Five principles

Writing should meet teaching goals

Working backward from goals

Guidelines for writing assignments

Resource: Checksheets

Resource: Sample assignments

Resource: Sample grading criteria

Teacher commentary

Additional Resources

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Authors & Contributors

Resource: Checksheets

Visitors to this site are welcome to download and print these guidelines.

Checksheet 1: (thanks to Kate Kiefer and Donna Lecourt)


Have I


Checksheet 2: (thanks to Jean Wyrick)

  1. Is the assignment written clearly on the board or on a handout?
  2. Do the instructions explain the purpose(s) of the assignment?
  3. Does the assignment fit the purpose?
  4. Is the assignment stated in precise language that cannot be misunderstood?
  5. If choices are possible, are these options clearly marked?
  6. Are there instructions for the appropriate format? (examples: length? typed? cover sheet? type of paper?)
  7. Are there any special instructions, such as use of a particular citation format or kinds of headings? If so, are these clearly stated?
  8. Is the due date clearly visible? (Are late assignments accepted? If so, any penalty?)
  9. Are any potential problems anticipated and explained?
  10. Are the grading criteria spelled out as specifically as possible? How much does content count? Organization? Writing skills? One grade or separate grades on form and content? Etc.
  11. Does the grading criteria section specifically indicate which writing skills the teacher considers important as well as the various aspects of content?
  12. What part of the course grade is this assignment?
  13. Does the assignment include use of models (strong, average, weak) or samples outlines?