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Designing a Writing-Integrated Course

Four Common Writing Integrated Assignment Structures

Term Project Model

Here the course features a single major writing project focused on questions or concepts central to the course itself. It builds student ability to complete the assignment successfully by integrating into the course structure a series of low stakes papers sequenced so as to prepare students for the project's demands. Students may also be asked to rewrite based on peer and/or instructor feedback. A portfolio can be used to manage the low-stakes papers.

Sequenced Short Paper Model

Here the course sets up a sequence of 2 to 4 shorter (3-4 pp) high stakes papers, each focused on some course feature--like a set of essential questions basic to the course, or a skill sequence, or some sort of progressive conceptual complication. Low stakes papers can be deployed for engagement and skill building for each of the high stakes assignments. A portfolio can be used to manage the low-stakes papers.

Select, Develop and Re-write Model

Here a sequence of short, low stakes papers leads to the selection of one such paper for development into a longer paper. Often combined with peer review and rewriting exercises. A portfolio can be used to manage the low-stakes papers.

Exam-based Model

Here the high-stakes work is solely on exams--either in-class or take-home--and low stakes papers prepare students for exam writing. At course end the low stakes papers can be submitted to a portfolio accompanied by a self-reflective and self-assessing essay.

More Ideas

Scalability in going writing integrated

Three courses re-designed with writing integrated elements