Monthly Archives: February 2016

Lay the Smackdown on Your Next Paper!

Thriving Tiger blog, The UndertakerYou have The Undertaker of all papers, a formidable foe to challenge your intellectual pro-wrestling (erm, or pro-writing) skills–what do you do? How do you take on such an opponent? Check out this handy guide we put together to help you clothesline your next writing assignment—informed, of course, by The Rock.

The Rock says this: “You Will Go One-on-One with the Great One!”
(Academic translation: know your audience and understand your assignment)

Before The Rock even steps into the ring, he learns his opponent’s moves inside and out. In order to take down your next paper, you’ll have to find out exactly what you’re up against: What is the purpose of the assignment? What are the requirements? Think about the skills your professor wants you to demonstrate through the assignment. For instance, some want to examine your ability to form your own argument; others want you to synthesize current research. Don’t forget to consider your audience – The Rock didn’t become popular by ignoring what the crowd wanted! And, if you don’t understand something, ask!

The Rock says this: “Can You smell what the Rock is cookin’!?”
(Academic translation: narrow your topic)

Even in the Royal Rumble, The Rock can’t fight everyone at once; he has to fight one opponent at a time. Likewise, in the writing arena, you can’t tackle multiple large topics in one paper. Writing about mental health for your term paper is excellent—but how can you write about all aspects of the subject in 10 pages? Entire books are written about specific mental disorders! A more manageable research paper would focus on, for example, how marijuana affects the development of bipolar disorder in 18-22 year olds with predispositions to the ailment. Asking questions–like who, what, when, where, and why–can help you start to wrangle your topic.

the rock v the undertaker

The Rock says this: “The Rock will take you down Know-Your-Role Boulevard and Check you Directly into the Smackdown Hotel!”
(Academic Translation: research your topic)

One of the reasons The Rock can lay the verbal smackdown is that he has the muscles to back it up. As a writer, you need to bulk up: in other words, get your research on. Whether your paper requires formal research or informal methods like self-reflection or interviews, be knowledgeable about the topic you’ve selected. If your assignment requires you to use scholarly sources, take advantage of the great resources available through Cook Library. Keep in mind that the first sources you come across may not always be the best for your paper; be thorough and take your time.

The Rock says this: “Just Bring It!”
(Academic translation: organize, organize, organize)

The Rock never goes into the ring without a plan. Pre-planning can help you formulate a strategy to take down any intimidating writing assignment.Think about your most important points and examples and organize your paper accordingly. Quickly outlining your ideas before you start and reverse outlining after you finish writing are effective methods of making sure you’re staying focused. It’s okay–and even encouraged–to revise and reorganize your paper as you write and learn more about your topic.

Thriving Tiger Blog, the rock picture

The Rock says this: “Layeth the Smacketh Down”
(Academic translation: Get it down on paper!)

Well, you’ve set the foundation for your paper by researching and organizing. Time to write! An important thing to remember is that your first draft is going to be less than perfect; it’ll look like The Rock when he wore fanny packs. The good thing? Your first draft always has the potential to turn into The Rock as he is now! Trust the process and the hard work you’ve put into your paper so far and just write. Have faith–the cream will always rise to the top.

Take your draft
The Rock says this: “I am the People’s Champ!”
(Academic Translation: you are the Writing Champ!)

Before The Rock can claim his victory belt, he has to execute his signature finishing move, The People’s Elbow, and pin his opponent. You’re now in a similar position. You’ve done the prep work. You’ve written your first draft. You’ve endured countless wrestling metaphors. Now it’s time to finish off The Undertaker and become a WWE champion! So, how do you do this?

Check your organization, make sure you have evidence to support your ideas, look for grammatical and spelling mistakes, and take your draft to the Writing Center! Doing these things can transform your paper from a roody poo draft into a polished piece of academic magnificence. Oh–and don’t forget to collect your championship belt after pinning The Undertaker.

