PPLS Writing Retreat next week

Kasia Banas will be holding another writing retreat on March 18th, and registration is now open to all Honours students in PPLS.

If you haven’t been to one before, consider giving it a try. Many people find it very motivating to be surrounded by other people quietly getting their work done. Even academic and research staff participate in joint writing sessions just like this on a regular basis.

And as if that’s not enough, there are promises of free cookies and caffeine. I’ve even heard that sandwiches are not out of the question.

Kasia has passed along a link to this site, where you can see more details and claim your spot. Don’t worry about where it says “Psychology Honours Students”; linguists and philosophers are also welcome.

E-Prime and OpenSesame courses

Will you be designing and conducting experiments as part of your research? If so, you’ll probably find yourself using either E-Prime or OpenSesame. Courses on these software packages are going to be held next week on Feb 19th and Feb 20th, respectively. They’ll last from 14:10 to 17:10 in room 4.02 in Appleton Tower. If you’re interested in attending, make sure to contact Chris Gillespie (e-mail address after the link) with your name and student number.

Advanced Writing for Quantitative Research (4 hours)

Students talking in a restaurant

The first PPLS Writing Centre Honours workshop series in 2019 will be Advanced Writing for Quantitative Research by Fang Yang.  It will involve two 2-hour workshop sessions designed to show you how to write longer quantitative essays with introduction, methods, results and discussion sections.  This workshop was developed with the guidance of academic staff and tutors, and will include activities throughout.  There will also be examples of real student writing submitted in previous years. The workshop sessions will be of most use to Honours students in psychology and linguistics, but anyone taking a course or writing a dissertation in PPLS is welcome to attend.

If you’re interested, please sign up as soon as possible: https://writingcentre.ppls.ed.ac.uk/workshops/

PPLS Computer Programming Courses

Happy New Year!

If one of your resolutions is to improve your computer skills, you should check out the 2-hour courses on offer from Alisdair Tullo and Chris Gillespie.

Knowing how to program is an important tool to have in your belt. Even if you aren’t currently engaged in a project that requires programming, I’d still recommend having a look. Once you know how to get a computer to help you solve problems, you’ll start finding many ways to use that power. You might even stumble upon ideas for research that wouldn’t have occurred to you otherwise.

Most of these courses are already full, but you should make sure to join the waiting list of any event that you’re interested in. These waiting lists let event organisers know when there’s enough interest to warrant repeating a course.

Intermediate Programming with Python
(Jan 15, 11:10-13:00)

Online Experiments
(Jan 15, 14:10-16:00)

Basics of Coding in Java — Creating Stimuli Using Processing
(Jan 18, 10:10-12:00)

Workshop: Using the library with Anne Donnelly

library books
Photo by Paul Dodds

Do you really know how to use the library?  Or do you only seem to use a fraction of the resources that are available?  Anne Donnelly, the Academic Support Librarian for PPLS, will help you develop better research strategies.  This workshop is available to students taking PPLS courses at all levels — while many of the techniques covered are suited to larger research projects, it is best to learn about them as early in your career as possible.

You will find out how to…

The following topics will also be covered: the Centre for Research Collections, the Society of College, National and University Libraries, & Digital Skills and Training.

If you are interested, please book now to reserve a seat on November 26th at 14:10 (location tba) and fill out the pre-session questionnaire to let us know which topics are most interesting for you.

LEL Workshop: Writing Linguistics Funding Applications

This afternoon, there will be a workshop on how to write funding applications in linguistics.  It has been organised by a group of PhD students in LEL with mentoring from teaching staff, and will run from 14:00 to 16:00 in Seminar Room 6 in the Chrystal MacMillan Building.  Reservations are not necessary — simply show up if you are interested.

The PPLS Writing Centre isn’t directly involved with this workshop, but we can redirect your questions to the right people.

Pre-honours workshops now available

Here’s another announcement I’m happy to make:  our pre-honours workshops have been finalised and we are now accepting bookings.  These workshops will involve large groups but we’ll keep things interactive through the use of live electronic polling.  You’ll look closely at excerpts from real student essays to see which approaches work and which do not.

Visit our workshop page now to see what’s on offer.  Don’t wait to book.

Two appointments per month

The PPLS Writing Centre is happy to announce that students are now allotted two appointments per calendar month, effective immediately.

Previously, we allowed two appointments per semester.  This has been changed so that students don’t feel the need to save up their hours.

There will be an announcement concerning workshops within the next day or two.   These are due to be held on the week of October 22nd.

Extra proofreading for non-native MSc students

At the PPLS Writing Centre, we concentrate on improving your ability to write clearly and put forward coherent arguments.   We try to avoid getting into proofreading or giving advice on your essay’s content.   After all, we don’t want to duplicate the help that is available from elsewhere within the University of Edinburgh.   I have already written a blog post about some of the options that are available (eligibility varies).

It was a nice surprise today to see an announcement that EUSA’s peer proofreading service, which normally closes over the summer, has been made available until August 10th.  Eligibility is limited to current MSc students who are non-native speakers of English.   You are welcome to access this help in addition to any appointments you book with us.