working on your prospectus, you do have access to paper reviews so this would be -- I might if I can call on Anne, the writing instructors do set of papers review first and so you can get some feedback on your writing.  Could you explain this a little bit and I will move on to the next part?

[Anne]: Thank you Dayna.  Yes, what Dayan said is true.  For those of you who are in the pre- proposal stage, you do not yet have an approved prospectus, you are eligible to use our paper review service where you set up an appointment that is asynchronous with our writing instructors so that means you don't meet with anybody.  You just fill out a form that lets the instructor know what you want feedback on and what you want to work on and attach a document and they will give you feedback in the document itself and give it back to you for review.  The writing instructors working in the paper review service are not writing advisors.  But students can make appointments up to 3 times a week and you can even schedule those up to 2 weeks in advance so a lot of students actually do schedule regular appointments and you can even schedule them depending on availability with the same instructor.  So, it's sort of a nice way to build a relationship with a professional writing instructor who can get to know you in your writing and give you feedback over a period of time.  I would definitely recommend checking that out if you're in the pre- proposal stage.

[Dayna]:  And then once you're at the proposal stage and beyond, that is when you come over to the editors and we don't necessarily have writing advisors in the same way that was said but we do often are different think so you can always email us.  We can answer some direct questions there.  There's also a chapter edit service and this is something that your faculty fills out an application for so it's not something that you can do yourself but you can talk to your committee, your chair and your committee chair can fill an application on your behalf for a chapter edit.  Basically, each student is allowed to have 4 chapter edit throughout their capstone process.  And if you get a chapter edit your document get assigned to one of us editors and we spent an hour giving you feedback on whatever chapter or section of the document that the application it is indicated and we view it -- we give you whatever type of feedback your chair thought you would need or other things that we see.  That's a way to get other feedback from us as well.  At the capstone stage the ideas that writers become a bit more independent.  And also, in the writing center, both at the pre- capstone stage and the capstone stage, we are not the content experts so we are the writing experts and we can help you with APA or with the writing.  We can help you with the sentence level grammar portion of it.  But because we are not the content experts, we will sometimes tell students to go back to their committees, their chairs, their second committee members because that is where you're going to get a lot of the content information.

One other place that you can go that I didn't talk about in today's webinar is to use the writing kits and Sam, I'm not sure if you can drop the link in the chat box here for those.  We do have some writing kits that are available.  There's a kit for writing the pre- proposal -- proposal writing and final document writings but there are more general kits as well that can help you through the process so it if you haven't seen those or heard of those before that might be another resource for you to try.

Any other questions I can answer?

[Anne]: I think that is it for our questions for right now.  There's another plug to email us at if you have questions that come up after today.  


Visual: Slide changes to the following: If you missed Part 1

Writing a Doctoral Capstone as a Multilingual Writer: Practical Tips and Resources, Part 1

On-demand recording

Audio [Anne]: With the last minute here, I wanted to send you all to the link to our part one of the webinar.  If you missed it or if you would like to review it, it's available on our website for viewing.  And a reminder that this webinar today will be up on our website in our webinar archive soon.  I can say it should be by the end of next week at the latest.  Hopefully a little bit sooner.  

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Works Consulted

Ferris, D. (2011). Treatment of error in second language student writing (2nd ed.). University of Michigan Press.

Paltridge, B., & Starfield, S. (2007). Thesis and dissertation writing in a second language: A handbook for supervisors. Routledge.

Swales, J. M., & Feak, C. B. (2012). Academic writing for graduate students: Essential tasks and skills (3rd ed.). University of Michigan Press.

Audio [Anne]: And then, last there's a list of works consulted here for the presentation if you're interested in checking out any of those resources.  Thank you again to Dayan and Sam.  And thank you everybody for joining us today. Goodbye.