University Writing

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How to Use this Page

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: Reading

Literature Review

A literature review is an evaluation of the available literature on a given subject. In literature reviews, you are synthesizing and analyzing research to tell a story about the work done about a topic and how it relates to present and future research. Use the resources below for guidance as your write your literature review. 

Materials designed by Katharine Brown, Autumn Frederick, and Layli Miron 

This worksheet helps you begin identifying scholarly conversations by analyzing an example literature review 

This worksheet helps you analyze an example literature review to identify the storytelling elements being used  

This worksheet parallels the moves a writer makes when creating a literature review with Freytag’s pyramid. It guides writers in outlining their own literature reviews by answering a series of brainstorming questions

Personal Statements

Personal statements are often part of the application process for prestigious scholarships and graduate or professional school applications. Use these resources to identify your goals and the expectations of your audience so that you can craft an effective personal statement. If you are applying for a Fulbright grant, please also see our resources specific to Fulbright.  

Materials designed by Katharine Brown, Emily Cosgrove, Annie Small, and James Truman  

This toolkit introduces personal statements and offers step for producing an effective personal statement 

This worksheet will guide you in analyzing an example personal statement 

These open response questions will help you brainstorm and pre-write for your personal statement 

Once you have brainstormed, this worksheet will help you outline your personal statement 

This worksheet will help you reflect and self-assess a personal statement draft to consider opportunities for revision 


Carefully and critically reading is an important part of being a successful student and professional. Reading can help you understand important information and learn more about how a particular kind of writing is created.  

Materials designed by Christopher Basgier, Katharine Brown, Margaret J. Marshall, and James Truman 

This handout guides you through “reading like a writer,” an analysis strategy developed to help you think about the choices the writer made 

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 provides you with tools you can use to make sense of difficult reading material by engaging in active reading 

This worksheet will help you make important observations about a text before you begin reading it by previewing 

This handout gives a broad overview of academic scholarship and strategies that you can use to actively read the major parts of an academic research publication 

This worksheet introduces you to a says/does outline, which can help you understand why and how a writer communicates their ideas