Graduate Writing

Writing Tips from Our Coaches

  • New Doctoral Coach, Expanded Hours APU's Writing Center is pleased to announce the addition of a second doctoral writing coach, Dr. Lisa Madrigal. Dr. Madrigal holds a PhD in Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute, an MS in TESL from the University of Southern California, and a BA in French Literature from Wheaton College. She has over 16 years of experience teaching composition and business writing to undergraduate and graduate students and has over a decade of experience working with doctoral candidates as they complete their concept papers and dissertation writing requirements. She specializes in helping students overcome writing blocks and works with students to encourage their overall writing success. Lisa will be located on the Azusa campus and is currently available for face-to ...
    Posted Oct 5, 2015, 8:13 AM by Basil Considine
  • Editing Tip #4 - Reduce the Number of Adverbs To craft strong sentences, we must give our verbs power and our nouns clarity, placing both of them at the beginning of the sentence. If we really let this rule sink in, we can see that the verb dominates the central meaning of our sentences.  The noun, after all, only shows a detail about how the action of the verb was performed. It identifies the source of the verb's action, so--in a very real sense--it modifies the verb. Nouns play a subordinate role to that action of the verb.Why does most writing advice warn against passive verbs? Because the verb is the sun at the center of the solar system that is the sentence. Nouns might ...
    Posted Sep 25, 2015, 2:39 PM by Daniel Roberts
  • Editing Tip #3: Look for Dual Wordings You Can Simplify One of the most harmful and most problematic writing choices and actions is to double a term and use two words to show a concept or idea, especially and particularly when the two words or terms are similar and hard to tell apart. I can hear you all asking now...“Wait...what did you just say?” Let me repeat it, but this time let me write it more clearly: One of the most harmful writing choices is to use two words to show an idea, especially when the two words are similar. At best, the reader will feel we are being wordy. At the worst, the reader will be lost in trying to puzzle out the nuances of our meaning ...
    Posted Sep 11, 2015, 3:39 PM by Daniel Roberts
  • Tips for Planning Your Essay Calendars Welcome to the new semester, and for those of you new to APU, welcome to our community and to your new program! We at the Writing Center share your eagerness for a career that integrates your faith and personal calling. Thus, I am excited to help prepare you for your new topics, new projects, and new assignments.Students often ask us about how to become better academic writers. While, of course, we have many suggestions that can help in this process, the most central one is: take your writing seriously. Taking your writing seriously means also taking your abilities seriously. Yes, of course you have weaknesses. What writer doesn't? You have abilities, too, though. Instead of doubting your ability ...
    Posted Aug 31, 2015, 3:43 PM by Daniel Roberts
Showing posts 1 - 4 of 14. View more »

Writing Center Newsletters

  • April Newsletter - We are here all summer!
    Posted Apr 15, 2015, 8:09 AM by Rebecca Cantor
Showing posts 1 - 1 of 15. View more »

"Like" Our Facebook Page!
Be sure to "Like" our Facebook page for daily writing tips and humor. It's a great way to feel inspired to return to your writing projects! We will also keep you informed on upcoming workshops, boost camps, writing groups, and the "like."

Follow us on Twitter

Receive workshop updates and more while you are on the go! Follow us on Twitter: @APUWriting

Writing Refresher Course

Need more ideas on the writing process? Like audiobooks? Why not try the free Open University "Start Writing Essays" course hosted on iTunes? With fourteen audio lessons and three essays, this can get you right back in the swing of things.

More free, in-depth University courses that are available online are listed on this page.