Authors & Contributors

Sequencing Tasks

One reason that students report feeling overwhelmed by WID tasks is that they aren't sure where to start and then how to proceed to produce a good project of the sort required by the assignment. You can help students--and get better final drafts to read--by setting up a sequence of tasks that build toward the final project.

Two approaches work well when designing a sequence:

  1. Break the large writing task into chunks so that students can tackle parts of the assignment and get feedback before moving to the next chunk. For an example, view the Ag Econ sample assignment.
  2. An alternative is to devise tasks that build on each other. For instance, if you hope to assign a professional review of literature as the final project, first have students write abstracts or summaries of articles, then ask for annotations, and finally ask for synthesis. At the same time, have students analyze published articles to determine what a review of literature typically looks like in your field. By giving students a sequence of writing and analytic tasks, they become more confident and more able to meet your criteria for the final writing task.