School for New Learning > Student Resources > SNL Writing Guide

SNL Writing Guide

​​​​This guide contains resources, tips, and samples to help you become a better writer.
Questions? Contact Us.

Writing Assignment Examples

See samples and examples of Advanced Elective papers, Advanced Projects, Externship Journals, Independent Learning Pursuits, Research Seminar Proposals and Writing Showcase winners. See also Graduate Program examples.

How to Write a Paper

My teacher just assigned a paper, what should I do?
Most writers cycle through the stages of inventing, organizing, drafting, revising and editing as they write. Writers should understand the value of these stages, how and when to move between them, and what tools to use when stuck at any stage.

Showcase Your Writing

The SNL Writing Program sponsors annual events for  writers to engage in and showcase their work, including​ Writing Showcase.

The Writing Showcase celebrates the outstanding writing of SNL graduate and undergraduate students. If you received an A on a paper or glowing feedback on an ILP fill out an application​ and submit your work to (Deadline: April 1). You may submit up to three poems, stories, essays, reports, ILPs, Capstones, Advanced Projects, Applied Inquiry Projects, Integrating Projects, or e-Portfolios. Share your accomplishment and inspire others. Excellent submissions are recognized at the annual SNL Spring Awards Reception.

Writing Help

Get help through tutoring, in grammar, ESL issues, paper writing, with using sources and avoiding plagiarism and online dictionaries, encyclopedias and textbooks.

SNL Writing Values and Goals

The SNL Writing Program embraces the values of life-long, reflective, student-centered, integrated and experience-based learning. The goals of the Writing Program follow from these values.

Life-Long and Reflective:
  • To provide just-in-time support to students and faculty for continuous improvement of writing at SNL.
  • To teach students to be self-reflective writers who will continue to improve as writers beyond SNL.
  • To continuously renew our pedagogy by learning from others and reflecting upon our own practice.
Student Centered:
  • To meet students where they are and help them attain the goals they have set for themselves.
  • To assign writing projects that arise from and are shaped by students’ interests.
  • To teach students to assess and address their own writing needs.
  • To privilege writing instruction that is learner-centric.
Integrated into the SNL Curriculum:
  • To deliver writing instruction that helps students succeed in the unique context of SNL while also building their skills for success in their writing efforts outside of and after SNL.
  • To integrate writing into the teaching of all competences in ways that enhance learning.
Experience Based:
  • To promote writing as a means of reflecting upon, making meaning of, and communicating experience.
  • To value students’ various literacies, while helping students know how and when to move between these literacies.
  • To value experience-based writing, while teaching students how to use writing to describe, reflect upon, analyze, and situate their experience in academic discourse when necessary.

SNL Writing Boot Camps

The SNL Writing Boot Camp program is designed for undergraduate or graduate SNL students who have a writing project (assignments, ILPs, APs, Captstones, AIPs, etc.) they wish to complete. SNL Faculty work one-on-one with students during these sessions. It is also an opportunity for students who have an incomplete grade to get support in finishing their work.

Watch LaTrice Jones, an SNL student, discuss her experience with SNL Writing Boot Camps.

Remember to check for updates to the schedule. To register for a Boot Camp session, contact​

Spring 2019
Thursday, May 9​ ​5:30pm-9:00pm

​Lewis, 25 E. Jackson, Lab 105

Saturday, May 18​ ​9:00am-1:00pm

14 E. Jackson, Lab 1325​

Thursday, May 23 5:30pm-9:00pm

Lewis, 25 E. Jackson, Lab 105​

Saturday, June 1 9:00am-1:00pm

14 E. Jackson, Lab 1325

Summer 2019 
Saturday, August 10 9:00am-1:00pm

Location, TBA


SNL Paper Rubric

An excellent essay will:

  • offer a unique or particularly insightful response to the assignment or competence;

  • contain a clear purpose, a compelling introduction, a nuanced thesis or main idea and a thoughtful conclusion;

  • recognize and thoughtfully address complexities;

  • contain strongly supportive details, a judicious sense of evidence;

  • be logically developed and quite well organized;

  • use a style and tone appropriate to the purpose and audience;

  • smoothly integrate correct citations for any words, facts or ideas from a source using either MLA or APA parenthetic citation;

  • show sophisticated sentence variety and paragraph development;

  • be virtually free of grammar an​d usage errors.

  • A strong essay will:

    A satisfactory essay will:

    A weak essay will do one or more of the following:

    A poor essay will do any one of the following: