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Reading and Writing Center resources

At the PCC Reading and Writing Center, our mission is to give you access to face to face (or screen to screen) tutoring to help you with any reading or writing task you encounter. Nothing beats working with a tutor, but we want to provide you with resources to empower you to tackle reading and writing tasks on your own as well.

This webpage is designed to provide you with resources that can help you get started on common reading and writing tasks and to help familiarize you with types of writing you might expect in different classes across the college curriculum. We recognize that writing and reading are tasks you’ll be asked to do throughout your college career, not just in classes with “Writing” or “Reading” in the title.

Videos and Tutorials

Below are some videos to help you with common assignments and tasks that you may be asked to do in any class that involves reading and writing. These videos are all made by PCC instructors.

Writing and Reading Videos
Grammar and Syntax Videos

Citation Guides and Examples

If you’re looking for information on how to use a certain citation style like MLA or APA format, use this library resource. Below are some examples of completed citation pages and bibliographies.

Assignment Examples & Resources

Below are some examples of common types of writing assignments for a variety of different classes. Please note that every writing assignment is different and each of these was completed for a specific assignment and class.  Because of this, we’re including the instructions from the teacher as well as a completed example of student work.  Use these to help you get a sense of what a finished assignment might look like. Copying these assignments and turning them in as your own work is a form of plagiarism.

Don’t Plagiarize!

Using any of the examples from this page and turning them in as your own work is a form of plagiarism. We want to help you get ideas and understand the types of writing you might be asked to do, but whatever you turn in should be your own writing and your own ideas.

Common Assignments & Resources for Reading & Writing Classes

Reading and Writing classes at PCC are designed to help you explore your writing voice, practice academic research, and prepare you for the types of writing tasks you might encounter in other classes and out in the world. Essays are very common assignments in Writing classes, but most classes also require students to compose work in other genres of writing. Below you will find a variety of examples of essays and other artifacts of writing. These examples all come from real classes and students at PCC.

Reading & Vocabulary Practice (IRW90, RD115, IRW115)

Reading is something you’ll likely do in just about all of your college classes. A few classes at PCC focus specifically on Reading and how we can build our comprehension, vocabulary, understanding of grammar, and note taking skills. These handouts are meant to help you work independently on your vocabulary and grammar.

Summary Assignments (IRW115, RD115, WR115, WR121, WR122)

Summary is something you’re likely to do in many college writing classes. Below is a guide to writing a summary and a response. It explains the difference between the two, and offers a template for writing summaries.

Essay Assignments (WR121, WR122)

An essay is a form of non-fiction writing in which the writer explains something, argues something, tells a story, explores a topic, analyzes another work, or describes an experience. There are many different styles of essays, and every instructor will have their own requirements when it comes to an essay assignment. Below are some examples of different types of essays that you might encounter in a Writing or Reading class at PCC:

Technical Writing Assignments (WR227)

According to the PCC course schedule, Writing 227 (Technical Writing)  is a course that “introduces technical and professional communications. Students compose, design, revise, and edit effective letters, memos, reports, descriptions, instructions, and employment documents. Emphasizes precise use of language and graphics to communicate complex technical and procedural information safely, legally and ethically.”

The most important thing to think about in WR 227 is your audience and why you want to address that audience (what is your purpose? Do you want a job? Do you want a problem solved? Are you trying to speak to your peers about some particular issue? Or are you addressing the president of the college?). Once you know whom you want to address and why, then you can formulate whatever writing artifact you wish to create in a way that speaks to your audience in your own voice for your own purpose.

At PCC, WR 227 will vary widely depending on the instructor, but common assignments you may encounter include:

Literature Assignments (ENG classes)

Literature classes at PCC will introduce students to stories, poems, and literary non-fiction and ask them to respond to that literature with their own writing. Students may write literary analysis essays, in which they analyze the meaning or purpose of a story, poem, or literary work, or they may be asked to respond to a literary work with their own creative work or reflective assignment. Annotated bibliographies and works cited pages are also common parts of assignments in literature classes, so check out the “Bibliographies/Works Cited” section if you need help with this. Below are some examples of assignments from PCC Literature classes.

Other Genre Writing Assignments (IRW115, RD/WR115, WR121, WR122, Creative Writing, Literature)

Like music and movies, writing comes in many different genres. A genre is a category or style of artistic composition. Below are some examples of different genres of writing that you may be asked to compose in for a composition class or in a professional setting. Assignments where students are asked to compose in different genres often come up in WR115, WR121 and WR122. Below are some resources for understanding genres and examples of assignments in different genres.

Common Assignments & Resources for Other Subjects

Sociology classes may require a range of writing assignments that ask you to apply the concepts and theories discussed in class. According to the PCC course catalogue, “students will: 1) develop a sociological imagination,  2) apply social theories and empirical evidence to analyze larger social forces, 3) analyze the construction of culture and its relationship to systems of inequality, 4) articulate a sociological perspective in written form, and 5) apply a sociological understanding of social change to intervene in the larger social forces that shape their lived experiences, their communities, and the broader social world.”  Essays for this class are likely to combine formal research (like reading studies or articles) with your own experiences and observations. Writing in Sociology usually requires formatting and citation in ASA style.

  • Example assignments and resources coming soon! If you’re an instructor and you’d like to share a sample assignment, please contact charlotte.deason@pcc.edu.

Psychology classes may require a range of different writing assignments from discussion posts which answer questions or respond to readings, to essays which analyze or respond to topics relating to the class content. Students are required to use APA citation style to cite and reference online and hardcopy sources ranging from textbooks, to course notes, to online videos, to web pages, to published articles. The APA Works Cited page and style guide below is a helpful resource for understanding APA format and citation style.

Life Sciences (Biology)

Biology classes at PCC may require you to do writing in the form of lab reports, analysis of published scientific papers, and scientific papers that incorporate peer reviewed research. Writing for the sciences is quite different from writing for the Humanities and Liberal Arts. You rarely include your own personal perspective or voice as a writer, and instead focus on objective analysis based in research and experimentation. The resources below come from PCC Biology instructors and are meant to help you better understand the expectations of writing in the sciences, specifically Biology.

Humanities (History, Anthropology)

Classes like History and Anthropology require a lot of reading and often ask students to write essays in order to synthesize the reading, explore concepts, and even make arguments. You may be asked to write short assignments that summarize or analyze assigned readings and longer essays that require you to research and cite a variety of academic sources. Anthropology has many different sub-fields and some of them may require more scientific style writing and research.

Example assignments and resources coming soon! If you’re an instructor and you’d like to share a sample assignment, please contact charlotte.deason@pcc.edu.

Communication Studies

Communication classes at PCC are designed to help you improve your verbal communication skills and to prepare you to communicate well for a variety of audiences and purposes. Courses like Public Speaking may focus on verbal presentation, but often students are asked to conduct research, write formal speech outlines, and properly cite research material. The resources below come from PCC Communication instructors and are designed to help you better understand writing in the Communication department.


Business classes at PCC are designed to help students with a variety of goals from transferring to a four school to pursue a Business degree to simply sharpening their business and entrepreneurial skills. Business classes may require you to write proposals, emails, memos, or research papers. BA classes generally require students to use the Chicago Manual of Style for citations, and we’ve linked a few guides and resources for this in our citation section as well. The resources below come from PCC Business instructors and are designed to help you better understand writing in the Business department.