Designing Writing Assignments To Promote Critical Thinking–A Critical Thinking Approach

By Bob Bauer, Associate Professor of Geological Sciences

As teachers who use writing assignments to help students learn course material, we hope that students think critically as they complete our assignments, and we expect that they are learning from their writing. But what does critical thinking really mean in the context of their writing and the assignments we provide? What are students doing when they think critically to complete our assignments, and how does it help them learn things that are relevant to our courses?

Using Outlines to Teach Critical Thinking

By Judith Goodman, Associate Professor and Chair, Communication Science and Disorders

Most of us spend our years of doctoral and post-doctoral training learning how to do research in our fields. Many of us serve as teaching assistants during this time, and some of us have the primary responsibility for a class. Still, when we begin faculty positions, we often feel ill prepared to take on teaching multiple classes a year. And if we are asked to teach a writing-intensive (WI) class, we may feel an added sense of bewilderment.

Student Writing Before—and in Addition to—WI Courses

By Marty Townsend, Professor in the Department of English

Many faculty are understandably curious about the writing instruction students will receive as students here. To earn an undergraduate degree at MU, every student is required to take three writing courses: English 1000 followed by two WI courses, one of which must be at the upper division level in the major. ENGL 1000 is overseen by the Composition Program in the Department of English, while the WI curriculum is overseen by Campus Writing Program.

Teaching Writing Using Rubrics

By Louise Miller, Teaching Professor Emerita in the MU Sinclair School of Nursing

Evaluating student writing can be difficult, and assuring consistent grading from one assignment to the next and between various faculty/TA graders can be particularly challenging. You might ask, why is this? Many factors contribute to the issues we face when evaluating student writing.

Intentional Ambiguity in Assignment Design

By Tim Safranski, Associate Professor in Animal Sciences

When deciding to incorporate writing into a course, most instructors have learned that this is not as easy as “I’ll just assign an essay.” For many, the first step is to determine what the learning objectives are for the writing assignment: what do you want your students to get out of writing this paper?