Caveats in Assigning Writing for Real Audiences
Assigning writing for real audiences is extremely effective in making writing and overall course content matter to students. However, several caveats should be considered before administering such an assignment:
- Be sure to do your background work before introducing the assignment to students. Contact outside agencies, if applicable, look into editorial guidelines, establish Internet space for a classroom website, etc.
- Give students opportunities to write in support of their own point of view. For example, if assigning an editorial, allow students to express their own viewpoints relating to the subject under consideration. If assigning a grant proposal or letter for a letter writing campaign, allow students to choose from a list of previously contacted agencies representing a variety of perspectives.
- If you can't guarantee publication of students' writing, don't imply otherwise. Give students relevant information for checking the status of their submissions while reminding them to respect agencies' time and personnel constraints and discouraging them from damaging the agencies' relationship with the class.
What Am I Asking Students to Read?