College Writing Expectations and Sample Assignments

First-Year College Writing Objectives from KSU and UA

First-year students at Kent State and The University of Akron are expected to master these outcomes by the end of the entry-level English course.

UA Basic Requirements (PDF)

KSU Tier I Learning Outcomes (PDF)

KSU Tier II Learning Outcomes (PDF)

College Writing Assignments from College Writing Instructors at Kent State

This collection of writing assignments are currently being used in first-year English classes at Kent State.

College Writing Assignments from KSU Fall 2015 (PDF)


Writing Instruction Ideas

Prompts and Rubric Created by Writing Ourselves Participants

These prompts and accompanying rubric were created by Writing Ourselves participants to correlate with first-year (freshman) writing outcomes from the first-year English courses at Kent State University and the University of Akron.

Prompts and Rubric for Students Fall 2015 (PDF)

Prompt for Students 2016-2017 (WORD)

Online Resources for the Teaching of Writing

Our Writing Ourselves Team provided this collection of online tutorials, and style guides for the teaching of writing.

Open Educational Resource (OER)

The Writing Studio at Colorado State

Purdue Online Writing Lab

Shmoop Videos for English teachers

Best Practices Contributed by Writing Ourselves Teachers

Participants in Writing Ourselves developed and compiled these best practices for writing instruction.

Writing Ourselves Best Practices from Participants (PDF)

Official Position Statement on the Teaching of Writing

NCTE Beliefs about writing

MultiModal Composition Resources

This section includes information for teachers interested in multimodal composition, which is increasingly required at the college level.

Best Apps for video creation

Video Storage Article – New York Times, July 27, 2014

Filmmaking For Kids: Rough Raw and Real

Technology and the Teaching of Writing

These articles describe some of the newest developments in digital writing.

Schwartz, K. (2013, July 16). How do tech tools affect the way students write? MindShift: How we will learn. View Material

Jinkins, S. (2015, April 19). At Arlington High School, blogs let students have a say. Star-telegram. View Material

Wong, A. (2015, April 21). Digital natives, yet strangers to the web. The Atlantic. View Material

How is technology shaping our writing experiences? The Digital Rhetoric Collaborative

Hybrid and Flipped Learning – Resources for both K-12 and higher View Material

Characteristics of College Students

A Few of Their Favorite ThingsNew York Times, February 6, 2015

Characteristics of College StudentsPlain Dealer, February 8, 2015

Books About Preparing for College Writing

Atwell, N. (1998). In the middle: New understandings about writing, reading, and learning. Second Edition Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Bean, J.B. (2011). Engaging ideas: The professor’s guide to integrating writing, critical thinking, and active learning in the classroom San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Kirszner, L.G., & Mandell, S.R. (2012). Patterns for college writing: A rhetorical reader and guide, twelfth edition New York, NY: Bedford’s/St. Martin’s.

Koch, S. (2003). The Modern Library writer’s workshop: A guide to the craft of fiction. New York, NY: Modern Library.

Graff, G., & Birkenstein, C. (2014). “They say/I say”: The moves that matter in academic Writing, Third edition New York, NY: Norton.

Johnson, T.R., (Ed.). (2008). Teaching composition: Background readings (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Bedford/St. Martin’s.

Lunsford, A., Ruszkiewicz, J.J., & Walters, K. (2012). Everything’s an argument. Sixth Edition New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s.

Newkirk, T. (2014). Minds made for stories: How we really read and write informational and persuasive texts Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Villanueva, V., (Ed.) (2011). Cross-Talk in comp theory: A Reader, Third Edition Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English.

Tate, G., Taggart, A.R., Schick, K., and Hessler, H.B. (Eds.) (2013).A guide to composition pedagogiesOxford: Oxford University Press.

Articles About Preparing for College Writing

from College Composition and Communication:

Alexander, J., & Rhodes, J. (2014). Flattening effects: Composition’s multicultural imperative and the problem of narrative coherence. College Composition and Communication, 65(3), 430-454.

Pigg, S. (2014). Emplacing mobile composing habits: A study of academic writing in networked social spaces. College Composition and Communication, 66(2), 250-275.

Wardle, E. (2014). Considering what it means to teach “composition” in the twenty-first century. College Composition and Communication, 65(4), 659-671.

Apps for Teaching Writing

Apps For Teachers to Give Feedback

Confer (for conferencing with kids)


Apps for Kids (or Teachers?) to Check Their Work


Hemingway (highlights long sentences)





Research Tools

Refme (referencing made easy)

Student Work Collaboration and Portfolio Tools

Google Drive


Three Ring


Students Curating Their Learning



Good Reads




Student Presentations




Explain Everything


Other Links of Interest

Using First Person in Academic Essay

The Writing Assignment that Changes Lives