The following are the ways teachers should address the skills and ideas students should gain from the Writing Studies course sequence:
Concepts of Teaching Writing
- Incorporate writing–through lessons, discussions, activities– into every class session.
- Create your course around a unifying theme to give the course an intellectual arena in which to focus writing.
- Reinforce the idea of writing as process through the sequencing of assignments and multiple drafts of assignments.
- In order to maximize the students’ resources and experience, hold writing workshops or peer reviews.
- Offer meaningful, appropriate, and thorough feedback, including attention to the Writing Studies Program Grading Criteria, on all major writing assignments.
- As some students are better served by one-on-one instruction, hold regular office hours and mandatory student conferences throughout the semester.
- The class must meet during the scheduled final exam time. LIT-100 must include a final exam.
Develop Writing Skills
- Assign 3-4 major essays in a range of academic genres: narrative, critical analysis, researched essay, oral history, profile, proposal, textual critique, etc. An essay that sustains an argument for eight or more pages should be included.
- Assign 20 pages of polished writing for WRTG-100 and 25 pages for WRTG-101; both page requirements could include a revision of a major writing project.
- Require, as a matter of course, multiple drafts of major papers and provide students with strategies and opportunities for revision.
- Teach students that a thesis and its development are key to the success of every essay, including narrative essays, non-traditional essays, and essay exams.
- Emphasize the importance of correctness in grammar and punctuation in establishing credibility and authority with an audience.
Develop Reading Skills
- Early in the fall semester, make meaningful use of the Writer as Witness text.
- Choose a range of texts (non-fiction and fiction) to serve as models and sources of discussion/analysis; students should examine a variety of genres.
- Promote and model original and critical reading/thinking through class discussion, activities, or one-on-one instruction.
- Ensure that students understand your individual commenting style so that they can interpret your feedback.
Develop Research Skills
- Emphasize how “research” informs almost all writing by crafting assignments that require students to draw on traditional and non-traditional research methods.
- Encourage students to use the DC community and local resources in their research and writing projects.
- Arrange a class visit with your assigned reference librarian partner some time in the fall semester, preferably to coincide with the first major research project.
- Teach students how to incorporate research, in particular scholarly research, to effectively support their argument.
- Teach students how to accurately document their sources, correctly format MLA citations, and construct an MLA-style Works Cited page.
- Emphasize the importance of the Academic Integrity Code and the consequences of violating it; offer students strategies for avoiding unintentional violations.