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Conducting Research in Sociology: Podcast Episode Live!
Jemimah Amos Podcast Sociology cover 1 300x300 Conducting Research in Sociology: Podcast Episode Live!

This week we interested Jemimah Amos, PFAU Academic Writing coach and editor, about the study of Sociology. Sociology is the study of human interaction or individuals as members of a group. Many students take a first-year Sociology course unsure what it is about and may even leave the course confused or overwhelmed by the breadth of information and topics that can be researched in the field of Sociology. In particular, students coming out of high school may be unfamiliar with the use of theories and methodologies to conduct research and write papers.

 

 

HIGHLIGHTS

What is Sociology?

Common Sociological Theories & Frameworks

What to expect from a Sociology degree

How to conduct Sociological research

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To get more help with academic writing, application coaching, or professional development, book a 20 minute discovery call with us and start your journey to reaching your full potential on the page, and in life.


All the written, visual, audio, and audiovisual content of this post has been created by and is the intellectual property of Lisa Pfau and PFAU Academic Writing. Please do not replicate any of the above content without our consent. However, please do feel free to share this post and its authorship widely.

Have a restful holiday break!!

Wishing you all a restful holiday break!!

We will be closed until January 10th, excluding our Personal Statement Writing Workshop on January 6th.

See you all in the new year!!

Feeling through Creativity: Podcast Episode Live!
Phoebe Taylor Podcast Post  300x300 Feeling through Creativity: Podcast Episode Live!

This week’s episode is about the connection between mental health and creativity. Oftentimes students are so caught up with getting good grades or a prestigious job that they forget to have fun. They forget that learning is supposed to bring joy. They don’t realize that writing a research paper is actually a creative process, and it is possible to inject their own personality in the process. Most of all, they can easily buy into the idea that being successful means suppressing one’s emotions. But, feelings are not our enemy, they are our friend. This week’s guest is Phoebe Taylor, artist, mindful mover, community maker and creative director of Okay Shoe.

 

HIGHLIGHTS

Finding joy in creation

Building a creative business

Sustainable creation and collaborative practices

Link between our emotions and art

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To get more help with academic writing, application coaching, or professional development, book a 20 minute discovery call with us and start your journey to reaching your full potential on the page, and in life.


All the written, visual, audio, and audiovisual content of this post has been created by and is the intellectual property of Lisa Pfau and PFAU Academic Writing. Please do not replicate any of the above content without our consent. However, please do feel free to share this post and its authorship widely.

Playful Prose: Interview with Davood Gozli

 

 

This week’s episode is about overcoming the tortures of writer’s block. So often students avoid starting a paper because of the pain associated with writing that first sentence, but writing doesn’t have to be so terrible. In fact, in many cases, it can be fun. It is an artform after all. Today we’ll be talking about how to make writing enjoyable, and even playful. 

 

Davood Gozli 300x300 Playful Prose: Interview with Davood Gozli

 

This week’s guest is Davood Gozli, PFAU Academic Writing editor and coach, specializing in Psychology. Davood has over seven years of university-level teaching experience, a BSc from Trent University, and PhD in Psychology from the University of Toronto. He has published a book and dozens of peer-reviewed academic articles—including several articles co-authored with students—and has helped hundreds of students feel more comfortable about writing. Most notably, he believes in the power of writing as a personal practice that can excite, enliven, and empower us.

 

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What is it like writing a book? Were there moments you were stuck? How did you overcome them?

 

My book started out as a journal article that was rejected by several journals. I was passionate about the idea, but I still got stuck. I found that being separated from the writing project for a couple weeks would throw me off and make it harder to go back. Rhythm is very important. Showing up everyday in small ways is key. Touchbase with your writing project in a consistent and predictable way everyday. By maintaining this rhythm, even my body would start to feel like writing.

I also realized that writing is a way of living. Once you start setting up a writing routine, you notice that other parts of your life need to change as well. For instance, I realized that I needed to go to bed early enough to get enough sleep to get up and write. I also needed to become more organized by setting a timer and only letting myself write for an hour before getting onto other things.

