- Avoid assigning a single blockbuster essay of 4000 words due during the last week of class.
- Formal writing assignments should be introduced with complete written instructions or prompts.
- Students should have opportunities to revise their work based on instructor response.
- Writing should combine formal and informal assignments and not be limited to either.
- Spend some time teaching students strategies for approaching that writing task. What is the writing situation (audience, purpose, and style)? What strategies for invention (how do students get started with this project)? What are some strategies for conducting research? What are models of excellence that you have collected from previous courses?
Potential writing genres for students (also see John Bean’s Engaging Ideas [Polk Library PE1404 .B35 1996]):
- Summary/analysis responses
- Substantive D2L discussion lists or blogs
- Formal in-class writing (students compose on the computer in response to a particular prompt)
- Project portfolios (groups of students contribute shorter pieces of writing to a portfolio on a single topic)
- Peer review feedbackFormal research essays
- Essay examinations
- Responses to literature
- Web pages
- Annotated bibliographies