Walden University Writing Center -->

Walden University Writing Center

Where instructors and editors talk writing.

Recent Posts

Thursday Thoughts: Students Inspire Us to Give Back

No comments
This week, Walden's Global Days of Service are in full swing! We at the Walden University Writing Center feel invigorated by the stories you've shared about your own positive social change causes and triumphs. Thank you so much for sharing your passion with us! From Walden's 2014 Social Change Impact Report, it is easy to see how passionate Walden students are about their impact on positive social change, with 79% of you believing that you can make the world a better place through your actions   

Image of globe over teal background. Text reads, "Global Days of Service 2016, Help Make a Difference - Find and Register for a Project Today"
Join us in creating positive social change in our communities. 

This week, we at the Writing Center feel inspired by you, our students, and we are actively engaging in volunteer activities to create a positive impact in our communities.
  • On Monday, we worked with Emma Norton Services to help women, children, and families get ahead. 
  • On Tuesday, we worked with the Alzheimer's Association to get out communication about the sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S. to local chapters and provide for the Walk to End Alzheimer's.
  • On Wednesday, we worked with Cookie Cart to provide teens with meaningful work, life, and leadership skills through experience and training in an urban, nonprofit bakery. 
  • On Thursday, we will be working with EDIT (Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, Together) to empower youth to promote equity, diversity, and inclusion together in our communities through service learning, leadership, and the arts.   
  • On Saturday, we will be working with Pillsbury United Communities to create quality support resources that enrich communities with academic, social, and emotional success.

If you, too, are considering how/why/when/where you might impact positive social change, feel free to peruse the resources below
To you, we want to say thank you! Thank you for sharing your social change stories with us, and thank you for carrying your Walden educations with you to promote positive social change within your communities.

Walden University provides a diverse community of career professionals with the opportunity to transform themselves as scholar-practitioners so that they can effect positive social change.

Never miss a new post; Opt-out at any time

Global Days of Service Kick-Off: Volunteering in the Hustle and Bustle of Daily Life

No comments
A banner introducing the Global Days of Service from Walden U
Walden University's Global Days of Service starts today!
Today begins Walden’s Global Days of Service 2016, a week-long celebration of our mission of social change where those in the community are encouraged to volunteer and make a difference.

According to a 2015 study conducted by the United States Department of Labor, the volunteer rate for the US is in decline with 24.9% of the population volunteering. While many in the Walden community volunteer regularly, there’s a good chance that this isn’t something that everyone does, perhaps because they don’t feel like they have the time or they haven’t found a place to volunteer. We get it. There’s already so much to balance in life from work to family to school.

However, as Hillary stated in her blog post last week about writing skill development, “Yes, you do have time for that—even if it’s just 5 minutes a day.” The same is true for volunteering and working to make a difference in your community: you have time for that, and it’s important. Even if it’s just an hour a week or one afternoon each fall, taking the time to volunteer will bring many positive benefits to both you and your community.

In my own experiences volunteering at grade schools, summer programs, the zoo, fall clean up days, and nursing homes, here are the benefits of volunteering I’ve discovered:

You Meet New People: Volunteering is a great way to get out in the community, meet some new people, and form relationships. The people you meet might become your friends, colleagues, co-workers, teachers, and more. There’s a good chance that you’ll meet people who are different than you and can challenge you, help you grow, and teach you new things. For example, each time I volunteer with kids, I learn more about curiosity and having fun, and each time I volunteer at nursing homes, I learn about wisdom and patience and storytelling. Meeting new people and expanding your network and the people in your circle can bring many rewards.

You Learn About Your Community: Through volunteering and the people you meet and structures you work within, you can learn a lot about how an aspect of the community works.  For example, I just moved to Minnesota from Missouri, and each week I volunteer at my local grade school in the media center and in a classroom. Through this experience, I’m learning a lot about the diversity in my community, the needs of the school district, and what kinds of books and topics entice kids to read.

You Positively Benefit Others’ Lives: Volunteering, by nature, is a somewhat selfless act. We all have busy lives, and choosing to spend our time on an activity without compensation shows effort.  That effort is not missed, and you might find that your volunteering positively impacts someone else. Whether it’s providing someone with a meal, offering tutoring in a community center, cleaning up fallen leaves, or working one-on-one with kids: you’re making a difference through your selfless act and positively impacting someone else’s life.

