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Ecology, Evolution and Behavior

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Why write in science and science classes?

Writing is integral to many fields of science - as scientists we use writing to communicate our research and ideas and to synthesize our rapidly changing fields. Writing assignments are designed to help you learn to think critically about specific scientific issues that you encounter as a citizen in your day-to-day life; to help you draw conclusions from multiple primary sources and clarify information about some of the current controversies and unresolved issues in a specific field; and to help you develop written communication abilities that you can use as you pursue your post-graduate career or further study.

This site includes links to resources specific to EEB and writing within these disciplines, but also links to general writing resources that may be useful to undergraduates and graduate students alike. In addition to the EEB Department's writing plan there is a link to a faculty-defined list of writing abilities which represent goals for undergraduate EEB majors. These abilities are utilized throughout the undergraduate curriculum and the list is intended as a reference to help students and faculty develop a common language related to writing abilities and expectations.

Writing in EEB Courses:

  • EEB Departmental Writing Plan EEB Department aims for writing instruction as well as a plan to achieve those aims.
  • EEB Writing Ability List Descriptions of writing abilities taught in EEB courses and expected of majors by graduation.
  • Assignment Checklist for Students [ In development ] Includes a list of questions to ask oneself (or your professor/TA) before beginning any writing assignment.

UMN Library Resources:

  • Assignment Calculator Helps establish intermediate deadlines in order to complete assignments on time.
  • Ecology and Evolution Research Quickstart Page Tool for beginning research projects within these two disciplines.

UMN Center for Writing:

  • Student Writing Support Make appointments for consultations, find writing resources, center hours and location.

Student Writing Support (SWS) offers free writing instruction for all University of Minnesota students—graduate and undergraduate—at all stages of the writing process. In face-to-face and online collaborative consultations, SWS consultants help students develop productive writing habits and revision strategies.

Consulting is available by appointment online and in Nicholson Hall, and on a walk-in basis in Appleby Hall. For more information, go to writing.umn.edu/sws or call 612.625.1893.

In addition, SWS offers a number of web-based resources on topics such as avoiding plagiarism, documenting sources, and planning and completing a writing project. See http://writing.umn.edu/sws/quickhelp/index.html .

  • SWS resources for multilingual writers
  • Also: www.writing.umn/sws/multilingual.html

Writing Tips:

Comprehensive set of discipline-specific as well as general writing tips and information.

Grammar and Mechanics

  • Common Errors - Editing Checklist
  • Online Quiz at Indiana University
  • UMN Center for Writing Plagiarism Information
  • Revising Research Topics Tips on revising the scope of research topics

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For Students

Visit Student Writing Support for free face-to-face and online writing consultations for all University of Minnesota students—graduate and undergraduate—at all stages of the writing process.

Join the graduate interdisciplinary Literacy and Rhetorical Studies minor.

Access Quick help for printable handouts and other online writing resources.

For Instructors

Develop strategies for incorporating writing in your courses through Teaching with Writing consultations, workshops, discussions, and sample teaching materials.

Engage in the internationally-recognized Writing-Enriched Curriculum process to integrate writing and writing instruction into your undergraduate curricula.

Apply for a Grant for the Study of Writing in the Disciplines .

For K-College Educators

Learn about the Minnesota Writing Project , a National Writing Project site committed to improving student literacy through the development of the leadership, voice, and professionalism of educators.

Apply for the next MWP Invitational Leadership Institute or one of our Open Institutes .

Participate in upcoming teacher professional development workshops .

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When you major or minor in English, you’ll be building a solid foundation for success in any career.  You’ll also have achieved intellectual independence; clear, confident expression; broad perspectives; and a cultural understanding of how literature engages with societal issues. As a student in the English program at UMN Morris, you’ll benefit from a flexible curriculum with courses that expose you to a wide range of literature and written works. You’ll receive individual attention from award-winning faculty members who will closely analyze your work to help you improve your written and oral communication skills. 

The advantage of studying English at UMN Morris is that classes are small, allowing for dialogue across differences; camaraderie, collaboration, and friendship among students; an in-depth grasp of the subject matter; and close mentoring relationships between students and professors.

You’ll be able to choose from a variety of electives, which make up more than half of the credits toward an English major. Through elective coursework, you can focus on and develop an expertise in any of the following.

  • African American literature
  • Environmental literature
  • Feminist and queer literature
  • Genre fiction
  • Medieval literature
  • Multiethnic literatures
  • Native American and Indigenous literatures
  • Shakespeare
  • Writing/editing 
  • Creative writing

Note : UMN Morris also offers a minor in creative writing for non-English majors .

