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: Organization

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

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

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 

Synthesizing Sources

Many styles of academic writing require synthesis, or the process of representing relationships among multiple sources, including patterns of similarity and contrast. These materials introduce synthesis, provide select examples, and offer strategies for identifying opportunities for synthesis in your current research project. 

Materials designed by Christopher Basgier and Heather Stuart 

This handout offers tools and examples for identifying synthesis strategies that writers use in different academic disciplines. 

This worksheet is a synthesis matrix, designed to help you create and see connections across sources 

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