- Writing promotes learning
- Integration of writing and the writing process promotes student participation, a diversity of student voices, and engage students as critical thinkers while promoting their texts as important resources and thinking tools,
- Effective writing instruction integrates disciplines,
- Opportunities to write in every class develops good writers,
- Using writing as part of instruction can be used in every classroom,
- Only by practicing the thinking and writing conventions of an academic discipline will students begin to communicate effectively within that discipline.
Why assign writing in your classes? Students will learn more content and will leave your classroom better prepared to face thinking and communication challenges:
- To communicate information,
- To clarify thinking,
- To learn new concepts and information,
To engage in types of writing practice that will enhance students’ future academic and work opportunities.
Stage a Debate to help students see the other sides of arguments. Works well with a controversial article or assigned reading.
- First, identify the thesis of the reading and then ask students to move to either the “agree” side of the room or the “disagree.” (This aspect of the activity is great for encouraging every student’s participation. They have to move.)
- Facilitate a discussion as to why students have chosen the side that they have chosen and remind them that they need to move to the other side of the room if their opinion on the thesis changes at any point in the debate. (Ask them why).
- If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, midway through the debate, ask particularly resolute advocates of one side to move to the other side of the room and argue for that position.
Reading and Writing Thesis Statements – Have students identify an author’s thesis statement(s) and discuss why he or she chose that sentence/those sentences.
- Based upon this example from their reading, what elements do good thesis statements contain?
- What should such statements do in a paper, what is their purpose?
- Also, have students conduct the same activity on their own drafts of a thesis-driven writing assignment. Students could exchange papers and read their peers’ drafts looking for the thesis statement and focus of the paper. What is the focus of the paper and does the paper stick to that focus?