Degree Requirements

  • Major Requirements
  • Minor Requirements
  • English Major Sample Plan
  • English with Creative Writing Sample Plan

The English discipline is one of the largest at UMN Morris. We offer a wide range of literature and creative writing courses that will allow you to achieve both breadth and depth in your study. Examples of courses include the following.

  • Detection and Espionage in Fiction and Film
  • Environmental Justice Literature
  • Gender in Literature and Culture
  • Graphic Novel
  • Harlem Renaissance
  • Representations of American Indians in Popular and Academic Culture
  • Shakespeare and Ecology
  • The Environmental Imagination
  • Writing Poetry for the 21st Century
  • Social Justice Biofiction

In addition, as an English major, you’ll be able to take a research seminar that explores timely and historical topics in detail for your capstone experience.

Student Learning Outcomes

By completing a degree in English you will be able to

  • analyze both primary and secondary texts;
  • write a coherent argument, both with and without secondary sources;
  • develop writing skills and processes in order to achieve specific writing goals;
  • demonstrate basic knowledge of critical approaches and practices of literary study; and
  • demonstrate a basic knowledge of literary history.

General Education Requirements

The University of Minnesota and its faculty are committed to providing an education that invites you to investigate the world from new perspectives, learn new ways of thinking, and grow as an active citizen and lifelong learner. The University’s general education requirements are designed to be integrated throughout your four-year undergraduate experience. These courses provide you an opportunity to explore fields outside your major and complement your major curriculum with a multidisciplinary perspective.

  • Learn more about UMN Morris General Education Requirements
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Will my courses transfer?

Put your credits to work for you at UMN Morris, where you’ll earn a degree from a highly ranked public liberal arts university. 

Learn more about how we transfer credits

Careers & Graduate School

UMN Morris English majors have gone on to pursue a variety of careers, demonstrating the value and flexibility of the major. Examples include the following.

  • English teacher abroad
  • Graduate student
  • Graphic designer
  • High school teacher
  • Marketing and communications director
  • Social worker

Graduate School

UMN Morris English majors have gone on to pursue graduate study at many universities, including:

  • Cornell University
  • Indiana University
  • North Dakota State University
  • Notre Dame University
  • Penn State University
  • University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • University of Connecticut
  • University of Texas, Austin
  • West Virginia University

Cost of Attendance

The University of Minnesota Morris is a national public liberal arts college committed to making a high-quality education available to students from across the country. Expenses for housing, meals, books and supplies, transportation, loan fees, and personal expenditures can vary.

Students are immediately considered for a scholarship package upon admission to UMN Morris.

Scholarships are a type of financial aid awarded to you and are often based on specific criteria, such as your major, GPA, or financial need.

Explore available scholarships

Research & Engagement

As a UMN Morris student, you’ll have access to programs that make research opportunities possible.

  • The Undergraduate Research Symposium invites presenters from all disciplines to present their work to the campus community in a spirit of intellectual exchange. Readings of creative works, scholarly research, and dramatic presentations are all welcome.
  • International exchange and study-abroad programs
  • Faculty research assistantships
  • First-hand experience working on campus student publications like the University Register or Floating World .

English faculty members can help you with obtaining funding so that you can take advantage of opportunities to develop and present your creative works and research projects. Students in the English discipline have presented their work in multiple states and even in Dublin, Ireland. 

As a UMN Morris student, you’re strongly encouraged to take part in academic opportunities outside the classroom. Participating in research or partnering with other students or faculty on a literature or writing-related project allows you to put into practice what you are learning as an undergraduate student.

Current and recent English majors are among the recipients of and semi-finalists for the Fulbright international exchange program . 

Research & Creative Opportunities

UMN Morris English students and faculty are among the most active on campus. You may be able to

  • edit or contribute to campus publications;
  • give a public reading;
  • join Floating World, the campus creative writing club;
  • join Sigma Tau Delta, the international English honor society;
  • participate in a community-outreach program;
  • assist other students at the Writing Center;
  • serve as a research assistant to a faculty member; or
  • volunteer at the Prairie Gate Literary Festival .

Opportunities for Students

Undergraduate research symposium.

The Undergraduate Research Symposium (URS) offers students an opportunity to present research plus scholarly and creative work. Types of presentations include posters, oral presentations, and short or abbreviated theatrical, dance, or musical performances.

  • Creative Activity

Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program

The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) provides University of Minnesota undergraduates from every college, major, and discipline, the opportunity to partner with a faculty member on research or creative projects.

