Sequence writing assignments to help students build skills throughout the semester.
Beginning-of-the-semester writing helps you gauge your students’ writing skills, what they know (and don’t know) about a topic, and any misconceptions they harbor. Most instructors weight these earlier writing assignments more lightly, to reflect their exploratory, calibrating nature. Some common beginning-of-term assignments in Signature Courses:
Mid-semester assignments should be more substantive, involving concepts, questions, and problem-solving methods appropriate to college. Research and evidence come into play, as students explore how to find a solution or convince others. Students should practice quoting and paraphrasing sources. Typical mid-semester assignments:
Final projects should build upon earlier work, but note that a long, “capstone” project is not required in your Signature Course. Long research papers are typically better suited to upper-division students, who know how to ask a research question, find and use sources, and fit the information into a prescribed format. If you want your students to write research papers, plan your preceding assignments as steps leading toward the final project—first a thesis-building assignment, then an assignment teaching the use