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Wilfrid Laurier University Centre for Student Success
December 18, 2014

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Playing with words

Here's one of my favourite photos from last night's Long Night Against Procrastination.

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4am Bananagram fun at the Long Night Against Procrastination

Trouble Writing? Try Reading.

Trouble Writing? Try Reading.
By Seth Adema

As a writing tutor, one of the more common problems people come to me with is that they do not know where to start their papers. Once they do get their essays rolling, they have a hard time finding the words to communicate their ideas. I would like to humbly suggest one approach to finding the language you need to say what you want to say: read.

Lets start with an assumption that you are keeping up with your assigned readings in the course or courses that you are writing for. Obviously, reading course material will keep you informed on the issues relevant within your course and, by extension, the field within which you are writing. It also should give you an idea for how the scholarly discipline tends to work. It may seem obvious, but it is worth stating that scholars in the humanities write differently than those in the sciences. By keeping up on your readings, you will be able to write in an appropriate way for your reader, the professor or TA. At the Writing Centre, we call this the Academic Genre.

But this is not what my blog post is about. I expect that you are keeping up with readings, and, if you arent, a blog post will not be what convinces you to start up assigned readings. I imagine your marks and feedback is a better way to get that message across anyways. If you are really looking for ways to build your writing skill set, you need to read outside your discipline as well. Read novels. Read newspapers. Read magazines.Read. Here is why:

First, good academic writing does more than present the material; it tells a story. By reading more widely, you will be exposed to more ways of telling stories.

Second, you will expose yourself to more ways of seeing the world. That is, after all, the purpose of a university education. For example, when you read a memoir or a biography, you might have insight into course material that you would otherwise miss.

Third, you will stay mentally healthy. Reading should not be a chore, but if all your reading is technical or academic, the odds are you will not enjoy opening a book. This is an easy way to take time to yourself, turn down the volume on the stresses of your academics, but still have some take-away benefits in your academic writing.

If you are looking for somewhere to start, here are some helpful websites:

Laurier Reads

CBC Books

Canada Council for the Arts - Governor General's Literary Awards

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Tutor Spotlight: Eric featured on Laurier's new website

We are so proud to see Eric Vero, one of our 4th-year writing tutors, featured on Laurier's new website. His passion for history definitely shines through this article. Congratulations, Eric!

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Click here to read about Eric's interests in history and research.

The Differences of Eating Habits Between Chinese Culture and Canadian Culture

We are pleased to welcome Jianan Mo to the Writing Centre. She will be working with us during the Fall 2014 term as part of the International Work Experience Program.

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The Differences in Eating Habits between the Chinese and Canadian Cultures

by Jianan Mo

As you can see, there are more and more international students who come from China on campus now. Most of you will probably make friends with them in your future courses at Laurier since it will benefit you through learning a new culture. Having a dinner with others is a good way to make friends in Canada. Therefore, you will benefit from having the knowledge of different eating habits. You can feel comfortable when you have a dinner with someone who comes from a different culture, especially when you treat someone. I am one of the Chinese students who studies on campus now. I will talk about five differences I noticed because having the knowledge of differences will help you to avoid misunderstanding arises from culture differences.


-- I eat 3 meals per day, while many Canadians love to eat whenever they want. All of my Canadian friends love to have snacks and cookies in the afternoon, while I prefer to eat exactly three times per day.

-- Most Chinese eat more fresh vegetables than Canadians. I eat vegetables in every meal I have, while many of my Canadian friends only eat vegetables at dinner time.

-- Shopping habits differ as well in these two cultures. Many Chinese buy groceries every day, while many Canadians prefer to buy groceries once a week. I remember when I was in my high school, my mom tried to get the freshest vegetables for me every day at 6am at outdoor markets, while many Canadians buy groceries once a week in supermarkets.

-- Most Canadians have sweet dessert after their meal such as cheese cake while Chinese have congee. Congee is a type of rice porridge. We can add what we want into congee such as red beans, meats, and eggs. We have hundreds of kinds of congee in China and we try to cook one kind per day.

-- Many Chinese eat cooked food while many Canadians love the raw food. I have done a really interesting observation this week. I just stood by the Subway located in the Bricker Academic Building and watched how people ordered the food. Many Chinese students chose to toast their bread for their meatball sandwiches (since meatballs were cooked!). Also, Chinese students wouldnt order veggies like green peppers if they are not cooked. Almost all the Canadians I observed that day ordered raw food such as green peppers and red onions.

All in all, eating habits are different in every culture. If we could know the differences of eating habits, it will definitely benefit us!


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The New and Improved Drop-In

The New and Improved Drop In
by Lindsay Meaning

With the start of the fall semester, the Wilfrid Laurier Writing Centre has shaken things up by implementing a new schedule for appointments and drop-in hours. This new schedule has set aside every Thursday, all day, for students to drop in without a pre-scheduled appointment in order to get help with any aspect of their academic writing assignments. There will be two tutors available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and three tutors available from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

This new schedule will make it easier for students to find time between classes to visit the Writing Centre. Appointments will be scheduled on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

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