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Walden University Writing Center

Where instructors and editors talk writing.

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Book Review: 365 Journal Writing Ideas by Rossi Fox

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Last week on the blog, we provided some downloadablejournals to help you document your APA, grammar, and overall writing progress. This week we’re also talking about journals and journaling, but this time in the sense of freewriting.

How You Can Avoid My College Writing Mistake

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This month on the blog and in the WriteCast podcast, we’re talking about starting and sticking to a writing practice. By "writing practice," we mean not only the act of writing, but also prewriting, revising, reflecting on your writing, evaluating your process, and growing as a writer.

As a sentimental person (or as a borderline hoarder, as my husband would say), I've kept many of the papers I wrote in college. Usually they sit in the back of a closet gathering dust, but I come across them every so often and read through them again. This weekend, as I pulled out my old papers, I noticed something interesting I hadn't seen before: several papers written for different classes throughout one semester contained similar comments from my professors. I clearly hadn't been using their comments to improve my work in my other courses.

It's not that I didn't care or didn't try to strengthen my writing. On the contrary--I loved writing, and I took each comment and correction to heart. I also knew writing would play a major role in my future career, so I took greater pains than the average student to learn from my writing experiences. However, I didn't have any systematic method for keeping track of the feedback I received so that I could reflect on it and apply it to my other papers.

Walden University Writing Center

In our interview with the Writing Center’s Associate Director Melanie Brown last year, Dr. Brown proposed a great suggestion to track and organize the feedback you receive on your writing. Kayla also discussed the importance of documenting your writing concerns and errors in her post on applying feedback throughout a draft. Keeping a running list of feedback notes, areas of improvement, areas of strength, and plans for future writing can help you remember the valuable feedback you get from faculty, peers, and the Writing Center and put it to good use.

To help you get started, we've created these APA, grammar, and writing feedback journals free for you to download and use in your own writing practice:

APA Journal – MS Word Version
APA Journal – PDF version
Grammar Journal – MS Word version
Grammar Journal – PDF version with examples
Writing Feedback Journal – MS Word version
Writing Feedback Journal – PDF version

Practice: Print out these journals or keep them in a handy location on your computer. Add to and consult them as you write and as you review feedback. Then, check back in with us! We’d love to know what you think of these journals, if they're helping you in your writing practice, and how they might be improved.


Anne Shiell
 is a writing instructor and the coordinator of social media resources at the Walden Writing Center. Anne also produces WriteCast, the Writing Center's podcast.

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What's New in the Writing Center?

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Excitement is in the air at the Writing Center as we get to work on new initiatives for 2015! Here’s what’s happening:

New website

We recently launched a new Writing Center website, which features much of the same content but improved organization. Check out the new site and update any Writing Center bookmarks you have saved. Bookmarking the main page or favorite pages is a great way to access them quickly.

new Walden Writing Center website
Check out the new Writing Center website!
image created via Placeit.net

Relocated WriteCast page

We’ve moved the WriteCast page to the new website as well. Starting today, you can access all episodes and transcripts on the WriteCast podcast page. We’ll continue to let you know about new episodes here on the blog.

Two myPASS appointments per week

Students submitting undergraduate or graduate coursework for review in myPASS can now make two appointments per week. Just remember that we still ask students to actively revise their work, making an effort to apply feedback between appointments.

If you’re writing your dissertation or doc study, we have several resources to help you with your writing. In particular, we want to highlight the new doctoral writing workshops along with the Walden Capstone Writing Community, a great space to connect with fellow students and chat with a Writing Center editor.

Small Writing Groups

The pilot of our Google+ private writing groups kicked off today! If you signed up to be part of a group, don’t forget to accept your group invitation, which came to your Waldenu.edu e-mail address.

Post-Webinar Facebook Chat

Join us for our first live Facebook chat with writing instructors Matt, Beth, and Anne following Wednesday’s “Building and Organizing Academic Arguments” webinar. The chat will take place from 7-7:30 p.m. Eastern Time on our Facebook page. You don’t need to preregister or attend the webinar to participate, though you can get the most out of the chat by attending the webinar. Need a reminder? Register for the webinar and add it to your calendar, and/or RSVP to our Facebook event

2015 is off to a great start! We're looking forward to what this new year will bring, and we hope you are, too.


Anne Shiell
 is a writing instructor and the coordinator of social media resources at the Walden Writing Center. Anne also produces WriteCast, the Writing Center's podcast.

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WriteCast Episode 17: 5 Tips for Establishing a Writing Practice

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Happy New Year, everyone! Want to strengthen your writing in 2015? Check out our latest WriteCast episode for our five tips for getting into a regular, productive writing practice this year.

Misplacing the Word 'Effectively'


In English, the position of a word in a sentence is significant. Where a word appears in a sentence depends on whether you are writing about time, a question, an adverb; it depends on whether you are writing a positive sentence, a negative sentence, or a subordinate clause.

Adverbs are problematic because they can appear before the subject of the sentence, between the subject and the verb, or after the verb. Their meaning will generally change according to position in the sentence. So it’s not uncommon to see adverbs misplaced in written English.

Such an adverb is effectively. According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary (preferred by APA and Walden), when placed between the subject and the verb, it means  in effect or  virtually <by withholding funds they effectively killed the project>. But when it is placed after the verb, it means in an effective manner <dealt with the problem effectively>. Follow this URL: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/effectively

Putting an adverb in the wrong position in a sentence will likely confuse readers. For example, you would not want to write, “by withholding funds, they killed the project effectively,” if you meant to say only that the project was virtually killed (“by withholding funds, they effectively killed the project”).

To say how something was done, the adverb must be used after a verb. Use this infographic below as a handy reminder:

Using 'effectively' effectively infographic by the Walden Writing Center

Practice: Do a search (hint: use CTRL + F) in a piece of your writing for the word 'effectively'. Are you using it as you mean to? Share with us in the comments.


Tim McIndoo
, who has been a dissertation editor since 2007, has more than 30 years of editorial experience in the field of medicine, science and technology, fiction, and education. When it comes to APA style, he says, "I don't write the rules; I just help users follow them."

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