Here you’ll find 10 short videos that can be used in the classroom to address common writing topics. Each video is briefly annotated to help guide you to the best resource. You may also refer to Macalester College’s Write Well video series, which offers plenty of student-centered 1-3 minute tutorials on common writing topics. This “Voices of Minnesota” webpage provides videos of multilingual writers discussing strategies for writing in academic English. Please enable captioning when it’s available.
List of Videos:
- Choosing a Manageable Research Topic
- Active vs. Passive Voice (and zombies)
- Academic Plagiarism and How to Avoid it
- Tips to Avoid Accidental Plagiarism
- Evaluating Sources for Credibility
- Explaining Academic Peer Review in 3 Minutes
- How to Edit and Revise
- Reviewing Different Citation Styles
- MLA In-Text Citations
- APA In-Text Citations
1. Choosing a Manageable Research Topic [runtime 3:42]
This video does an excellent job introducing basic strategies for narrowing a research topic and includes an activity toward the end so that an instructor can pause and discuss the topic.
2. Active vs. Passive Voice (and zombies) [runtime 1:57]
This short video briefly differentiates between passive and active voice. It also offers a quirky tip about checking for passive voice using zombies. Tip: Hand out this worksheet and ask students to fill it out after watching the video, then go over the worksheet as a class.
3. Academic Plagiarism and How to Avoid it [runtime 2:22]
This video is a brief introduction to what plagiarism is and basic strategies to avoid it.
4. Tips to Avoid Accidental Plagiarism [runtime 3:36]
This video goes further than the one above to address paraphrasing and briefly compares different quotation practices in the humanities and sciences. Tip: Show a video on plagiarism in class and ask students to take notes as it plays, then have students work in pairs to practice paraphrasing and accrediting the video itself. You can also review Purdue’s OWL online lesson plans and handouts for teaching students how to avoid plagiarism.
5. Evaluating Sources for Credibility [runtime 3:14]
This video explains what credible sources are and why they matter. It addresses author expertise, publication context, bias, timeliness, and comments on the academic peer review process (the next video explains that process and pairs well with this one).
6. Academic Peer Review in 3 Minutes [runtime: 3:15]
This video explains the peer-review process in academic publishing. Showing this video in-class can support a discussion about what constitutes a scholarly or credible source. Tip: Ask students to fill out this “CRAAP Test Worksheet” for each of their sources in an early draft of a major research paper to help develop source evaluation skills. Here is an alternate worksheet as a .doc.
7. How to Edit and Revise [runtime 5:53]
This video differentiates between editing and revising. Tip: Present this video supportively, as it sometimes adopts a teasing tone. Ask students to write a short informal response explaining one of the differences between editing and revising or what paragraph analysis is.
8. Citation Styles [runtime 3:02]
Switching citation styles between classes can be confusing for students. This video explains, and offers examples of, the differences between MLA and APA styles. It also reviews why the citation styles are different, which makes it a good video to follow-up with a quick low-stakes writing assignment to assess understanding.
9. MLA In-Text Citations [runtime 2:50]
Using examples, this video quickly and clearly explains what in-text citations are and how to write them in MLA style. Although it only covers MLA style this video works well to explain why in-text citations are important.
10. APA In-Text Citations [runtime 2:39]
Using examples, this video quickly and clearly explains what in-text citations are and how to write them in APA style. The video above only covers MLA, but it does a good job explaining why in-text citations are important. The video below explains why the styles are different.