Writing Process

One of the challenges of switching to a single-text approach is that, without a traditional composition textbook, we have to find outside sources for readings on parts of the writing process, grammar instruction, and other information that these textbooks have usually provided.

The tabs below provide resources targeted to specific parts of writing processes that can be used as readings or in-class activity supplements. You will also find a list of open access textbooks that can be used in their entirety or in sections to supplement a single-text approach.



“Brainstorming” from UNC: This UNC handout provides a thorough list of brainstorming techniques and explanations of why they might be helpful in different writing situations.

“Pre-Writing Strategies” from York: This York University resource breaks down several points about pre-writing, including specific brainstorming activities.

“4 Steps to Successful Brainstorming“: This Forbes article is not about brainstorming for writing; rather, it is a reflection on how to brainstorm successfully to solve problems. This can inform the way we talk about the larger purpose of brainstorming and how writing skills connect to general problem-solving skills.


Purdue Owl Outlining Components: Discusses parallelism, coordination, and subordination and gives samples of different types of outlines

University of Washington Writing Center Outline Guide: provides justification for using outlines and samples along with advice on flexibility.

Drafting Philosophy

“Shitty First Drafts” by Anne Lamott (pdf): Drafting is hard for everyone, and nobody can make that clearer or more genuine than Anne Lamott with her honest and hilarious style.


“Using Peer Review to Help Students Improve Their Writing“: This Washington University resource discusses the pedagogy behind peer review, some common pitfalls, and suggestions for best results.

Writing@CSU Peer Review Actitives: This Colorado State University resource has several teacher-submitted classroom activities, including a section on peer review.


“20 Great Writers on the Art of Revision“: This collection of quotes from famous authors helps to demonstrate that revision is a part of the process for everyone, and it’s not always the easiest part.

Acts of Revision Chapter 1: Acts of Revision is a book on revision aimed at students, and the first chapter has been made available online. This chapter deals with student attitudes toward revision and how they sometimes are the first to be revised.


“10 Most Common Writing Errors“: This Montana State University handout has a quick and simple list of the most common writing errors and how to correct them.

Grammar Bytes!: This interactive online game allows students to try their hand at a variety of grammar exercises.

STLCC’s Writing Resource Handouts: This collection of writing resources tackles a range of writing issues including format, style, and grammar.

Humorous Reminders of Common Writing Errors: This do as I say, not as I do approach from the University of Minnesota has some quick, funny reminders for common grammar mistakes.

15 Grammar Goofs That Make You Look Silly: This very visually-based post has a rundown of some of the most common errors and how to fix them.

Grammarly Handbook: This online handbook contains tips on style, grammar, and formatting.

Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips. This website contains grammar advice in quick, funny, and informative pieces.


“J.K. Rowling’s Secret: A Forensic Linguist Explains How He Figured it Out.” This Time post explains how a linguist used language markers to identify Rowling’s pseudonymous work. We can use it to teach our students about style and voice.


“Writing is Recursive“: Author Darcy Pattison has a short, simple post about the recursive nature of the writing process.

Beyond Classroom

Becoming a Lifelong Writer: A short Prezi that could be used at the end of the semester to talk about how to carry the tools from the class forward.

Dialects and Discourses: This PowerPoint focuses on the definitions of dialects and discourses and what implications they have for students in professional and academic contexts.


All of the textbooks listed below are available as open access resources. Most are available for download in their entirety or in small, focused sections. Many are also available under Creative Commons licenses and can be edited, revised, and adapted for specific classroom needs.

Writing Commons by Joseph Moxley

The Process of Research Writing by Steven D. Krause

Arguments: Deductive Logic Exercises by Howard Pospesl and David Marans

Writing Spaces

Readings on Writing Vol. 1 edited by Charlie Lowe and Pavel Zemliansky

Readings on Writing Vol. 2 edited by Charlie Lowe and Pavel Zemliansky

Frameworks for Academic Writing by Steve Poulter

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