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Writing Across the Curriculum

Informal Writing Assignments

  • In-class writing
    1. Writing at the Beginning of Class to Probe a Subject
    2. Writing During Class to Refocus a Lagging Discussion or Cool Off a Heated One
    3. Writing During Class to Ask Questions or Express Confusion
    4. Writing at the End of Class to Sum Up a Lecture or Discussion
  • Journals

5.      Open-Ended Journals

6.      Semi-structured Journals

7.      Guided Journals

8.      Double-Entry Notebooks

9.      “What I Observed/What I Thought” Laboratory Notebooks

10.  Contemporary Issues Journals

11.  Exam Preparation Journals


  • Reading Journals or Reading Logs

12.  Marginal Notes or Focused Reading Notes

13.  Reading Logs or Summary/Response Notebooks

14.  Student Responses to Reading Guides

15.  Imagined Interviews with Authors


  • Creativity Exercises
    1. Writing Dialogues
    2. Writing Bio-Poems
    3. Metaphor Games, Extended Analogies


  • Other Ideas for Using Exploratory Writing
    1. Occasional Thought Letters
    2. Electronic Mail
    3. Exploration Tasks to Guide “Invention” for a Formal Writing Assignment
    4. Portfolio System


  • Informal Tasks for Practicing Thesis Writing

23. Practice Essay Exams

24. Thesis Statement Writing

25. Frame Paragraphs

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Long Island University

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