Morris Academic Partnership

The University of Minnesota Morris offers the Morris Academic Partnership (MAP) program, in which faculty select academically talented, qualified second-year and third-year students to assist them in scholarly and creative projects. Selected MAP students undertake assignments intended to enhance their intellectual competence and increase their interest in graduate or professional study.

  • Morris Academic Partnership (MAP)

Barber Lecture Series

The Barber Lectures in Literature are made possible by a gift to UMN Morris from Laird H. Barber and the late Dorothy Klein Barber, both of whom had long and distinguished careers as English faculty at UMN Morris. The endowed lecture series began in 1999 and is shared, in alternate years, between the English and the foreign languages and literatures (German studies, French, Spanish) disciplines. The intention of the Barber Lecture Series is to provide a stimulating forum for delving into the multiplicity of issues which confront and enrich literary studies in many areas of the world.

During their careers and after retirement, the Barbers made major contributions to the liberal arts at UMN Morris and to the town of Morris. Their involvement began in 1964, when Laird joined the English faculty; Dorothy joined the English faculty the next year. Dorothy retired in 1991 and passed away in 1998. Laird retired in 1994 and continues to support intellectual life on campus and in Morris.

Thanks to the Barbers, the humanities division is able to bring to campus each year a distinguished literary scholar to enrich campus dialogue about contemporary literary issues.

Past Speakers

  • Elizabeth Otto, professor of Modern and Contemporary Art History and Global Gender Studies at the University of Buffalo, State University of New York : “Haunted Modern Art: Gender Fluidity, Queer Identities, and Radical Politics at Germany’s Bauhaus Art School"
  • Brigitte Weltman-Aron, professor of French and Francophone Studies, affiliated with the Center for African Studies and the Center for Women's Studies and Gender Research, University of Florida : “Resistance in Pictures: Assia Djebar on Art”
  • Sonya Posmentier, associate professor of English, New York University : “Black Reading: Lyrics of the Color Line.”
  • Luis E. Cárcamo-Huechante, Professor at the University of Texas at Austin & Comunidad de Historia Mapuche : "Indigenous Resonance & Responses from Mapiche Territory"
  • Robyn Warhol, Interim Chair and Arts & Humanities Distinguished Professor, The Ohio State University : “Reading Like a Victorian”
  • David Tse-Chien Pan, Professor of German at the University of California, Irvine : "Goethe's Wilhelm Meister and Political Representation"
  • Frances E. Dolan, Professor of English at the University of California, Davis : “Know Your Food: Turnips, Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus, and the Local”
  • William Burgwinkle, Professor of Medieval French and Occitan at Cambridge University : “Medieval Bodies: Looking and Touching”
  • Jay Parini, D.E. Axinn Professor of English and Creative Writing at Middlebury College : “The Imagination of Truth: How Fiction Shines a Light into the Dark Corners of History”
  • Ofelia Ferrán, Professor of Spanish & Portuguese Studies at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities : “Mass Graves, Stolen Children, and Other Specters of the Past Haunting Contemporary Spain”
  • Kate Flint, Professor of English at Rutgers University : “Flash! Photography, Writing, and Surprising Illumination”

Spring 2010

  • Siegfried W. de Rachewiltz, Schloss Tirol Museum Director & Faculty Member at Innsbruck University : “Oswald von Wolkenstein, The Last of the German Minnesänger”
  • Dana Nelson, Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of English and American Studies at Vanderbilt University, and Russ Castronovo, Jean Wall Bennett Professor of English and American Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison : “‘Action, Action, Action’ 19th-Century Literature for 21st-Century Citizenship”
  • Jonathan Culler, Class of 1916 Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Cornell University : “Reading The Flowers of Evil Today”
  • Jerome McGann, John Stewart Bryan University Professor at the University of Virginia : “Philology in a New Key Humane Studies in Digital Space”
  • Marvin A. Lewis, Professor of Spanish & Director of the Afro-Romance Institute for Languages and Literatures of the African Diaspora at the University of Missouri-Columbia : “Afro-Hispanic Literature and the Canon”
  • Mary Louise Pratt, Silver Professor of Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Literatures at New York University : “Language and Contemporary Geopolitics”
  • Sander L. Gilman, Distinguished Professor of the Liberal Arts and Sciences and of Medicine & Director of the Humanities Laboratory at the University of Illinois, Chicago : “Is Multiculturalism Good for the Jews A Literary View”

Spring 2003

  • Lawrence Buell, Powell A. Cabot Professor of American Literature & Chair of English at Harvard University : “Environmental Imagination, Environmental Crisis”
  • Trinh T. Minh-ha, Chancellor’s Distinguished Professor of Film Studies, Women’s Studies and Rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley : 1st Foreign Language Barber Lecture (French), “Far Away, From Home” (with screening of her film Surname Viet Given Name Nam after lecture)
  • Leah Marcus, Professor of English at Vanderbilt University : 1st English Barber Lecture, “Elizabeth I as Public and Private Poet”
  • Samuel Schuman, Interim UMM Chancellor Inaugural Barber Lecture , “‘Twas beautiful and hard’: Why Study Literature?”

