Writing and Presentations: Tips & Resources

Taking Composition & Communication this semester? This page is packed with resources on campus and tips from peers who have taken the classes before.


Student Writing Tips

These tips were submitted from students in CIS 111 during the spring 2013 semester based on what they have learned about communication in CIS 110 and 111.

  • Tip #1: As you do research for a project, always cite your sources as you go along so you can find them again when it is time to complete a bibliography.
  • Tip #2: If you have rough draft due, don’t just write the minimum amount needed. Actually finish the paper and you will find the tips more helpful.
  • Tip #3: I found the Harbrace Essentials book extremely useful throughout the semester to cite papers and make sure I was using APA format correctly.
  • Tip #4: Always plan ahead for when large, written assignments are due, and take full advantage of the MC3 Center and Writing Peer Review in Willy T. It can only help you!
  • Tip #5: Make sure you incorporate your own ideas along with the research you have found. When you find other ideas, be sure to cite them properly so it is not plagiarism.
  • Tip #6: While writing a paper, have someone read it once you are done. You could be missing words or the flow is wrong and never realize it. If that is not possible, read your paper aloud. Your ears can catch what your eyes miss.
  • Tip #7: When I write papers I like to write whatever comes to mind first. This helps me get all of my ideas and opinions out at once. Then I go back later and organize it so it makes sense to others.
  • Tip #8: While using key words is helpful, remember to consult the indexes of journals and books to find sources on your topic.
  • Tip #9: Pick a topic you know at least a little bit about and something that interests you.
  • Tip #10: The UK libraries database website is extremely helpful in finding academic sources or journals.
  • Tip #11: Be sure to use in-text citations.
  • Tip #12: It really helps to read the examples in the workbook. The outlines posted in Blackboard are also very helpful.
  • Tip #13: Always write an outline for every speech or essay. It helps you figure out what to say and organize your material.


Student Presentation Tips

These tips were submitted from students in CIS 111 during the spring 2013 semester based on what they have learned about communication in CIS 110 and 111.

  • Tip #1: Sign up to speak early. Just get it over with. That way you won't have second thoughts about your speech after hearing other people speak.
  • Tip #2: Speaking outlines can be incredibly helpful if they are filled out completely.
  • Tip #3: When working in groups, meet with your group members often and make the most of your time when you do meet.
  • Tip #4: Before you actually start you speech take a deep breath, look around and familiarize yourself with what you see. There will be a lot of eyes on you but you might find someone or some area that you would much rather look at (other than the floor and your notecards) than others.
  • Tip #5: Use the bathroom before class. That will eliminate one more thing to worry about.
  • Tip #6: Practice, practice, practice! I can tell a difference in speeches I practice vs the speeches I just wing.
  • Tip #7: If you have an 8 a.m. class, go to sleep early.
  • Tip #8: Speak slowly but with a strong voice and emotion. Use body language to your advantage. Don't stand in the same spot. Make it appear as if you are comfortable speaking in front of others.
  • Tip #9: If you're using notecards do not write your entire speech on your cards. You will get points deducted from your final grade speech, but also you will be spending too much time reading word for word on your notecards.
  • Tip #10: When you use a PowerPoint during a speech, make sure you only have key phrases or pictures. It should be used as a guide to help your audience further understand what you are speaking about.
  • Tip #11: Practice the speech in front of friends/family so you aren't shocked in front of a crowd.
  • Tip #12: Sleep well and eat the morning before your speech, make sure you bring everything you need.


Other Helpful Resources

Writing and Research
Presentation U
APA Guide
UK Library