Just as the best place to start designing an individual writing assignment is by identifying assignment goals, the best place to start making course writing matter is by identifying course objectives. Why does your course matter? Make writing matter for the same reasons. For example, if I am teaching a course called Science and Society, my objectives might be to encourage students to analyze what the media reports about science, rather than receiving all coverage at face value. I might want students to recognize science as something we have created and to which we have assigned meaning, rather than accepting science as a universal and unchanging truth. In my course, then, I am encouraging students to think critically, analyze arguments, and challenge their own assumptions. These same skills contribute to and are fostered by the writing process. By communicating course objectives to students and tying writing to course goals, we can help students see how writing supports lasting academic and intellectual growth.
View Designing Rhetorical Contexts That Reflect the "Real World"