Teaching Your Course

The information below will help you think about how to prepare for class discussions, teaching reading and research, grading student papers, and dealing with challenges such as plagiarism.  For suggestions on teaching writing of the argumentative paper, go to "Teaching Argumentative Writing."

Leading Discussions

Discussion in the R&C course helps students enhance critical thinking skills and speaking/writing skills to meet reading and writing goals of the course.  The following resources offer ways to encourage student participation in your course.

Grading Written Work

Below you’ll find very helpful information and ideas about grading written work.  We also recommend that you look at the statewide scoring guide for the Analytical Writing Placement Exam, because it provides good general guidelines you might want to adapt to your own courses. There are so many issues involving grading that it’s impossible to cover them all here, and you should discuss grading with other members of your department.

Teaching Critical Reading

The “reading” part of the Reading and Composition requirement is often taken as a given, when in fact many students are not as effective readers as we expect or as they need to be—especially in their ability to read critically.  Instructors often need to practice “close reading” with their classes to give students a sense of “active” reading strategies that lead to engaged, critical reading.

Teaching Research

The second semester of the reading and composition requirement also focuses on the development of students' research skills and ability to incorporate source material effectively.  The following resources will assist you in approaching the teaching of research.

Dealing with Plagiarism

Most academic writing involves writing about texts, so the R&C course should teach students how to integrate sources into their own writing appropriately and smoothly.  In addition, while we don’t want to downplay the prevalence or seriousness of plagiarism, we can say that writing instructors can go a long way towards preventing it by carefully crafting assignments to be 1) integral to the theme and readings, 2) engaging to students, and 3) contain scaffolding assignments so that you can see the various stages students have gone through.  Some instructors ask students to submit a packet of all preparatory materials, the final paper, and a “reflection” piece on the writing of the paper.