How to Start Your Research Paper

May 23, 2015 § Leave a comment

The Student Learning Commons at Simon Fraser University invited me to propose an independent project related to my work as a writing facilitator. So…I went in search of a way to communicate about academic writing that combined both my interests in teaching and video production. I envisioned three possible applications for the vid 1) an intro to undergraduate writing workshops facilitated by the SLC 2) a tool for instructors or TAs to show or share their students and 3) a stand alone resource on the library’s site for students to access along with the university’s many other excellent research/writing resources. I animated the video using Keynote, Mac’s Presentation Software–a simple program that lets you take the average slideshow to the next level. Feel free to share or adapt (and if you’d like the source file, get in touch)!


Why does feedback hurt sometimes?

October 23, 2014 § Leave a comment

As a PhD student and a teacher, this perfectly articulates the sensitive nature of giving feedback and the challenge of accepting it.

The Thesis Whisperer

This letter was written by an experienced academic at ANU to her PhD student, who had just presented his research to a review panel and was still licking her wounds.

The student sent it to me and I thought it was a great response I asked the academic in question, and the student who received it, if I could publish it. I wish all of us could have such nuanced and thoughtfu feedback during the PhD. I hope you enjoy it.

Screen Shot 2014-02-05 at 7.27.05 PMA letter to…My PhD student after her upgradeWell you did it. You got your upgrade. But from the look on your face I could tell you thought it was a hollow victory. The professors did their job and put the boot in. I remember seeing that look in the mirror after my own viva. Why does a win in academia always have the sting of defeat?

Yeah, it’s a…

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Thoughts for a new year

January 5, 2014 § Leave a comment

Why busyness isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and a challenge to put it behind us.

Read the full article here

Laying or Lying? An ‘open letter’ to Miley Cyrus from Sufjan Stevens

October 16, 2013 § Leave a comment

So far, the best open letter to Miley Cyrus. Bravo. There’s no rebuttal for poor grammar.


Dear Miley. I can’t stop listening to #GetItRight (great song, great message, great body), but maybe you need a quick grammar lesson. One particular line causes concern: “I been laying in this bed all night long.” Miley, technically speaking, you’ve been LYING, not LAYING, an irregular verb form that should only be used when there’s an object, i.e. “I been laying my tired booty on this bed all night long.” Whatever. I’m not the best lyricist, but you know what I mean. #Get It Right The Next Time.




A Late May Playlist

May 28, 2013 § Leave a comment


She & Him Volume 3 is such a delight that I’m making it my late May playlist (it’s almost June!)

  1. I’ve Got Your Number, Son
  2. Never Wanted Your Love
  3. Baby
  4. I Could’ve Been your Girl
  5. Turn to White
  6. Somebody Sweet to Talk To
  7. Something’s Haunting You
  8. Together
  9. Thrill Me, Kiss Me
  10. Snow Queen
  11. Sunday Girl
  12. London
  13. Shadow of Love
  14. Reprise (I Could’ve Been Your Girl)

The Topic Outline

March 27, 2013 § Leave a comment

I like to think old dogs can learn new tricks.

The more I teach students about writing, the more I learn that old writing habits die hard. Despite what your friends may tell you, Red Bull is not the way to a well-written essay. If you’ve ever been in the 11th hour thinking “there’s got to be a better way,” then this post is for you.


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