Category Archives: Resources

Where to find citation help

by Kristin Kayser

Like many of you, I’m taking a wide array of classes this semester, which means that I’m running into unfamiliar citation styles. When one paper required APA citation and another had to be written in Chicago style, I was a little stumped. I hadn’t used either style in a long time.

As a writing tutor, I have come across many students who were having the exact sameproblem. So I decided to look for different helpful resources available to Principia students. The options range from programs like NoodleTools to the actual books on citation styles at the tutor station in the library.

One great option is the Purdue OWL website which includes all styles of citations, in-text examples, bibliographies, and works cited help. The website is easy to navigate and has a ton of examples. This is definitely a website to check out for anyone with questions on citations and style guides.

Principia’s library website also provides students with citation guides and other aids as well. To find these, go directly to the Marshall Brooks Library home page. Use the link to Citation Guides to go to the library’s page on all the citation style guides. On this page, there are links to helpful resources like NoodleTools and the Purdue OWL website, and there are tabs across the top for nine—yes, nine—citation styles. Double check your assignment or ask your professor which style is appropriate since you can lose points for using the wrong citation style. One last suggestion for citation help is the tutor station in the library. There, students can find the manuals as well as brief handouts on the MLA, APA, and Chicago citation styles. These sheets will give a student the “elevator version” of the citation style she is working with. Even better, if you have further questions, you can ask a tutor. Chances are they’ve helped another student with a similar question and are ready to help you too!

Kristin Kayser is a senior majoring in Education Studies with a minor in English. After graduation, she plans to head back to work at Walt Disney World.

Quick tips for tutoring

The WriteHereWriteNowWriteOn blog is written by Principia writing tutors. In today’s blog, one tutor gives tips on what it is that tutors can do to help with writing. Read on!

by Shannon Naylor

What do tutors do?

Tutors are an essential resource for any student with questions about any stage of the writing process, from research to invention to revising. Tutors can identify patterns of error or weaknesses in samples of writing. They help their tutees understand what can be refined and teach strategies for correction and improvement. Tutors are trained to handle questions about researching, developing theses and organizing papers, proper citation methods, grammar, revision strategies, and much more.

 What don’t tutors do?

Tutors aren’t professors or editors. We cannot “fix a paper so it gets an A.” We are guides, coaches, and cheerleaders. We point out areas of weakness and give you the tools you need to shore up and strengthen your writing. So while we can’t edit or proofread your paper, after working with us you should be better prepared to tackle any aspect of the writing process.

 How do I get the most out of a tutoring session?

We love to have time to prepare for your specific needs. If you know that you would like tutoring ahead of time, drop by the tutoring café and put yourself down on the sign-up sheet, and tell us what you’d like to work on. This way, if you know you often misuse commas or semi-colons, the tutor you’ll be seeing has a chance to brush up on punctuation rules, the better to help you. We also love it when you bring us a piece of writing to work with. If it’s a printed copy, even better!

Come in with questions! We can help you faster if we know right off the bat what you’d like to learn during the session. That said, don’t be afraid to walk into the café, hands empty and not sure what you’d like to work on. We can also have a lovely chat about the writing process in general.

Assignment sheets are very helpful as well so that we don’t coach you on writing an English thesis paper when you’re supposed to be writing a literature review for biology and vice versa.

While we’re happy to work with you at any point in the writing process, we tend to see a lot of students on the nights before their papers are due. If you have time, sign up to meet with a tutor a few days before the deadline. You’ll be less stressed, the tutor will have fewer students to help at once, and you may find it easier to work on bigger things than proofreading strategies when you have time to revise after the tutor session. Trust me, getting a chance to make sure your ideas are clearly presented matters a lot more than double-checking your comma usage.

I’m in! When can I visit a writing tutor?

The library tutor café is staffed Sunday-Thursday, 8-11 pm, Weeks 2-15. We even have on-call hours during exam days, so be sure to stop by the café during Week 15 and 16 to check the schedule.

Shannon Naylor is a senior studying Theatre and English with a focus on creative writing. Currently, she is working on capstones for her majors as well as the spring production of Our Country’s Good.

Conquer the exegesis process (Part I)

The following images and text were created by Katie Hynd, the Post-Graduate Teaching Intern for the Religion Department in the fall of 2013. Use them as a starting point and a reference when you begin writing your exegesis paper. Good luck, and have fun!

Welcome to the Library! Come prepared. Bring a mug and sweater, along with your computer and notebook.
This section of the library, the Reference Room, is going to become your new home. The first step in the process of writing an exegesis is to become very familiar with your passage. Read it in the NRSV along with all its footnotes, the chapter’s introduction, and the book’s introduction. This will help you question the passage and become familiar with your passage’s controversies and/or significant points. In terms of writing, don’t worry about the introduction right now. Move straight into the section “Translations and Word Study.”
Now it’s time to compare various translations of the Bible. Since we are reading the passage in English, and not the original Hebrew or Greek, the translation of any one Bible is not necessarily the closest to the source text. It is significant to look at how different translators interpret the Bible. We can gain a different understanding of the text if we read how different people translated it. It also helps you with the next task which is…
…to compare words! It will help if you also make a chart of different translations of your text
Now it’s time to understand why different translators interpreted a word differently. Start by looking up a word from your passage in Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. This concordance only corresponds to the KJV. The word you look up will list the different passages in which your word is referenced. Look for your passage and then the number to the right of that passage. Then, in the back of the book (in the Hebrew section if your passage is in the Old Testament, or in the Greek section if your passage is in the New Testament), your word’s number will correspond to a Hebrew or Greek term and its definition.

Stay tuned for Part II!