Strategies for Teaching Writing

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Teaching writing can happen in varied ways depending on your purposes and goals. In this video, CMU faculty members suggest strategies that help students understand the value of writing. They also discuss how to engage students in the process of writing and how to use writing to foster deeper understanding of course material. Included are strategies for discussing the importance of writing in professional life and ways to help students become more aware of audience expectations and the structure of different genres. Faculty review ideas for talking about the writing process and for discussing their own writing challenges and successes with students.

Navigate to resources​ for Module​ 4.​​

Teaching Strategies for Building Students' Writing Skills

Over the course of a semester, you can integrate a variety of teaching strategies to support your students as writers. From assignments ranging from brief, in-class writing-to-learn activities to longer assignments that stretch over days or weeks, each type of strategy can help your students appreciate that writing is a tool for thinking. Popular strategies include the "minute essay," exit tickets, on-going journals, and reading summaries. Other strategies involve sequenced assignments that build over time into more substantive pieces. Consider asking students to examine professional pieces to determine how the authors made them work, inviting professional writers as guest speakers, and penning revision comments that promote greater focus on critical thinking and deeper connections. Also, you can ask students for permission to use their writing as models, both in your current courses as well as to save for future courses.

Additional strategies to consider can be found on these sites:


Permission to Use Student Work Handout

Using Models in Instruction​​

Content you can post online for students to review at home: 

Prepared Quizzes​ (Suggestion for Blackboard administration: Give students 2 to 3 attempts to achieve 90% mastery or higher. Instructors are responsible for proofing/editing item banks prior to uploading.

  • In-class 7 item T/F Plagiarism Quiz to Sign
  • Plagiarism 20 item T/F item pool for Blackboard
  • Basic Punctuation 80 item MC item pool for Blackboard
  • Paragraphs and Transitions 20 item T/F item pool for Blackboard​


Light, Richard J. 2001.  Making the most of college: Students speak their minds.  Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Pinker, S. (2014). The sense of style: The thinking person's guide to writing in the 21st century. New York, NY: Penguin.