Pre-Course Exercises

The 3 short exercises below are designed to get you thinking about writing the way we will think about it in the course.  They also help me get to know you and your work.  

The first two exercises can be done on the fly as they ask you to assess others' writing. The third exercise requires some thought and preparation because it asks you strategic questions about your work.


  1. What is good research writing?  (30 minutes)  Some of you may have completed this exercise when you registered for the course.  If so, please feel free to skip it.
  2. How we learn from sections  (30 minutes-1 hour)
  3. Strategy for your paper (30 minutes to do it, but spend a few days thinking about it beforehand.  I recommend you print out the form—hit "print" button at bottom of form—and think about it for a few days before actually doing it)  PLEASE PRINT OUT THE COMPLETED FORM, WHICH WILL BE EMAILED TO YOU ON SUBMISSION, AND BRING IT TO THE FIRST DAY OF CLASS.

On a technical note, each exercise needs to be completed in a single sitting as not all browsers will save your work.