Monthly Archives: June 2009

Gretchen Rubin’s “13 Tips for Actually Getting Some Writing Done”

Author Gretchen Rubin offers thirteen very useful, very simple tips to get you writing. Below is an excerpt, but please click here to read the entire blog entry.

One of the challenges of writing is…writing. Here are some tips that I’ve found most useful for myself, for actually getting words onto the page:

1. Write something every work-day, and preferably, every day; don’t wait for inspiration to strike. Staying inside a project keeps you engaged, keeps your mind working, and keeps ideas flowing. Also, perhaps surprisingly, it’s often easier to do something almost every day than to do it three times a week. (This may be related to the abstainer/moderator split.)

2. Remember that if you have even just fifteen minutes, you can get something done. Don’t mislead yourself, as I did for several years, with thoughts like, “If I don’t have three or four hours clear, there’s no point in starting.”

3. Don’t binge on writing. Staying up all night, not leaving your house for days, abandoning all other priorities in your life — these habits lead to burn-out.

If you enjoy this entry, become a regular reader of her Happiness Project blog and look for her book, The Happiness Project, late this year.


How Can I Avoid Plagiarism?

Many tutees — and academic writers, in general — are concerned about plagiarism. Not only are they (rightly) intent on making sure their own arguments are not lost among or confused with those of their sources, but they also are keenly aware that the penalties for plagiarism are numerous: failing grades, removal from courses, and lingering stigma in one’s academic community. Therefore, students spend much of their composition time agonizing over summaries, paraphrases, and direct quotations, often sacrificing time that could be used developing their own arguments.

Sadly,  because the stakes are so high, many writers develop anxiety about proper documentation. Here are a few online resources I’ve found so far that I hope will assist writers in the never-ending quest to avoid plagiarism.


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