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Citation is crucial to establishing authority in speech and writing--especially when the target audience is well educated and likely to engage in critical literacy practices. Learn when to cite, how to cite, and which citation style to use so your texts and arguments will be clear and persuasive--and avoid plagiarism and academic dishonesty.      

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Medical personnel dialog with one another in an operating room.


Review theory and research on collaboration.  Learn about the core competencies associated with collaboration in home, school, workplace, and public contexts.

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Design refers to much more than how something looks or works. Design is a powerful tool of communication that empowers writers, graphic designers, and product developers to reach their target audience at the visual level.  

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Protestors in Seattle erect the sign "Critical Reflective Discourse Free Zone" to challenge voters to consider the potential environmental impact of an oil spill from Shell Oil's drilling operations in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea.


Discourse is an umbrella term: discourse may refer to something as concrete as a bit of text (such as a sentence, paragraph, or modes of discourse) or something as abstract as the ways culture and human behavior are shaped and defined by language, debate, and dialog. This article provides a summary of research and theory on definitions of discourse.

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Conventionally, editing is imagined as the teacher's red pen and markup of documents.


Editing, one of the final steps in the writing process, refers to the process of rereading a text word-by-word, sentence-by-sentence, in order to identify and eliminate errors and problems with the writing style. Editing is crucial to establishing a professional tone in school and workplace contexts. Learn how to edit documents so they meet the needs and expectations of your readers.    

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tiny tin men made from old parts


Genre may reference a type of writing, art, or musical composition; socially-agreed upon expectations about how writers and speakers should respond to particular rhetorical situations; the cultural values; the epistemological assumptions about what constitutes a knowledge claim or authoritative research method; the discourse conventions of a particular discourse community. This article reviews research and theory on 6 different definitions of genre, explains how to engage in genre analysis, and explores when during the writing process authors should consider genre conventions. Develop your genre knowledge so you can discern which genres are appropriate to use—and when you need to remix genres to ensure your communications are both clear and persuasive.    

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These warnings to stay on the footpath to avoid injury are intended to help hikers avoid injury. Likewise grammars are intended to help understand one another. Shared grammars, shared vocabularies, are a prerequisite to communication.


Grammar refers to the rules that inform how people and discourse communities use language (e.g., written or spoken English, body language, or visual language) to communicate. Learn about the rhetorical nature of grammar so you can identify grammatical problems with your writing and the communications of others.

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Information Literacy: Travelers in line at an airport reading signs as they enter another country.

Information Literacy

Information Literacy refers to the competencies associated with locating, evaluating, using, and archiving information. In order to thrive, much less survive in a global information economy — an economy where information functions as a capital good such as money or social influence — you need to be strategic about how you consume and use information.

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Invention may refer to the act if creating something novel, something that has never existed before. Or, invention may refer to solving problems in your day-to-day life. And, in school and work settings, invention may refer to a stage in the writing process. Many people feel they're not inventive--that being inventive is a competency reserved for geniuses. Yet you -- like most everyone else -- have the capacity to be inventive. With practice, sustained effort, and by learning about the invention strategies of others, you can become more inventive, whether your goal is to to develop artifacts, products, services, applications, or texts. This article provides a review of research on definitions of invention and invention processes. Expand your creative repertoire by learning about the invention processes of others.

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A simple sign in sand can provide direction


Historically, literacy refers to the act of reading and writing--the act of symbolic thinking. Yet, over time, as humanity has developed new tools for expression (e.g., the printing press, the internet, social media, or artificial intelligence), humanity has developed a more nuanced understanding of what it means to read and write. This article defines literacy, summarizes different types of literacies, and explores the effects of literacy on human consciousness and culture.

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Mindset refers to a person or community's way of feeling, thinking, and acting about a topic. The mindsets you hold, consciously or subconsciously, shape how you feel, think, and act--and what you believe is possible. When engaging composing, writing, and drafting, your mindset can be a hindrance or it can be a source of inspiration. This article summarizes different definitions of mindset. It reviews research on the importance of mindset to the writing process.

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MLA Handbook, 9th Edition

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Organization refers to the arrangement of content (e.g., headings/subheadings, parts/sections of a text, ideas, arguments, stories, steps, evidence) into a deliberate order in speech, writing, and visual discourse. Organization refers to a writer or speaker's efforts during composing to interpret and sort information in ways that are most likely to achieve their aims while being responsive to their audience's mindset about the topic. Learn about the organizational patterns that people use to communicate so you can discern the most appropriate way to organize your communications.

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Publication Manual of the APA: 7th Edition

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Research refers to a systematic investigation carried out to discover new knowledge, expand existing knowledge, solve practical problems, and develop new products, apps, and services. This article explores why different research communities have different ideas about what research is and how to conduct it. Learn about the different epistemological assumptions that undergird informal, qualitative, quantitative, textual, and mixed research methods.

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Rhetoric concerns perception, interpretation, and communication


Rhetoric is the art, study, and practice of effective communication that utilizes language and symbols to persuade, inform, or entertain an audience. For audiences, rhetoric functions as a lens, an interpretive framework, that can help you can better understand why people say what they say and do what they do. For writers, rhetoric provides a framework for strategically using language to persuade, inform, or entertain an audience while also fostering critical thinking, effective communication, and adaptability in various contexts. Mastering rhetoric can help you construct compelling arguments, engage with diverse audiences, and effectively convey complex ideas--especially in tricky situations.

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Style in writing and speech plays a profound role in human communication. If people dislike a writer's style (or their tone, voice or persona), they are likely to dismiss the writer's ideas. Learn about the importance of style (and design) to composing and communication.

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a robust writing process includes writing with others and sharing critiques and ideas

Writing Process

The writing process (aka creative process) refers to the composing strategies writers engage in when composing  (e.g., prewriting, writing, revising, editing). Learn about research and scholarship on the writing process so you can find your fluency as a writer, speaker, knowledge maker.  

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Writing Studies

Writing Studies is an academic subject of study with B.S., B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. programs in the United States. Writing Studies is an interdisciplinary field, with investigators coming from a multitude of academic and professional fields, including English studies, communication, the learning sciences, corpus linguistics, rhetoric, composition, and English Education.

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Working Through Revision: Rethink, Revise, Reflect

 What is revision? How can it help me improve my writing? Read about what revision is and how to solicit, interpret, and implement feedback that helps you make positive changes to your work.

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You want me to do what to my paper? Interpreting your professors’ feedback

Feedback is one of the major components of effective writing. Professional technical writers may get feedback from clients or members of their target audience before producing a deliverables; creative writers may ask other writers they trust or a sample of their target demographic to provide feedback; and workplace writers may receive feedback from their boss or coworkers before releasing the final version of a draft. What these writers know is that feedback provides an invaluable opportunity to understand the needs and perceptions of their audiences, so it’s important to take that information into account to produce a rhetorically sound final product. The purpose of this article is to walk you through some common comment types, and help you respond effectively to improve your writing.

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NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Fake News: An Undergraduate Composition Course

Fake News is a themed undergraduate English composition course. This course aims to help students develop an understanding and practice of Empathetic Information Literacy.

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Professional Writing Course Schedule

The Professional Writing Schedule outlines course assignments, readings, and due dates for Professional Writing - ENC 3250, sections 4 and 32, Fall 2022.        

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