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I’m preparing a presentation on Sequencing Assignments for our Annual Writing Retreat. I plan to chart the Trajectory of an Assignment,
which shows an assignment starting at the informal writing phase and moving through multiple drafts to self-critical awareness on the part of the student. I will, also, demonstrate Building an Assignment Sequence by showing five increasingly difficult First-Year Seminar paper assignments building.jpgI have used with my Jane Austen & Film First-Year Seminar.

My best advice for Assignment Sequencing:

  • Start at the back end: know your goals.
  • Build forward, adding challenges and difficulties to achieve goals.
  • Make pedagogy transparent by discussing with students the reasons behind the assignments.

This last is often overlooked, but I find when I share with students the deliberate reasons for my assignments, they become more deliberate in their decisions about their own papers.

One Response to “Building Assignment Sequencing”

  1. Barbara says:


    I bet this talk was very useful for the faculty at the retreat, especially those new to teaching the first-year seminar. You break down the process in a way that demystifies the teaching of writing. Bravo!

    Are you planning to put these slides on the CTLR site?

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