Write a 150- to 200-word paragraph describing the steps of your current writing approach. For example, how do you approach writing an assignment for a class? In addition, outline the ways your process differs from or is similar to the writing process outlined in your texts. This paragraph should follow the structure of an effective paragraph.
In a First-Year Seminar or a writing-intensive course, it is best to have several writing assignments and a variety of types of writing, usually integrated with course readings, rather than one long assignment at the end of the course. [ On this page we will emphasize the difference between informal writing, or writing to learn, and formal writing, or writing to communicate.
Think of informal
writing as short and often impromptu, written primarily for the benefit of the writer as an aid to clarifying purpose and not requiring extensive instructor response. A variety of informal writing activities can help develop students' critical thinking skills by providing them with a space for asking questions, raising critique, and playing with ideas.
Formal writing is more reader-based, with specific considerations for audience and convention. Each type of writing is integral to the students' literacy development.
Consider the following general suggestions for planning and creating writing assignments that work well:
make sure the task is clearly defined, using language that helps students know what they are expected to produce, when, and why.
offer an authentic situation, one that provides students with a clear sense of purpose and audience.
if there are specific steps that students need to follow to complete the assignment, make sure to include them (length, plans to see a thesis statement, notes, and/or draft; plans for conferencing and peer review, etc.).
write assignments so that students can understand how their purpose ties into the overall plan for the course.
if appropriate, include information about how you will respond to the writing assignment and grading criteria.
consider whether there are aspects of the assignment that can be made flexible for students with special learning needs or different levels of ability (extended deadlines, time for conferencing, etc.).
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