New Turnitin Feature to Help Students Improve Writing

I imagine most of you are familiar with Turnitin. I know I am. Most of my professors required students to submit papers via Turnitin before handing it in in class. The service is used to see if papers are original or plagiarized.

Now they’ve added Revision Assistant. It gives students feedback on several different aspects of their papers and encourages multiple revisions. I remember most professors didn’t even allow students to see their own originality report, so this is a great step forward. But I’m not sure how it’ll work. I mean, it’s obviously automated in some way, which does make me a bit nervous about it. But even automated feedback (if it’s done properly) is better than no feedback. So long as everyone isn’t getting the same feedback on every paper.

Have you used Turnitin in the past? Do you think this new tool will help students improve their writing?

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Which Book Began Your Love of Reading?

Probably a difficult question for most. If you’ve read my bio on here, then you know I mention one book in it. A book written by Avi several years ago. I read it in middle school. I think I may have mentioned it as the first book I remember reading, but I think it may better be classified as the first book I remember enjoying reading.

I don’t know what I read in elementary school besides R.L. Stine. I can tell you for certain that I wasn’t reading anything by Mrs. Rowling, though the first books would have been released during my elementary years.

So if I was put on the spot and asked this question I’d say books by R.L. Stine and Avi really got me into reading. Though I can’t hardly remember any of the books I read.

Can you name the book that sparked your interest in reading?

That Pesky Oxford Comma

The Oxford Comma

Photo Credit

First off, I’m not going to explain what the Oxford comma is. You should know. But honestly, it’s because I’m writing this post immediately after getting off work and I have a limited amount of time before my usual posting time. So…I’m rushing.

Anyway, when I was in school (I’m talking during the elementary years) I remember specifically being taught to use the Oxford comma. Always. And during middle and high school, and also in college I used it in every essay I ever wrote. Never once was I corrected. But if you just read enough blog posts you’ll find that a lot of people don’t use it. From every part of the world.

I’ve read that it is used much less in the UK than it is in America. And I really have no idea why that is. All I know is that I’ve always and will continue to use it. Until I’m given a very credible source telling me not to.

Do you have any secret knowledge about it? Do share.

Do Book Fairs Still Happen?

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I know I’ve mentioned on here a few times how much I looked to forward to book fairs when I was younger. I mean, how could you not? It was like bringing a mini bookstore to your own school. But I left my elementary school back in 2003 for the more grown up version of public school known as junior high. The building had two gyms and a HUGE cafeteria and even a second floor. How bad could it be, right? But now I’m off topic.

One of the major differences between elementary and middle school was the time spent in the library. If I remember correctly, from third to fifth grade half of my school time was in ELA and the other half was in Math/Science/Social Studies. So it makes sense that we would frequent the library as a class quite often. But with middle school came lockers and tardies and SEVEN classes! So each teacher had a very limited amount of time with students, which left time for maybe one or two trips to the library each year with your class. And definitely no book fairs happening in middle school.

Now I’m wondering if they still happen at all. I think Scholastic used to run the ones at my school, and considering that they have the US publishing rights to HP and THG I don’t see how they would be struggling mightily as a publisher, but I really have no idea. All I can say is that book fairs were one of my favorite parts of elementary school. I believe we had two each year and I’d always make my parents spend money on books or posters or bookmarks or just ANYTHING I found interesting.

Two easy questions. How did you feel about book fairs when you were younger? And do you have any idea if they still happen?

Take me to the Library

mrr

Photo Credit: Library of Congress

I may or may not have not told you guys about my experience with libraries. So let’s talk about it.

I’d hope you know by now that I love books. You have to know this. Well my elementary school was pretty old and its library was far from great. And there were only two computers. The fifth grade had its own mini computer lab and there were multiple computer labs in the school, but the library for some reason didn’t get in on the technology.

Suffice it to say that my very first library I spent some time in did not do anything for my love of books. And maybe I hadn’t even realized it yet.

My middle school library was something else. It was about four times the size of the elementary school library and had what I thought was a gazillion books. BUT as you all know, middle school is seven classes a day with very little time in between. I rarely had time to go to the library even though it was so nice.

My high school even added to what my middle school had in its library. More computers and more shelves of books than I could count. But I was a bad student in high school. My GPA and class rank were laughable. I never went to the library unless it was with my class.

BUT during my early high school years I found out that the county in which I live has a pretty sizeable library system. I got my library card and would do some really random Google searching to find my next book to check out almost weekly. Then I’d force my mom to drive me to the library so I could get my books.This lasted a couple of years because once I started working part-time I decided to desert the library for the bookstore.

My experience with libraries enabled and maintained my interest in reading. Sure I couldn’t always get the book I wanted because 100 other people wanted it before me, but that was okay. Because a few years of borrowing books has evolved into a few years of buying books and a love like no other. What’s your experience with libraries?

And if you look at my Bookish Bucket List you’ll see that visiting the Library of Congress is on there. I’m sure there are plenty of incredible libraries in the world, but we have one right here and I absolutely must see it. I’ll be like a little kid in a candy store.