Overviews of Writing: These handouts provide an introduction to some common writing challenges common to multiple college courses.
Genres and Academic Writing: Introduces the idea of genres, how to decide which genre to use, and provides some expectations for commonly-assigned genres: response/reflection, summary, analysis, and argument/persuasion. PDF of Genres and Academic Writing.
Introduction to Literary Analysis: (awaiting permissions for examples) Explains the premises of literary analysis and provides examples and further resources for effective literary analysis.
Moves in the Continuum of Meaning: These handouts offer tips for writers discovering, developing, and constructing meaning through identification, exploration, and differentiation. The Continuum of Meaning was proposed by Tyler Kaplan (Class of 2016) as an alternative to describing writing as a process, since few if any writers experience writing in the linear way "process" suggests.
Getting Started on Research: (in revision, in collaboration with Library) Walks students through the basics of library research, including generating search terms, tracking search results in different databases, using interdisciplinary vs subject databases, using citations in searching, recognizing different citation styles, and identifying resources for further support.
Overcoming Obstacles to Revision: Handout offers strategies to build revision into writers’ approach. Faculty may formalize one or two strategies for the class as assignment scaffolding or collaborative requirements. PDF of Overcoming Obstacles to Revision.
Reader Feedback Training: (possible minor revisions) Packet explains the premises that make reader feedback a valuable resource, walks readers through steps to providing useful feedback, and describes strategies for analyzing a draft as part of useful feedback. PDF of Reader Feedback Training.
Reading for Scholarly Activities: (in revision) Defines active reading for scholarly purposes, and provides strategies for engaging with a text. Also offers tips for reading sometimes-challenging academic prose.
Revise and Resubmit Tips: Adapted from tips for scholars revising for resubmission to a journal, this handout helps writers organize the comments they need to address and track their choices in addressing them. Especially valuable for developing revision letters or portfolio introductions. PDF of Revise and Resubmit Tips.
Revision Strategies: (in revision) Detailed handout offers multiple strategies for writers learning to revise effectively and substantively. For writers who want to go beyond changing a few words, but aren’t quite sure how.
Tips for Incorporating Feedback: Guides writers through strategies for incorporating feedback for a revision, especially when paired with Revise and Resubmit Tips to deal with feedback from multiple readers. Extremely valuable to reduce anxiety and increase engagement after group peer review or writers workshops. PDF of Tips for Incorporating Feedback.
Guides for Specific Writing Elements: These handouts offer tips on the parts of writing that readers can see in our work. Most handouts both explain conventions of these elements and offer suggestions for how to craft the elements.
Close Analysis: (in revision) Guides writers through analyzing a text (any object or interaction) closely, with the goal of making a claim about how details create or convey meaning.
Common Comma Meanings: (in revision) Explains the six most common meanings for comma use. Presents commas as making meaning for readers, rather than the tough-to-define “when you need a pause” many learned in school.
Incorporating Sources Effectively: Tips for incorporating sources, organized by the significance of the source to the point of the paper: stakeholder ideas (other scholars or public analysis), primary data, and lens ideas (theory or methodology used to make sense of other ideas). Addresses style preferences for APA, CMS, and MLA. PDF of Incorporating Sources Effectively.
Introductions and Conclusions: An overview of the functions of introductions and conclusions in most academic writing. PDF of Introductions and Conclusions.
Paragraphs and Topic and Closing Sentences (Paragraphs as Signposting): Explains the rhetorical functions of paragraphs, topic sentences, and closing sentences, acknowledging differences between public and scholarly writing and differences among the disciplines. PDF of Paragraphs as Signposting.
Paraphrase: Excerpts: (in progress) Guides writers from patchwriting to effective paraphrasing without using “paraphrase” as a step (I’m looking at you, Purdue OWL). Includes rationales for paraphrasing vs quoting in different styles (APA, CMS, MLA) and clarifies citation needs for paraphrased content.
Reviewing Repetition: Guides writers through evaluating the reasons for any repetition in their writing and offers suggestions for how to eliminate repetition or use it effectively. PDF of Reviewing Repetition.
Signposting and Flow: (in progress; building on McBeth) Provides language to categorize different metacommunicative devices (the ways writers signal the logical moves in their work to readers) beyond transition words.
Summary and Paraphrase Tips: Full Texts: (finalizing details) Guides writers through the analytic processes needed to effectively summarize or paraphrase a text for annotated bibliographies, literature reviews, and other writing situations requiring a summary. Includes two sample summaries for comparison to highlight more and less effective phrasing, which can be used in class for discussion. PDF of Summary and Paraphrase Tips.
Using Punctuation Rhetorically: (in progress) Covers the conventional use of punctuation to indicate degree of separation between ideas, and indicates ways to break conventions to emphasize different meanings.
Guides for Specific Writing Genres: These handouts offer tips for writing for prompts that are less common, and therefore, harder to practice, but often have high stakes attached to them.
Getting Started on Statements of Purpose: (in updates) Handout defines statements of purpose and explains how to learn more about target audience and how to begin drafting stories that will connect one’s experiences and work to the target audience. Statements of purpose are most common in grant applications and applications for academic graduate programs, such as MA and Ph.D. programs, where what one does to obtain the degree and what one will do with the degree are mostly individualized.
Revising Personal Statements: (in updates) Guides writers through revising early drafts of a personal statement.
Revising Statements of Purpose: (in development) Guides writers through revising early drafts of a statement of purpose.
Tips for Writing Proposals and Abstracts: (on the Writing Center website for URCWCon; revise for more general use and handout format;will add some content for abstract writing) This guide explains how proposals and abstracts may describe completed work or work in progress and offers strategies for understanding the target audience and connecting your work with their expectations.
NSC Disciplinary Style Guides:Coming Soon! These guides synthesize interviews with NSC faculty to provide developing scholars with information about what good writing looks like in these fields. Guides in Communication, English, Psychology, History, Physical and Life Sciences, and Lab Science Reports. We are scheduling interviews with faculty in Business, Criminal Justice, and Nursing, and hope to add those in Fall 2016.
This article discusses what it takes for a first-year student to adjust to college writing expectations.
This article presents results of a study about how people working in business perceive different types of writing errors.
This article responds to North's seminal article "The Idea of a Writing Center" with 24 years of perspective.
The issue of Writing Lab Newsletter with Brooks's provocative article claiming the best tutoring sessions let students do all the work.
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This article highlights the numerous exceptions to so-called rules of common punctuation marks, and proposes that punctuation be taught as a rhetorical choice conveying varying degrees of connectedness between ideas.
This article is a foundational text in writing center studies. In a context somewhat hostile to writing center work, North sought to define that work.
North reviews his foundational article with 10 years of perspective.
This article challenges the universal application of the minimalist tutoring model proposed by Brooks and encourages a nuanced view of appropriate tutoring strategies.