Crafting Effective Writing Assignments
… students often wait until a paper is nearly due before getting seriously to work and then finish it in a single draft. These behaviors limit our students' learning and the quality of work they produce.
We can encourage better writing practices (and reduce plagiarism) by explicitly guiding them through a structured process of writing and revision.
Including sufficient detail in our assignments can also lead to better writing, since the more students know what we expect, the more likely they are to do what we want
Make the level of difficulty appropriate for students at that place in the term
Build in a plan for revision
Make your expectations explicit
Share examples of work in the genre you are assigning
Adapted from Duke Thompson Writing Program: Creating Effective Writing Assignments, https://twp.duke.edu/faculty/wid/creating-effective-writing-assignments, accessed 7-25-2018.
Suggestions for making the practice of responding to student writing more efficient and effective.
Skim a set of essays before you begin responding to them
Don't correct students' papers for them
Offer focused advice towards revision
Discuss student writing in class
Grade a piece of writing on its overall success in meeting its goals
Adapted from Duke Thompson Writing Program: Responding to Student Writing, http://twp.duke.edu/faculty/wid/responding-to-student-writing, accessed 7-25-2018. Some of these suggestions are adapted from Joseph Harris (English professor and writing instructor formerly at Duke and Pittsburgh, now at the University of Delaware), who teaches workshops to faculty at many schools, in a variety of disciplines, who work with students on their writing.
UNC Writing Center
Writing Center Online Handouts (for students). Online and free; some include .pdf downloads or multimedia demos. All aspects of academic writing for different disciplines and contexts.
Faculty Resources from the Writing Center: http://writingcenter.unc.edu/faculty-resources/ , includes information on resources and services the Writing Center provides to faculty and the following that include additional links
Writing Center Policies and Focus: With regard to students, the main focus is on undergraduates in Arts & Sciences and, then, graduate/professional students in Arts & Sciences. More information is here: