Arts and Humanities

From Topic to Thesis

Author: 
Tisha Turk, Gender and Women's Studies, UW-Madison
Description: 
Students may do a good job of coming up with a suitable thesis or argument, but how can instructors help students to move beyond the obvious or the ordinary? In this handout, instructor Tisha Turk shows her students what she’s thinking as she reads their ideas to help them understand reader expectations

A well-constructed thesis statement helps hold an essay together by showing the reader where the paper is going to go.

In-class Discussions of Student Writing: Maximizing the Effectiveness of Your Writing Lessons and Minimizing the Class Time You Use for Them

Author: 
Molly Peeney, Slavic Languages and Literature, UW-Madison
Description: 
Instructor Molly Peeney gives step-by-step instructions for leading in-class discussions of student writing. She has used the following format for Literature in Translation 204. 

Using student writing samples as the basis of your in-class discussions about writing is an effective method to teach writing and it saves you time. Why?

Helping Your Students Improve Their Writing and Their Learning

Author: 
Brad Hughes, UW-Madison WAC Program
Description: 
Here are some suggestions, based on research and experience, for improving your students' writing--and for improving the experience you have assigning, reading, and responding to it.

While many of these principles and techniques take time to implement, and some may be logistically impossible in large classes, they have proven successful here and at many other schools in courses

Weekly Assignments in Theatre and Drama and History of Science

Author: 
Karen Ryker, Michael Shank
Description: 
Professor Karen Ryker and Professor Michael Shank use weekly writing assignments to encourage student engagement and to stimulate class discussions. "The Journal" and "The Weekly One Pager" are two examples of these types of assignments.     

The Journal  

Strategies for Working with Multilingual Writers

Author: 
Writing Across the Curriculum
Description: 
Based on teaching experience and research in applied linguistics and writing studies, the following strategies are best practices to follow when working with multilingual students at any stage of the writing process.

Preparing students for writing assignments

Burning Questions--Why Your Students Should Have Them

Author: 
Matthew Pearson
Description: 
Encouraging your students to write about issues that genuinely interest them is one of the best ways to help students to learn new things in your course and to write high-quality papers.

One of the challenges facing any instructor is trying to pinpoint why some papers are compelling and pleasurable to read, while others are difficult to get through, or simply not that exciting to read. Often, a central reason for less-than-stellar writing is that a few students do not have a genuine interest in their topics and a desire to know more about it.

Daniel Hausman's Model Philosophy Paper

Author: 
Daniel Hausman
Description: 
On the Web site for his course on Contemporary Moral Issues, Professor Daniel Hausman offers students general commentary on their first papers and illustrates his points with a model paper.

On the Web site for his course on Contemporary Moral Issues, Professor Daniel Hausman offers students general commentary on their first papers and illustrates his points with a model paper.

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