Tag Archives: writing center

All Things Writing, All the Time

8 Feb

I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out the best way to share worksheets, posts, handy sites, etc. outside of this blog. I do have a separate page where you can download different printables but there is so much more to share on this blog as well as around the web. And then it hit me (yes, it did take me this long to think of it)…



Okay, I may not always be the swiftest swift in the flock but I got here eventually. On our Pinterest account, you’ll find a variety of boards ranging from writing tips & strategies to grammar and punctuation guides to funny bits to interesting info about books read here at Lincoln to much, much, much more.

Check it out & follow us for all kinds of writing related goodies.

Have an idea for a board? Know of something that should be shared with others? Let me know in the comments.



Some New Goodies

8 Jan

new stuff

I’ve been working, when time permits, on creating a library of printables for the Writing Center. And now, I’ve finally figured out an easy way to share them electronically – yay! You can find them by clicking Printables (upper right beneath the title of the blog) or by scrolling down (right hand column, directly underneath Recent Posts). You can also find hard copies at the Writing Center (white binder behind our table).

So far, there are only a handful but I aim to have many, many more by the end of the year. If you need help with breaking down your assignment, writing an abstract, crafting a hook, or creating transition, then check out one of the Writing Center printables.

Is there an issue you’d like us to address? Leave a comment & I’ll create an info sheet ASAP.

Happy New Year!

3 Jan

Welcome Back LHS Students!

I hope you had a wonderful break and are ready for a new year!

The Writing Center is open and available for appointments.

Monday-Friday 2:40-4:30pm

Appointments can be scheduled via email at lincolnwriting@gmail.com or in the Library (main counter).

Welcome Back!

26 Nov

Hello & Welcome Back LHS Students!

I hope everyone had a wonderful and restful week off. Your LHS Writing Center is open & ready for appointments:

The Writing Center is open from Mon-Fri 2:30-4:30pm. You can sign up in the Library – main counter – or email me a day/time at lincolnwriting@gmail.com

Call for Submissions to “Between Two Rivers”

5 Oct

Re-blogged from http://witspdx.com/2012/10/03/call-for-submissions-to-between-two-rivers/

“There is a new, youth-led publishing center at Roosevelt High School, and they are looking for submissions to their literary anthology, Between Two Rivers. This will be a collection of pieces about unique and cultural places and people in Portland. The book’s audience is anyone who is seeking out places that make Portland special, whether they are residents or visitors.

Submissions can be short fiction, nonfiction, poems, vignettes, or drawings about your relationship to the people and places of Portland. They could also be interesting facts or historic information that enrich one’s appreciation of Portland’s community or places.

Please use a maximum of 500 words.

Please submit your piece to submit.rhs@gmail.com by October 31, 2012.

If you have any questions, contact rhswritingcenter@gmail.com.”

Short & Sweet: The Topic Outline

28 Sep

Now that we’ve discussed at length various prewriting strategies, let’s tackle the most formal of them all — the outline.

Since outlines are on the minds of IB folks (reminder: the outline is due Monday, October 15th), I’m going to tailor these posts to them; though, of course, the instructions are the same regardless of the content.

There are two basic types of outlines and today we’re going to go over the more basic of the two…

– Topic Outline

Most of you are probably familiar with outlines in general as well as topic outlines but let’s explain to be sure. (If you’re unsure of the format of an outline, check out this great link).

A topic outline is going to consist of key phrases/words for each heading as well as each sub-heading. Here’s a sample based on the Song of Solomon example I used for the brainstorming post a few days back (please ignore the erroneous margins – that’s WordPress, not me).

Thesis: The motif of flight in Song of Solomon represents a conflicted duality of abandonment and freedom.

I. Introduction

A. Flight motif in the novel

1. Flight as in abandonment

2. Flight as in freedom

B. Character analysis

1. Robert Smith

2. Milkman

3. Solomon

And so on and so forth until you’ve mapped out your entire paper in short phrases or even single words. The great thing about the topic outline is that it can really help you organize your thoughts in an easy and uncluttered way.

Now let’s say you’re, oh I don’t know, working on the Extended Essay and find that you’re drowning in information and are feeling stumped as to how to even separate all the different ideas you’ve read, never mind organizing them. No problem! A topic outline can easily help you here since, again, you’re dealing with basic ideas rather than fully fleshed out sentences.

Step 1. Write your research question at the top of your outline page. Woohoo, see I told you this was easy!

Step 2. Grab a separate piece of paper but keep your outline where you can see it. On this new piece of paper, go back to your pouch of prewriting strategies and choose the method that you like the best.

Write down the first 10-15 things that come to mind when you think about your research question. Keep glancing at your question to get inspired. Don’t worry if these ideas are going to make it to the outline or even your final essay. What we want to do at this stage is to get the ideas flowing. You’ve all read enough at this point in the game that this should be a pretty simple task.

Step 3. Once done, look for connections and then connect them with a line, dash, asterisks, whatever makes sense to you.

Step 4. Now that you’ve got your initial ideas narrowed down a bit, look at each grouping and ask yourself: How does this help answer my research question? If it doesn’t, write a b? next to it – it could be helpful for background material so you don’t want to discard it just yet. If it does help answer your research question, write a y next to it, as in yes this absolutely needs to be in your essay somewhere. 

Step 5. Take all of your statements and start looking for connections, patterns, etc. If it helps, re-write each one on an index card so you can move them around into different configurations.

Step 6. Write your outline. Once you’ve organized your y cards into place, all you should need to do at this point is type up your outline. Ta-da!

If you’d like help with your outline, come on in to the Writing Center! We’re here Mon-Fri 2:30-4:30pm. Sign up for an appointment in the Library (see the main counter) or email lincolnwriting@gmail.com

Understanding Your Assignment

19 Sep

Seems like a simple enough task, right? And it certainly can be as long as you take the time to break it down.

The assignment, more than an outline or brainstorming, is your first step in the writing process. Misinterpreting one thing or another could make any hard work you do after totally pointless, which could result in a bad grade!

Now that we’re done with the scarywarning! part of this post, let’s talk about how you can break an assignment down into its parts.

1) Read it.

– Revelatory, I know, but hear me out. Do not fall into the trap of skimming the assignment while in class, only to read it right before you start the work. Read the assignment ENTIRELY while still in class. Then ask your teacher about anything you do not understand.

2) The Basics.

– Highlight, Underline, or Circle — choose the method that feels right to you & do so to the following:

* Due Date — I recommend writing this down somewhere else, preferably a place you look at often.

* Formatting Requirements — font & font size, page length, etc.

* Content Requirements — aka “the meat” of the assignment. What is the purpose? Is outside research required? What is expected of me?

* Miscellaneous Requirements — for example, will you have to turn in a rough draft? Are extra points possible (say for visiting the Writing Center)? Anything else?

3) The Verbs.

Looking at the verbs used in the assignment will give you a good idea as to how to approach your writing. Check out this link for a handy reference guide for commonly used verbs.

4) What if I’m Still Unsure About Something?

Go to the source & contact your teacher. If that is not possible for whatever reason, come on in to the Writing Center and we can help you!

Follow these steps and you’re well on your way to writing a great paper.


UPDATE: Found a fantastic link that I wanted to be sure to share.

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