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Let kittens and the Leddy Library help you write and research

cute kitten

Welcome and welcome back to the Leddy Library!

As you may have noticed, we have a new library website. It has all sorts of new features including short videos to help you with Research Help and Writing Help.

And speaking of research and writing help, yesterday, I was in a classroom of graduate assistants and teaching assistants as part of the wonderful GATAcademy that is put on annually by the Centre for Teaching and Learning.   I was there to introduce Zotero - free software that allows you to collect and organize research for easy citing and sharing (and if you would like to the slides of that presentation, they are available at

At the end of the class, the conversation broadened and we began to talk about other applications that the students have used to keep them on track with their writing (as well those that we have meant to try).

They included:

  • Beeminder
    "Anything quantifiable works — weight, pushups, number of cigarettes, or how long it takes you to bike to work. Answer with your number when Beeminder asks — or connect a device like a Withings scale — and we'll show your progress and a Yellow Brick Road to follow to stay on track. If you go off track, you pledge money to stay on the road the next time. If you go off track again, we charge you."
  • 750 Words
    "I've long been inspired by an idea I first learned about in The Artist's Way called morning pages. Morning pages are three pages of writing done every day, typically encouraged to be in "long hand", typically done in the morning, that can be about anything and everything that comes into your head. It's about getting it all out of your head, and is not supposed to be edited or censored in any way. The idea is that if you can get in the habit of writing three pages a day, that it will help clear your mind and get the ideas flowing for the rest of the day."
  • Write or Die
    "Write or Die is a web application that encourages writing by punishing the tendency to avoid writing. Start typing in the box. As long as you keep typing, you’re fine, but once you stop typing, you have a grace period of a certain number of seconds and then there are consequences."
  • Written? Kitten!
    "We like positive reinforcement, so we decided to make something a bit like writeordie but cuter and fuzzier."


We like positive reinforcement at Leddy Library too! That's why you get a picture of a kitten!

[Kitten image, CC-BY]


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