 

Why do you think we struggle with writer’s block?

 

There are several reasons why someone would struggle with writer’s block. As I said, straying from one’s routine can cause a blockage, and of course, not taking care of one’s self and being unwell. However, I think the biggest blockage is expectations. Putting too much pressure on one’s self and worrying can block the creative flow. It is important to set manageable goals and stick to them.

For students who struggle with writing the first sentence of the paper, what tips would you give them?

 

There are a few things that can help one get over the anxiety of writing that first sentence:

  1. Take breaks when you can’t focus

  2. Set a minimum daily achievement (ie. 300 words)

  3. Set realistic expectations. Focus on writing clearly and concisely. Imagine you are writing to a friend. 

  4. Write what you can. Don’t worry about making it perfect. You now have some raw material. Then, ask yourself what makes it bad and use it to improve upon it. 

  5. Write about what you want to write about. You want to write about memory, so you write about what you want to write about later. It is like a plan/list of ideas. It creates a useful distance that can ease you into the writing process.

 

 

Recommended Books and Resources

 

 

 

Thank you, Davood, for sharing the excellent advice with us and our readers! 

 

Missed Podcast? Watch Video Here:

 

 

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For more advice about writing, check out our weekly, podcast, videos, or subscribe to our monthly newsletter.

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To get more help with your assignments, book a 20 minute discovery session with us and start your journey to reaching your full potential on the page, and in life.


Both the written, visual, audio, and audiovisual content of this post has been created by and is the intellectual property of Lisa Pfau and PFAU Academic Writing. Please do not replicate any of the above content without our consent. However, please do feel free to share this post and its authorship widely.

Davood Gozli
Playful Prose: Podcast Episode Live!
Davood Gozli Podcast Post 1 1 300x300 Playful Prose: Podcast Episode Live!

We interviewed Davood Gozli, Pfau Academic editor and writing coach, with a BSc from Trent University, and PhD in Psychology from the University of Toronto, about overcoming the tortures of writer’s block. So often students avoid starting a paper because of the pain associated with writing that first sentence, but writing doesn’t have to be so terrible. In fact, in many cases, it can be fun. It is an artform after all. Today we’ll be talking about how to make writing enjoyable, and even playful.

 

HIGHLIGHTS

What it’s like writing a book

Tips for overcoming writer’s block

Overcoming doubt when writing 

Making writing playful 

Starting a paper when you feel stuck

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To get more help with academic writing, application coaching, or professional development, book a 20 minute discovery call with us and start your journey to reaching your full potential on the page, and in life.


All the written, visual, audio, and audiovisual content of this post has been created by and is the intellectual property of Lisa Pfau and PFAU Academic Writing. Please do not replicate any of the above content without our consent. However, please do feel free to share this post and its authorship widely.

English Literature Podcast
The Art of Writing a Literary Essay: Interview with Natalia Hunter

 

 

We interviewed Natalia Hunter, PFAU Academic Writing Coach, about the art of writing a literary essay. For students accustomed to essays that require a lot of research, citations, and arguments on a specific topic, writing an essay for English 101 or Grade 12 English can be a real puzzle. This type of essay necessitates a more in-depth analysis of a particular text, or oftentimes only an excerpt of text. At first glance, it may seem easy, but it actually takes a high level of skill to write a strong literary essay. We thought this topic would be helpful to our listeners who are attempting their first literary essay or trying to improve upon a poor grade. Remember that writing is a practice that takes time and effort to improve upon.

 

Copy of Natalia Hunter Photo 2 300x300 The Art of Writing a Literary Essay: Interview with Natalia Hunter

 

Natalia has a Master’s in English from Wilfrid Laurier University and a Bachelors of English in Medieval Studies. While pursuing graduate studies, Natalia was a teaching assistant for the Laurier English department, leading weekly tutorial groups and working closely with students to assist with their understanding of the course material and help with their essay writing and critical thinking skills. Her own academic experience and work as a teaching assistant have given Natalia a keen eye for what it takes to do excellent literary analysis.

