Are resources available to strengthen my writing?

by | April 29, 2012

Podcast Description: Suggestions for resources to assist you in the writing process are presented.

Transcript: The following presentation is a production of Capella University and is not intended for commercial use.

Welcome to another topic in a series of podcasts regarding aspects of the comprehensive exam and dissertation process. If you’d rather have a root canal than write a dissertation, you’re not alone. Many learners are well aware that academic writing is difficult and that good academic writing doesn’t come easy.

Developing strong academic writing skills entails paying attention to the principles of effective writing, increasing consciousness of how others write, knowing our own writing strengths and weaknesses, and seeking out resources that will increase your skills.

The good news is that you can find a host of writing resources to strengthen your academic writing skills.

First, consider a few books.

The classic go-to book on writing is The Elements of Style by Strunk and White. This book describes essential requirements of effective writing. It also concentrates on the rules of usage and identifies common problems in the principles of composition and language use.

The Writing Program faculty at Capella recommend the book, A Writer’s Reference, by Diana Hacker. This book is used widely at colleges and universities and is easy to use. The book has sections on academic writing, composing and revising, punctuation, sentence style, grammar, and word choice. The book also contains a good discussion of the mechanics of research.

If you find Internet resources more appealing, then be sure to investigate the Capella Online Writing Center. Accessible through iGuide and at the public address, href=””>, it contains numerous sections with resources to support and strengthen your writing. One of these resources, the MEAL plan, describes how to construct effective paragraphs. In addition, the Online Writing Center offers a writing self-assessment that helps identify your strengths and your areas to work on to strengthen your academic writing. This tool also offers explanations of the answers and provides links to additional resources. The Online Writing Center also hosts Smarthinking, a free, online tutoring service. All you need to do is create an account and submit a draft of a paper to receive feedback. There is also a real-time chat feature in Smarthinking that links you to online tutors. Because of the nature of the comprehensive exam, Smarthinking is not available for learners taking the exam. Don’t miss out on great opportunities available at the Capella Online Writing Center.

You can strengthen your writing by learning more about the process and what it takes to generate polished academic writing.

Remember, you bring unique circumstances to your doctoral journey. Follow up with your doctoral advisor for clarification and additional information about the dissertation process.

This presentation has been brought to you by Capella University and may not be re-transmitted or used for any commercial purpose without the expressed written consent of Capella University.

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