Center for Teaching, Learning & Technology

Assignment Checklist

Assignment Design & Sequence Checklist

This checklist is adapted from Elements of Teaching Writing and George Mason University’s Writing Across the Curriculum program.


Can the student given this assignment answer these questions:

___ What am I, the author, writing about?

___ For whom?

___ For what purpose?

___ In what form?


___ Can the assignment be summarized in one or two key sentences? Are the intellectual tasks/operations clearly denoted (e.g., compare/contrast; define; analyze cause and effect, etc.)?

___ Do I provide specific guidelines and due dates to help students perform to my expectations?

___ Are there useful strategies and helpful resources I might suggest?


___ If students are writing primarily for me, do they know my expectations and values?

___Would it be helpful to expand the audience beyond myself? To peers, for example?

___ Would imaginary or hypothetical conditions improve the task?


___ Does the assignment relate to what comes before and after in the course?

___ Am I asking students to explore the subject matter in increasingly complex ways?

___ Is there a step-by-step development of skills?

___ Do I give students enough time to read, research, draft, write, and rewrite?

___ Will students be given class time for peer review and editing?


___ Do I communicate what constitutes a successful response to this assignment (e.g. show them a model paper, use criteria for grading, give a rubric for “A,” “B,” “C,” failing grades)?

___ Do I provide students a chance to evaluate themselves or one another?

___ Have I considered if students will be allowed to revise?

Useful Sources:

Gottschalk, Katherine and Keith Hjortshoj. The Elements of Teaching Writing: A   Resource for Instructors in all Disciplines. New York: Bedford/ St. Martin’s, 2003.

"George Mason University." Writing Across the Curriculum. N.p., n.d. Web.

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