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.

We are always seeking to improve. Please take a moment to offer us feedback by completing this brief survey.

Tagged Entries: Research Writing

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

Delivering Oral Presentations and Visual Design

In order to effectively share our research findings with others, we must be able to deliver presentations clearly and impactfully. These resources include tips about oral and visual communication as well as visual design principles that will help engage and inform your audience. 

Materials designed by Christopher Basgier, Katharine H. Brown, Amy Cicchino, Carly Cummings, Megan Haskins, Layli Miron, Annie Small, Heather Stuart, and Parker Wade 

This brief handout outlines elements of oral communication 

Once you have a draft of your oral presentation, this peer review worksheet can help you self-assess or get feedback 

This handout will help you decide the best way to visually represent your data 

This handout introduces you to four principles for visual design: contrast, repetition, alignment, and proximity 

This worksheet is meant to help you put together a presentation. It has been designed for students in aerospace engineering 

This handout will introduce you to scientific posters and analyze example posters

This worksheet will help you self-assess a draft of your scientific poster or gather feedback from a peer

This worksheet is designed to help you articulate how you “see” visible materials and what you expect students to do with visible materials in your courses 

Grants

Grants are a difficult genre for anyone to learn. A straightforward technical description of the proposed project simply won’t do the trick. The resources below will help you consider how to tailor your project to a request for proposals (RFP), consider your audience, and manage the process. 

Materials designed by Christopher Basgier  

This handout compiles common tips and advice related to grant writing 

This worksheet helps you reflect on what you already know about grant writing and begin by analyzing a model excerpt from a grant. 

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

Reading

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 

Research Abstracts

One type of academic writing is research abstracts, which are important distillations of academic research. In many fields, they are used as conference proposals, and they appear in journal articles to help readers understand the research and decide if they want to read further. Use these materials to better understand research abstracts and begin creating your own research abstracts. 

Materials designed by Christopher Basgier, Layli Miron, and Megan Moeller

This handout introduces you to abstracts, or the summaries that typically begin a kind of research writing 

This resource was designed to introduce readers to abstracts within the College of Human Sciences, in fields such as Nutrition, Hospitality Management, Consumer and Design Sciences, Human Development and Family Science, and Global Education 

This worksheet will help you analyze example abstracts from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds 

This worksheet features four abstracts accepted into Auburn’s 2018 Research Symposium, which you can analyze to identify the six components of an abstract 

Scientific Posters

Scientific posters communicate research in a visually engaging way and can be paired with an oral presentation or audience discussion. Posters can be designed for other experts in your field or for interdisciplinary or general audiences who are outside of your field. In either case, it’s important to critically consider your audience, purpose, content, and layout. Use the resources below to plan, draft, and assess your scientific poster.

Materials designed by Katharine H. Brown, Amy Cicchino, and Carly Cummings

This handout will introduce you to scientific posters and analyze example posters

This worksheet will help you self-assess a draft of your scientific poster or gather feedback from a peer

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