University Writing

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Below are resources that University Writing has developed to support students and instructors across the disciplines in their writing and writing instruction. We define writing broadly, so you will find resources on ePortfolios, visual design, professional communication, and presentations in addition to traditional writing tasks like reflective writing, literature reviews, peer review, and editing and proofing.

Please use the keywords on the right-hand side of the page or the search bar above to navigate these resources. If you would like to use these resources in your course, please follow the Creative Commons information located at the bottom of each resource. If you plan to use the source in its original format, we ask that you leave the University Writing branding intact.

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Tagged Entries: Audience

A Storyteller’s Guide to Creative Writing

Taking on a creative work can be daunting. Whether you are gearing up for NaNoWriMo or looking for year-round support, these resources will help you work through the writing process for endeavors such as novels, novellas, and short stories. Specifically, these documents are useful for brainstorming, drafting, and organizing ideas for premise, plot, point of view, characters, worldbuilding, and dialogue. You will also learn scene blocking techniques and tips for finishing and revising your first draft.  

 

Materials designed by Autumn Frederick and Heesun Yoon 

 

This worksheet introduces you to premise, provides a breakdown of premise components, and helps you draft your own premise

This worksheet reviews two types of story structure: the Three Act Structure and Freytag’s Pyramid. Space is provided to help you map your story out in both structures to decide which best fits your writing style

This worksheet discusses five points of view found in creative writing, notes tips for helping writers select a point of view, provides resources for writing and reading for diversity, lists questions to consider for character creation, and provides fillable character profiles

This worksheet provides planning resources, an overview and list of decisions, and activity for delving into worldbuilding

This handout breaks down tips for improving your descriptive writing and provides examples and explanations for each suggestion

This brief handout provides an explanation of what dialogue is and how it is formatted and provides space for practice

This brief worksheet defines scene blocking and provides an activity for practice

This brief handout lists good habits for finishing your project and outlines tips and resources to aid you in revising your first draft

Academic Writing

Academic writing is a unique type of writing and can vary across disciplines. Use these materials to better understand the elements of academic writing, such as voice, disciplinary writing, and college-level writing. Reading academic sources is an important part of learning how to write in your discipline. For tips on how to engage with reading these sources, see our section on Reading Difficult Materials 

 

Materials designed by Christopher Basgier, Amy Cicchino, Megan Haskins, and James Truman

 

This worksheet is designed to help incoming first-year college students learn a bit about writing at the college level. There are also scenarios where students can consider what they would do in difficult writing situations 

The handout breaks down some implicit expectations related to academic voice, such as when and how to use first-person writing, jargon, style, and sentence variation 

This worksheet invites you to revise a piece of writing by paying attention to its voice within a sample paragraph 

This brief handout provides some examples of academic voice from various disciplines 

This worksheet provides excerpts from disciplinary writing and asks participants to guess the disciplinary context for the writing. By doing this, we hope you will begin to see how different disciplines structure and style their writing 

This worksheet helps you apply reading like a writer to your work by inviting you to examine written artifacts from a writerly perspective by paying attention to features like structure, key terms, signposting, and verb use

This worksheet is meant to help graduate students approach writing their first manuscript by making explicit options for manuscript section organization and looking at examples 

This handout invites readers to compare an excerpt from a dissertation to an excerpt of the same material, rewritten for nonspecialist or "general" audiences

This worksheet invites writers to plan a piece of writing for a general audience by leading them through the elements of the rhetorical situation

Email

Emails can be tricky to write because they are a professional form of communication that demand concise, careful wording. The resources below will help you learn about emails, gain tips for writing effective professional emails, and avoid common email pitfalls.  

 

Materials designed by Amy Cicchino, Tricia Dozier, Megan Haskins, Layli Miron, Annie Small, and Heather Stuart 

 

This brief handout offers tips for considering your audience as you craft professional emails 

This quick checklist is an easy reference as you are preparing professional emails 

This worksheet guides you in analyzing example emails written in challenging contexts 

This worksheet contains two sample emails that are effective and professional 

This worksheet will help you consider the rhetorical situation as you draft a mock professional email 

This worksheet will help you rewrite three example thank you letters 

Finalizing Your ePortfolio

Before you publish, use these resources to review and revise your ePortfolio. 