Quick Facts

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This section will help you understand the different types of writing and how you can improve your writing skills.

Avoiding Plagiarism

What is plagiarism.

The University of Minnesota defines plagiarism as "representing the words, creative work, or ideas of another person as one's own without providing proper documentation of source. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • copying information word for word from a source without using quotations marks and giving proper acknowledgement by way of footnote, endnote, or in-text citation.
  • representing the words, ideas, or data of another person as one's own without providing proper attribution to the author through quotation, reference, in-text citation, or footnote.
  • producing, without proper attribution, any form of work originated by another person such as a musical phrase, a proof, a speech, an image, experimental data, laboratory report, graphic design, or computer code.
  • paraphrasing, without sufficient acknowledgement, ideas taken from another person that the reader might reasonably mistake as the author's.
  • borrowing various words, ideas, phrases, or data from original sources and blending them with one's own without acknowledging the sources."

Reference: University of Minnesota Student Conduct Code , p. 2.

Plagiarism Quiz 

Decide if the below situations are examples of plagiarism or not.

How to Quote, Paraphrase, and Summarize

Citation resources.

What are citations?

This UMN Library tutorial explains how to cite books, articles, websites, and other sources both in the text of a paper and in the reference list at the end of a paper.

Citation Guides and Style Manuals

The UMN Libraries have many resources on using different styles (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.) in your citations and other information for using citations correctly in your writing.

Types of Writing

As a college student, you will need to produce many different types of writing, including essays, lab reports, and emails.

Annotated bibliography

An annotated bibliography is a collection of sources (books, articles, etc.) in which you write a paragraph or two describing and evaluating each source.

  • Why they're useful, what they are, and examples (UNC Chapel Hill's Writing Center)
  • Definitions, reasons, format (Purdue's Online Writing Lab)

Argument paper/essay

An argument (or persuasive) paper or essay requires you to take a stance on an issue, and present arguments to support your opinion.

  • Advice for writing and organizing argument papers (Purdue's Online Writing Lab)

Book reports and book reviews

A book report is a summary of a book and is usually more descriptive and objective.

A book review is more critical, in which you evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the book.

  • How to write a book report
  • How to write a book review

Business writing assignments

Here are some guidelines to writing a variety of business class assignments:

  • Business memo writing guidelines
  • Business letter writing guidelines
  • Press release writing guidelines
  • Executive summary writing guidelines

All guidelines above are from Colorado State University's Writing Studio.

There are several parts to include in a polite email:

Always include a subject that summarizes the topic of the email.

  • Do not leave the subject empty.
  • Do not use a general subject like “hello,” “help!” or your name (they can see your name in the sender information).
  • Do not reply to an old email that has a subject about a completely different topic to start a message about a new topic.

The greeting you use shows how formal or informal your email is.

  • More formal greetings: Dear, Good morning, Good afternoon, Good evening,
  • Less formal greetings: Hi, Hey,
  • No greeting: If you are emailing someone that you are in frequent contact with, or if you are responding to an email conversation that has been going back and forth for a few messages, you might not need to use any greeting because you are continuing an ongoing conversation.

How to address instructors:

  • If your instructor has asked that you use his/her first name, then use their first name in email greetings ( Dear Sara, Hi John, ).
  • If you are not sure what to call your instructor, use the instructor’s title + family name ( Dear Dr. Johnson, Hi Professor Smith, Dear Ms. Jones, Hi Mr. Anderson ).
  • It is not correct to use their title + first name ( Dear Professor Sara, Hi Dr. John ).
  • Identify who you are if necessary.; “I’m a student in section 3 of your Physics 1301 class.”
  • Explain the reason you are writing early in the email. “I wanted to let you know I won’t be in class tomorrow." "I lost the handout from yesterday.”
  • Be polite and clear about what you want the recipient to do. “Please let me know if I can reschedule the quiz." "Could you send me a copy of the handout?”
  • Each paragraph should have its own main idea.
  • Paragraphs can be shorter, just one or two sentences.
  • Paragraphs do not need to be indented.

