Designing effective writing assignments is a key component of integrating writing into your course. This page provides resources to help you learn how to design assignments that will provide your students with new and exciting avenues to learning through writing.
Also see: Integrating Writing into Your Course
Designing and Responding to Writing Assignments:
Description: One of the Teaching Guides on Writing@CSU that address how to design writing assignment to get the most out of the process for the student and how to respond to make the response a learning experience for the student.
Harvard Writing Project Brief Guide to Assignment Design
Source: Harvard Writing Project
Description: The Harvard Writing Project Brief Guide series provides concise introductions to writing instruction for faculty members and teaching fellows.
From the NCTE website for this book: "Effective student writing begins with well-designed classroom assignments. In Designing Writing Assignments, veteran educator Traci Gardner offers practical ways for teachers to develop assignments that will allow students to express their creativity and grow as writers and thinkers while still addressing the many demands of resource-stretched classrooms."
A companion website is also available.
Writing Matters #1: Designing Writing Assignments
Univ. of Hawaii Manoa Writing Program
This resource is also available as a PDF file.
Teaching Guide: Designing Writing Assignments
Colorado State Univ., Writing @ CSU
Information on designing writing assignments is broken down into the following categories at this website (note: sample assignments are from classes in Agricultural Economics, Landscape Architecture, Comparative Animal Nutrition, and Human Development):
- Five principles
- Writing should meet teaching goals
- Working backward from goals
- Guidelines for writing assignments
- Resource: Checksheets
- Resource: Sample assignments
- Resource: Sample grading criteria
Arizona State Univ. - Student Success
Univ. of Kansas Writing Center
Includes basic advice on assignment design as well as "Questions to Consider as You Design Writing Assignments" and "Writing Across the Curriculum Principles of Assignment Design."
Designing Effective Writing Assignments
Writing across the Curriculum @ Manhattan College
Provides resources on the following topics:
- Matching Writing Assignments to Instructional Goals
- Examining Writing in Your Discipline
- Informal Writing Assignments
- Checklist for Designing Writing Assignments
- Suggestions for Designing Effective Formal Writing Assignments
Designing Assignments and Presenting them to Students
Univ. of Toronto Writing
Helping Students Get Started
10 Tips for Effective Free-Writing Exercises
Univ. of Minnesota Center for Writing, Todd Arnold
Informal, In-Class Writing Activities
Univ. of Minnesota Center for Writing, Pamela Flash