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first line and hanging indents

MLA Formatting in Word and Google Docs

A simple handout that provides step-by-step details on how to add first line and hanging indents as well as inserting page numbers in the...
argumentative essay outline

Outlining Argumentative Essays

A useful handout that explains how to outline an essay. It draws on similar examples from my handout on Common Thesis Complaints.         Feature image by Andrew...

Common Thesis Complaints

This handout I made in sheer frustration after hearing the same complaints about thesis formulation over and over again from my students. I've learned in my...

The Bad Boyfriend Counterargument

This handout is a counterargument explanation sheet using the example of trying to persuade your loved ones that your bad boyfriend is not so bad....

The Advice Column Two Ways–Part Two: First-Year Writing

My FYW classes include lessons on the rhetorical appeals, and Sugar offered me a concrete, easily-digested way of introducing these concepts in class.

Ransom Notes

If you're looking for a different type of in-class activity to get students thinking about word choice, you'll find it with this fun but challenging task.

Sidewalk Chalk

An activity designed to help students understand the vulnerability that comes with public photographs, particularly in the context of war images.
Revision activities

Five Revision Activities

Five revision activities you can use either inside or outside the classroom to show the importance and effects of revision. 

College Writing, Procrastination, and Music

This multi-genre assignment asks students to first explore how much they know their tendencies to procrastinate in a personal essay, then to interview a peer about their respective writing processes, and finally, to compare their own personal essay and an analysis of their interview in a cover letter.
literacy teaching higher education

Emailing in Academic Context

An assignment that asks students to compose several short versions of an email for different audiences and perform a brief analysis of the differences between the emails.

Write Club

Two opposing writers. Two opposing ideas. This assignment captures the essence of Ian Belknap's Write Club as it has students face off in argument based presentations.
Class discussion

Is it Really All My Fault? Sharing on In-Class Discussions

I’ve become familiar with the resistance to classroom discussions, but, until recently, I always assumed good discussions were lacking because students are, generally speaking, lacking in “critical thinking.” But last week, something happened that made me reconsider.

The Hip-Hop Nation

An argumentative essay that requires students to clearly articulate their position on whether rap and hip-hop have a negative or positive effect on its listeners, if there should be control over the content of songs, and to explore the reasons why people are affected by these genres so strongly.

The Moth Memoir

An assignment that asks students to create what the Moth's mini-memoirs are known for: true stories, well told. 

A Paraphrasing PowerPoint

A PowerPoint presentation explaining what paraphrasing is, how to paraphrase, and an in-class activity for paraphrasing.

Review Beyond the Food

This assignment goes beyond your standard food review as it asks students to research and evaluate all aspects of the restaurant including its history, location, and design. It includes a focus on using sensory descriptions and depictions to entice the reader.

Social Justice Proposal

A written group assignment that asks students to create a proposal designed to convince a funding agency to fund their organization’s new social justice project.

Public Art Profile

This assignment asks students to familiarize themselves with public art and their city by finding one piece to describe, research and analyze. It encourages students to reveal the connections between artists, locations, and communities.
career profile assignment

Grammar Lesson Presentation

A grammar presentation assignment for small groups on an assigned topic. Each group is required to provide an explanation, examples, and a way for the class to practice the lesson. This assignment also includes a reflective component.

Incorporating Quotations, Claims, & Evidence

A PowerPoint presentation that breaks down different types of evidence and explains how and when to use them.

Types of Plagiarism

Plagiarism is more than just copying and pasting the words of others and this can sometimes be difficult to explain to students. The handout below illustrates the different types of plagiarism and provides examples that can be used for an in-class activity and discussion.
career profile assignment

The World as Seen, Heard, Experienced, Written

An assignment sequence where students explore the world of the arts, beginning with photography and increasing in writing involvement and critical scrutiny through the worlds of music and film before finally concluding in a work of literature. Through these various lenses, students examine both the status of these arts, what goes into evaluating them, and their relation to their campus, its history, and the world at large.
career profile assignment

Writing a Research Proposal

Submitted by John Casey. A research proposal assignment for a required composition class focused on academic writing and research.
participation professionalism

Reflection on Professionalism & Participation

A handout distributed in class that asks students to reflect on their actions as a developing professional and their participation in class. Participation is...
career profile assignment

Career Profile

An engaging and easily adaptable assignment for early career students that helps them navigate their college career paths

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workshop creative writing feedback

Ethics Self-Quiz

Discussing ethics in Creative Nonfiction can feel like a static list of do's and don'ts but I start my unit by giving them this Ethics Self-Quiz
career profile assignment

Critical Etymology

A brief description of a critical etymology writing assignment for a 200-level Introduction to Criticism and Theory course
imagery

Concrete Imagery in Poetry Scattegories

To begin: I have students call out a list of abstractions. Usually we end up with some variation on the following: fear sadness joy depression ...