You Get to Try Something New: Volunteering is a great way to develop skills and have new experiences, and the time commitment can be as much or as little as you like. Through volunteering, I’ve enjoyed developing my skills in working with children, which is not something I do in my job as a Writing Instructor here at Walden. In addition, through fall clean-up and outdoor beautification projects, I’ve learned a lot about yard work, basic maintenance, and gardening. You might find too that you can use volunteering as an avenue to have a new experience or develop a new skill.

You Can Use Your Professional Skills in a New Context: Volunteering is a great way to use your professional skills in a different way to benefit those in need. For example, several years ago I volunteered in a summer program held at the zoo, assisting kids grades 1-5 as they created books about their experiences and the animals they were seeing and learning about.  As a writing teacher practiced in asking leading questions to encourage and support writers, and as an amateur sketch-artist gifted with the ability to draw pictures of animals, these skills were very helpful working with kids this age as they worked on their first books. I felt proud using my professional training and creativity in this way.

As we celebrate Walden’s Global Days of Service, I hope you’ll reflect here with me: What other benefits are there for volunteering?  How do you use your professional skills to volunteer and offer a service to your community? I look forward to hearing your responses and celebrating Walden's Global Days of Service with you.

Jes Philbrook 
 is a Writing Instructor and the Coordinator of Doctoral Writing Assessment at Walden University, and she is working on her dissertation as she nears the end of her own doctoral program in English.  In addition to her busy life working and writing, Jes volunteers each week at the neighborhood grade school. She loves volunteering because it’s a way to give back, make new friends, and learn about her community.

Never miss a new post; Opt-out at any time

Thursday Thoughts: Global Days of Service Sneak Peek

No comments
Across Walden, there are murmurings of our upcoming Global Days of Service, which begin next Monday and continue throughout the week, October 17th to the 23rd. Empowered by a university mission statement that focuses on social change, the entire Walden community participates in our Global Days of Service with excitement, passion, and purpose. This is a "fun, weeklong celebration that underscores our mission of social change by encouraging all members of our community to volunteer and make a difference. With multiple days and opportunities to volunteer, you are sure to find a project that you can be passionate about and that fits your schedule."

Image of globe over teal background. Text reads, "Global Days of Service 2016, Help Make a Difference - Find and Register for a Project Today"

To participate in Walden's Global Days of Service, you can

However you choose to participate in creating positive social change in your communities, know that we at the Writing Center proudly stand behind you and support your efforts. We feel lucky to read about many of your social change efforts in your writing.  Through your actions, you are impacting the lives of others in meaningful ways.

Thank you for all that you do. 

Walden University provides a diverse community of career professionals with the opportunity to transform themselves as scholar-practitioners so that they can effect positive social change.

Never miss a new post; Opt-out at any time

I Only Have 5/20/60 Minutes! Which Writing Center Resources are Right for Me?

No comments
Have you ever told yourself that you'd practice your writing if you just had a little bit more time? Today's post makes that excuse irrelevant. The Walden University Writing Center has on-demand resources that can be useful in any time-increments. Read on to learn how to continue improving your academic writing in manageable periods each day. 
Title Image for this post. A smart watch being consulted.

One of the biggest complaints I hear from students is “I don’t have time for that.” There’s no way to sugarcoat the situation: Time is your natural enemy. In any given 24 hours, you may be working your professional job, engaging in Walden coursework, preparing a meal, exercising, commuting, managing parental duties, and getting a few hours of sleep. It’s hard to think of adding more to that list of activities.

But in order to succeed at Walden, you will need to carve out some time for skill development above and beyond your classroom requirements. Writing proficiency is something that will serve you in your program by way of confidence, clear communication, and swift achievement of milestones. It is also something that you take with you after completing your degree, with the potential to impact your career as a scholar-practitioner. 