The closing signals that your email is finished.

  • More formal closings: Thank you in advance, Thank you very much, Thank you, Regards, Sincerely,
  • Less formal closings: Thanks a lot, Thanks, Best,
  • No closing: In less formal situations you can just sign your name with no closing.

You should always type your name at the end of an email, especially if your email account doesn’t show your English name. Don’t make the recipient look up your email address to find your name. In professional settings, people often use more detailed electronic signatures that might include their:

  • Company/Department/Program
  • Other contact information (address, phone number, etc.)

Essays for exams

Writing an essay for an exam is different than writing an essay as a homework assignment because you have a much more limited time frame to organize and write your essay.

  • Advice for writing essays for exams (Purdue's Online Writing Lab)

Exploratory paper

An exploratory paper or essay requires you to explore a problem and possibly some potential solutions to the problem. Purdue's Online Writing Lab has a couple resources to help:

  • Introductions, Body Paragraphs, and Conclusions for Exploratory Papers
  • Organizing an Exploratory Essay

Lab reports

Lab reports typically include:

  • an Introduction (which may include a Prediction),
  • a Methodology or Procedure section,
  • a Results section (which may be called Data and Analysis),
  • a Discussion or Conclusion section.

The sections may vary depending on your discipline or class, so check with your instructor to confirm which sections are required in your lab reports.

  • The sections of scientific papers (Colorado State University's Writing Studio)
  • Guidelines for student lab reports (University of Illinois Center for Writing Studies)
  • Writing a science lab report (Monash College)
  • Tables or graphs? (advice on when to put your data in graphs and when to put your data in tables, from NC State University)

You might also need to write an abstract (a one-paragraph summary) of your experiment. Colorado State University's Writing Studio explains different types of abstracts and how to write them .

For discipline-specific advice on writing lab reports, visit:

  • Biology lab reports (University of Richmond Writing Center)
  • Chemistry writing format (The American Chemical Society style guide)
  • Electrical engineering lab reports (Colorado State University's Writing Studio)
  • Civil engineering lab reports (Colorado State University's Writing Studio)
  • Physics lab report example (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

In technical science writing we use a lot of common phrases. Browse this list of phrases often used in engineering writing (which could also be useful in other science writing).

Research papers

Research papers are common assignments in many different departments on campus. In a research paper, you use several sources to investigate a topic. You evaluate and interpret this information, and add your own insights and perspectives on the topic.

  • Purdue's Online Writing Center has advice on writing research papers , including choosing a topic .
  • The University of Wisconsin Writing Center has a step-by-step guide for writing research papers .
  • This research paper assignment calculator from the University of Minnesota Libraries can help you manage your time and resources in completing all the parts of a research paper.

Response (to literature or other prompt)

In some classes, your instructor might ask you to respond to an essay, article, poem, story, book, event, film, or other prompt.

  • Advice for writing responses  (Colorado State University's Writing Studio)

Resumes and CVs

In the United States, resumes are more common for undergraduate students and people with bachelor's degrees. A CV (curriculum vitae) is more common when applying for jobs in academia (where the applicant has a graduate degree). However, this can vary depending on the field. Advisors in your department and in Career Services can help guide you on the best format to use depending on your experience and field.

  • Resume resources from UMN's Career and Internship Services
  • Resume Guide from UMN's College of Liberal Arts
  • Undergraduate Resume Guide from UMN's College of Science and Engineering

Science writing assignments

Colorado State University's Writing Studio has resources on a variety of science writing assignments:

  • the sections of scientific papers
  • review essays for biological sciences
  • environmental policy statements
  • poster sessions
  • engineering technical reports
  • engineering proposals
  • engineering project notebooks

Should you use a table or graph in your science writing? This website from NC State University helps you decide how to present data.

In technical science writing we use a lot of common phrases. Browse this list of phrases frequently used in engineering writing (which could also be useful in other science writing).

Thesis statements

To write a strong paper, you need a strong thesis statement. This is the main point of your entire paper. You can find advice for writing thesis statements at:

  • How to Write a Thesis Statement from Indiana University's Writing Tutorial Services
  • Thesis Statements from UNC Chapel Hill's Writing Center
  • Thesis Statements from Colorado State University's Writing Studio

Need help thinking of a good title for your paper? The UMN Center for Writing has advice on writing effective titles .

Assignment Expectations

First, read the assignment and the writing prompt carefully to make sure you fully understand it. The Online Writing Lab has step-by-step advice for help Understanding Writing Assignments .

