Start the Semester Right With 10 Back to School Writing Tips -->

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Start the Semester Right With 10 Back to School Writing Tips

Back to school excitement is in the air! Are you starting a new program or returning to classes? We’ve put together these 10 tips for helping you get your semester or term off to a strong start.

Happy start of the semester from the Writing Center!

1. Get a jump on your assignment deadlines by using our handy assignment planner. If you’re going to be beginning or working on your thesis or dissertation, do yourself a favor and set up a capstone calendar for managing your writing process and deadlines.

2. Your first Walden assignment will likely be a discussion post. Prepare for your first post by checking out some quick tips for successful discussion posts and responses and our more in-depth look into “Writing and Responding to Discussion Posts.”

3. Online school can be an isolating experience—but it doesn’t have to be. If you’re attending Walden or taking other online courses, staying connected can be challenging. Be proactive about building a support systemfind a writing buddy or, if you’re a Walden doctoral student in the proposal or final stages of your capstone, join the Walden Capstone Writing Community.

4. Download our Course Paper Template (#1) to your computer and use it for all of your course papers. The template is preformatted for you per APA and Walden style, so you can worry less about your paper formatting and spend more time on your ideas and writing.

5. Kick start your transition to new classes with these Writing Center, Library, Career Services Center, and Academic Skills Center webinars recommended by the Center for Student Success.

6. If you’re beginning a doctoral program, learn strategies for approaching the capstone document (dissertation or doctoral study) in our new “Transitioning from Coursework to Capstone Writing” webinar.  

7. The Writing Center isn’t just for new students or struggling students. Learn what the Writing Center has to offer and take advantage of our resources and support. For an overview of our services, check out our “Welcome to the Writing Center” webinar (live on Sept. 23 or recorded) and our latest WriteCast podcast episode, in which Nik and Brittany debunk 7 common writing center myths and talk about who should use the Writing Center and what to expect from your Writing Center experience.

8. Face your writing fears with this advice from Writing Center instructor Hillary.

9. Staying on top of schoolwork can be particularly difficult for adult learners, whose education often takes place alongside careers, families, and other responsibilities. Plan for managing time and stress with these Academic Skills Center resources, and hear from Amy Kubista, EdD student and manager of the Writing Center’s instructional services, on how she manages a work-life-school balance.

10. Don’t let this semester be the one in which you lose all of your research and writing. Back up your computer with a cloud storage service, which will also allow you to access your documents from any computer in case you forgot to upload an assignment to Blackboard or you find some spare time to write away from home.

Do you have other tips for a successful semester start? Share them with us and your fellow students in the comments!


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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