The Portable Writing Lab: Finger Painting

The Writing Lab and MBU students finger painted this week! We unleashed our creativity through art and writing. Click on the following link to see what we did: Then, post your comments below about what you think of the finger painting activity!

Check us out 24/7 on the Writing Space and in the Perk on Fridays from 1-3 p.m. for writing help and writing-related fun!

The Portable Writing Lab: The Writing Wheel

As students spun the Writing Wheel, they wondered if they would win a prize. To their surprise, the number they landed on was attached to a question! These questions had no right or wrong answer though. They were writing-related questions, meant to cause students to think of writing in a different way. Click on the following link to see what we did: Then, post your comments below about what you think of the Writing Wheel and how you might have responded to the questions.

Check us out 24/7 on the Writing Space and in the Perk on Fridays from 1-3 p.m. for writing help and writing-related fun!

Week 7: Critical Thinking

You can choose your own argument from a previous tutorial prompt, create a new argument, or respond to the following example:

You are a part of a fitness center and have to decide what types of machines to purchase. Your boss wants to buy basic low-cost machines. Other fitness centers seem to have different levels of equipment from basic machines to more technologically savvy equipment. There are reviews that list pros and cons for all types of equipment. Think of how you would approach this issue, using the questions below.

1. What are your personal thoughts on this idea?
2. Why is this concept of choosing machinery important to your field? (The “so what?” question)
3. What are the different players in this argument? What does each of those people/organizations believe?
4. Write a script or dialogue with 2-4 of the players in this argument.
5. If you had to write an essay on this argument, what would your thesis sentence be?
6. Write three questions or statements which are for your thesis statement (believing game) and three questions or statements which are against your thesis statement (doubting game).

Click on the following link to watch the video associated with this writing prompt:

Week 6: Rhetoric

Go back to last week’s tutorial response about building The Fitness Place. You thought about a potential problem with this fitness center and the purpose and audience of this writing. Explore what message you are going to state to your clients and how you are going to write it.
1. What is the message you want to write to your clients? Write this message as a thesis statement.
2. Kairos: what is the larger context of this issue (its importance to your field of study)?
3. Logos: What are some ways you can show the logic behind your ideas?
4. Ethos: How can you show your credibility or your authority in this field and with this subject matter?
5. Pathos: What are some ways you can show the emotional side of this subject?
6. Delivery: What are a few ways you can deliver this message? (rhetorical devices)
7. Write a paragraph or two using some of the devices you listed above.

Check out the following YouTube video that goes along with this writing prompt:

Aristotle. (2004, March 15). Rhetoric. (Book I, Chapter 2, L. Honeycutt, Trans.). Retrieved from (Original work published 322 BC)
Lunsford, A. —
Plato. (2005). Phaedrus. (B. Jowett, Trans.). Stilwell, KS: (Original work published 370 BC)

Week 9: APA Formatting

Use the CrossFit example or another subject and use the library catalog and the library database system to find one book source and one article.
1. Skim through the source.
2. Write a paragraph explaining what sort of information the source has and why the source is a good source of information.
3. Write a reference citation for the source.
4. Then, write a reference for the paper you published in the fitness journal. All of the information can be made up except for your name.
5. Write a summary of your published article and reasons why it is a good source of information in your field.

Here’s an example of something I might have written:
Busekrus, E. (2014). Simple, strategic exercises: The arrival of CrossFitting and its uses for the fitness center. Fitness Management, 25(2), 12-25. Retrieved from

Click on the following link to watch the YouTube video associated with this writing prompt:

Week 8: General Overview of APA Formatting

“Do you think CrossFit training has more benefits or risks? Explain why or why not.” Respond to this prompt in a paragraph or two. Make sure you have your full name in your post.

Then, check back on “The Writing Space” in a few days. Choose 1 or 2 of your peers’ responses. Use a direct quote, paraphrase, and/or summary of part of your peers’ responses in your paragraph, and in that same paragraph, respond to what they are saying (whether that means agreeing, disagreeing, or discussing what they wrote). Use APA formatting when citing your peers, and use critical and rhetorical thinking to develop a strong paragraph.

Check out the YouTube video associated with this writing prompt at

American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological
Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Week 5: Purpose and Audience

In the tutorial, we discussed one example of a research topic. Now, I want you to create your own. Let’s envision you contracted plans to build a fitness center: The Fitness Place. You have been constructing the place and advertising it for the past 6 months. It is set to open in 3 months, but you have run into some problems that concern your potential clients. You now have to solve one of these problems by writing to your clients.
1. What is your biggest problem with this fitness center?
2. Now, we are going to consider the purpose of writing to your clients. This idea connects into what changes you want to bring about by writing.
Before reading my writing, my clients will think (this way about my topic) xxxxxxxxxxxxxx.
After reading my writing, my clients will think (this way about my topic) xxxxxxxxxxxxxx.
3. Though I gave you a broad sense of your audience, think more specifically about your audience. Who exactly are your clients? What knowledge do they possess on your topic? How do they feel about your topic?
4. Based on your purpose and your audience, what would your style of writing be? By style, I am referring to the type of writing (letter, report, memo, etc.), your language choices, your depth of explanations, the way you argue, the examples you offer, etc.
5. Free write a paragraph (or more) of what your writing would say. Don’t worry about grammar or formatting. Just write.

To check out the YouTube video associated with this prompt, go to

Cruickshank, A., Collins, D., & Minten, S. (2013). Culture change in a professional sports team:
Shaping environmental contexts and regulating power. International Journal of Sports
Science & Coaching, 8(2), 271-290.
Johns, L. C. (2004). The writing coach. Thomson Learning Inc.: Clifton Park, NY.

The Writing Lab Hotline: Anytime, Anywhere

The Writing Lab Hotline is available 24/7 for your writing needs! In the “Leave a Reply” section below, you can ask a writing question. Write a few sentences or paragraph. Share an idea for a writing assignment. Please share anything that you need help with in the area of writing! We will respond to your post within 48 hours (excluding weekends).

The limit here is a paragraph length work of writing.

If you want to talk for an extended amount of time about your writing assignment, go to, come to the Academic Success Center in FLD 117, or email to set up a 30-minute or 1-hour tutoring appointment with a writing coach.