Writing Across the Curriculum stamp of approvalWant better student performance? Scaffold the research and writing process over the span of a course. With scaffolding, students can write higher quality papers and better meet the CLOs because they have the opportunity to receive and apply feedback.

Here are Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) committee approved options for scaffolding the writing process within the course design:

Option 1: Weekly Assignments Build into a Final Paper or Project

Each week, students will work toward a final paper that covers the course concepts for the entire course. For this structure, the final paper should be at least 35% of the final grade since students will work toward it for 5 weeks. The weekly development pieces should be for minimal worth and do not have to be formal assignments.

Example 1:

Here is an example of a less prescriptive final project where the topic and/or items of discussion are not included (this might work best in lower-division courses):

  • Choose a topic to explore and begin the research process
  • Develop and submit a research question or narrowed focus of the topic; Summarize background information about the topic; Justify the significance of your research question
  • Useful writing resources: Developing a Topic

 In order to ensure alignment for QM and data tracking, the writing development work can be submitted via your choice of

Discussion, Journal, Quiz, or Doc Sharing

 

  • Continue research process and develop and submit a working thesis statement and detailed outline of final paper including all points of discussion for paper.

In order to ensure alignment for QM and data tracking, the writing development work can be submitted via your choice of

Discussion, Journal, Quiz, Doc Sharing, or Bubbl.us

  • Write and submit a draft (focusing on the introduction and body paragraphs) of the final paper using the instructor feedback given on the working thesis and detailed outline from Week 2 via a
Formal Assignment

*If the paper is lengthy (above 6 pages of content) this week should probably focus on just the introduction and the first 5 pages/several sections. Also, remember that this is an opportunity for growth, and the rubric should not be based on mastery of writing, but more on the development and understanding of course concepts.

  • Add additional research
  • Write conclusion (nothing to submit this week)
  • Revise draft and apply instructor feedback and any Writing Center feedback
  • Useful writing resources: Applying Feedback

*For those lengthy papers above 6 pages, students will write final portion of paper and conclusion applying feedback from instructor from first half of paper—students should use their feedback from the first half of the paper and apply that throughout—this will be part of the assessment for the final paper.

  • Utilize Grammarly for final proofreading
  • Check all APA formatting with the Introduction to APA resource
  • Run through Turnitin
  • Submit final paper via Waypoint

Example 2

Here is an example for a structured prescriptive final paper where the topic and/or items for discussion to be included are provided (*this might work best in upper-division and graduate courses):

In order to ensure alignment for QM and data tracking, the writing development work can be submitted via your choice of

Discussion, Journal, Quiz, or Doc Sharing

 

  • Write and submit body sections 1 and 2 of final paper (the number here may depend on how many sections the final paper is made up of) via a
Formal Assignment

 

  • Write and submit body sections [#]-[#] of final paper via a
Formal Assignment
  • Add additional research
  • Write conclusion (nothing to submit this week)
  • Revise draft and apply instructor feedback and any Writing Center feedback
  • Useful writing resources: Applying Feedback
  • Utilize Grammarly for final proofreading
  • Check all APA formatting with the Introduction to APA resource
  • Run through Turnitin
  • Submit final paper via Waypoint

Option 2: Include Required Writing Center Interactions

Another way to scaffold the research and writing process over the span of a course is to require Writing Center interactions. For example:

  • Students can use 24/7 Writing Tutoring to help them develop a thesis or an outline for the final paper. This service allows students to speak with a writing expert in real time about an assignment or a writing or APA question.
  • Students can use Paper Review in any week of the course to make sure they are on the right track and to get suggestions for revisions. With paper review, students have a partial or full draft reviewed and returned within 24 hours with a prioritized revision plan.
  • Students can use Grammarly as the final step in the writing process—proofreading. Grammarly is an instant proofreading program that checks over grammar, punctuation, and spelling.

Want help including WAC principles into your course design?

The Writing Center offers course development support through Writing & Learning Specialist liaisons who can...

  • work with you on best practices for scaffolding the writing process
  • recommend existing resources or create customized ones to support the writing needs for your course
  • answer questions you have about writing resources or student writing supports/services
  • collaborate with you during the course development