Inver Hills Community College


Home & Contents                       Basics                       College Writing             




Click on any  part or section below:

Part I. Basics/Process

  A. Chapters 1-6: Start

  B. Ch. 7-13: Organize

  C. Ch. 14-20: Revise/Edit

Part II. College Writing

   D. Ch. 21-23: What Is It?

   E. Ch. 24-30: Write on Rdgs.

   F. Ch.31-35: Arguments

  G. Ch. 36-42: Research

  H. Ch. 43-48: Literature

   I.  Ch. 49-58: Majors & Work

Part III. Grammar

 Study Questions



Activities for "Section A. Starting"

Four Stories about Learning to Write


(See also "Activities & Groups.")


1. Just let go and write something--anything at all: Write that letter to someone that you always wanted to write but never did and/or are afraid to.  (You can always throw it away afterward!)  Or perhaps you would like to write some kind of exciting, interesting, or strange fictional (made-up) or partly fictional and partly real scene between you and someone else.  (Again, you can always throw it away afterward!)  A third possibility is to write about something that really happened (and then, also, if you want, throw it away).

2. Peer groups are small groups of your own peers--other students-- that teachers organize so that you can work with each other.  Such groups help you actually practice what is being taught, rather than just hear it through lecture.  Studies indicate such learning in some situations can be very effective.  (For more information about how to organize and run such activities, see "Running A Small Group" or "Computer, Telephone, & Online Groups.")  Here is an excellent group activity with which to start a writing class.  Follow these directions:

  1. Count off so that you are divided into groups of three to four people each.  Introduce yourselves to each other by name and major.

  2. Volunteer yourselves for your group roles.  The choices are as follows:

  • Coordinator: not the person who does all the group work, but rather the one who coordinates everyone to share in the work.

  • Writer: not the person who chooses what to write, but rather the one who simply records what everyone in the group decides together to write.

  • Reader: the person who will stand up at the end of the exercise, face the entire class, and read the group's written results loudly and clearly.

  • Timer: a person who has or borrows a watch and keeps the group following the time schedule laid out by the teacher for the exercise's steps.  (If you only have three in your group, your coordinator also is your timer.)

  1. Individually each of you should write about your best or worst writing experience ever.  Write as quickly as you can for about ten minutes.

  2. Read your experience word for word to the other members of your group.

  3. Working as a group, make a list or description of what you believe composes good writing experiences and what composes bad writing experiences.  As you list or describe them, have your writer write them down (clearly enough that the reader will be able to read them later).  Please list or describe using at least one hundred words for good writing experiences and at least one hundred for bad writing experiences.  (Hint: giving examples or even telling stories is helpful.)

  4. Share your written results with the rest of the class: have your writer stand, go to the perimeter of the class, face the other students (and not just the teacher), and read your written results word for word, loudly and clearly.

  5. Finally, if the teacher requests it, you may need to hand in various portions of your written work as individuals and/or as a group.


Find more activities for groups and classes in the Home Page section's

General Activities for Groups.


Return to top.







1. How I Learned

2. Focus

3. First Drafts

4. Self & Others

5. Modes

6. Thinking



Activities (Exercises)

8 Students' Writing Stories

UNO Universal Organizer


 Related Links in

  2. Process & Focus 

  3. Thinking & Reading


14. Free Readings




Updated 1 Aug. 2013

   also is at and

Natural URL:
1st through 5th Editions:: Writing for School & Work, 1984-1998;, 1998-2012.
6th Edition: 8-1-12, rev. 8-1-13.  Text, design, and photos copyright 2002-12 by R. Jewell or as noted.
Permission is hereby granted for nonprofit educational copying and use without a written request.
Images courtesy of Barry's Clip Art, Clip Art Warehouse, The Clip Art Universe, Clipart Collection, MS Clip Art Gallery and Design Gallery Live, School Discovery, and Web Clip Art
Click here to contact the author: Richard Jewell.  Questions and suggestions are welcome.