School of Continuing and Professional Studies > SCPSWriting Guide
DePaul University’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies is committed to supporting writing development throughout the educational careers of all its students. The main sources of this support are the SCPS Writing Program and the University Center for Writing-based Learning (UCWbL). The UCWbL and SCPS’s Writing Program offer complementary services in support of the development of student writing skills.
The SCPS Writing Guide begins with a statement of the core values and goals for the writing program at SCPS. The Guide acquaints students with the writing support services available to them. The forms of assistance outlined in the Guide include group writing support (“Boot Camps”), one-on-one tutoring, an assortment of writing samples, and a detailed paper writing rubric with links to writing tips. These tools are intended to help students face the challenges of logical ways to organize ideas in a paper, grammar and punctuation, use of sources, avoidance of plagiarism, etc. The Writing Guide concludes with advice for getting past the blank page and starting to write.
The SCPS Writing Program embraces the values of life-long, reflective, student-centered, integrated and experience-based learning. The goals of the Writing Program are based on these values.
Life-Long and Reflective
Integrated into the SCPS Curriculum
The University Center for Writing-based learning (UCWbL) employs peer tutors trained to help students improve their academic writing skills. Among other services, the UCWbL Writing Center offers one-on-one tutoring with a peer tutor. Students can schedule tutoring appointments either in face-to-face or online realtime sessions, or via written (email) feedback or screencast feedback appointments.
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The SCPS Writing Boot Camp program is designed for undergraduate or graduate SCPS students who have a writing project (assignments, Competence-based PLAs, APs, Captstones, AIPs, etc.) they wish to complete. SCPS writing faculty work closely with students during these sessions. Boot camps also provide an opportunity for students who have an incomplete grade to get support in finishing their work. Look for emailed announcements, check this page for updates or call SCPS reception 312.362.8001 for dates and times.
2022 SCPS WRITING BOOT CAMPS
Register for Upcoming Writing Boot Camps Today!
Zoom Session Requirements Tips
Prepare for a Successful Session
What to Expect
Questions? Email SCPSwriting@depaul.edu
Short course writing supports:In addition to the writing courses required by SCPS degree programs, SCPS offers supplemental, targeted writing instruction in the form of three short (five week) two credit hour courses. Collectively called the Writers Toolkit, students may take one of more of the Toolkit courses as needed.
Writers Toolkit Courses
An excellent essay will
A strong essay will
A satisfactory essay will
A weak essay will
A poor essay will do any one of the following
Below are successful writing samples from a variety of SCPS courses.Undergraduate
Capstone Projects (Advanced Projects)
Integrative Seminar (Advanced Elective Seminar)
The following is a rubric explaining the qualities of an excellent piece of academic writing:
InsightSimply responding to an assignment does not make an excellent essay. To be excellent, your essay must go well beyond the requirements of the assignment, providing the reader with a new insight or exceptionally compelling evidence.
PurposeEvery essay has a purpose. In some writing activities at SCPS, your purpose may be to persuade the reader of demonstrable knowledge and ability in an area of applied learning. This kind of writing requires that you develop a broader and deeper understanding of experiential knowledge. This kind of writing usually requires reflection on experience in relation to applicable ideas, theories or principles.
ComplexitiesWriters anticipate ways people might disagree with the claims made and shortcomings of evidence provided. When you find research or think of ideas that contradict or challenge your claims, embracethem. Sometimes you will think of rebuttals that strengthen your original claim. Other times, you will find yourself modifying your original claim in light of these new ideas. Either way, you will end up with a stronger, more deeply thought through paper.
Supporting DetailsSuccessful papers almost always include detailed and credible support for focused claims. To support any claim, you need specific details that advance the particular point you are making. Your evidence must be credible. Credible evidence is typical, adequate, relevant and accurate. Typical means that your evidence should not be from extreme cases. Relevant means your evidence actually supports your claim and that it is timely. Accurate means evidence that meets commonly held standards of correctness and truth. The best place to start looking for credible sources is the DePaul Library.
Logical DevelopmentThe ideas in your paper, the way you support these ideas and the connections you make between ideas must make logical sense. Logic in this sense can be both formal and informal patterns of reasoning like deductions or identifying the causes of a problem before recommending solutions. Your final drafts should have a clear and consistent organization that makes it easy for the reader to follow the flow of your ideas. D. G. Jerz from Seton Hill University provides an explanation on his webpage Logical Argumentation in College Writing.
Style and ToneWords, grammar, sentence and paragraph structure can shape the style of writing. Punctuation, sentence structure, and descriptive words can convey tone. You will need to adapt all of these features to meet the expectation of the specific audience you are writing a paper for.
CitationsQuotes, paraphrases and summaries of information from sources should be smoothly integrated in the flow of your essay. This means that they should fit grammatically with the writing around them. You must connect the ideas from your source with the ideas in your paper. In other words, introduce a quote or other information from a source and say in your own words how it relates to the point you are making. Use either MLA or APA citation. This means you will need to have in-text citation and a Works Cited or References page. In-text citation is when you indicate your source in the body of your paper using parentheses.
Sentence Variety and Paragraph DevelopmentVary the structure of your sentences. Use multiple strategies to develop paragraphs, such as addressing an objection, describing, comparing, giving examples, or adding detail. This development is crucial for fully thinking through and communicating your ideas or focus.
Grammar and UsageEven the best of us make mistakes, and it is very hard to find our own errors. Proofread on your own, but also use the Writing Center (UCWbL) and kind friends to help you check over your papers. When you have familiarized yourself with all the writing supports in this Writing Guide, it will be time to start writing. Most writers cycle through the stages of inventing, organizing, drafting, revising and editing as they write. Writers should understand the value of these stages, how and when to move between them, and what tools to use when stuck at any stage. But the most important thing to do is to keep writing!