The Content, Contextualization, and Effectiveness of Writing-Assignment Instruction Documents

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  • This study of writing-assignment instruction documents (WAIDs) uses concepts from Rhetorical Genre Studies to examine WAIDs as a rhetorical genre by exploring the information that WAIDs contain, their contextualization within the university classroom, and how they situate users within that context. Further, it compares instructor and student perceptions to infer how WAIDs can most effectively communicate instructors’ expectations for assignments and foster quality writing. My analysis of (a) WAIDs from 11 sophomore courses, (b) interviews with students and instructors from two sophomore courses, (c) WAIDs from those two courses, and (d) students’ assignments written with those WAIDs suggests the following: WAIDs contain up to twelve categories of information, reinforce classroom roles, and set boundaries for student action, and yet students may see WAIDs as supplementary to in-class discussion of instructors’ expectations for assignments. Also discussed are differences between the two sophomore classes in students’ recognition of expectations for writing assignments.

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  • Copyright © 2015 the author(s). Theses may be used for non-commercial research, educational, or related academic purposes only. Such uses include personal study, research, scholarship, and teaching. Theses may only be shared by linking to Carleton University Institutional Repository and no part may be used without proper attribution to the author. No part may be used for commercial purposes directly or indirectly via a for-profit platform; no adaptation or derivative works are permitted without consent from the copyright owner.
Date Created
  • 2015


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