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Click here for our resource guide masterlist, which we’re continually updating! These guides are also available by clicking on the “Student Resources & Handouts” sub-tab below this header using the drop-down menu on the home page. These pages provide activities, worksheets, and handouts that supplement blog posts.

Writing & Communication Blog Posts

Revision vs. Proofreading

You see, revision and proofreading are two different things. Revision is the process of reviewing and improving our writing for clarity, conciseness, and to make sure it fits the prompt/serves our purpose as well as seems accessible to our target audience. It focuses on global, or overarching, concerns in our writing: things like organization, argument, evidence, continuity, clarity, and flow. Proofreading on the other hand is all about double-checking local, or minor, concerns like grammar, spelling, syntax, and word choice. While both are essential, they represent two separate stages in the writing process. Revision should happen after initial drafting, while proofreading occurs as a final step before turning in a piece of writing.

Engaging With Sources Effectively

When writing about a source or simply referencing it, we are positioning ourselves in response to, or in conversation with that source, with the goal of focusing our writing on our own argument/thesis. Sources do not stand on their own within a piece of writing and that is why, alongside finding strong and reputable sources worth responding to and making sure that we fully understand sources (even before writing about them), it is critical to engage with our sources in meaningful ways. But how exactly do we effectively engage with our sources in our writing?

The Dos and Don’ts of Using Tables and Figures in Your Writing

What do you do when words just aren’t enough?

For subjects outside of the Humanities, including STEM disciplines such as mathematics, physical sciences, and engineering, using tables and figures throughout your writing can effectively break-up longer pieces of text by presenting useful data and statistics. Within the Humanities, the incorporation of multimodal elements is championed in UCI courses ( Humanities Core!), and can aid in your construction or support of an argument. But what are some things to keep in mind when including these components alongside your written work?

Writing Strong Titles

You’ve finished your paper, and all that’s left is your title. What do you name the essay you’ve just worked tirelessly on, for days, sometimes even weeks to put together? Should it be long or something shorter? Should you prioritize grasping your readers attention...

Transitioning to Long-form Writing

Typically, in your first and second year at UCI, most, if any, of your essay writing will come in the form of assignments where you are asked to cap your thoughts, ideas, and references in about 3-5 pages. Perhaps toward the end of a writing course or as a final assignment, you may be asked to build on those smaller assignments to create a 25–50-page essay, which can undeniably seem pretty daunting at first. Even longer than those can be the “essays” written for a dissertation, publication, or scholarship.