On Writing: How to Improve the Quality of Your Writing

Learning to improve your writing can be really difficult, especially when you have to incorporate difficult topics into your papers. Here are some tips to help you improve the quality of your writing:   Brainstorm This allows you to sit down and think about the concepts that you are learning in your classes. When you skip this step, you waste valuable time by trying to … Continue reading On Writing: How to Improve the Quality of Your Writing

Lunar New Year Phrases

If you’re seeing red after Valentine’s Day, it’s probably because of Lunar New Year. Red is often associated with the holiday because it symbolizes good fortune and joy. Lunar New Year is one of the most important holidays of the year for Asian communities. Since it follows the cycle of the moon, the date is different each year. This year’s Lunar New Year falls on … Continue reading Lunar New Year Phrases

Dispelling Five Common Myths About Teaching ESL/ELL to Write

1) Myth: The ultimate goal for ESL/ELL learners is to speak/write like native-language speakers. When teachers think the ultimate goals for ESL/ELL learners is to speak and write like native-language speakers, they usually focus on the surface structure of the language–making sure students “sound” like a native rather than actually understanding what is being said. It’s one thing imitate the speaking and writing of native-language … Continue reading Dispelling Five Common Myths About Teaching ESL/ELL to Write

Character Creation

Make characters that jump off the page and wag their finger at you; characters that lead armies into epic battles on your coffee table or cuddle up on your shoulder for a quick nap; characters that pilot jet planes in circle-eights around your head or trek into the great unknown called Underthebed with just a backpack. Your characters should come alive, enthralling your readers. Your … Continue reading Character Creation

English Idioms Explained

An idiom is an expression with a figurative meaning that is different from the literal meaning. Idioms are heard every day–in conversation, in literature and in media. Idioms are frequently used because it’s a short way to express more complicated ideas. They also help add color to your writing by introducing topics in a different way. If you do decide to use idioms; use them … Continue reading English Idioms Explained

Love Is Contradictory

How is your relationship with your parents? My parents are my greatest allies, wisest mentors, and most enduring supporters. At the same time, they can also be the most frustrating debaters, savage critics, and a huge source of stress and worry. They are both open and secretive — I have known them since my birth, and yet they are two of the most mysterious people … Continue reading Love Is Contradictory

Outside the Classroom Tips for Learning English

  Learning a new language is difficult, but that doesn’t mean it should be boring. Here are some helpful tips to make learning English more fun: 1. Find a Conversation Partner  I spent four years of high school learning Spanish. I can also probably tell you exactly how many minutes I spoke Spanish because it was limited to the five minutes of conversation for participation … Continue reading Outside the Classroom Tips for Learning English

How to Prepare for Interviews

How many times have you walked into a job interview and realized that your mind managed to feel like it was overflowing with ideas and completely blank at the same time? Did you think you had great answers to potential questions, but then find yourself stuttering half-way through your response?   Here are some tips to help you organize your thoughts to improve your responses: … Continue reading How to Prepare for Interviews

Rejecting Thesaurus Temptations and Finding Comfort in Simplicity

On an episode of F.R.I.E.N.D.S, a classic American television sitcom, Joey struggles with writing a recommendation letter to an adoption agency for his friends Monica and Chandler. To make himself sound smarter, Joey decides to use the thesaurus on every single word. Sentences like “they’re warm, nice people with big hearts” become “they’re humid pre-possessing homosapiens with full sized aortic pumps.” Joey’s kind and sincere … Continue reading Rejecting Thesaurus Temptations and Finding Comfort in Simplicity

Where to Go for Your Copy of the 2017-18 UCLA Common Book

UCLA’s campus advocates for first-year students, First Year Experience, has begun distributing the 2017-18 UCLA Common Book. Unlike in previous years, in which books were handed out during New Student Orientation, the books will be distributed at several pop-up sites around campus between January 10 to February 12. Many of these pop-ups will facilitate a discussion on the themes of family, immigration, trauma, identity, and … Continue reading Where to Go for Your Copy of the 2017-18 UCLA Common Book

The Perfect Resume Bullet Point

Writing a resume is actually more fun than most people make it out to be. You basically just talk about yourself. Professionally, of course. The bulk of your resume should highlight your past work or volunteering experience. But how do you make your seemingly drab job sound more exciting and impressive to your prospective boss? Let’s say you work a part-time job at the on-campus … Continue reading The Perfect Resume Bullet Point

How to Start Writing Again

Writing is liberating. Writing is empowering. Writing requires vulnerability. How many of us have struggled with writing at one point or another? How many of us have felt guilt or shame for not being able to sit down and start typing those words and thoughts circulating in our minds? What are some things we can do to start writing again?    For when you are … Continue reading How to Start Writing Again

From Trilingual to Monolingual: Losing My Chinese Dialects and Learning English

As the newest ESL/ELL Peer Counselor, I thought it would be fitting to talk about my experience with the English language. English is not my first language. It’s also not my second language. I grew up listening and speaking an amalgamation of three different Chinese dialects: Mandarin, Cantonese, and Fujianese. Most children played with dolls and teddy bears; I spent the first four-and-a-half years of … Continue reading From Trilingual to Monolingual: Losing My Chinese Dialects and Learning English

A Letter to my Future Self: Goals and Reminders for the Next Five Years

Dear Estrella, As you embark on your late twenties, I hope that you will have accomplished a lot, and I hope that you are happy and healthy. I hope that you do not lose track of what is important to you and that you are able to do the work that is meaningful to you and your contribution to this world. I hope that by … Continue reading A Letter to my Future Self: Goals and Reminders for the Next Five Years

WSP Brings In Professionalism

The Writing Success Program is starting a brand new category on the topic of professionalism. This category is designed to help you find success in your professional lives. Blog posts in this category will consist of tips on professional writing, interviewing, applying to graduate and professional schools, and how to gain desirable skills and experiences to build your resume — all knowledge you need to … Continue reading WSP Brings In Professionalism

I Love You, Harabeoji

What is my heart’s deepest desire? “When you look at a person, any person, everyone has a story. Everyone has gone through something that has changed their life. Anxiety, depression and panic attacks are not signs of weakness. They are signs of trying to remain strong for way too long.” – Deepika Padukone My heart’s deepest desire is stories. I love reading and writing, but … Continue reading I Love You, Harabeoji

System.out.println(“There is No Free Lunch”);

What am I grateful for in my life right now? What about that makes me committed? How does that make me feel? My high school computer science teacher loved telling us, “There is no such thing as free lunch.” It didn’t make a lot of sense to me at first, especially when I literally walked into his class with free food after coming from a … Continue reading System.out.println(“There is No Free Lunch”);

Warmer Waters

Who are my most inspiring role models? Do I apply their lessons daily? When I was growing up in San Jose, my school district held an annual speech contest. Everyone at school could participate starting from the fourth grade and teachers often made the contest a homework assignment. It was considered a pretty big deal by students, teachers, and administrative staff since the best speeches … Continue reading Warmer Waters