Writing, more than simply a mode of communication, is a powerful means of learning. Within each discipline students must learn techniques of observation, critical thinking, conceptualization, and particular terms and modes of discourse. The process of writing affords students with needed practice in all these areas. Often the practitioners of a given discipline are in the best position to teach students how to write for that discipline. Further, people learn to write more fluently by writing often, receiving frequent feedback from instructors and peers, and revising their work.

GSIs encounter many kinds of student writing, from short essay answers on exams to fully executed research papers. Reading, evaluating, and responding to these can be daunting. However, because writing is such an important way for students to process material and show the extent of their understanding, this section of the Teaching Guide for GSIs addresses strategies for creating useful assignments, teaching students through these assignments, and evaluating student writing on a tight time budget.

In This Section

Creating Writing Assignments

Writing in Technical Fields

Guiding Research Papers

Drafts, Edits, Revisions

Grading Essays

‘ESL’ Writing: Frequently Asked Questions

Time Management Suggestions for Grading Student Writing

Additional Resources