Welcome to Explorations of Style!

Welcome to Explorations of Style: A Blog about Academic Writing. In this blog, I will offer my perspective on how to meet the central challenges of academic writing. As an instructor in a program that supports graduate student writers, I spend a great deal of time looking at student writing and thinking about strategies for its improvement. In general, I do this in the classroom or in response to particular pieces of writing that students bring to me. This blog is an experiment in trying to shape this advice into a slightly more enduring form. The next three posts will present the general principles that inform all of my teaching. The subsequent posts will explore the five strategies that I turn to most often when working with students. I will then discuss the resources we can use to support academic writing. With that groundwork in place, I will turn to a discussion of common writing issues; drawing on my experience of academic writing, I will present my own approach to such issues.

Interspersed among these entries will be my reflections on the act of teaching writing and on media stories about various issues in academic life. My hope is that I will also be able to answer your questions about academic writing. Please feel free to submit questions by leaving a comment or by replying to a particular post.

The blog is called Explorations of Style because I am interested in exploring how we make sound choices about stylistic matters in our academic writing. Definitive answers about writing questions are rare; there are some rules, of course, but much of what we do when we write or revise is to make choices. I focus on stylistic choices rather than grammatical correctness because correct grammar is already the norm in academic writing. Effective writing, however, is not quite so common! This blog will focus on the stylistic choices we can all make to increase the effectiveness of our academic writing. I hope you’ll join me.

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13 responses to “Welcome to Explorations of Style!

  1. Congratulations on getting the blog up! I look forward to following your posts.

  2. Hello Rachael, and welcome to the blogosphere! Thanks for the link to Wordlady.

  3. Sam Chandrashekar

    Awesome, Rachael! You will recollect that I attended your academic writing course during Summer 2010. Thanks to you, I graduated soon after and got on to a postdoc position. It is wonderful that you will be reaching out to larger audiences through your blog.

  4. Hi Rachel,

    Happy New Year!

    I took many writing courses with you at U of T – I coudn’t even remember how many of them. I just love your teaching so much and admire your great personality – kind, warm, bright, and intelligent. I am sorry I didn’t finish the last course with you in May 2010 as I was hospitalized.

    It is great to see you share your teaching expertise in writing in this public forum. I will sure to follow your blog and make recommendation to my friends.

  5. I’m guessing even dry, scientific writing should benefit, so I can’t wait!

  6. Fantastic! I look forward for the postings

  7. This is a wonderful idea Rachael! Looking forward to reading more..thank you!

  8. Elham Pakseresht

    Congratulations Professor Cayley. Thank you for your message. I look forward to follow your blog.

  9. It is always a pleasure to read writings that pay attention to style. I am sure I’ll learn and be inspired from your blog.

  10. Congratulations, Rachael! I attended your oral presentations skills course for non native speakers in April 2010 and am back home now after completing my studies at U of T. You were a great teacher with a very pleasant personality. I think this blog is a great idea and you can reach out to larger audiences through it.

  11. Congratulations, Rachael! I took AW1 in September 2009 and oral presentation skills in February 2010 for non-native speakers. I still go back to materials from our classes from time to time, they are so helpful! I am looking forward to the development of your blog!

  12. Hi Prof Cayley,

    Nice to know of this new development( academic writing blog). Congratulations on this achievement. I want you to also know that your approach to teaching has continued to be a source of inspiration to me. I took your AW2 and 3 classes, hoping to continue when AW1 comes on board. Remain blessed!

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