Google Something Beautiful

A few years ago Google quietly unveiled a new search tool, Google Cultural Institute, which lets you search, explore, save, organize, and share images of art and culture from around the world. It’s really quite beautiful, and could offer inspiration or topics for students writing about fine art, history, and many other topics. Check out the video above, or go to


You mean, that doe’snt go…: go here;?

Not everyone is a whiz at punctuation and grammar. Thankfully there is Blue Book which offers rules and examples of what types of punctuation goes where. There are even free online quizzes to test your knowledge.

Rule 1. To avoid confusion, use commas to separate words and word groups with a series of three or more. Example: My $10 million estate is to be split among my husband, daughter, son, and nephew. Omitting the comma after son would indicate that the son and nephew would have to split one-third of the estate.”

Use this site to improve your punctuation and grammar or to double-check something for an essay or assignment.


Blue Book: of Grammar and Punctuation

Image courtesy of site post is linked to

Ahem… Where’s my introduction?

Writing an introduction to an essay can be the most difficult part of the writing process. Fear not though! University Blog has written this post to help even the most down trodden students write an introduction.


“A good introduction should pull the reader straight in and make them want to read more. Also, learning how to write a good introduction can be very helpful in overcoming “starting anxiety,” one of the major causes of writer’s block.”


Students should really consider bookmarking this page to refer to over and over again.


Celebrities Confront Procrastination

Both videos end with a certain lack of closure. But procrastinators, you are not alone! Get hold of this time-killer before it undermines your academic progress. Scheduling study time, keeping a master calendar with due dates for course assignments, and keeping track of your grades and course standing can help you be accountable to yourself and successful.

Image of Sponge Bob writing at desk

Spongebob Squarepants: Typical American Procrastinator


Here are my notes for a presentation I give on citing sources in college writing.
Son of Citation Machine, Easy Bib and More Web and Old-school Tools for Citing Your Work
-Academic discourse and research
-Current cultural climate of plagiarism
-Changeover from printed texts with physical locations to disembodied etexts
-Competing interests between academic disciplines
-However, it doesn’t need to be so hard anymore! Use one of the systems on page 2 below to make your life easier.
1. Clearly mark in your writing the beginning of any words, ideas, or sequence of ideas that you borrow from someone else; use signal phrases and quotation marks
2. Mark the end of borrowed language/ideas with an in-text citation (APA or MLA) or footnote (CMS), which briefly identifies the source, and when appropriate closing quotation marks
3. Put a list of references at the end of the paper that tells the reader everything they need to know to find your sources.
Use a particular style of format and stick to it through the paper: APA, CMS, MLA, or another
APA American Psychological Assn In-text citations include author’s last name and year, and the page number for quotes: At least one writer (Mendham, 2010) has complained that APA style “makes her brain hurt” (p. 1)
CMS Chicago Manual of Style Raised (superscript) numbers to refer to footnotes or endnotes. Tracy Mendham says “Chicago is the mob boss of documentation systems.”2
MLA Modern Lang. Assn In-text citations include author’s last name and the page number. At least one writing specialist claims that “MLA style rocks” (Mendham 3).

-Easy Bib: for FPU free account or for MLA-only
-Microsoft Word 2007 and later:
-Son of Citation Machine:
I always show students how to use Easy Bib if they’re struggling with sources. You can paste in a website to autocite or enter info manually. Easy Bib can will save your references—if you find out you have to write about the same book again, or use a different format style, Easy Bib or
Son of Citation Machine is similar and popular with some students:
This will make your life so much easier it should be worth the $35 the student edition will cost from IT and the time it will take to learn to use it.
A short YouTube tutorial:
Zotero needs to be downloaded and added to your Firefox browser, but it is plain awesome for collecting sources when you are working on more than one computer and it will “grab” information off Amazon web pages about book info and journal info from online databases. It will also automatically add items by ISBN or DOI.
Here’s a demo video:
The Cite feature in EBSCOhost and the good old Diana Hacker Writer’s Reference. I mark the pages I use most and now it’s faster than a website for tasks I do most often.
Come to the Center for Academic Excellence or use the Wensberg Writing Center for more help with writing or to learn to use the tools in this handout.
The Center for Academic Excellence
DiPietro Library, 1st floor,

