Welcome to Adventures in Writing, a series of graphic-novel style learning modules designed to help you learn more about and practice a range of effective written communication skills. You’ll immerse yourself in the adventures of Maya and Chris, using each module’s interactive exercises to apply what you’ve learned. Writing instructors in Stanford’s Program in Writing and Rhetoric (PWR) designed the modules to reflect PWR’s philosophy that the best academic and real world communication practices require us to think about more than “correctness” or just getting things right—we must actively consider what we’re trying to achieve with a specific audience for a specific purpose. Through joining Maya and Chris on their adventures, you’ll develop your abilities to communicate in writing—from punctuation and style to argument—increasing the power of your language in the classroom and beyond.
While there are many challenges related to writing well for specific external audiences, we’ve chosen to focus on the following issues, crucial to your writing success in a university setting:
This module works from the premise that effective language users develop conscious awareness of how they use language in making sense of and interacting with the world, and that academic communications have specific expectations about language usage that may differ from other. Join our characters Maya, Chris, and Josh at a baseball game and learn how to make a successful academic writing pitch.
This module complicates the personal, individual relationship with language, taking into account the needs and expectations of others. Join Maya and Chris on their adventure through an amusement park, and learn the importance of “Who,” “Why,” and “What” to effective communication.
This module focuses on the effect of using passive constructions purposefully and on revising such constructions when appropriate to emphasize agency and action. Join Maya and Chris as they watch a zombie movie, and learn the importance of understanding when to be passive – and when being passive puts you in danger of being eaten by zombies.
This module explains punctuation as a communication tool that increases the clarity and precision of language. Join Maya, Chris, and Vlad as they rush to try to get Vlad to his orchestra rehearsal on time, and learn how to use punctuation to help you hit the correct notes in your writing.
This module focuses on elements of effective academic argumentation, highlighting a central claim that sets up reader expectations that must be met and supported with appropriate evidence. Join Maya, Chris, and Fiona in their quest to establish a community garden at their university and learn what it means to get arguments to effectively take root in academic contexts.
No prerequisites are required to experience these learning modules. The modules can be taken in any order you like, as many times as you like.
Any writer who hopes to improve their writing skills, particularly in relationship to the specific topics covered in these five modules.
This course will take 4-6 hours to complete.
This course contains five modules, each built around a single writing theme or concept.
Each module is self-paced.
Each module contains interactive exercises, designed to allow students to test their knowledge of the topic at hand. While these exercises will reveal correct and incorrect answers to help maximize student learning they are not scored.
No, but students can track their progress through the modules and exercises.