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Regularly asking students to write down their thoughts and reactions to class readings and discussions is an effective method of teaching and assessing student learning. Furthermore, as composition teachers will attest, frequent writing assignments, regardless of content, dramatically improve writing skills. Asking students to think “on paper” about topics encountered in the classroom encourages them to think about those topics in greater depth, relate them to their own lives, and thus connect the classroom to the world outside. I will describe four kinds of useful short writing assignments – freewriting, the non-quiz, the one-minute paper, and logbooks.

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Working Paper

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Engineering | Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences | Physical Sciences and Mathematics | Social and Behavioral Sciences

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Copyright 2001-2005, Kenneth D. Pimple, Ph.D. All rights reserved.

For information about this work, please contact Kenneth D. Pimple, Ph.D., Director of Teaching Research Ethics Programs, Poynter Center for the Study of Ethics and American Institutions, Indiana University, Bloomington IN 47405-3602; (812) 855-0261; FAX 855-3315;;;

Permission is hereby granted to reproduce and distribute copies of this work for nonprofit educational purposes, provided that copies are distributed at or below cost, and that the author, source, and copyright notice are included on each copy. This permission is in addition to rights of reproduction granted under Sections 107, 108, and other provisions of the U.S. Copyright Act. Before making any distribution of this work, please ascertain whether you have the current version by contacting the author or the Poynter Center or checking; follow the link to “Resources for teaching research ethics,” and then to “Using Short Writing Assignments. . . .”

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