WRIT 102 Assignment Library

Welcome to the Writing 102 Assignment Library. This library is organized by major unit. Where applicable, each assignment’s page is subdivided by course theme.

WRIT 102 (First-Year Writing II) is a theme-based, first-year writing course designed to build on writing skills learned in either WRIT 100 or WRIT 101 and develop critical thinking and research skills appropriate for use in academic writing. The course pays special attention to developing argumentative skills, analyzing texts, and synthesizing information into thoughtful, coherent essays and projects. Students enrolled in WRIT 102 will produce papers that are longer and more in-depth than in WRIT 100/101. The course culminates in a final portfolio of the student’s work.

Course Objectives

The objectives of this course are

  • to develop basic writing skills learned in WRIT 100/101, including the understanding that writing is a process that develops over time

  • to write for specific purposes and for specific audiences,

  • to respond critically to different points of view, allowing the student to create effective and sustainable arguments,

  • to become skilled at locating primary and secondary research from a variety of sources and at evaluating their reliability, and

  • to become effective researchers and writers of research papers as a member of an active writing, reading, and researching community.

Rubrics

WRIT 102 uses a general rubric for all major assignments. There is a long version and a short version.

Analysis

Paper #1 is an analysis of a single text. This can be a response paper to an author’s argument or a profile or analysis of a person, place, or thing. It should be 3-4 pages with at least a single entry on the Works Cited page and is worth 10% of the student’s final grade.

Areas to highlight: This assignment will help students learn to look closely at a text (academic or otherwise) and begin the fundamentals of quoting and citation. Because some students may have had a disruption in time between a WRIT 100/101/equivalent course and a WRIT 102 course (even if it is only winter break), it is recommended that instructors go over thesis statements and paragraph construction that students should have learned in WRIT 100/101. Students may also need help in understanding the difference between summary and analysis.


Synthesis

From the Online Writing Lab at Purdue, “Synthesize means that you combine information in a way that could coherently and effectively present your ideas or opinions. In some assignments, you will be required to synthesize sources or ideas. This means that you will combine the sources and ideas and organize them in a way that is appropriate and approachable to your readers.”

After much discussion and analysis of the way instructors develop and execute the synthesis paper assignment, the WRIT 102 curriculum committee offers two different tracks for the instructor, although each informs the other: one focuses on research and the other focuses on composition.

In either track, the committee agrees that the synthesis essay should have the following outcomes:

The student will:

  • Write a 4-6 page essay with at least two, but no more than three, sources cited in a given citation style

  • Create and support a thesis using these sources

  • Select and evaluate high-quality, contextually relevant sources with an identifiable thesis, either stated or implied

  • Engage critically with sources by analyzing and evaluating source contexts and positions

  • Move beyond simple compare and contrast in blending (or integrating) sources

  • Address underlying assumptions and common themes within the sources

  • Become more comfortable with citation and good quoting/paraphrasing in preparation for the research essay


In-Class Writing

The in-class essay is a timed writing exercise where students may do similar work as in papers 1 and 2 in that students might be asked to respond to a particular text or argument or evaluate a text’s argument. This may be related to paper #3, the research paper. The in-class essay is worth 5% of the student’s final grade.

Areas to highlight: Timed writing can be intimidating to many students. Going over strategies to alleviate stress will be useful for this assignment and any future essay exam. Because the writing is so short, students may believe the writing process does not apply but instructors should model how to use brainstorming/outlining, drafting, and revision in this context, with special attention to time management. Students who do not do well in this assignment often do not prepare well for the in-class essay (by not bringing a required essay or optional notes) or do not read the prompt carefully. These areas should be addressed; Instructors may also opt for a practice timed essay in class.


Research Paper

Paper #3 is the research paper where students will come up with their research question in the context of the class theme. This paper should be 7-9 pages and use at least seven credible sources. This assignment is worth 20% of the student’s final grade.

Areas to highlight: This is the most intimidating assignment for students. Many of them may have never written this length of paper. Some may have only written an “informational” research paper and not an argumentative one. Since the class spends nearly a month of class periods on this assignment, the sequence of homework assignments, in-class work, and other elements of the process are important to a student’s success. Several class periods should be spent on developing a research question alone. This special care and attention will make the process much more manageable. Emphasize their many avenues of support – the instructor, their peers, the consultants in the Writing Center, and the reference librarians.


Multimodal Project

The multimodal assignment revises the research paper into another mode. This assignment is worth 15% of the student’s final grade.

Areas to highlight: This assignment is perhaps the most individualized by theme; however, problems with technology will the biggest issue. Instructors should take advantage of Andrew Davis (Lamar Hall Ste. B, Rm 22) to learn how to teach the technology to students. Instructors should keep in mind that this assignment can be as low or high tech as wanted.

In general, since this assignment is most often paired with the research papers, students may be tired of their subject or be reluctant to cut their papers. Further, failures in the paper version may translate to problems with the multimodal project. Try to return the research paper back as quickly as possible to alleviate this issue and try not to double-penalize them.


Reflection Blog

The creflection is a personalized space for recording, organizing, and reflecting on a student’s learning. This semester-long project incorporates daily, weekly, and unit reflections, culminating in a final reflective post (called an epilogue).

Areas to highlight: Many students will have practiced self-reflection and metacognition in WRIT 100/101, and WRIT 102 should build from this foundation. However, students who placed out of WRIT 100/101 may not have had much practice at all. In general, many will need help with being more specific about their learning. Students may have difficulty demonstrating their progress, or lack thereof, through examples, often resorting to more telling than showing. Students may also struggle to understand how tagging can be a mechanism to represent the larger structures of their learning. In WRIT 102, it is also a challenge to make this assignment fresh and engaging rather than rote and reflexive.


Critical Thinking

This folder contains critical thinking exercises, assignments, and class activities as well as research that can be used with any major unit.