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!

When should you come to the Writing Center?

It’s crunch time! Fall break is just around the corner and you have a few more things to do before you can head home. We’d love to help you!

Is the schedule full? Make sure you sign up on the waiting list!

Word of the Week

disputatious, adj.

“Characterized by, or given to, disputation; inclined to dispute or wrangle; contentious.”

“Everyone knew that the professor was disputatious so they never argued over their grades.”

“disputatious, adj.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, March 2017. Web. 31 May 2017.

Tuesday Tip: Setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals

Image of the word "impossible", with a pencil crossing out "im."










Finishing a paper can sometimes seem impossible, but it doesn’t have to be! Break down your task into manageable pieces by setting some S.M.A.R.T. goals.

Specific: State exactly what it is you need to accomplish. Be as explicit as possible, including the requirements and details of the task. Maybe it’s completing a final draft of your history paper, or maybe it’s brainstorming thoughts for your thesis statement.

Measurable: Decide how you will know when you have met your goal. Maybe it’s when you turn the paper in, or maybe it’s after you’ve written the first 300 words.

Actionable: Determine what steps you will take in working towards the completion of your goal. Maybe it’s by spending all Saturday at the library revising your essay, or maybe it’s by spending an hour each day doing research for your proposal.

Relevant: Focus on how the steps you’re taking help move you toward your goal, instead of getting off track. Maybe it’s finding three primary sources to read tomorrow or maybe it’s deciding that color coding your notes isn’t a very effective strategy.

Time-bound: Set a deadline so that you commit the correct amount of time and effort to meeting your goal. Maybe it’s finishing your first draft by your writing center appointment, or maybe it’s finishing your outline before the 10pm Game of Thrones watch party.

Interesting Read: Exclamation Points

Linguist Geoff Lunberg investigates the varying (and sometimes extreme) opinions surrounding the exclamation point. According to his research, women actually use the punctuation more than men, and both corporate and educational codes generally ban its use with little justification other than prescriptive rules of taste. Lunberg makes an argument for why we should all be more generous with our written exclamations. Essentially, he argues that whereas the written word can become a muted translation of our lived experience, the exclamation point is a way to revive our writing–it is a way to reinsert the vibrancy of the spoken word into the realm of the written. Where do you stand on this point? It may be time to rethink your disdain for the effusive, over-the-top exclamation point.

Word of the Week

benthos, n.

“Name for the flora and fauna at or near the bottom of the sea.”

“Ariel and Sebastian stage an elaborate song and dance among the benthos.”

“benthos, n.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, March 2017. Web. 31 May 2017.

Tuesday Tip: Waiting List

If you have stopped by this week hoping for a walk-in appointment, then you know that the center is busy!

A great feature of our website is the waiting list. To add yourself to the waiting list, find the clock icon underneath the date.






From there, go ahead and join the waitlist.

You will get an email letting you know when an open appointment becomes available. There might be a few folks on the waiting list for that day, so if you get notified, make sure to log in and sign up!

If you have any questions, you can always email us at writingcenter@wfu.edu.

When should you come to the Writing Center?

Our tutors are here to help you during your writing process, whatever part of the process you might be in. Brainstorming? Yup! Writing? Uh-huh! Revision? Of course! We’ve got you covered.



Interesting Reads: Screens Versus Paper

cartoon of a book boxing a kindleDo you find that you engage differently with material based on how you encounter it? Do you think that “internet reading” is caused by screens themselves, or can we train our minds to engage onscreen text with the same “deep reading” that is traditionally associated with the “paper brain?” Read this brief article and examine your own reading habits!

Word of the Week

bibliopole, n.

A dealer in books, a bookseller.”

“The bibliopole at the downtown bookstore suggested some great summer books to take to the beach.”

“bibliopole, n.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, March 2017. Web. 31 May 2017.

Tuesday Tip: Next Steps

Image of a person drawing on the chalkboard. They are drawing a stick figure walking up stairs.In our first tip of the academic year, we talked about how to get started and set up an account with the Writing Center. Now we’re talking appointments: what are they and how do you get one.

We offer 50 minute writing consultations where you meet with a peer tutor. You drive the session! The tutor will ask lots of questions to make sure your questions are answered and issues are addressed. You can make an appointment for any writing assignment at any point in the writing process!

Want to make an appointment? Log in and look for an available appointment (one of the white spots). When you sign up, your appointment will appear green.

You can go in anytime and change or cancel your appointment.

Now that you know, go (and sign up for an appointment)!