Faculty Development & Learning Assessment

Learning & Teaching Topics

Creating Effective Writing Assignments

Communication is a crucial component of all fields and disciplines, and writing is one of the most widely utilized forms of communication in most fields. Writing is a formative process of thought as well as a way to present developed thoughts. Even the most quantitative course can utilize communication and writing exercises, from formative “minute papers” discussing what students learned in a given course period to oral assignments explaining theories to written lab reports. There are ways to get students involved in writing and communication in every discipline.

How to Create Effective Writing Assignments

Topic References

Carter, M. (2006). Writing Lab Reports. Retrieved April 20, 2009, from the University of Delaware Writing Center accessed via HSU Web site: http://www.humboldt.edu/academicprograms/downloads/writinglabreports.pdf

Elbow, P. (1994). Writing for learning – not just demonstrating learning. Retrieved April 20, 2009, from HSU Web site: http://www.humboldt.edu/academicprograms/downloads/WritingforLearning.pdf

Purdue OWL. (2009). Avoiding Plagiarism. Retrieved April 20, 2009, from OWL at Purdue University Web site: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/589/01/

Souza, T. (n.d.). Using Informal Writing and Speaking to Enhance Learning: Twenty-One Strategies. Adapted from Anson, C.M., Dannels, D., and Nelms, G.. NCSU Campus Writing and Speaking Program and SIU Communication Across the Curriculum. Retrieved April 28, 2009, from HSU Web site: http://www.humboldt.edu/academicprograms/downloads/integrating_communication.pdf

University of Delaware Writing Center. (2006). Building Oral & Written Communication Into Your Classroom. Retrieved April 20, 2009, from HSU Web site: http://www.humboldt.edu/academicprograms/downloads/integrating_communication.pdf

University of Delaware Writing Center. (2006). Not Your Usual 3- to 5-Page Paper. Retrieved April 20, 2009, from HSU Web site: http://www.humboldt.edu/academicprograms/downloads/alternative_assignments.pdf

University of Delaware Writing Center. (2006). Preventing Plagiarism. Retrieved April 20, 2009, from HSU Web site: http://www.humboldt.edu/academicprograms/downloads/prevent_plagiarism.pdf

University of Delaware Writing Center. (2006). Sequencing Writing Assignments. Retrieved April 28, 2009, from HSU Web site: http://www.humboldt.edu/academicprograms/downloads/sequencing.pdf

University of Delaware Writing Center. (2006). Using Writing in Large Classes. Retrieved April 20, 2009, from HSU Web site: http://www.humboldt.edu/academicprograms/downloads/largeclasses.pdf

HSU Connection

Communication Across the Curriculum (CAC) is a campus-wide effort to support instructors in creating effective writing design and fostering written and oral communication skills throughout all disciplines. The CAC effort expands the previous Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) to also include oral communication.

The Academic Senate passed a Resolution on Approaches to Improve Undergraduate Student Writing supporting developing an integrative approach to help all students learn to become effective writers and communicators. For more information, see Administrative memo VPAA 08-04