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: STEM Writing

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. 

Reflective Writing

Reflective writing helps you critically think about your learning, respond to new knowledge, connect your learning experiences, and consider how new knowledge aligns to your professional and developmental goals. Use the resources below to learn more about reflective writing, including how to design reflective writing prompts.

Materials designed by Amber Simpson, Animal Sciences Academy Team, Christopher Basgier, ePortfolio Project, Heather Stuart, Lindsay Doukopolous, Margaret Marshall, and Parker Wade

This handout provides a brief introduction to reflective writing along with sample questions that can support reflective thinking

This handout introduces you to the six Rs of reflection: reporting, responding, relating, reasoning, reconstructing, and repackaging. Bain, J., Ballantyne, R., Mills, C. & Lester, N. (2002) labeled these levels with the mnemonic “5 Rs of reflection.” We have added a sixth level to this framework to account for the way reflection moves into other genres, such as an ePortfolio or personal narrative

This handout will take you through a heuristic process aimed at developing an effective reflective writing assignment for students keeping in mind the expected learning outcomes

Reflection can take many different forms, and any number of strategies can help you support students’ reflective practices. This handout lists various prompts and questions you can adapt to your specific course context and objectives

This handout is meant to inform you on the benefits of using reflective writing in lab contexts

This worksheet guides you in using expressive writing for self-discovery. You will learn about different types of expressive writing, such as answering prompts or making gratitude lists, and can complete several reflective prompts.

This handout gives three example reflective writing assignments from different disciplines, each fostering a different goal related to reflective practice

This worksheet will help you consider questions that are important as you develop a reflective writing prompt for your course

Once you’ve developed your reflective writing prompt, this peer reviewguide can help you get feedback.

This worksheet provides examples of student reflections in need of feedback and guidance which you can use to practice providing feedback that helps students improve their reflective writing

This rubric was created as part of our ePortfolio Project. However, you can use or adapt it to assess reflective writing in ePortfolios

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