* Adapted from "Designing Writing Assignments with Assessment in Mind," a workshop with John Bean, May 1999.
Good (critical) thinking and good (clear) writing involves
Ask students to generate-write down--a question they have about a text, a lecture or lab, a class discussion, an experiment-any kind of problematic situation.
Ask them to continue writing (for x number of minutes/x amount of space) working to answer the question they have posed. The idea is to try out as many answers as possible and to come to some sense of a best possible answer, explaining why this hypothesis makes sense.
Ask students to read through what they have written and then write down a new question that emerges out of what they have already written.
Repeat laps of QHQ as often as possible/appropriate.
Carmen Werder, Western Washington University
Click the image below to download the PDF with examples of low-stakes writing assignments.