Campus Life

Bag of Tricks: Dr. Costello’s Writing Hacks

by Edward Boice

Come learn some tips and tricks for your writing projects as part of Dr. C.L. Costello’s Writing Hacks series.

Ever sit in front of a computer screen with a big paper, wondering where to start? Have words escaped the grasp of your fingertips as they hover over your keyboard? Students who come to Dr. C.L. Costello’s Writing Hacks presentation will learn new tricks to get those ideas flowing.

On October 25 and November 1 at 10:30 – 11:00 a.m., Costello, a communications professor, will be giving students valuable tips in the Writing Studio (located in Berks 209). This interactive session will give students a chance to ask Costello questions they have about perfecting their writing assignments. The October 25 event will focus on how to brainstorm ideas. The guidelines of APA citation style will be covered on November 1. Costello will be presenting at both events, with possible help from the tutors in the Writing Lab.

Most students think, when starting a paper, that what they put on paper must be new and brilliant. But expecting perfection from the start makes it more difficult to write. Writing is often more about plugging away than waiting for a muse.

“Writing is tricks: every stage of the writing process is a rhetorical pattern,” Costello explained. By following the pattern and filling in the blanks along the way, students can begin piecing their assignments together.

Properly citing sources is another sore point for many students. Most communications students don’t like doing APA citation, as they are used to MLA formatting. Trying to cram twice the information into their brains by learning a new style might give students headaches. Costello acknowledges students’ agonies over this laboriously detailed process, but he notes that citation in different formats is a necessary evil. He noted that his workshop should give students some much needed aspirin.

Any student looking to jump-start a new paper, understand APA citation formatting, or just learn a few tips about the writing process, should consider attending one of Costello’s Writing Hacks workshops.

 

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