Reading & Writing Center
Frequently Asked Questions about Writing
What do I do if I'm totally stuck?
Many students get stuck trying to write an introduction for an essay or writing assignment. Why not try starting your writing process with a body paragraph instead? You can write several body paragraphs on the topics that you know you want to discuss, then go back later and write the introduction. (Important note: The introduction should still go at the beginning of the paper).
If your paper is supposed to discuss quotations, you could start out by writing one of your body paragraphs analyzing a quotation. This is a good way to get warmed up on your topic. Later you can go back and write the introduction. (Once again, the introduction should still go at the beginning of the paper).
If you are having trouble understanding the assignment or coming up with ideas, you might want to visit your teacher in office hours. You can also get help from the Reading and Writing Center or Library.
What resources on campus could help with my writing?
Check out our external resources page! It has connections to writing and reading resources on the Las Positas College campus.
What other websites could help me with my writing?
Our external resources page has connections to other helpful websites.
My teacher keeps using words like "noun" and "verb." What do those mean again?
Check out our parts of speech page for explanation of nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and other parts of speech.
My teacher says I have a lot of grammar errors. Where do I start?
What steps should I take to revise, edit, and proofread my completed essay?
Check out this RAW Center Handout on revising and editing.
What is plagiarism, and how do I avoid it?
Plagiarism is using someone else's words or ideas without giving them proper credit. Plagiarism is a serious offense. According to LPC policy, you could receive an F for any paper that is plagiarized in whole or in part, and futher disciplinary action is also a possibility. To make sure you don't plagiarize accidentally, always put quotation marks around any text that you did not write, and say who did write the text. Also, if you get information from a source, make sure to name that source in your paper. These measures will ensure that, even if you are not crediting the sources in the technically correct fashion, you will not be plagiarizing.
The Las Positas College library has excellent resources on how to give proper credit to texts that you use in your research, including the You Quote It! You Cite It! tutorial, the LPC Library Citation Style Guides, and the LPC Library Research Help Page.