Exercises & Handouts

WR 111 Mid-Semester Self-Evaluation

For this activity, students in WR 111 reflect on the assignments and experiences of the first half of the course. Instructors should plan on reading students’ written reflections and also on sharing them when requested. WR 112 instructors may adapt the questions to WR 112 skills and topics. Objective to think back over the last […]

Individual in Community Assignment

This assignment asks students to participate in and reflect on an activity, outside of class time, to strengthen their engagement with the Individual in Community Hub unit (WR 111). Note that an alternate version of this activity, which does not ask students to work in groups and which is written to accommodate online/remote events if […]

Whose History Matters? The Importance of Co-Conspirators

In October 2019, Claudia Fox Tree spoke to over a hundred students from WR 111 and WR 112. The 111 students had read, or were about to read, Montana 1948, while many of the 112 students had read this essay by Justin Nobel. Her talk gave students new perspectives on First Nations/Native Americans and other […]

Strategies for Engaging with Critics

In this exercise, students practice engaging with critics (argument and theory sources in the BEAM/BEAT framework). The templates provided scaffold students’ responses to the critics before students need to engage more deeply with critics in an essay. This exercise can be done individually or in pairs. Objective To use templates to practice different strategies for […]

Paragraph/Essay Reconstruction

Students work in pairs to analyze and improve the organization of a paragraph or essay using hard copies of their paper. Alternatively, this activity can be adapted for remote learning situations. Objective To focus on the structure of a paragraph or an essay; to consider the effects of transitions and signposting language on readers; to […]

Interview a Professor

In this exercise, students interview another professor about writing in their field and then reflect on what connections they might make between writing in different contexts. Guide to Oral/Signed Communication in Writing Classrooms Objective To learn about the role of research and writing in different disciplines and professions; to learn about how research and writing […]

Video Presentation and Reflections

For this assignment, students work in small groups to create and edit short video presentations (flexible in genre) to recast their research for a new audience. Students then reflect on their presentations. Guide to Oral/Signed Communication in Writing Classrooms   Objective To remediate the findings of a research project into a different genre; to work […]

Dork Short Oral Presentations

“Dork Shorts” are a form of presentation popularized by researchers in the Digital Humanities. They combine a formal structure (a specific number of slides) with a short time limit that keeps things light and allows the audience to learn a lot in short period of time. They’re sometimes also called “Lightning Talks.” Guide to Oral/Signed […]

Inner Critic

In the first half of this reflective activity, students give voice to negative self-beliefs in the form of an uncensored personal letter from their imagined “Inner Critic” to themselves, listing their shortcomings, expressing anxieties, and identifying the perceived consequences of failure. Some instructors assign the first letter at the start of the semester, while others […]

Framing a Conceptual Problem

This handout (inspired by the Little Red Schoolhouse approach) explains how to frame a conceptual problem in a paper’s introduction. Students may use this handout to consider the discrete rhetorical moves an introduction involves, especially when creating research problems of their own in WR 15x.  Objective To help students reflect on the key elements of framing a […]