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Writing in My Class

by Mary Stevenson, Coordinator of Writing Across the Curriculum

At a brown bag lunch this fall, faculty members from the Math, English, Philosophy and Accounting departments shared their writing assignments with each other.  Although individual content differed, they frequently found common goals as well as techniques that could be adapted by faculty in other disciplines.

As a follow-up, WAC will feature sample assignments from our faculty. Look for the heading "Writing in My Class" on the faculty list serve.  If you are interested in contributing material, please contact me.  These may be formal research papers, essay tests, exploratory writing, lab reports, note-taking exercises, or any other type of writing assignment.  You may accompany your assignment with an explanation of your goals and tips to aid student success.

At that same gathering, faculty members expressed an interest in guidelines for grading writing. I hope in the near future to establish a Web site for WAC which will feature the "C" standard adopted by the state of Maryland and some sample criteria various English instructors use in writing classes.  If you would like this material delivered by the old system (campus mail), just let me know.

Writing in My Class: Mary Falkey
Mary Falkey asks her Accounting 102 students to write memos on issues covered in their textbook.  She describes a real life situation that an accountant might encounter; then requires students to respond in a memo, the business form they will use as professional accountants.

For example, the GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) clearly state that reported profits must be accurately reported.  But in difficult financial times, a boss might ask the accountant to report a sale as occurring now, even though that sale will not happen until next year.  The student has to write a convincing and politely worded memo to the boss.

This assignment is very short but forces the students to struggle with an important ethical issue in a very sensitive situation, one that they might very well face in their careers.

Writing in My Class: LeRoy Badger
LeRoy Badger, in his English classes, faces a problem that faculty across the curriculum face: plagiarism.  The college offers help (see Alan Mickelson on extension 0464 for information on Turn It In).  But Professor Badger has a shortcut that has worked well.  He does a search, typing in key words.  Within minutes, he has found the work his student lifted from the Internet.


The Instructional Area Newsletter, Volume 17, No. 2

Fall 2001