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ERIC Number: EJ886866
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 25
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0741-0883
Undergraduate Writing Assignments: An Analysis of Syllabi at One Canadian College
Graves, Roger; Hyland, Theresa; Samuels, Boba M.
Written Communication, v27 n3 p293-317 2010
Studies of university writing assignments demonstrate inconsistencies in the elements examined, making it difficult to achieve a clear understanding of the range, frequency, and characteristics of assignments that students might encounter. In this research study, syllabi from one university college were analyzed to determine the types and frequency of assignments and how these assignments vary by program and level. A total of 179 syllabi from all courses taught during 1 academic year were collected. On average, 2.5 writing assignments per course were assigned. Almost half of all assignments were 4 pages or less in length. Though length and grade value of assignments were significantly correlated, students did not write significantly longer or more high-stakes assignments as they progressed. The most common type of assignment was the term or research paper, though task labels were highly variable. Program profiles revealed differences between programs in frequency of assignments, learning goals, nested assignments, and in-process feedback. Implications for Writing Across the Curriculum programming and the development of departmental writing profiles are discussed. (Contains 7 tables and 1 note.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada