Faculty Resources for Writing Instruction

Planning Writing In Your Course

After reviewing the syllabi of Southwestern professors, we’ve identified the five most common approaches to sequencing major writing assignments.  On the following pages, we discuss the benefits and drawbacks of these approaches and offer examples of each.  We hope that these resources will provide some guidance as you plan how you’ll incorporate writing in your course syllabus.

Please click through to read about Choosing an Approach to Sequencing.  This page contains a series of questions designed to help you prioritize your goals for writing in your course.  There are several different approaches to sequencing you may consider, and the following pages provide an overview of each.

After you decide on your major writing assignments, it can be helpful to consider how you’ll scaffold writing in your class. The goal of scaffolding is to present students with low-stakes writing assignments that increase in complexity and difficulty over the course of the semester and to support them as they move from writing for familiar but challenging assignments to writing complicated, innovative, discipline-specific work.

There are several low-stakes activities you can use to scaffold writing: our page Teaching Writing in Your Classroom offers 50 activities you can use in your classroom tomorrow to help your students write increasingly-complex papers.

Once you decide how you’ll want to incorporate writing in your syllabus, you may want to check our our resources on designing effective writing assignment, as well.