University Writing

Resources || University Writing

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: Professional Communication

Accessibility and Writing

As you write and communicate with others, it is important that you consider accessibility, or the ability for diverse audiences to engage with your writing. The commitment to accessible and inclusive practice is ongoing and demands recursive critical reflection, education, and feedback, but we hope these resources get you beginning to think about diverse readers and audiences for your work.  

Materials designed by Christopher Basgier, Katharine Brown, Amy Cicchino, and Layli Miron. 

This guide articulates University Writing's practices for accessibility and inclusivity. We use this guide for internal training within our program

This handout guides discussion facilitators in enacting inclusive practices like inclusive introductions, rapport building, and strategies for encouraging conversation This handout helps mentors learn how to build mentor-mentee relationships that take accound of meaningful differences across race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, sexual identity, and academic major  This handout helps writers create accessible Word and PDF documents with an emphasis on visibility, audibility, and mobility  

This checklist helps you evaluate the accessibility of a specific form of digital writing, ePortfolio websites, by reviewing the accessibility of your content and digital design.

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 

Faculty and Staff ePortfolios

ePortfolios can benefit faculty and staff as they develop their professional brand and communicate their values and work to different stakeholders. An ePortfolio can be one way to tell your professional story through sharing artifacts related to your research, teaching, and service. Use the resources below to help you begin developing an ePortfolio. Be sure to also review our ePortfolio pages that have general information for ePortfolio creators. 

Materials designed by Amy Cicchino 

This worksheet will help you begin developing your personal brand statement 

This worksheet helps you select and contextualize artifacts through reflective writing 

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 

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.

ePortfolios: Using ePortfolios in your Course

Faculty interested in learning more about ePortfolios and learning should reach out to universitywriting@auburn.edu in addition to exploring the resources below. These resources can either be moved directly into your course as instructional material or will discuss teaching and feedback strategies for ePortfolios. In addition to these resources, we encourage you to visit AAEEBL’s Digital Ethics Principles for ePortfolios, which University Writing was active in creating. 

Materials designed by Christopher Basgier, Amy Cicchino, Megan Haskins, Margaret Marshall, and Heather Stuart

This sample curriculum for a 15-week course introduces students to ePortfolios and Professional Brand. It includes a syllabus, course calendar, and ePortfolio assignment sheet

This handout will introduce your students to ePortfolios 

This handout answers Frequently Asked Questions about ePortfolios your students might have 

Use this quiz and analysis activity to help your students test and apply their growing knowledge of ePortfolios 

This handout has a list of low-stakes activities that can help you develop ePortfolio thinking in your courses  

This worksheet will help you as a teacher reflect on what students are and are not doing in their ePortfolio reflective writing and identify appropriate next steps in adapting your pedagogy  

This scavenger hunt activity will take students through exploring an example ePortfolio and analyzing the choices the ePortfolio creator has made 

This worksheet is designed to draw your students’ attention to the ways in which an ePortfolio is designed and arranged to tell a particular story to a specific audience 

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

This checklist guides your students in evaluating the accessibility of their ePortfolio sites by reviewing content and digital design.

This worksheet helps ePortfolio creators move from peer review feedback to revision plans

This formative ePortfolio rubric can be used to help students self-assess where they are in the ePortfolio process as they create and refine their ePortfolios. You can also use this rubric to give them in-process feedback 

This summative ePortfolio rubric can be used or adapted to evaluate student ePortfolios at the end of the ePortfolio creation process. We encourage you consider which competency level best fits your context for teaching and learning 

We encourage you to respect your students as creators and authors by not using their ePortfolios in your teaching, marketing, or assessment procedures without their explicit permission. This is the form we’ve developed to retrieve and track student permission. This is not the same as IRB approval through your institution, which you will need to conduct research on students ePortfolios. This form can be personalized to include information about your department or program and completed by students for a record of ePortfolio permission