 

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What would you say is the difference between a research paper and an English paper? How is research conducted in English compared to say the Social Sciences?

 

There’s a big difference. Especially with the Social Sciences, like you said, English qualitative versus quantitative. The main difference is in the research methods. In the social science, you’re focusing on experimental studies, while in English you’re looking for the answers within the text itself. So when you’re researching for a Social Sciences paper, you’re going to look out for other evidence to include in your argument. In an English paper, you’re looking at other scholarly opinions about the text. The main reason why you do that in English is to ground your argument within everybody else’s opinions. You want to make sure that you have a full scope of what the topic entails and that you can shape your argument. You can either disagree or agree with what the scholarly opinion that is out there. There’s definitely a massive difference between a regular research paper for the Social sciences and a research paper for English. In addition, there’s definitely techniques and skills that you have to develop to know how to research English papers that dependent upon how popular or how old the book is.

For example, a Victorian novel is going to have a lot more out there compared to a book published in the last few years. The amount of previous research on the book that you want to write about is another kind of difficulty that you have to face when researching for an English paper. I think a good example is if you’re looking into Jane Eyre. As a classic Victorian novel, there’s so much out there about this literary era as well as the book itself. There are several opinions, books, and journal articles written about Jane Eyre. Although there is a lot of preexisting on Jane Eyre, this in itself can be overwhelming. Therefore, it is important to narrow your topic down. You can do this by choosing a character, like Bertha. However, even in that case, you need to have an angle or perspective that you want to discuss about Bertha. For instance, if you’re going to do a gendered reading of Jane Eyre and you’re going to focus on feminist theories, then you would start looking at the key words when you search up articles about Jane Eyre. You would want to look at the things that include feminist theory and things about how the female characters are treated. You want to make sure that you’re focusing on a specific angle rather than just really looking taking a broad summative approach.

 

How can high school students in Grade 11 and 12 prepare themselves for the rigors of university English?

 

First off, the difference between high school and university is that you’re going to be reading so much more. This can be a massive shock to the system because you’ll have multiple readings a week. You could be reading a whole novel a week (300-400 pages) and just have one or two lectures on it before moving on. So it is very fast paced, and I think that that could be something that you could gradually get used to by increasing your reading capacity in advance of attending university. I recommend planning out and scheduling your reading times. This structuring can can especially helpful if you kind of have a numerical mind. If you like to think in numbers, breaking down  the novel into small goals of reading a certain number of pages (ie. 25 pages) a day can help you to feel less overwhelmed with the amount of reading that you need to complete.

What would you say is your biggest takeaway from your English degree in terms of becoming a confident writer?

 

I think my main takeaway with writing was that there’s so many ways to phrase things and put things in a sentence and everybody’s going to have a different way of doing it. I think that’s amazing that everyone can have a different voice and style. Everyone can be tasked with the same thing and not say it in the same way. It’s okay to not write something in the same way that someone else does. There’s definitely ways of improving your writing style. Obviously, being more concise and using appropriate language are useful skills. But at the end of the day, I think it’s really amazing that everyone can have their own style. In the beginning, developing your own style can be overwhelming because you’re thinking – “is everyone so much smarter than me?”; “what’s that person saying?”; “how are they saying it”; and so forth. You end up comparing yourself to someone else. I think at the end of the day, you’re never going to write something the same way as someone else, and that is a really good thing.

 

Recommended Books and Resources

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

The Birthmark by Nathaniel Hawthorne

 

Thank you, Natalia, for sharing the excellent advice with us and our readers! 

 

Missed Podcast? Watch Video Here:

 

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For more advice about writing, check out our weekly, podcast, videos, or subscribe to our monthly newsletter.

_

To get more help with your assignments, book a 20 minute discovery session with us and start your journey to reaching your full potential on the page, and in life.


Both the written, visual, audio, and audiovisual content of this post has been created by and is the intellectual property of Lisa Pfau and PFAU Academic Writing. Please do not replicate any of the above content without our consent. However, please do feel free to share this post and its authorship widely.