So the question is: How can you hone your writing skills without losing the precious work-life-school balance you have achieved? Two years ago, in a WriteCast podcast episode, my colleagues Nik and Brittany introduced Writing Center resources and tips appropriate for short nuggets of time. In this blog post, I update their list of resources with a few of my own. So the next time you’re about to forgo writing because you feel like you don’t have the time, hopefully this can be you instead:

“I want to utilize the Writing Center’s resources to practice my scholarly writing, but shoot! I only have…”

5 minutes:

Read a Writing Center blog post, skim a web page, or view a video. Have you identified one writing issue you’d like to work on? It’s a great idea to have goals for each quarter or semester. Once you have chosen your writing goal for this term, you can learn about it in short 5-minute bursts. Use the website’s Search button in the upper right to find appropriate blog posts, web pages, and videos—and then bookmark and work through them one at a time. Perfect for: waiting for the water to boil on the stove.

Freewrite or journal. It might seem silly, but getting in the habit of writing will make your “for real” academic writing better. Keep a journal nearby where you can freewrite for 5 minutes about the weekly course topic, your research process, or even about your day. Perfect for: sitting in the parking lot waiting for kids to finish sports practice or school.

20 minutes:

Listen to an episode of our WriteCast podcast, a casual conversation for serious writers. The audio podcast tackles such subjects as the writing process, the perfect paragraph, writer’s block, and word choice. Downloadable to your device of choice. Perfect for: commuting to work or exercising.

60 minutes:

Watch a recorded webinar. The Writing Center presents three to four live webinars per month, and all of these get archived on the website. Start with What Is Academic Writing? and then work through the webinars in the Scholarly Writing category for an overview of key writing concerns. Each recording is roughly 1 hour. Perfect for: viewing while munching on your lunch break.

Take a grammar or APA module and then apply what you learned. Feeling interactive? The Writing Center offers modules on APA style and on grammar issues such as verbs and sentence structure. These are 30-45 minutes in length and include quizzes, videos, and text-based instruction to support your learning. After taking one of these modules, reread a past discussion post or paper and analyze what you would do to improve it, based on your new knowledge. Jot down a few tips to apply to a future assignment. Perfect for: taking a breather from a strenuous assignment; staying writing-minded during the weeklong hiatus between quarters.

Now do you see how writing skill development can fit into your life? Yes, you do have time for that—even if it’s just 5 minutes a day. 

Hillary Wentworth has been mentoring Walden writers since 2010—first in the Writing Center and now in the Academic Skills Center. In addition to teaching, she serves as the Academic Skills Center’s Manager of WCSS Faculty Development and Graduate Writing Courses to ensure quality instruction. Hillary edits an online literary journal and writes her own nonfiction from her home in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Never miss a new post; Opt-out at any time

Thursday Thoughts: October Webinars

No comments
Psssst! Hey, writers! We at the Walden Writing Center are having so much fun reading your professional development plans, prospectuses, and discussion posts. Please, keep them coming. If you are a new student at Walden and are hoping to set up a 1:1 appointment with us, check out this page. Here, you'll find information about our scheduling system, myPASS, and the types of documents we can review. 

As we wrap up the first week of October, we're thinking about all of the Writing Center events on the horizon. This month, you have four webinars to look forward to, as well as a writing-focused look at Walden's Global Days of Service week, which begins on October 17 this year. 

Human in blue, button up shirt writes in a notebook while sitting at a desk. Text overlay reads Thursday Thoughts, Walden University Writing Center.

From the webinar schedule, you can see that we are excited to chat about paraphrasing, as well as cohesion and flow. During our October 19 webinar, we will be celebrating Global Days of Service, and during our October 25 webinar, you'll get a peek into our 1:1 appointment service. 

We hope you'll join us for these webinars. We are excited to see you! Feel free, as well, to check out our entire Webinar Recording Library here! If you have any questions about our webinar schedule or appointment scheduling system, email us at writingsupport@waldenu.edu.

The Walden University Writing Center webinars teach APA guidelines and writing skills for all Walden students, along with webinars specifically for undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral capstone students. Webinars offer live writing instruction, as well as an opportunity for students to connect via Q&A and chatting with staff and other Walden students, and each webinar is recorded for later viewing.

Never miss a new post; Opt-out at any time