WAC Clearinghouse Teaching Exchange

Articles and Webtexts about Teaching Writing

Course Syllabi

Formal Writing Assignments

Lesson Plans

Class Activities

Faculty Tip Sheets

Many teachers, departments, writing centers, and faculty lounges have a file drawer full of workable assignments. These are often used to help new colleagues, inspire those who want to try new approaches, and "save" those who don't have time or inclination to reinvent the wheel.

The WAC Clearinghouse Teaching Exchange provides a space for sharing such resources for teachers who use writing—formal or informal, discipline specific or transdisciplinary—as part of their classes. Please feel free to browse through these offerings, which are categorized by purpose. We hope you find something educational, provocative, informative, and useful. And we hope you'll recommend additional resources to include in the Exchange.

— Justin Jory
Teaching Exchange Editor

Category: Articles and Webtexts about Teaching Writing

Assigning Writing
http://writing.colostate.edu/gtpathways/assigningwriting.cfm
Written for faculty across the disciplines who are interested in integrating writing into their courses, this webtext offers an accessible and thorough introduction to "formal" and "informal" writing assignments, and it explains how faculty can use each type of writing assignment to facilitate critical thinking. Also, it provides useful examples of formal and informal assignments.
Contributor: Sue Doe, Colorado State University
Facilitating Student Revision
http://writing.colostate.edu/gtpathways/revision.cfm
Written for faculty across the disciplines who are looking to understand and teach students about the role of revision in the writing process, this webtext provides an accessible and thoughtful overview of both "global" and "local" revision strategies. Also provided are practical activities for facilitating each type of revision.
Contributor: Sue Doe, Colorado State University
Grading and Responding to Student Writing
http://writing.colostate.edu/gtpathways/graderespond.cfm
Written for faculty across the disciplines who are grappling with the challenges of grading and responding to student writing, this webtext offers an accessible and thorough introduction to grading and responding to both formal and informal writing assignments. This text offers a productive balance between theory and practice, as it offers rationales behind grading and responding as well as practical strategies. Also, it provides a useful collection of grading rubrics that emphasize various instructional goals and objectives.
Contributor: Sue Doe, Colorado State University
How in the World Can Where in the World . . . Promote Second-Language Writing Skills?
http://wac.colostate.edu/aw/teaching/barber2000/carmen_main.html
This webtext, which was published in 2000 in the Academic.Writing Teaching Exchange, explores using problem solving computer games like Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego? to involve intermediate and advanced second language learners in reading, listening, researching, and decision making exercises – all of which can provide challenging, interesting, and meaningful contexts for improving second-language writing skills.

Please follow the URL above to view the article.
Contributor: John F. Barber, Texas Woman's University
Email: jfbarber@eaze.net
Home Page: http://www.eaze.net/~jfbarber/
Integrating Writing into Any Course: Starting Points
http://wac.colostate.edu/aw/teaching/kiefer2000.htm
This article provides a framework for adding writing to a course. It includes advice for the research paper, writing in the disciplines, and writing to learn, as well as general advice for responding to student writing. The article, originally published in the Academic.Writing Teaching Exchange, can be viewed by following the URL above.
Contributor: Kate Kiefer, Colorado State University
Email: kekiefer@colostate.edu
Phone: (970) 491 6845
Opinion: The Importance of Being Synchronous
This essay, originally published in 2000 in the Academic.Writing Teaching Exchange, addresses teacher's questions about computer-mediated instruction. The original article can be found at http://wac.colostate.edu/aw/teaching/haefner2000.htm. The article is reprinted in its entirety on this site.
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Contributor: Joel Haefner, Illinois Wesleyan University
Email: jhaefner@sun.iwu.edu
Home Page: http://www.iwu.edu/~jhaefner/
Peer Pressure, Peer Power: Toward Systematic Collaborative Peer Review in the Composition and Writing Across the Curriculum Classroom
http://galleryofwriting.org/conferences/galleryofwriting/uploads_ ...
This resource includes a "case" for collaborative peer review across the curriculum, issues of consideration for instructors integrating collaborative peer review, a thoughtful literature review contextualizing collaborative peer review in disciplinary scholarship, a useful works cited page of peer review scholarship, and more.
Contributor: Steven Corbett, Southern Connecticut State University
Writing in the Matrix: Students Tapping the Living Database on the Computer Network
http://www.engl.niu.edu/mday/web/GALINCHA.html
A chapter from Jeff Galin and Joan Latchlaw's edited collection, The Dialogic Classroom: Teachers Integrating Computer Technology, Pedagogy, and Research (Urbana: NCTE, 1998). Students in most writing classes produce papers for which the primary audience is the teacher and the primary purpose is to pass the course. Yet our study of rhetoric tells us that citizens need to be prepared to write for a wide variety of audiences in a wide variety of contexts. Further, students writing researched papers often go no further than the books and journals in their own school library to gather source material. With the proliferation of the Internet, more and more students have access to what Howard Rheingold calls a "living database" of people grouped into virtual communities with similar interests. By first monitoring discussion groups on the network, analyzing the audience and discourse conventions used in these groups, then posting messages to the discussions, students can gain experience writing for real audiences spanning the globe. Using the network in this manner allows them to become better writers in a real-world communication context.
Contributor: Michael Day, Northern Illinois University
Email: mday@niu.edu
Home Page: http://www3.niu.edu/~tb0mxd1/