The Art of Writing a Literary Essay: Podcast Episode Live!
image 2 300x300 The Art of Writing a Literary Essay: Podcast Episode Live!

We interviewed Natalia Hunter, PFAU Academic Writing Coach, with a Master’s in English from Wilfrid Laurier University and a Bachelors of English in medieval studies about the art of writing a literary essay. For students accustomed to essays that require a lot of research, citations, and arguments on a specific topic, writing an essay for English 101 or Grade 12 English can be a real puzzle. This type of essay necessitates a more in-depth analysis of a particular text, or oftentimes only an excerpt of text. At first glance, it may seem easy, but it actually takes a high level of skill to write a strong literary essay. We thought this topic would be helpful to our listeners who are attempting their first literary essay or trying to improve upon a poor grade. Remember that writing is a practice that takes time and effort to improve upon.

 

HIGHLIGHTS

 

Finding a topic for a literary essay

The best journals and databases to use

Tips for first year and high school students when writing a literary essay

The value of an English degree

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To get more help with academic writing, application coaching, or professional development, book a 20 minute discovery call with us and start your journey to reaching your full potential on the page, and in life.


All the written, visual, audio, and audiovisual content of this post has been created by and is the intellectual property of Lisa Pfau and PFAU Academic Writing. Please do not replicate any of the above content without our consent. However, please do feel free to share this post and its authorship widely.

Sustainable Business – Remarkable Rejects: Interview with Braeden Wolf

 

 

We interviewed Braeden Wolf, founder of Remarkable Rejects, about socially conscious business. We thought this topic would be helpful to our listeners who are looking for meaningful employment and/or social change. In university, everything seems possible and many of us are inspired to create change in the world after graduation. However, after entering the workforce, we may start to feel discouraged and lose our spark. So, why not bypass the corporate world and its expectations and start something that you care about and that can create the change that you want to see in the world?

 

Screen Shot 2021 10 16 at 8.20.29 PM 283x300 Sustainable Business – Remarkable Rejects: Interview with Braeden Wolf

 

Braeden is a recent business graduate from Ivey Business School at the University of Western Ontario, who is passionate about nutrition, natural movement, and cooking. After graduating, he was inspired to turn his passions into a business that would reduce food waste and increase healthy eating. Braeden is also an avid baseball player, and previously was a team member of the Great Lake Canadians.

 

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Tell us a little bit about your business. What inspired it?

 

Our business is called Remarkable Rejects, and our mission is preventing unnecessary food loss in Ontario. How we go about achieving that is through sourcing two types of produce from local farmers. The first type is produce that is cosmetically imperfect. It could be something that got banged by a tree branch while it was on the tree, a pepper that is too small, or a cucumber that has too much of curves in it. The second type is surplus produce. It’s really hard for farmers to grow the exact amount of produce that they need to meet their exact demand because they can’t perfectly predict their supply changes based on the weather patterns. They also can’t perfectly predict their demand for a certain type of produce. Whenever they end up with too much supply and not enough demand, a lot of that produce is going to go to waste. There are outlets to donate, but the amount of surplus far exceeds the amount that’s getting donated.

My inspiration came from a book that I read, which is called Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming. In the book, a team of scientists and researchers from all over the world got together and made a list of around 150 comprehensive solutions on how we can avoid severe global warming issues. The third ranked solution was reducing food waste. Food waste has such a big impact because of the sheer quantity of food that’s being wasted. We’re not able to address the food waste issue around the world, but we’re trying to address a specific part of area and industry – Ontario’s supply chain.

 

How has your educational background helped you to develop this business? What are some key takeaways from your Undergraduate experience that are helping you now?

 

That’s a good question. First of all, I will talk about a few things that might be helpful for people who didn’t do a business degree. I think if you didn’t go to business school, one of the main misconceptions when you’re starting a business is that you have to come up with something brand new that no one has ever thought of before. And that is extremely hard, and almost never happens. If you just came up with something brand new, that can potentially be a bad idea. There’s a chance it’s a good idea, but it’s probably a bad idea if no one else is doing it in the world.

