Writing Center

EP 11.0: Available in Print and Online

This year’s issue of EP collects eight exemplary essays written by Fordham Lincoln Center students in sections of Composition and Rhetoric I, II, or Texts and Contexts. Congratulations are also due to the wonderful professors and instructors—Andrew Albin, Julia Barclay-Morton, Elisabeth Frost, Boyda Johnstone, Christy Pottroff, and Alexis Quinlan—who taught the courses from which this great work emerged.

EP 11.0 marks the first year that the journal will be available in both printed and electronic forms, enabling even more readers to access, read, and enjoy this exceptional collection of essays. In addition to ushering EP into the digital age, the editors have instituted the publication’s first blind peer review process. Modeled upon the process used at Rhētorikós, each submission received anonymous consideration from two members of a peer review board comprised of ten English graduate students at the Rose Hill and Lincoln Center campuses.

With an acceptance rate of just 23 percent, EP 11.0 may be the most rigorous issue to date.

The co-editors, Will Fenton and Matt Lillo, join Professor Anne Fernald in hoping you will enjoy this issue and use it in your classes. EP 11.0 is available today in print at Lincoln Center in Lowenstein 924 and online via English Connect.  Thank you for reading this issue and nominating your students’ writing for the next! And a special thanks to the EP peer review board: Rebecca Aberle, Ruth Adams, Julia Cosacchi, Will Cronin, Jessica D’Onofrio, Bronwen Durocher, Callie Gallo, Laura Radford, Patrick Skea, and Ian Sullivan. 

Rose Hill Writing Center Moves to New State-of-the-Art Space

The Rose Hill Writing Center, which offers free writing assistance to undergraduate and graduate students in all majors and programs, opened its doors Feb. 11 in a bigger, brighter, and more technologically advanced room on the first floor of the Walsh Family Library.  

FemaleMaleTutorsFemaleStudentwc.JPG

The new state-of-the-art facility features several spacious work stations with brand-new computers, including one free-standing station that can be raised and lowered to accommodate students in wheelchairs. A large conference table sits under elegant light fixtures, and a wall-mounted LCD screen will now allow for videoconferencing with speakers and scholars around the world as well as real-time collaborations with the Lincoln Center Writing Center.

Anna Beskin, a doctoral candidate in English and director of the Rose Hill Writing Center, says that the new space demonstrates Fordham’s commitment to helping students of all levels become stronger writers. “It’s a huge sign of support for what we do at the Writing Center.”

To design and build the new Writing Center, Rose Hill Writing Director Moshe Gold of the English department worked with department chair Glenn Hendler, director of University Libraries Linda LoSchiavo, a team from Facilities Management led by Rory Madden, deans John Harrington and Michael Latham, and architect Joel Napach of the Napach Design Group. Their shared goal was to design a space that would create a more cohesive experience for students working on research and writing.

_DSC2184.JPG

This cohesion is reflected in the new space’s seamless visual integration into the existing library structure, with matching wood tones, paint colors, and signage. Walsh Library has also dedicated a portion of its entrance lobby as a waiting area for students visiting the Center, which is expected to be more in demand than ever given its upgraded facilities and new location.

The Writing Center’s move from the fifth floor of Dealy Hall to a space adjacent to the library’s reference room underscores the interconnectedness of good research with strong writing, of information literacy with the quest for eloquentia perfecta, or “perfect eloquence” in speaking and writing, that is one of Fordham’s pedagogical hallmarks. The resources that students need for a wide range of projects—from freshman composition essays and longer research papers to statements of purpose for graduate school applications—exist just outside the writing center’s doors.

“Once students work with a tutor and realize they have more work to do,” said Beskin, “they can see a reference librarian, ask questions, or search for books; they are already in the right space.”

Please visit the Writing Center website for writing resources, information about upcoming workshops, or to make an appointment.

This article was based on a draft written by Anna Beskin, and contains some language from an article in Fordham News by Nina Heidig. Photos by Martine Stern and Delia Brengel.

Dealing with Procrastination I

Robert Byers, an English Ph.D. candidate, shares his experience and provides 3 Quick and Dirty Tips.

Okay, so we all procrastinate. It’s almost become an unofficial requirement for college. That last-minute stress of having a deadline makes us totally manic and crazy, and we bust something out just in time to turn it in the next day. We all do it, and we have this idea that we shouldn’t do it, but we just can’t help ourselves.

