Friday Funnies: Revisions

PhD Comic Final

The spring 2016 Writing in History motto is “Beyond One and Done.”  Far too often, we treat our first finished draft as our one “final” draft.  Rather, we should treat that first “final” draft as nothing but a pencil sketch, showing the lines and contours of our work.  Put that draft aside for a few days.  Come back to it, read through it again, and make edits that add a wisp of color between those lines.  Then, after feedback from friends, colleagues, tutors, and the professor’s dreaded red pen, make more edits and thus add splashes of paint.  Finally, after reading over the paper again, do not forgot to run spellcheck one last time.  You would be surprised how many papers are turned in with spelling and grammar errors that spellcheck will catch.

Do you want help with coloring in the lines of your paper?  You can make an appointment with a Writing in History tutor.  They are available Monday through Friday, usually 9am to 5pm.  Learn more and make an appointment on our website.

Best, Dr. Ferdinando



Writing in History Spring 2016 Motto: “Beyond One and Done”

The spring 2016 Writing in History motto is “Beyond One and Done.”  Far too often we treat writing as a single straight-line journey from blank page to finished paper.  College professors often inadvertently reinforce this view by assigning a paper, giving a grade, and then moving on without requiring students to rework the assignment based on feedback.  Students get used to not revisiting their written work, and thus they do not learn the crucial skill of applying feedback to their work and also appreciating that even critical comments are vital to developing and improving their writing.  In actuality, writing is a process of many paths involving not just getting words down on the page, but editing, revising, deleting, re-writing, and numerous drafts both before and after copious feedback.  It is that feedback that is crucial to crafting a final version of a paper.  No author can write one draft and be done.  Rather, we should all move “Beyond One and Done” and embrace multiple drafts with feedback as part of our writing process.


Best, Dr. Ferdinando

Spring 2016 Welcome

Drs. Weimer and Ferdinando

Welcome one and all to the spring 2016 semester.  The new year brings a refreshing zest to Florida International University’s Writing in History Program.  Speaking for myself, Dr. Ferdinando, and my colleague Dr. Weimer, we hope that the upcoming semester is a chance for challenges and triumphs.  To help transform the former into the latter, the Writing in History program will continue to offer tutoring, workshops, roundtables, and online resources that all aim to improve and enhance the writing and research skills of FIU’s diverse student body.  From helping a freshman to structure their first college paper for a required history credit, to assisting history juniors and seniors as they refine their writing and research skills, Writing in History offers support and encouragement.

One of the key successes of the Writing in History program are our wonderful tutors.  Our returning tutors, Amanda, Elysee, and Enzu, remain essential to the program.  This semester, we also get to welcome four new tutors, Jason, Leo, Paul, and René.  Tutoring appointments are available Monday through Friday, usually from 9am to 5pm.  Whether you are just starting a paper and need help outlining and developing your thesis, or if you already have a substantial draft, you are welcome to make an appointment to meet with a tutor.  In fact, we encourage students to make follow-up appointments as they write successive drafts of their paper, hence this semester’s motto of “Beyond One and Done.”  To learn more and set an appointment, please visit our website.  We are planning to offer walk-in appointments too, so watch this blog for the details.

Journal Club will also return this spring.  This combined discussion and workshop event addresses student writing and research in a more informal environment.  Each month, we will circulate a journal article that serves as a springboard for larger discussions, including primary and secondary sources, the research and revision process, and transcription and translation.  For more on Journal Club, once again watch this blog.


Best, Dr. Ferdinando