GEOG 438W
Human Dimensions of Global Warming

Writing Successfully

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Below is a collection of advice I offer you based on having taught this course online since Fall 2010. While our content evolves and the readings change, the challenges students face in overcoming the hurdles to writing effectively remain the same.  

The most important thing to understand is that writing is a process.  In a class of 50, there may be one or two of you who can sit down on Sunday evening and churn out A+ quality writing in one try and squeak in under the deadline.  But for the vast majority of us, that is not how we achieve our best writing. It's a process and as such it takes time.

The semester-long project we'll undertake this semester will serve two purposes:  

  1. provide you with the opportunity to demonstrate your mastery of course content in place-based specific contexts of your choosing
  2. allow you to develop your writing and your writing process in ways that help you in this course and future writing endeavors both in and out of the classroom

Completing each portion of the project is really a three step process:

  1. Planning
  2. Writing
  3. Editing
     
  4. Optional fourth step: Celebrating the submission (instructor recommends Nutella, Poptarts, or E.L Fudge cookies)

Planning

One of the biggest hurdles students face is simply getting started. Project?!? This feels daunting. Don't let this fear rob you of valuable time, particularly early in the dedicated work week. Check out these suggestions for how to map out a plan of attack that breaks it down into manageable pieces and helps you avoid waiting until Sunday night to frantically write and submit.


    Writing 

    Now that you've created a plan for success, let's implement it! Here are some considerations as you begin working through each portion of your project.


    Editing

    You're getting closer, but you're not done yet! You've put all this effort into researching and drafting your response. Now, it's time to really make it shine. All that hard work doesn't pay off if you don't thoroughly edit what you've written to ensure that you're submitting your absolute best work. Let's take a look at some strategies to do that.