Fall 2014 Peer Tutors' best tips, strategies, and advice for new Trinity students working on research projects, writing papers, and generally getting the hang of academic, college-level work.
Generally helpful people, places, and things...
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Peer Tutors: descendents of a rich tradition! Above: Aristotle tutoring Alexander (image by J L G Ferris [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)
START EARLY. Choose a topic that interests you, if possible. Read summaries and abstracts of articles first. Remember: sometimes you have to research before you get an idea. Talk with people about your ideas/possible topics! Set little goals for yourself along the way. Make outlines. Look at the reference lists of articles you find. Take notes and write down searches and sources read. Learn to REFINE searches. Figure out who the leading scholars are on your topic. Find sources that present a diversity of opnions. Get out of your room--take advantage of study rooms! Start writing at the point where you're most interested/knowledgable. REVISE, REVISE, REVISE. Make sure you have enough sources.
READ YOUR WORK OUT LOUD *** Try reading your paper in a different order *** Use correct formatting! Check the citation guide or consult the Purdue OWL for APA and MLA *** Develop an understanding of rhetoric and argumentation. Enthymeme, anyone? *** Review your written work with others **** Consult class/lecture notes *** Look at scholarly publications; learn from their organization and structure! *** Revisit old essay comments/feedback on past writing work
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