Seminars on writing, research a success

Mindy Matteis

The Quinnipiac University Learning Center recently held two seminars aimed at aiding students in writing research papers.

The two seminars, entitled, “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Research Paper,” were held on Oct. 28 and 29 to help students learn the best way to prepare for and successfully write their research papers.

Many students attending the seminars also received credits towards their athletic programs.

Assistant Director of the Learning Center Judy Villa hosted the seminar and gave students advice on how to execute a proper writing process.

According to Villa, the hardest part of writing is the first word.

“Try to think of the perfect first word for the perfect first sentence,” Villa said.

Villa says if a student has researched well beforehand, the following steps will be that much easier. She suggests using notecards, highlighting all information and planning where to place the information in the actual paper.

To accomplish these steps of the process, students need to keep up with their work.

“The biggest problem with research papers is procrastination, putting it off,” she said.

To avoid this pitfall, Villa suggests keeping a calendar.

“Students need to write in their calendars the partial assignments like going to the library for research,” she said. “That is very important.”

Also important for students is selecting relevant topics for their papers.

“Try to pick something that you have an interest in or that is really relevant to your future field of study or your career because the more interested you are, the better the paper will turn out,” Villa said.

Proper documentation is imperative in avoiding plagiarism. Villa has outlined a four step process to avoid plagiarism problems. She refers to it as the “Villa 4-I formula of information.”

In the formula, Villa explains that students need to introduce the information, identify who is speaking, integrate information sources clearly and interpret information.

Villa says that if students are seeking help in carrying out these steps in the writing process, The Learning Center is available for assistance.

The Learning Center conducts a total of 10 seminars a semester on helpful study tips and strategies for bettering students’ academics.

Seminars include the topics of note-taking, reading textbooks, developing memory, writing essays, conducting research, writing with accurate documentation, taking tests and controlling test anxiety.

Biomedical major Judith Rice feels the seminars are effective.

“I think the seminars are broad but like every other information session, there is always something you can take and use, and for me that’s worth it,” Rice said.

The Learning Center also provides private tutoring sessions, research paper organization packets, and numerous seminars for students to help write better.

For those students that were unable to attend either of the two seminars, private tutoring sessions on the topic are still being offered. To sign up for a private session with one of the Leaning Center’s master tutors, students can call x8628. A sign-up sheet is also available in TH 119.