Writers write: 750 Words

750 Words Site750 Words is a neat and simple website to help writers (including profs and students) to make daily progress on their writing projects. This is from a Chronicle article, Writer’s Boot Camp:

Here at ProfHacker, we have written many posts detailing ways we can make the writing process smoother, faster, easier. Or doable. We strive to make writing doable. And we share our ideas. Writing hints that work for me might work for you. Your hints to produce usable writing might help others, and we hope you’ll share those hints. Some hints are simple; others are more difficult. But we share, nonetheless. The “butt in chair” method of producing written text, a hint that is shared by many, is probably the best way to accomplish a writing goal. Just do it. Today, however, we offer a different tool that might help you produce words.

Andrew Mara (Twitter’s @docmara) at North Dakota State University alerted me to, a website that provides space for writing. But unlike an average word processor, what most of use in writing, is very simple. It doesn’t provide textual manipulation tools (bolding, italicizing, etc.), as those tools can be distracting. The free online site encourages you to write, to produce 750 words of text a day. It does this by counting your words as you type and by providing small incentives to keep you going. It’s a very simple, but brilliant, idea.

Help with Research and Papers for the College at Rindge

Image of pen and blank paper

Pen and Paper by Kristian D. on Flickr


Final papers and research projects to complete? We’ve got you covered!
Staff from the DiPietro Library and the Center for Academic Excellence are hosting drop-in hours on Tuesday evenings 7-8 pm for the rest of the semester (April 13, 20, 27, and May 4) to help students with library research and to provide support for students at all stages of the writing process. If you’re stuck or just want help making a good paper great, come on by and let us help you. The Peer Tutor for Foundations of Math will also be available to assist students with their final written projects.
For students at CGPS campuses, the Wensberg Writing Center remains available by email.
Drop-in hours are just one of several collaborative programs that the Center for Academic Excellence is developing with the DiPietro Library and other groups on campus to promote student success.

Extra Section of College Writing II

Due to popular demand, the College at Rindge is adding another section of College Writing II (IC 106) for Fall ’09. It will meet MWF at 8 am. If you need the course, get an add/drop form and sign up. Steve Thurber will be the instructor.

Writing Drop-in Help: Summer Hours

Need help with a writing assignment in your summer courses? The Academic Services Center offers individual assistance with essays and other writing projects. Contact us at 899-4107 to make an appointment, or come to drop-in hours 3-4:30 pm Monday through Thursday. Contact Tracy Mendham at 899-1168 or for more information.

Writing Assistance

There’s lots of help for writing at the Rindge campus of Franklin Pierce! All of the offices and people below will work with students in any stage of the writing process.

The Writing Center in Edgewood is staffed by trained student tutors:
Monday-Thursday 10 am – 10 pm
Friday 11 am – 5 pm
Saturday Closed
Sunday 2 pm – 10 pm

Tracy Mendham is a writing specialist in the Academic Services Center (on the library first floor, go back and to the left). She provides writing help by appointment (call x4107) or during drop-in hours:
Monday-Friday 3 – 4:30 pm

The Reference Desk at the library can help you find sources for research papers, or expand or narrow topics. The reference desk is on your left immediately as you enter the library, and is staffed:
Monday-Thursday 10 am – 8 pm
Friday 10 am – 3 pm
Saturday No reference
Sunday 4 pm – 8 pm

If you have a quick writing question you can also instant message Tracy.
Go to the blog and click in the “IM Tracy” window, or
Message her on Facebook (search for mendhamt@

If you have a quick research question you can IM the reference desk.
fpclibrarian with AIM, Yahoo, or MSN, or call them at x1149.