But I’m going to suggest something a bit radical—something that may sound a bit crazy. This requires a major shift in perspective, because you’ve been thinking about procrastination all wrong. What I’m suggesting is this:

You’re not procrastinating hard enough.

Now, don’t misunderstand me. I don’t mean you should wait until even closer to the deadline to do your assignments. What I mean is that you, young grasshopper, have not yet reached the highest form of procrastination. Despite all your practice, you have not yet perfected your procrastination technique. You’ll know you have reached the highest form of procrastination when you can say:

“I’ll procrastinate later.”

How can you achieve such splendor? The Procrastination Guru has answers.

To an extent, without any other motivating factor, it can involve tricking yourself. And tricking yourself can be much harder than tricking other people. As George said in the Seinfeld episode where Jerry had to take a lie detector test to see if he was lying about not watching soap operas: “Jerry, just remember… it’s not a lie, if you believe it.”

And “you believing it” is the hard part. So the first trick for this is to force yourself to start early. When your professor gives you the prompt for your final essay, take it back to your room, and as soon as you can follow the below tips:

Tip #1: Save a document to your computer now, that will become the essay later.

Open up your word processor of choice, make your heading (name, course, professor, date), add in a placeholder title (this can be anything, just remember to go back and change it later!), and type a random, throwaway first line. So for example, if you’re writing about economic exploitation in the third world, your first line could be something like: “Hello Mr. Cummerbund, my name is Admiral Trilby and I like turtles.”

Now save that document to your desktop and walk away from the computer. That’s it! In terms of time, half the work is now done, because you’ve started. This brings us to the second trick:

Tip #2: Only write a little bit each day.

Otherwise, you’ll get sick of it. When you do anything for prolonged periods without a break, it starts to wear on you. So to save more time, get better grades, improve your writing so you’ll look better for a job, and just to have an overall pleasanter time each semester, open up that document each day and just write for half an hour or something. The first day you can free-write some stuff. The next day, you can just play around with an outline—put down the major points of your topic/argument and move them around ‘til you’re happy. And so on. And now, the final trick:

Tip #3: Type in single-spaced, not double-spaced. (Only double-space right before you print it off.)

This is the weirdest one, because it’s all mental. If you start typing single-spaced, after a while, you can trick your brain into thinking you only have to write half the length of the assignment. So if you have to write a 10 page paper, you write 5 pages single-spaced, and boom! Double-space that essay and you’re done.

But this isn’t just useful for the mental aspect; there’s also a practical aspect. By single-spacing, you fit twice as much of your essay onto the screen at a time, and you only have to scroll half as much to get to other parts of your essay. This lets you see your paper from a broad, overall perspective more easily, so you can move paragraphs/topics around with more efficiency, thus saving you time and helping you write better.

So there are my tips. As you perfect your procrastination, you’ll come up with more tricks on your own. And once you start following this path, you’ll find that the rewards at the end are sweeter. After all, delayed gratification is a sign of maturity. So save that document to your desktop and come back to it tomorrow—but write something when you do—and you’ll begin to achieve perfection.

Rhētorikós Publishes First-Year Student Essays

We are pleased to announce the publication of the Spring 2014 issue of Rhētorikós: Excellence in student writing, containing ten outstanding essays produced in Spring 2014 by first-year students at Fordham’s Rose Hill campus.  These essays were chosen from a record number of submissions through a blind-review process.  This process involves composition teachers and writing center tutors as judges who provide comments that help the writers improve accepted essays in one more revision prior to publication.

Rhētorikós gives undergraduate students the experience and prestige of publishing at an early stage in their academic careers. Their professors likewise benefit from the experience of mentoring students through a vigorous revision process of an important piece of work. Students and teachers alike are justly proud of the results, as are co-editors Tara C. Foley and Christy L. Pottroff as well as faculty advisor Moshe Gold. 

Please visit rhetorikos.org to read the newest essays, which include personal narratives, researched arguments, and thoughtful responses on the following wide range of topics: the prevention of sexual assault on college campusesthe abuse of performance-enhancing drugs; the storied histories of two New York City landmarks, Bryant Park and Grand Central Stationlife as a commuterinequity in public educationthe Motion Picture Association’s ratings system; organic farming; and a personal totem. In addition, we are pleased to announce the first-ever multi-media project chosen for Rhētorikós, an investigation into the booming coffee industry. Looking forward, we hope to publish more innovative student work that combines written expression and new media.

We hope you enjoy the issue!