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Developing Writing Assignments

If you would like ideas for designing effective writing assignments, here are some useful resources:

The Writing Center at Cal State-LA offers advice on creating good assignments and responding to student writing, and staff at the WAC program and Writing Center at the University of Richmond have made Thinking About such assignments easier and provided sample assignments. Finally, the WAC program at Georgia State offers additional Writing to Learn Resources.

When designing some assignments, faculty members might consider the findings described in an article by Benedict Carey in the New York Times, "Task to Aid Self-Esteem Lifts Grades for Some" (April 16, 2009). In the article, Carey summarizes research on high school students' performance, research that suggests that students succeed when they are asked to examine and write about their own values.

Responding to Student Writing

Responding to student writing can be challenging and time-consuming. Below are a couple of resources that you might find helpful.

The writing program at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa offers tips for commenting on student work.  Writing@CSU (Colorado State University) provides a bibliography of discipline-specific articles on responding to student writing.

Dealing with Plagiarism

Plagiarism is an increasing problem on college campuses. Fortunately, there are resources that can help clarify related complexities and, when necessary, enable you to look for plagiarism in your students' writing.

Bedford/St. Martin's offers "Straight Talk about Plagiarism", one of many free handouts for your students. Check out their workshop and other teaching resources, too.

The University of Alberta's Guide to Plagiarism and Cyber-Plagiarism is a useful resource; the page on ways to "detect" plagiarism is particularly helpful.

The University Writing Center at Texas A&M makes an excellent case for how faculty can foster academic integrity.

Working with English Language Learners

Here is a small collection of online resources for ELL students and teachers:

Neither the Writing Center nor Metropolitan State university accepts responsibility for the content of other institutions' sites, so keep this in mind as you navigate.

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