11 Things You Could Start Doing Today for the Benefit of Your Students’ Writing

are on the tomorrow log.

1. Give writing assignments in written form, not just word of mouth.

Your student will be able to carry away your actual words about the assignment, not just a vague memory of them, and when she wonders at 1 a.m. what she’s really supposed to do, she’ll refer to your handout. For many students, puzzling over an assignment sheet becomes the first step in doing the writing. And for you, the act of writing down the assignment will help clarify its connection to your course goals.

This one is harder for me to imagine because I already have it on the syllabus. Do they need it again?

5. In class, write when your students are writing.

You are what you teach. If you want your students to write, be a writer in a way visible to them. Embody the writing way of life. If, for example, you ask students during a charged dialogue to pause and reflect in writing for 10 minutes, your joining them displays a commitment to writing as a way to struggle deeply with hard questions.

This I don’t do and I should.

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