Self-Guided and Directed Learning Activities

Page Overview

This page provides different activities for a variety of writing skills:

  • General writing for argumentative, analytical, and research essays
  • Genre-specific writing, like statements of purpose
  • Program-specific activities for Humanities Core and Composition

General Activities

intro slide for self-guided workshop. tumblr meme about drafting and revising: "user ghostzzy<br />
reminder to myself about the process of drafting & revising:<br />
-first drafts are for making it exist<br />
-second drafts are for making it functional<br />
-third drafts are making it effective"

Revising Your Personal Statement or Statement of Purpose

Over the course of this workshop, you will take concrete steps to start editing your paper.

By following these slides, you’ll:
● identify important aspects of your personal statement (PS) or
statement of purpose (SoP),
● evaluate these aspects,
● and consider how to improve.

Set aside 60 minutes to guide yourself through this workshop.

Integrating Sources in APA Citation Style

This directed learning activity guides you through the basics of the American Psychological Association (APA) citation style. APA is very common in social sciences and some humanities. These activities are designed to practice integrating paraphrase, summary, and direct quotes in APA assignments. Download the APA DLA here.

Collecting Sources for a Research Paper or Project

These activities ask you to organize information, guides you through finding sources, and guides you through analyzing a source in detail. 

Download Collecting Sources Activities

Personal Statement for Graduate School Applications

These activities guide you through freewriting prompts, help you check for information reviewers want to see, and ask you identify strengths and areas for improvement of a draft

Download Grad School PS Activities

Prewriting for an Argumentative or Analytical Essay

These activities structure your paper writing process shortly after a paper has been assigned in-class, including brainstorming an overall topic and finding evidence.

Download Prewriting Activities

Drafting for an Argumentative or Analytical Essay

These activities walk you through writing your paper, checking for common critera of this type of essay, and outlining revision plans after you have a draft. 

Download Drafting Activities

Prewriting for a Genre Analysis

These activities provide find tools to help support your prewriting and the beginning stages of developing a genre analysis, where the goal is to think deeply about genre conventions and their meanings in a paper.

Download Genre Analysis Prewriting Activities

Humanities Core

Rhetorical Analysis - Prewriting

These activities help support your prewriting and the beginning stages of developing your Rhetorical Analysis paper, including: building a timeline, brainstorming, choosing a topic, and finding preliminary evidence. 

Rhetorical Analysis – Prewriting

Rhetorical Analysis - Drafting

These activities dig into a first draft for the Rhetorical Analysis essay. They structure quick writing and drafting, provide a checklist for common essay critera, and ask you to outline revision goals for a subsequent draft

Rhetorical Analysis – Drafting

Literary Analysis - Prewriting

These activities support prewriting for the Literary Analysis essay by guiding you through making a timeline, brainstorming, and finding evidence. 

Literary Analysis – Prewriting

Literary Analysis - Drafting

These activities structure quick writing and drafting, provide a checklist for common essay critera, and ask you to outline revision goals for a subsequent draft of your Literary Analysis essay.

Literary Analysis – Drafting

Visual Analysis

These activities help you develop your ideas and claims for your visual analysis assignment, from the basics of a visual analysis to narrowing arguments about historical context.

Visual Analysis

Historical Film Analysis

These activities guide you through necessary steps for developing a strong thesis statement for the historical film analysis assignment, by asking you to read the text, find secondary sources, and begin writing.

Historical Film Analysis


Genre Analysis

These activities guide you through analyzing your primary source, identifying its genre, and thinking critically about genre conventions.

Genre Analysis

Contexts Research Project (CP)

These activities walk you through organizing existing information, finding sources online to use as evidentiary support, and reading a source in more detail.

Contexts Research Project

Advocacy Project (AP) - Drafting

These activities support you as you generate content for your essay, use of additional sources, and outline revision goals for your next draft.

Advocacy Project (AP) – Drafting

Advocacy Project (AP) - Revising

These activities support reverse outlining your paper, checking for flow and organization, and making sure your paper is ready to be turned in.

Advocacy Project (AP) – Revising