As you anticipate teaching a first-year seminar—or any other course in which writing plays a significant role—how do you approach teaching writing? Do you remember your experience as a student writer, sweating over assignments, staying up all night wondering what your instructors wanted, and never quite determining "the point"? Perhaps you are fortunate enough to remember positive writing experiences, and you might even look forward to teaching writing in your own classes, but you wonder how to teach something that is apparently an inherent talent. If you've had an opportunity to assign writing in previous courses, you might be frustrated with the work you've received and you may have resigned yourself to more of the same.
This tutorial is designed to help you and your students enjoy the benefits of writing instruction and to feel more positive about the writing students produce. The tutorial promotes a definition of academic writing that involves both instructor and students in a process that begins with formulation of course goals and preparation of related assignments and continues far beyond the last day of class. Units within this guide address the following frequently asked questions: