Most materials in the Writing Exercises collection have won the Knight Award for Writing Exercises, an award recognizing excellence in short exercises and/or handouts designed to improve student writing and for use in First-Year Writing Seminars. Award winners address topics from a wide range of writing issues such as development of theses, use of primary sources, organization of evidence, awareness of audience, and attention to sentence patterns. Exercises and handouts may be for in and/or out of class use. Materials include a rationale for future instructors.

Recent Submissions

  • Writing an Effective Introduction 

    Wu, Danielle (2015)
    This handout has two stages: a workshop version for class discussion and a polished version for reference. First, the students put into their own words the common opening gambit for academic writing. We then workshopped ...
  • Analyze 

    Byland, Hannah (2015)
  • Peer Review / Conclusion Writing Exercise 

    Hesselbein, Chris (2014)
  • Thinking through an Essay 

    Tamayo, Daniel (2014)
    In this activity, students practice isolating relevant information, and organizing this information into sound arguments that are clearly presented. It is designed to help students who uncritically try to incorporate too ...
  • The Argument Pyramid 

    Price, Adam (2013)
    This handout is an attempt to explain to students my strategy for thesis creation. Although I have found the "three story thesis" approach—observation, analysis, interpretation—to be a useful model, some of the students ...

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