Instead, the easier approach has two paths. The first is taking an idea from somewhere else and doing it in a new geography where it hasn’t been implemented. The other path is to take a concept and improve upon it in a specific way and improve upon it by a lot. this is where a lot of the best businesses have come from. If you want to start a business, there’s no pressure to come up with something brand new. 

 Personally, I did two very different degrees: software engineering and business. I learned very different general themes from both. From my software engineering degree, I learned about budgeting time. The program is a ton of hours, and it forces you to have work ethic. It also forces you to break down a problem, which was helpful in brainstorming my business. From the business degree, one of my my main takeaways was learning to deal with ambiguity. In a lot of other programs, at least in engineering, every exam is multiple choice, which means answers are either right or wrong. There’s no ambiguity whatsoever. With business, you are literally making decisions all the time, but you have no idea what the right answer is because there’s way too many variables to know what’s going to happen. In real life, doing business is like that. You need to be comfortable with ambiguity as things don’t always go as planned. You can only make an informed decision as best you can and have a back-up plan in case it fails.

What advice would you give young students or adults who are thinking about starting something like Remarkable Rejects?

 

The biggest one, in my opinion, is if you want start a business, you should make sure that what you’re doing should be filling a need. Basically, the reason to start a business is you see a problem, and you don’t think anyone else can solve it. It’s extremely important to be certain of that. Otherwise, your business probably won’t be successful. Or, if someone else can also solve it, then you’re just gonna have annoying competition and you’re probably not gonna have a big enough market. In the end, you could probably make way more money doing other stuff that’s way easier. I would say that when you are thinking about starting a business, make sure there’s a problem that needs to be solved, and you think you’re the only or best person who can do it. Otherwise, I would do something else.

 

Recommended Books and Resources

The Lean Startup by Eric Reese

Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming by Paul Hawken (Editor)

Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

 

 

Thank you, Braeden, for sharing the excellent advice with us and our readers! 

 

Missed Podcast? Watch Video Here:

 

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For more advice about writing, check out our weekly, podcast, videos, or subscribe to our monthly newsletter.

_

To get more help with your assignments, book a 20 minute discovery session with us and start your journey to reaching your full potential on the page, and in life.


Both the written, visual, audio, and audiovisual content of this post has been created by and is the intellectual property of Lisa Pfau and PFAU Academic Writing. Please do not replicate any of the above content without our consent. However, please do feel free to share this post and its authorship widely.

Sustainable Business – Remarkable Rejects: Podcast Episode Live!
PFAU 30 panel 2 01 2 291x300 Sustainable Business   Remarkable Rejects: Podcast Episode Live!

We interviewed Braeden Wolf, founder of Remarkable Rejects, is a recent business graduate from Ivey Business School at the University of Western Ontario, who is passionate about nutrition, natural movement, and cooking. This week’s episode is about socially conscious business. We thought this topic would be helpful to our listeners who are looking for meaningful employment and/or social change. In university, everything seems possible and many of us are inspired to create change in the world after graduation. However, after entering the workforce, we may start to feel discouraged and lose our spark. So, why not bypass the corporate world and its expectations and start something that you care about and that can create the change that you want to see in the world.

 

HIGHLIGHTS

 

Business background and inspiration of Remarkable Rejects

How can students benefit from Remarkable Rejects

Tips to consider when developing a business

Challenges faced when starting a business

Advice for students who want to start a socially conscious business 

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To get more help with academic writing, application coaching, or professional development, book a 20 minute discovery call with us and start your journey to reaching your full potential on the page, and in life.


All the written, visual, audio, and audiovisual content of this post has been created by and is the intellectual property of Lisa Pfau and PFAU Academic Writing. Please do not replicate any of the above content without our consent. However, please do feel free to share this post and its authorship widely.

Happy Thanksgiving!

PFAU Thanksgiving greeting 01 1 300x298 Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Happy Thanksgiving! Have a lovely long-weekend full of things you are grateful for. We will be back next week with our regular posting and podcast schedule.