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CTE - Teaching Writing

This guide provides resources and best practices on teaching writing, creating writing prompts and rubrics, and providing feedback on student writing.

 

The following guide is meant to help faculty create summative and formative writing assessments for each course-level for non-writing intensive courses. This document defines expectations for each level and provides guidance as to the suggested types of assignments that would correspond to those expectations.   

 

100-Level Assessments

At this level, students should be able to recall, comprehend, and report on information learned previously in the course.  Action verbs may include identifydefinedescribeexplainrestatedemonstratepractice.

 

Assignments may include:

Informative summary: a brief account (500-750 words) of an article's main argument, evidence, and conclusion

Précis: a two-paragraph response where the first paragraph is summary and the second is an analysis of the argument

Essay: a short response (500-750 words) where a specific problem is analyzed with observational evidence

Reflective journal: an opinion-based response (500-750 words) to a specific topic, issue, question, or assigned source

Short answer exam question: paragraph explanation of a specific concept, theory, event, person, or term

 

200-Level Assessments

At this level, student should be able to recall, comprehend, and apply information learned in previous courses and previously in the course in a new and different way.  Action verbs may include apply, interpret, calculate, compare/contrast, criticize, and question.

 

Assignments may include:

Report: a response (4-7 pages) that summarizes and synthesizes credible sources (3-6 sources)

Essay: a response (4-7 pages) where a specific problem is researched and analyzed with secondary evidence

Persuasive writing: a response (4-7 pages) that requires students to take a specific stance on an issue

Discipline-specific genre: a basic piece of writing students would encounter in their fields

Short essay exam question: a paragraph (1-2 paragraphs) explanation of a specific concept, theory, event, person, or term

 

300-Level Assessments

At this level, students should be able to recall, comprehend, apply, and judge information learned in previous courses and previously in the course using standards and criteria.  Action verbs may include evaluate, editorialize, differentiate, distinguish, formulate, and measure.

 

Assignments may include:

Literature Review: a summary of scholarly sources (8-12) meant to provide an overview of research field, major question, or academic debate

Essay: response (7-10 pages) where a specific problem is researched and analyzed with primary and secondary evidence

Analytical writing: an essay (7-10 pages) that requires students to analyze a topic in  scholarly sources (5-10)

Discipline-specific genre: a piece of writing students would encounter in their field that may require primary or secondary research

Essay exam question: a multiple paragraph response (3-5 paragraphs) that describes and analyzes a particular concept, theory, event, person, or term

 

400-Level Assessment

At this level, students should be able to recall, comprehend, apply, judge, and synthesize information learned in previous courses and previously in the course to create new information.  Action verbs may include assess, create, design, invent, justify, and propose.

 

Assignments may include:

Analytical Research Paper: a response (8-15 pages) that uses a literature review to argue a discipline- specific position

Essay: a response (8-15 pages) where a specific problem is researched, analyzed, and responded to with primary and secondary evidence

Annotated bibliography: a summary of scholarly sources (10-15 sources) organized around a specific issue

Discipline-specific genre: a piece of writing students would encounter in their field that may require primary or secondary research

Comprehensive essay exam: a multiple paragraph response (5 or more paragraphs) that describes, analyzes, and critiques a concept, theory, event, person, or term