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Designing Assignments


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 for general resources related to integrating writing into your (non-writing) course.


Assignment Design (Yale Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning)
“Making a few revisions to your writing assignments can make a big difference in the writing your students will produce. The most effective changes involve specifying what you would like students to do in the assignment and suggesting concrete steps students can take to achieve that goal.”

A Brief Guide to Designing Essay Assignments (Gordon Harvey, Harvard College Writing Program) (PDF)
This Harvard Writing Project Brief Guide provides three quick and easy steps to designing an assignment and helping students execute it.

Designing Assignments and Presenting Them to Students (Univ. of Toronto Writing)
“Here are some ways to help students learn your subject through writing about it, while developing their writing skills at the same time. Designing your assignments with learning in mind is the single most important way you can support students’ development as writers.”

Designing Writing Assignments (Traci Gardner, National Council of Teachers of English) (PDF)
“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.”

Teaching Guide: Designing Writing Assignments (Writing@CSU)
“Our teaching guides are designed for writing teachers and for teachers of other subjects who want to use writing and speaking activities in their classrooms. To view our guides, click on the links below.”

Tips for Writing an Assignment and Teaching it to Students (University of Wisconsin – Madison, Writing Across the Curriculum)
“Here are some suggestions to keep in mind as you write your assignment handouts, as well as suggestions for other activities that prepare students to write.”