The Center for Writing Studies

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Center Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) Handouts

The Sequencing of Assignments

Rank the following assignments in order of difficulty. In other words, assign a one (1) to the assignment which places fewest cognitive demands on the student, a two (2) to the next least demanding, etc. Briefly explain your decisions.

Construct a summary of the article about nuclear power by abstracting its key sentences and connecting them by means of appropriate transitions.

List and explain five differences in the attitudes toward Indians held by New England settlers and Russian traders.

During what periods of American history have the critics of capital punishment helped to decrease its popularity, and what forces have usually brought it back in favor?

Discuss the Miami riots in light of one or more of the theories of civil disobedience you have read this semester.

Compare the respiratory systems of amphibians and reptiles.

After reading about the classification of creative myths, assign the following mythic stories to their categories and explain the basis of your choices.

After reading about the process of photosynthesis, abstract the key phrases of the process. Begin with a definition.

Define what is meant by bilingual education.


These assignments appear in Malcolm Kiniry and Ellen Strenski’s article, “Sequencing Expository Writing: A Recursive Approach,” College Composition and Communication, 36, May 1985.