Secondly, ask questions ! If something about the assignment is unclear, ask your instructor in class, in an email, or during office hours. Instructors want you to succeed so they will help make sure you understand the assignment.

Also, ask your instructor if there is a grading rubric for the assignment. A rubric is usually a table or chart that explains all of the categories you will be graded on, and what you need to do to get points in each category. Use the rubric as a checklist to make sure you are including everything in the assignment that the instructor will be looking for.

Not sure what the assignment is asking you to do? Here are common words used in writing prompts and what they mean.


Different languages have different standards for organizing ideas in writing. English writing tends to be very direct. The introduction has a clearly stated thesis or main idea and an overview for how you will support the thesis or main idea. The body of the paper supports the thesis. Each paragraph usually has one main idea, with supporting sentences to further explain or clarify that main idea. The conclusion summarizes the main points and restates the thesis in other words.

Compared to some cultures, this writing style can seem repetitive and insulting to the reader, since all ideas are directly stated rather than letting the reader make his or her own conclusions. However, this is the general organizational style expected in most American writing assignments.

Reference: Kaplan, R.B. (1966). Cultural thought patterns in inter-cultural education . Language Learning, 16 (1-2), pages 1-20.

Organizing Your Writing

  • This organization worksheet from the Center for Writing can help you organize your thesis and supporting ideas as you plan a paper or essay.
  • This tip sheet on paper cohesion and flow from the Center for Writing can help you organize your ideas and sentences into a clear and logical order.
  • Using sentence transitions can also help you better organize your ideas in writing.

Writing Resources

  • Schedule a consultation with the Center for Writing's Student Writing Support.
  • Tutorials, guides, and workshops : The UMN Libraries resources can help you find and cite research.
  • Resources for Multilingual Writers : The Center for Writing has a collection of useful websites, including good online dictionaries,
  • The Purdue Online Writing Lab is an excellent resource for writing with tips and information on organization and outlines, grammar, citations, different types of writing assignments, and more.
  • This collection of writing videos includes topics such as how to write a summary, sentence fragments, paragraph structure, combining sentences, and different types of paragraphs and essays.
  • Voices of Minnesota's Multilingual Writers : In these short videos, international students at the University of Minnesota describe how they learned to write American academic English, and writing experts' give advice for adjusting to American academic writing expectations.

The Joys of Research: Unexpected Discoveries and Alternative Viewpoints

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PhD candidate Stephen Ellis received a 2023-2024 Ruth Drake Dissertation Fellowship from the Department of English, a one semester fellowship aimed to assist doctoral students in completing dissertations. Also awarded a Graduate Research Partnership Program fellowship for summer 2023, Ellis graciously answered our questions via email.

What will you be working on during the fellowship semester?

I’m finishing the last chapter of my dissertation (“Making the Case: Legal Curriculum, Literary Culture, and the Cold War”), though the project, by and large, keeps cutting in unexpected directions. This is obviously one of the joys of research, but unexpected discoveries also slow down the overall process. More specifically, the final chapter partly responds to Jonathan Kramnick’s recent essay “Criticism and Truth” in Critical Inquiry. For that reason, the question that I’ve been thinking about is something like, “How, if at all, does literature and literary criticism succeed at implicating readers and everyday circumstances beyond the purely hermetic world of texts?”

What experiences at the University of Minnesota have been most formative for you?

Mentors and colleagues, informal writing swaps and formal writing workshops, so many people who have helped to steward this project along. What stands out, frankly, is an inordinate amount of failure and disappointment. All the dead-end arguments and paragraphs, reluctantly tossed aside, probably still had some value, but it never feels so great in the moment when they’re breaking down.

What impact do you hope to have in your career?

I would rather provoke disagreement than echo consensus. If the work is well-received, awesome. If the work is not, well, at least readers will know that an alternative viewpoint exists about the issues that my research addresses. In other words, whatever the consequences, if you have told the truth to the best of your ability, then whatever happens is probably the best-case scenario anyhow.  

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PhD alum Sara Cohen, University of Michigan Press Editorial Director, embraces the role of tastemaker.

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English Major: Max Pritchard

This junior chose English due to his love for storytelling.

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  • MyU : For Students, Faculty, and Staff

Minnesota Law

Student News: Evan Dale ’24 Wins Inaugural Everytown Law Fund Law Student Writing Competition

Evan Dale ‘24 was recognized as a co-winner by Everytown Law Fund for its inaugural  Law Student Writing Competition . Dale's article, " Help Me Sue A Gun Manufacturer: A State Legislator’s Guide To The Protection Of Lawful Commerce In Arms Act And The Predicate Exception ," analyzed how the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), which gives broad immunity to the gun industry, discourages gun companies from improving their products and business practices, to the detriment of victims of gun violence and society. Dale's piece provides guidance to state legislators seeking to write a predicate statute that will allow plaintiffs to sue players in the gun industry under an exception to PLCAA. 

