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Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC): Designing Effective Assignments

Resources and support for the new core.

When assigning writing, we have to plan for success. Most of our frustrations with the writing we receive (though not all!) can be alleviated through better assignment planning. This section, therefore, provides examples and procedures to help us plan for low stakes and high stakes writing assignments.

All assignment planning starts with the purpose, or objective, then works backwards to the expected product, the steps of the process to get to that product, and finally to the preparation we give our students through verbal and written instructions, examples, and practice.

For high stakes assignments, follow the links below to consider the importance of building early drafts and revision into the process, as well as steps to naturally discourage plagiarism.

Low Stakes (or Informal) Writing Assignments

Discussion and examples of several types of Low Stakes, or informal, writing assignments

High Stakes Assignments

Discussion and examples of High Stakes, writing-to-communicate assignments (aka Writing in the Disciplines)