Types of Writing Assignments You Can Use

"Not everyone can be expected to teach writing, but anyone can teach WITH writing."

– Jon Olson
Director,
Center for Excellence in Writing, Penn State

During the initial planning phases of CCC&TI's QEP, an informal sampling of faculty representatives from each department and/or program were asked for specifics on how they use writing in their classes and their views on writing and writing assignments at CCC&TI.

The survey showed that writing is already incorporated into a majority of classes in some way, and that faculty members are open to sharing ideas with one another about how to use writing more effectively in the classroom.

Four categories of writing assignments emerged from this survey. The QEP committee hopes this list can be used as a resource to help expand the types of assignments you may already use. You can also submit additional ideas to be included in this list.

Personal writing (writing to learn)

  • Journal responses on a variety of assigned topics
  • In-class essays
  • Listening/viewing responses to music, films, speakers
  • Responses to peer writing, oral presentations, art, and photography
  • Personal evaluations of class discussion
  • Individual progress reports
  • Personal history assignments on a variety of topics
  • Personal stand papers on controversial topics
  • Personal belief papers or shorter opinion assignments
  • Personality and lifestyle analysis essays
  • Keyboarding text-entry assignments

Academic writing (writing to show understanding)

  • Research papers on a variety of assigned topics in English, history, sociology, psychology, humanities, philosophy, and religion courses
  • Analysis papers: literary, film, music, art, financial statements, speeches, web sites, cases studies
  • In-class essays and essay exams
  • Lab, technical, and business reports on a variety of assigned topics
  • Reviews:  books, magazines articles, web sites
  • Summaries of articles, chapters, workshops
  • Discussion questions on readings
  • Project portfolios

Public writing (writing for an outside audience)

  • Resumes, cover letters
  • Newsletters
  • Business correspondence
  • Email correspondence
  • Letters to editor, elected officials
  • Published reports

Creative writing (writing for creative expression)

  • Poetry, short stories, etc.