Read a story and analyze a text First writing assignment Introduction Welcome to a short course in writing and writing pedagogy. The goal is to write short pieces pages with dense, compact ideas and language. If time permits, there are two writing tasks this week: Here is what I have planned for the next three weeks.
Consider the following general suggestions for planning and creating writing assignments that work well: Writing assignments can be developed for different purposes: Writing to Learn Whether considering writing in the classroom for a writing course, a First Year Seminar, or a content-area course, it is important to understand how course content can actually be understood and secured through writing to learn.
In this mode, students write in order to discover, examine, and test their ideas about reading assignments, class discussions, lectures, and essay topics. Such writing is usually informal, can take a variety of forms, and represents the kind of active thinking and critical engagement with course material that helps students prepare for more formal writing tasks.
Writing to learn becomes a vehicle for figuring out and refining what we think before we communicate publicly to others. Ideas for using writing to learn in the classroom: List as many facts as you can think of about the writer based on what is found in the reading: Such a commonplace book will help improve memory of course topics and serve as a helpful resource for review.
Short, quick summaries of assigned readings could be asked for first, then short syntheses of ideas in several connected readings, and finally analyses of the quality of an argument or string of related ideas. As micro themes grow in number and difficulty, topics for more formal assignments like critical analysis might emerge and signal productive directions for both teacher and student.
These short freewrites can then be discussed or the class can move ahead. Either way, freewriting will allow students to focus closely on a topic. Share these ideas in class discussion, analyzing the strengths and weaknesses and relevance in terms of the assignment.
Start freewriting on a possible direction for the assignment and stop after three minutes, then: Each time the student freewrites, in other words, the original idea becomes more and more focused - the students draws closer to the "center of gravity" for the actual writing assignment and have something to start with for a draft.
Such a discovery draft will then allow the student to build on early ideas as a more complete draft is written. Writing to Communicate When writing to communicate, students move from their informal and more discovery-based writing to more formal, demanding and public expectations of particular discourse and rhetorical conventions.
Learning the conventions for specific fields of study, developing different methods for analysis and argument, as well as fine tuning the details of grammar, documentation and mechanics are central to the mode of writing as communication. At their most effective, assignments in writing to communicate can be built directly off the scaffolding that has been provided through writing to learn.
The two modes of writing are connected in terms of developing content, but writing to communicate will call for more coherent development and structure. Students can be asked to review everything they have written informally through writing to learn in order to determine a focus or direction for their more formal assignments in public communication.
They may find an initial thesis for a specific topic emerging through their ideas for using writing to communicate in the classroom. Do you want students to develop analytical, informational, argumentative, reflective, or expressive skills, or a combination of several skills?
The essay instructions should make clear to students what set of skills will be most valued when completing the assignment. Analysis is the skill underpinning all others. To write well from an informational, argumentative, or expressive perspective, in other words, students need to use their analytical ability to focus their writing.
A sense of purpose will connect to developing a central idea or thesis. Knowing what kind of writing is expected of them informational? After reading, class discussion, and writing to learn, students will be more able to decide what they want to say and thus have a starting point.
A set of essay instructions can ask students to follow through on these kinds of review and explorations to arrive at a working central idea. Students can be encouraged to begin with a working central idea in order to develop a preliminary draft.
Ideas might be roughly sketched out to begin with using the following seed sentences as frames: Seed sentences can help students get started writing and can then be further refined later in the process of writing.
Working with seed sentences might also be a productive approach to writing to learn. Are they to be thinking of the teacher exclusively when completing the assignment? Should they be thinking of a general educated audience, or an audience only of their peers? Should they be thinking of the audience as completely or partially informed about the subject?
Will the audience hold values similar to or different from the writer? How much will the audience identify with the subject and topic under study? Such considerations will help determine the form and style choices that can be made and are central to the writing task.
Once the purpose, central idea, and audience have been established as part of the assignment, consider providing students additional advice on the STRUCTURE of their writing.The idea of this exercise is to get students to quickly write about a topic they choose (or you assign).
These short presentations are then used in two manners; to generate spontaneous conversations on a wide range of topics, and to take a look at some common writing problems.
ESL Writing Exercises. Beginner Writing Lessons. ESL Writing Exercise - Writing Assignment: "A Funny Story" - Students use the grammar and sentence patterns from Unit 2 to write an essay titled "A Funny Story" Additional ESL/EFL Writing Worksheets, Activities, and Ideas. Writing Topics. Do you want to inspire your students to write great narratives, essays, and reports?
Check out these grade-specific writing topics organized by mode (explanatory, creative, and so on). Getting to the Point. 6 Short Writing Activities for Beginning ESL Students. by Susan Verner , views. When you are teaching beginning ESL, English literacy, or any low level English courses, you may find your students are not quite ready for standard writing class assignments.
here are some ideas. Try These 6 Short Writing Activities. These creative writing worksheets can can be used both in class or as weekly homework assignments. We are always looking for more contributions so if you have an idea please add it to the creative writing story starters thread.
Jul 31, · Short Story (or Novel) Writing Prompts. Updated on November 14, Moe Wood. I love to write creative writing prompts. For over seven years, I have been coming up with new ideas every week for The Write Prompts. Here, I do the same, only these are all starter or "continue on" writing prompts.
In short story writing, Reviews: