Short Writes

What are they?

Short Writes are  writing exercises that give students the opportunity to practice important skills necessary in writing high-quality critical research papers and essays.


The primary purpose of the Short Writes is to provide students with review and instruction in areas of university-level critical writing that most students are lacking; to give students a chance to practice skills before having to demonstrate them on major class projects; and to provide the instructor an opportunity to assess student work and provide feedback on a regular basis.


How do they work?

Several times each term, students receive instruction on two or three writing techniques (for example, how to cite material, how to set use word processing utilities such as spell and grammar checkers, how to compose a thesis statement, how to construct a logical argument, etc.). 


They also read assigned pages from Hodges’ Harbrace Handbook (15th edition).  Then they write anywhere from one to three pages as part of a Short Write assignment, which they will receive the same day that they receive the instructions in class.  The assignments are generally due within five days.  When the Short Write assignment is ready, you can access it from the appropriate link above.


The Short Write exercises assume that the student

* has attended the class session covering the writing instruction

* owns a copy of Hodges’ Harbrace Handbook, 15th edition

* follows all guidelines on the Writing Checklist

* is serious about learning how to write university-level analytical papers




© 2006-2008 Martha J. Bianco, Ph.D.