Tyler New, Michele Calderon, Miranda Rennie, and Jessica Reyes
Towson Writing Center
LA 5330


BIPE: Promoting a Positive Body Image on Campus

“I can eat this piece of pizza as long as I go to the gym later”; “I feel so guilty for eating that cookie”; “If I don’t eat all day, then I can drink later tonight”; “Once I can see my six pack, I’ll be happy”; “I’m not big enough”; “I’m not small enough”; “I hate my body”

Our relatioawarenships with our bodies and with food can be very complicated. The line between dieting and an eating disorder can quickly become blurred when we are unaware of what an eating disorder actually is. One of the foundations of an eating disorder is disordered or distorted thinking about our bodies, and about food. Some of the above statements may seem harmless, especially in a culture that encourages a balance of diet and exercise. But what does a healthy balance really look like? Unfortunately, for about 40% of college students, dieting behavior is actually an eating disorder. Furthermore, those without eating disorders but who are dieting may still be engaging in some disordered thinking or behaviors.

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (2/22-2/25) is dedicating to not only bringing awareness to others about the dangers of eating disorders and disordered thinking about food, but also sponsors activities to encourage body positivity and increase self-esteem. The Body Image Peer Educators (BIPEs) will be offering several events all during NEDA to promote awareness about what eating disorders are, the bipetreatments available for eating disorders, and the importance of a healthy body image. If you’re interested in getting involved, visit the BIPEs at any one of the events below. You can also visit for more information and ways to get involved.

Get Screened

Eating Disorder Screening Event: Individual relationships with food and eating can be complicated. If you’re concerned or curious about your relationship with food or your body, come get a free screening on Monday 2/22, 11am-1pm in the Union.

Get Help

Friends Don’t Let Friends Fat Talk: Come hear Jaime Kaplan, Psy.D, and Ashley Wood, MA, for a discussion on body image and eating disorder risks and warning signs. Learn how to approach this sensitive topic with friends and loved ones and how to best support them as they get the help they deserve and need. Tuesday 2/23, 6-7pm in CLA 4310

Get Healthy

Smash The Scale: Healthy is not a size or a number. Come take a hammer to a scale and smash away the ridiculous body ideals. Wednesday 2/24, 12-3pm, Academic Quad

Yoga for Body Acceptance: Join Carrie Miller for a 1 hour yoga workshop designed to promote body acceptance. Please bring your own mat if possible. Wednesday 2/24, 6-7pm, UU Potomac

Alexandra Shiflett, Body Image Peer Educator Graduate Assistant

Counseling Center


How to Fall in Love with Your Classes

Spring classes not love at first sight? Here are some ways to get the sparks flying.

When you start dating someone, especially in the beginning, you betteaacgraph2r be on your best behavior. This means, listening to all of the stories, nodding your head when appropriate, laughing on cue, asking deep questions. All of which you cannot do if you are busy live tweeting the waiter’s sarcastic comments, instagramming your food, or taking quizzes to find out which historical figure has your same zodiac sign. The same goes for your classes. When you are in class, give it your full attention.

  • If you have to use your computer, turn the internet off so you aren’t tempted to go online.
  • Sit close to the front of the class, it makes it easier to pay attention.
  • When you don’t understand something, ask a question. It shows your interest.

The quality time you spend with your classes now will only make it easier to succeed later in the semester.

Believe it or not, you CAN make your study sessions fun! Instead of rolling your eyes at the thought of another afternoon in the library, try to think of it as going on a date with your classes. When you go on a date, you don’t always want to go to the same place every time. The same can be true for studying. Mix it up! Spend an afternoon with your class materials in Starbucks. You can sip coffee, graacgraph1ab a snack, and listen to music as you read through your notes. Hungry for dinner? Take your notes with you! If you mix studying with something enjoyable, you may actually find yourself looking forward to your study dates! So, when is your next study date going to be? Try planning one each week this semester.

It may not be love at first sight, but after giving your classes some time you may find that you will start to warm up to them and you may just hit it off.

Academic Achievement Center

GRWM Spring Semester 2016

Often times, the start of the semester can be challenging with lots of transition—move-ins, registration, book-buying, adding/dropping classes, and then actual classes. We thought you could use a few tips to help you with getting and staying ready.

Produced by: Academic Advising
Courteney Cline, Student Academic Advisor
Tricia Raysor, Academic Advisor
Robert Karp, Academic Advisor

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