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Articles on Assignments

Listed below are articles on this topic from the Campus Writing Program library. Short summaries and citations are provided when available.


Duerden, Sarah T., Jeanne Garland, and Christine Everhart Helfers. "Profile Assignment." Strategies for Teaching First-Year Composition. Eds. Duane Roen and others. Urbana, IL: NCTE. 2002. 152-164.

Profile assignments not only make students think more about their future profession, but also both underscore that writing is for a purpose and teach how to incorporate quotations in a natural fashion. A sample assignment for engineering students is provided, as well as two variations suitable for non-engineering students. Some supplemental student information is likewise provided.

Elbow, Peter. Writing for Learning -- Not Just for Demonstrating Learning. University of Massachusetts Amherst, 1994. 1-4.

While writing to demonstrate learning is the most common goal of any writing assignment, instructors may also wish to encourage assignments that involve writing to learn. These low-stakes assignments will allow students to explore ideas and issues that will help guide them in their learning. Suggestions are offered for different types of write-to-learn assignments. Full text at: http://www.ntlf.com/html/lib/bib/writing.htm

Gottschalk, Katherine and Keith Hjortshoj. "Designing Writing Assignments and Assignment Sequences." The Elements of Teaching Writing. Bedford/St. Martin's. Boston. 2004. 29-46.

Gives an overview of major issues in incorporating writing in classes: rhetorical considerations of assignment writing (subject, audience, purpose, etc.), defining student writing boundaries, and sequencing writing assignments for the course.

Gottschalk, Katherine and Keith Hjortshoj. "Strategies for Including Writing in Large Courses." The Elements of Teaching Writing. Bedford/St. Martin's. Boston. 2004. 145-161.

Examines the relationship between short assignments and course goals, suggesting that some kinds of writing may not need to be graded (or even read!). One of the more useful sections deals with how to be more efficient in grading and marking. The chapter also covers the effective use of institutional resources (teaching assistants, writing centers, etc.).

Gottschalk, Katherine and Keith Hjortshoj. "What Can You Do with Student Writing?" The Elements of Teaching Writing. Bedford/St. Martin's. Boston. 2004. 47-61.

Gives an overview of how to respond to student writing, including how to mark papers efficiently, how to consider grading goals, etc.

Kearns, Edward A. "Assignment Prompt." Strategies for Teaching First-Year Composition. Eds Roen, Duane and others. Urbana, IL: NCTE. 2002. 150-151.

Offers suggestions for using newspaper and magazine articles as a means to help students make the transition between personal narrative and more formal types of writing.

Kyburz, Bonnie Lenore. "Autobiography: The Rhetorical Efficacy of Self-Reflection/Articulation." Strategies for Teaching First-Year Composition. Eds. Duane Roen and others. Urbana, IL: NCTE. 2002. 137-143.

Although autobiographical writing has come under fire for its subjectivity, autobiographical writing processes can develop a student's critical consciousness by deconstructing familiar pedagogies and developing hybrid pedagogies. Additionally, autobiographical writing can help build student awareness of the relationship between rhetoric and social constructs.

Leahy, Richard. "Microthemes: An experiment with very short writings." College Teaching, 42:1 (Winter 1994), pp. 15-18.

Disusses the technique of using microthemes in teaching a Western World Literature course at Boise State University in Idaho. Reading and grading the microthemes; Advantages and disadvantages of the technique; Students' assessment of the technique. (Abstract provided by EBSCO Host).  Full text can be found at: http://bert.lib.indiana.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.epnet.com/direct.asp?an=9407114727&db=aph

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