Student Resources

If you are a student in one of my classes, the resources on this page will help you throughout the semester. I know that semesters each come with their own challenges (some more than others), but my goal is to help you do your best possible work—I want to encourage you to achieve great things, not just OMG-I-forgot-about-the-assignment-I-hope-I-can-get-a-passing-grade kinds of things. Writing, especially good writing, is hard work. To borrow a phrase from Mark Twain, “The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.” To ensure you’re pointed in the right direction (heading more towards to lightning than lightning bugs), I have assembled a set of materials for you here — the information you find below will help you meet assignment specifics and deliverables.

Few of us do our best work in isolation without support, so if something is unclear or you would like help working through a concept or a draft of an assignment, you’re always welcome to visit me during office hours, or to drop me an email (just check out your course syllabus for timelines). That said, you are your first, best resource. For basic questions, see if you can find an answer yourself: take a look through the course policies in the syllabus, the assignment instructions, and the materials on this page.

On a related note, you might be wondering what’s up with the pictures of cute animals. If you’re in one of my classes, you likely already know about my pets (Fletcher, my dog, and Hastings & Merriweather, my kitties). Life is too short not to fulfill stereotypes about female professors. With respect to pictures of adorable furry things as a genre, a recent Japanese study links looking at pictures of cute animals with improved work performance, particularly improved focus and concentration. I have been embedding cute animal feeds into my courses for years before the study came out, but now I have scientific backing. You can thank me later for your improved grades.

Resources for Writing Right

The resources linked below are some my go-to set of need-to-know bits and pieces for writing assignments. They cover how to cite sources effectively, and what a properly formatted bibliography looks like. They also cover topics like the difference between editing and revising, and some resources on how to improve your writing.

Melanie McNaughton's dog, Fletcher, reading a textbook
Professor Fletcher is hard at work, reading theory for class.

“How To” videos

The “how to” videos below introduce some key concepts I think it’s important for students to know – as well as why I think they’re important . For example, key pointers on online classes, strategies for succeeding in online classes, and the “how to” and “why to” of effective emails.

Email 101

Succeeding in Online Courses

What’s in a Syllabus?

PR Overviews

These documentary-style mini-lectures introduce some of the most important and foundational public relations concepts. Online instruction can sometimes feel a little flat; these videos are one way to try and close that interactive gap.

What is PR?

Interested in the infographic I reference? Find it here.

PR History

PR Strategies & Tactics

Interested in the infographics I reference? Find them here, here, here, and here.

Ethics & PR