It’s essay season; do you know where your apostrophe should go?

You gotta write good like you know you should. Take them words and string ’em together all smart-like. Why? Because words make us wanna go:

Pictured: graphic of "Yaaaaaaas werk!" written in the fanciest calligraphy font I could findThat was painful, I know. I am deeply sorry for putting you through that. The point of it was to show how cringeworthy bad writing can be. [Life@UofT will not be held responsible for any damages resulting from rageful fits my above paragraph may have induced, including but not limited to thrown computers, torn pillows, and a decreased faith in humanity]

Good writing is so important in the academic environment. Professors believe that profoundly; a lot of what they do depends on the written word. It’s no surprise, then, that professors are often experts at writing well. I have picked up so many great tricks from them throughout my time at university. In the spirit of solidarity during prime essay season, I would like to share my favourite tips with you lovely people.

That Forgetting Feeling

You know that thing that sometimes happens when you’re about to fall asleep but then all of a sudden you feel like you’re falling, you jerk violently, and you’re wide awake again? That’s how I feel when I realize I have forgotten something.

I don’t usually forget things; I’m a reasonably organized person and I have systems that I use to keep on top of things.

Pictured: string tied around my finger
An oldie but a goodie

Every now and then, though, the occasional task slips through the cracks. One such occasion was just a little while ago. I’m taking this really interesting Legal Workshops course; I get to attend a few workshops at the Faculty of Law throughout the year. At the beginning of September, I chose the workshops I was interested in and signed up. I marked the workshops I signed up to attend in my calendar. I put them on my phone. You may have guessed, however, that I recently missed one.

Press Send and Prosper: E-mailing Profs

Cyberspace: the final frontier. These are the enterprises of the modern student. Her undergraduate mission: to explore strange new syllabi, to seek out help and resources, to boldly go where many students have gone before…

…Her professor’s UTmail+ inbox.

Okay okay, maybe e-mailing a professor isn’t quite as exciting or high stakes as hiking through Andoria, but it can feel like a monolithic task. I have heard all sorts of horror stories—everything from sending a prof the wrong e-mail to accidentally using a text abbreviation!

Shudder.

Pictured: Spock from Star Trek staring at a computer
Spock is unimpressed by “lol jk” Picture courtesy of http://www.ex-astris-scientia.org/

After three years of interacting with professors through various mediums, I think I am starting to get the hang of it.


Here is what I always keep in mind when I’m drafting an e-mail: