Writing For Students

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Few people are able to turn out high-quality writing in first drafts.

For most people, good writing requires rereading, rethinking, and sometimes fairly extensive revising.

You might want to provide your rubric to students along with the assignment so they know what the criteria are in advance and can plan appropriately.

Besides the differences between skilled and unskilled writers, there are cultural differences that often manifest themselves in the written work of non-native speakers of English.

It is also helpful to include milestones into an assignment so that students submit either preliminary drafts (so they can incorporate feedback in their subsequent revisions) or components of a larger paper (so they avoid leaving the entire assignment to the last minute).

For example, you could require your students to read and comment on at least two other classmates' early drafts by a specific deadline (for information on peer review, see the University of Wisconsin's Writing Center).Get stuck on single word choices or on punctuation, even at early stages.Tend to believe that writing well is a gift you either have or don't have.An important way to help students develop as writers, even in a course not solely designed for this purpose, is to match the writing assignments to the students' skill level and offer practice (with feedback) on the aspects of writing where they can benefit.See more information on designing effective writing assignments and on responding to student writing.In addition, there are several sources of information on the web that we can share with our students on basic writing tips and strategies: Use examples of good student writing to discuss with your students what makes these pieces of writing effective.This helps students identify the elements of good work for particular assignments within particular disciplinary domains that, in turn, helps them become conscious of these elements in their own work.Summary: This set of OWL resources aims to help engineering instructors and TAs create and assess a variety of short, low-overhead writing exercises for use in engineering courses.The primary focus here is on “writing to learn” assignments, which leverage writing to improve students’ conceptual understanding of technical concepts.Many students, however, misconstrue or underestimate what good writing involves, believing that it's a simple linear process when, in fact, it is complex and iterative.Many students leave writing assignments to the last minute, expecting to be able to sit down and rapidly turn out a good paper.

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