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Summary and Resources

Undergraduate writing often goes terribly awry because students are dealing with an assignment’s multiple tasks—conceptual, rhetorical, and compositional—all at once. And if the assignment itself isn’t clear, even the most competent students can have a tough time writing. Present the assignment to your class with the clarification and guidance they’ll need to produce their best possible work by doing the following:

    1. identifying the assignment’s main intellectual task
    2. making it relevant
    3. figuring out where students will get into trouble
    4. making students aware of disciplinary standards
    5. specifying materials and sources
    6. sequencing the assignments


Resources for Clarifying the Writing Assignment

Additional Reading for Clarifying the Writing Assignment

      • David Bartholomae, “Inventing the University,” When a Writer Can’t Write: Studies in Writer’s Block and Other Composing-Process Problems, Mike Rose, ed. (The Guilford Press, 1985) 134-165.


Now that the assignment itself is clear, let’s find out how to get your students ready to write.


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