Gun Violence Prevention Clinic Director Visiting Assistant Clinical Professor Megan Walsh said, "Evan's article deftly captures the landscape of PLCAA, and offers meaningful, practical guidance to legislators who want to provide victims and survivors of gun violence a pathway to sue parties in the industry who caused or contributed to their losses."

"I am honored to be chosen as a winner of Everytown Law Fund's inaugural Law Student Writing Competition," Dale says. "I hope my Note will further encourage state legislatures to pass predicate statutes and expand access for gun violence victims who seek justice against gun manufacturers and the gun industry. Thank you to the litigators and experts, including Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, Minnesota Law's Gun Violence Prevention Clinic Director Megan Walsh, and Brady: United Against Gun Violence, who helped make this article possible and continue this important work."

Evan Dale '24

Evan Dale '24 is a co-winner of Everytown Law Fund's first annual law student writing competition.

Megan Walsh

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  1. University of Minnesota First-Year Writing Awards

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  1. Writing Studies

    The Department of Writing Studies is pleased to announce a tenure-track position in Writing Instruction and Pedagogy, beginning Fall 2024. PSEO Student Smiraa Misra's Imaginative Essay Explores Grief It's the only universally required course at the University of Minnesota (UMN), and every year, more than 5,000 students enroll in First-Year ...

  2. Major & Minor

    The Department of Writing Studies offers a BS in technical writing & communication and a minor in technical writing & communication. As a technical writing & communication major, you will combine general technical communication coursework (40 credits) with classes in one of four sub-plan areas: Information technology and design. Biological and ...

  3. Courses

    Writing studies offers undergraduate courses in areas such as technical and professional writing, editing, usability, and rhetorical and communication theory, as well as advanced writing courses in genres such as healthcare, business, science, and law. Our class sizes are small and many of our courses also fulfill the University's liberal ...

  4. Writing Studies Program

    Writing Studies combines experience with writing from a liberal arts, as well as a new media, perspective. Students apply principles of rhetoric, design, cultural theory, and creative thinking to writing projects. Writing Studies students create and deliver stories, make persuasive arguments, and develop a variety of writing and visual ...

  5. Writing requirement

    Information on writing requirements. You are expected to complete the first-year writing requirement (WRIT 1301, 1401, or equivalent) within your first two semesters of registration. First-year writing gives incoming students the fundamental writing skills demanded in university study. You will write essays, summaries, and research papers while ...

  6. College and Advanced Writing Program

    Contact. Writing Program Administrator: Avesa Rockwell at [email protected] or (218) 724-3132, Associate Writing Program Administrator: Lindsey Jungman at [email protected] or (218) 726-7842. The UMD College and Advanced Writing Program takes a rhetorical approach to guide undergraduate students in improving their information literacy ...

  7. Program Details : University Catalogs : University of Minnesota

    College of Liberal Arts. Program Type: Undergraduate free-standing minor. Requirements for this program are current for Spring 2024. Required credits in this minor: 19 to 22. Students who minor in creative writing study the craft of writing and revision and the creation of imaginative literary work.

  8. Writing Studies B.A.

    Degree: Bachelor of Arts. Department: English, Linguistics, Writing Studies. The major in Writing Studies explores writing as a field of inquiry: its production, its circulation, its uses, and its role in the development of individuals, professional communities, and societies. The major begins with the history of writing practices, genres ...

  9. Writing in science

    Consulting is available by appointment online and in Nicholson Hall, and on a walk-in basis in Appleby Hall. For more information, go to writing.umn.edu/sws or call 612.625.1893. In addition, SWS offers a number of web-based resources on topics such as avoiding plagiarism, documenting sources, and planning and completing a writing project.

  10. center for writing : university of minnesota

    For Students. Visit Student Writing Support for free face-to-face and online writing consultations for all University of Minnesota students—graduate and undergraduate—at all stages of the writing process.. Join the graduate interdisciplinary Literacy and Rhetorical Studies minor.. Access Quick help for printable handouts and other online writing resources.

  11. University Writing

    WRIT 1301 is a process-based, interactive course that requires a significant time-commitment, and students should be ready to engage in intensive reading, writing, and critical thinking. Students should be seniors who can meet at least two of the following criteria: in the top 30% of their class.

  12. MFA

    MFA. The Department of English offers the Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing for students committed to pursuing the writing life. This three-year degree provides advanced graduate-level coursework in writing, language, literature, as well as studies in a related field. Workshops in poetry, fiction, and literary nonfiction are at the ...

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    Creative Writing professor receives recognition for 2022 collection Optic Subwoof. Julie Schumacher Publishes Final Book in Campus Trilogy Dear Committee Members, winner of the Thurber Prize for American Humor, kicked off the comic series in 2015.

  14. Program Details : University Catalogs : University of Minnesota

    The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer Information current as of November 11, 2023 ENGL 3001W - Textual Analysis: Methods (WI) Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0] ... In terms of foundational writing skills for the English major, we will work on the development of compelling written literary arguments by breaking the ...

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    The MFA in Creative Writing does not require undergraduate work in English literature or an undergraduate degree in literature. Students come from a variety of educational backgrounds and life experiences. Applicants should be aware, however, that graduate coursework in literature and/or language is required once admitted to the program.

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    The Creative Writing Program offers a Masters of Fine Arts degree. The creative writing core faculty are well-regarded practitioners in contemporary fiction, memoir, and poetry. Our professors publish frequently, both with top commercial houses (Pantheon, Doubleday, Viking) and prestigious non-profits (Graywolf, University of Chicago, B.O.A ...

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  18. MFA in Creative Writing

    The master of fine arts degree in creative writing is designed for students committed to pursuing the writing life. This three-year degree provides advanced graduate-level coursework in writing, language, and literature, as well as study in a related field. The program regularly ranks within the top ten creative writing programs nationally ...

  19. Program Details : University Catalogs : University of Minnesota

    At least 22 upper division credits in the major must be taken at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus. Students may earn a BS, a minor, or a certificate in technical writing and communication, but none of these may be combined. All incoming CLA first-year (freshmen) must complete the First-Year Experience course sequence.

  20. Writing

    The University of Wisconsin Writing Center has a step-by-step guide for writing research papers. This research paper assignment calculator from the University of Minnesota Libraries can help you manage your time and resources in completing all the parts of a research paper.

  21. The Joys of Research: Unexpected Discoveries and Alternative Viewpoints

    What experiences at the University of Minnesota have been most formative for you? Mentors and colleagues, informal writing swaps and formal writing workshops, so many people who have helped to steward this project along. What stands out, frankly, is an inordinate amount of failure and disappointment.

  22. Student News: Jasmin Hernandez DuBois '24 Wins First Place in the

    Jasmin Hernandez DuBois '24 was awarded first place by the American Association of Law Libraries' annual student writing competition. Her paper, "The Intersection of Justice and Legal Education: Legal Education for America's Prisoners," focused on prison law library reformation and history throughout the United States. It also featured first-hand research by DuBois on the first two ...

  23. Student News: Evan Dale '24 Wins Inaugural Everytown Law Fund Law

    Evan Dale '24 was recognized as a co-winner by Everytown Law Fund for its inaugural Law Student Writing Competition.Dale's article, "Help Me Sue A Gun Manufacturer: A State Legislator's Guide To The Protection Of Lawful Commerce In Arms Act And The Predicate Exception," analyzed how the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), which gives broad immunity to the gun industry ...

  24. National assessment shows climate action not keeping pace with climate

    Melissa Kenney, director of research & knowledge initiatives at the University of Minnesota's Institute on the Environment, is an author for the adaptation chapter of NCA5, which covers actions that reduce risks from climate conditions and prepare for future impacts. Kenney can speak to the results of the assessment, the adaptation already ...

  25. New Cannabis Research Center launches at UMN School of Public Health

    Savannah Erdman. University Public Relations. 612-624-5551 [email protected]. Today, the University of Minnesota School of Public Health is announcing the launch of a new Cannabis Research Center (CRC) in order to track the impact of adult-use marijuana and help inform future cannabis policies and practices across the state of Minnesota.

  26. Iceland earthquakes may be warning of impending volcanic eruption

    University Public Relations. 612-624-5551 [email protected]. A state of emergency was declared this week for Iceland, as the area prepares for a possible volcanic eruption. So far, thousands of earthquakes have been recorded in the area, which has led to evacuations in Grindavik. Experts at the Icelandic Meteorological Office say that there is a ...

  27. How to Watch Florida at Missouri

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    Ohio State vs. Minnesota: Live Stream, TV Channel and Start Time | 11/18/2023. By What's On TV Staff Nov 18, 2023. College Football.