Welcome to the Active Voice Blog!

Active Voice BlogWelcome to the Active Voice Blog, the official blog of the Wake Forest University Writing Center. You can find all the information you need about the Center around our main site, but this space is reserved for students, faculty, and staff to share perspectives on writing practices and processes. We hope you’ll find something here that speaks to you!

Wednesday’s Word of the Week











chiaroscuro, n.

“The style of pictorial art in which only the light and shade, and not the various colours, are represented; black-and-white, or dark brown and white. A sketch in black and white.”

“During his spare time between classes, Tom filled up his sketch book with chiaroscuros of his favorite images.”









“chiaroscuro, n.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, December 2014. Web. 25 February 2015.

Grammarly’s Top 6 Grammar Mistakes

3143079032_43aa6bd1fa_bWhat would you say are your most frequent grammar mistakes? Check out Grammarly’s list of the Top 6 Common College Grammar Mistakes.

And if you find yourself struggling with these issues (or more), you can always make an appointment with us!

Flashback Friday

4351548677_bd4246af52_oWhat a week! We have been selling handmade letterpress Valentines to benefit the YMCA literacy initiative. Still need to pick up notes for your valentine (or friends, or mom)? We have them in ZSR 426 all day!

Here’s a look back at our week on Active Voice.

– On Monday, we kicked off our Love Letters for Literacy project.
Tuesday, we shared a bit of history of the love letter and a resource to help you write your own.
– It was a Valentine’s Day-themed word on Wednesday.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Wednesday’s Word of the Week











accismus, n.

“The pretended refusal of something one keenly desires.”

“He pretended to hardly notice her, trying not to catch her eye during WRI 111. It may seem that he didn’t like her, but in reality, he really wanted to ask if she’d be his valentine.”

“accismus, n.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, December 2014. Web. 11 February 2015.

And speaking of valentines. We’re selling handmade valentines all week in the Writing Center! $5 a piece and all proceeds benefit the YMCA Literacy Initiative.



How to Write a Love Letter

The-Beatles-Love-Me-Do-lyrics-in-a-heart-free-printable-NoBiggie.net_If you haven’t heard, we’re selling handmade letterpress valentines all week to benefit the YMCA Literacy Initiative.

But where on earth did that tradition come from?

According to Wikipedia, what began as a religious holiday, Valentine’s Day started to be associated with love around the Middle Ages. Written valentines first appeared in the 1400 and have been mass-produced since the 19th century.

So you know Valentine’s Day is coming up soon, and you know how the tradition got started. Now what are you going to write in your Valentine’s Day card? Here some great tips for penning the perfect love letter.

And if writing your own note seems like too much, we’re here to help! You can purchase a Writing Center valentine today and tomorrow from 2-4pm near the ZSR circulation desk and all week in the Writing Center (426 ZSR).

Love Letters for Literacy Starts Today!

Blank-pageWe couldn’t be more excited for Love Letters for Literacy which starts today! Amazing handmade cards for an amazing cause. $5 and all proceeds go to the YMCA of Northwest North Carolina Literacy Initiative.

We have over 30 designs, ranging from silly to serious, romantic to platonic. Choose the perfect quote, poem, image, or saying to tell your valentine just how much they mean to you.

The sale will take place all week in the Writing Center. We’ll also be by the circulation desk today through Wednesday, 2-4pm

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Still Searching for a Valentine?

8435321969_c1eea0631a_oStill looking for that perfect valentine? According to a recent (totally unscientific) article by Elite Daily, if you’re looking for a lover, you might want to find someone with a book in their hand.

“Ever finished a book? I mean, truly finished one? Cover to cover. Closed the spine with that slow awakening that comes with reentering consciousness? You take a breath, deep from the bottom of your lungs and sit there. Book in both hands, your head staring down at the cover, back page or wall in front of you.”

If you found yourself nodding along with that statement, you may in fact be easier to love.

“According to Psychologist David Comer Kidd, at the New School for Social Research, ‘What great writers do is to turn you into the writer. In literary fiction, the incompleteness of the characters turns your mind to trying to understand the minds of others.’

This is proved over and over again, the more people take to reading. Their ability to connect with characters they haven’t met makes their understanding of the people around them much easier.

They have the capacity for empathy. They may not always agree with you, but they will try to see things from your point of view.”

And what exactly are these people reading? According to Facebook, Harry Potter, To Kill a Mockingbird, and The Lord of the Rings top the list.

And remember, if you need help telling your sweetie just how much you care on Valentine’s Day, the Writing Center will be selling handmade cards all next week.

Famous Love Letters

vintage-valentines-clipart-graphicsfairy003aValentine’s Day is almost here — are you ready?

To get your creative juices, here are a few hand-written love letters from favorite folks throughout history.

And in case you need some help with your Valentine’s Day card, we’ve got you covered!

Love Letters for Literacy

Blank-pageThe Writing Center will be selling letterpress cards just in time for Valentine’s Day. Cards are $5 each and all proceeds will benefit the YMCA of Northwest North Carolina’s literacy initiative.

Shop our selection of notes the following days next week:
2-4pm Monday-Wednesday near the ZSR circulation desk 10am-5pm M-F in the Writing Center.

Friday Flashback

image003-400x300We’re still getting back into the groove over at Active Voice,  and starting Monday we’ll be back to posting with more regularity.

In the meantime, here’s a look back at our posts for far this year.

– We shared a great tool for analyzing past State of the Union Addresses.
– Did you know that writing can actually make you happier??
– Need help with your citation skills? The library has got you covered!
– And here’s a great post on getting started with Zotero.

Have a great weekend!

check out the archive for older posts