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Working with student writers essays on tutoring and teaching

Additional resources Assigning writing Whether or not you have developed the writing, students will be more successful if the assignment contains the following information: What is the goal of the assignment?

Why are students being asked to write it? Who are students writing to? Include a summary of the criteria you will use to grade the writing.

  • Choose three areas that you will focus on in your end comments;
  • Writing conferences When there is time, one-to-one or small group writing conferences are valuable for helping students move from the draft to the revision;
  • Develop grading criteria Referring to the assignment, ask yourself what you expect students to do on the assignment.

What have students encountered in their readings or lectures that illustrates the kind of thinking and writing you expect? Are there any special requirements? Place this information prominently on the assignment sheet Taking students through the writing process Other ways to help students be more successful with their writing are to encourage drafts and peer response groups and to offer writing conferences. Not only do students benefit from this process, you will also benefit by receiving final papers that are easier to read and grade.

Drafts Encouraging or requiring students to write drafts of papers one to two weeks before they are due helps students avoid writing the paper the night before and often results in better final papers. For more information about using peer response, contact CTL.

Taking students through the writing process

Writing conferences When there is time, one-to-one or small group writing conferences are valuable for helping students move from the draft to the revision. Using writing to encourage active learning There are many ways to take advantage of the role writing plays in learning.

  • Develop grading criteria Referring to the assignment, ask yourself what you expect students to do on the assignment;
  • You do not need to grade this writing;
  • Limit sentence level comments;
  • Communicate this criteria to the students.

Below is a list of some roles writing can play in teaching and learning and how to facilitate them. To stimulate class or small group discussion To focus attention in small group discussion To focus attention or encourage reflection in lecture To direct reading Assign five to ten-minute writing exercises These exercises can range from lists showing what information students have grasped to paragraphs in which students compare and analyze different positions or take a position and defend it.

Sharing these written responses can enable both you and your students to discover what they know, what they still need to find out and how they are thinking. You do not need to grade this writing. Grading writing If you have make clear to yourself and your students your criteria for grading a writing assignment, you will have a focused, objective way of responding and your students will have a greater chance of meeting your expectations. Develop grading criteria Referring to the assignment, ask yourself what you expect students to do on the assignment.

Your answer might result in a list of points reflecting the specific things you expect to see and how you expect to see them. Organize your list to reflect your priorities for the assignment; then think about what elements would be necessary for an A paper, a B paper, a C paper. This process should help you develop criteria specific to the particular assignment. This will help students to identity the strengths and weakness in their work, which may assist in future improvement.

Student writing

Be consistent If you are teaching more than one section of a course, be consistent in your grading and commentary across the sections. Whenever possible, make your comments text-specific by referring to particular places in the paper where students are successful or where problems occur.

Choose three areas that you will focus on in your end comments.

  1. Grading writing If you have make clear to yourself and your students your criteria for grading a writing assignment, you will have a focused, objective way of responding and your students will have a greater chance of meeting your expectations.
  2. Include a summary of the criteria you will use to grade the writing.
  3. Whenever possible, make your comments text-specific by referring to particular places in the paper where students are successful or where problems occur.
  4. Develop grading criteria Referring to the assignment, ask yourself what you expect students to do on the assignment. Whenever possible, make your comments text-specific by referring to particular places in the paper where students are successful or where problems occur.
  5. Place this information prominently on the assignment sheet Taking students through the writing process Other ways to help students be more successful with their writing are to encourage drafts and peer response groups and to offer writing conferences. Your answer might result in a list of points reflecting the specific things you expect to see and how you expect to see them.

Limit sentence level comments. Student writing Work with your supervising faculty member to create a grading criteria. Communicate this criteria to the students.

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Be consistent across sections. If TAs in charge of other sections are reading the same assignment, work together to develop, test and use grading criteria. Encourage students to come and see you during office hours to discuss their writing.