 

Materials designed by Amy Cicchino, Heather Stuart, and Savannah Harrison

 

Once you have completed a draft of your ePortfolio, this worksheet can help you get feedback from professors, mentors, supervisors, family members, or peers

This worksheet can guide students in a peer review activity as they offer each other feedback on their ePortfolios

This checklist will help you self-assess whether additional changes need to be made to your ePortfolio before it is published 

This checklist helps you evaluate the accessibility of your ePortfolio site by reviewing your content and digital design.

Job Materials

Applying for a job can be difficult, and it is important to know how to effectively present yourself in a job application process. Use these resources to help you develop crucial job materials, such as personal brand statements, resumes, and cover letters. As you are developing your job materials, you may want to consider your personal brand, or the story that you are telling through your materials. 

 

Materials designed by Amy Cicchino, Autumn Frederick, and Megan Haskins 

 

These worksheets will help you locate and analyze a job ad in your field 

This handout provides an overview for resumes and curriculum vitaes (CVs) 

This worksheet provides an overview for and helps you begin to draft a cover letter 

This brief handout provides an overview of professional bias 

Professional Writing

Often, new professionals encounter unfamiliar or complicated communication situations. These resources will give you strategies for analyzing and responding to situations like creating professional plans and protocols, drafting an inquiry email, and polishing your professional writing. 

 

Materials designed by G. Travis Adams, Lucas de Almedia Adelino, Christopher Basgier, Jordan Beckum, Layli Miron, and James Truman

 

This handout will help you identify the rhetorical situation—or the purpose, role, audience, resources and constraints—of professional communication situations 

This activity invites you to participate in a realistic workplace scenario involving written communication  

This worksheet will help you apply the paramedic method of editing to improve sentence-level clarity 

This handout offers strategies for working with writing at its proofing or near-final revision stage of development 

The Writing Process

This section contains resources for getting started on your writing and revising your writing over time for effective organization, flow, transitions, and editing and proofreading.

 

Materials designed by Christopher Basgier, Jordan Beckum, Katharine Brown, Amy Cicchino, and James Truman

 

This worksheet helps you apply reading like a writer to your work by inviting you to examine written artifacts from a writerly perspective by paying attention to features like structure, key terms, signposting, and verb use

This handout offers strategies and techniques for generating and organizing writing ideas

This handout breaks down the writing concept of “flow” at the whole text, paragraph, and sentence level

This handout provides an overview of strategies that different writers have found helpful as they make global changes to their writing

This handout provides an overview of useful strategies for making global revisions to a manuscript and an action plan

This handout invites readers to compare an excerpt from a dissertation to an excerpt of the same material, rewritten for nonspecialist or "general" audiences

This worksheet invites writers to plan a piece of writing for a general audience by leading them through the elements of the rhetorical situation.

This handout provides an easy reference list of common transitional words and phrases

This handout explains the difference between proofing and revision processes

This worksheet will help you apply the paramedic method of editing to improve sentence-level clarity

This worksheet lets you practice applying editing and proofreading strategies to sample text through two activities

ePortfolios: Audience and Personal Brand

Before you begin making your ePortfolio, consider who your audience is, what your professional goals for the ePortfolio are, and how you can create a personal brand that helps achieve those goals with that audience. Creating a personal brand will help you develop a coherent story with a consistent message. Once you know the personal brand you would like to communicate, draft your About Me section and work themes from your personal brand into the reflective writing that accompanies your artifacts. 

 

Materials designed by Trea Archie, Heather Stuart, and Megan Haskins.

 

This worksheet will help you begin thinking about your audience and goals for your ePortfolio 

This handout explains what personal brand is and why it matters

Once you’ve reviewed the Personal Brand Handout above, use this worksheet to help you begin drafting your personal brand statement 

The About Me section of your ePortfolio is where you communicate your personal brand and identity to your audience. This worksheet will help you draft that About Me section

Be sure to check out our other resources on personal brand.