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Using Writing as a Tool for Learning

Teachers often hesitate to assign writing because they think that all writing has to be evaluated. However, the very act of writing can foster student learning by allowing them to focus their attention at the beginning of class or to discover what they may not understand. In addition, a quick reading of this informal writing can help a teacher see how well students are understanding course material and/or what concepts are giving them trouble.

Writing-to-learn exercises and assignments can be done in-class or as homework. They can require very little time or involve regular, ongoing work by students. A list of such activities follows:

Regular Writing in Class

Regular Writing Outside of Class

Journals and Logs:

Further Reading

The following article originally appeared in our Teaching with Writing Across the Curriculum newsletter.

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Faculty Resources: