Reading & Writing Across Curriculum

Why Should I Incorporate Writing into My Course?

"The most intensive and demanding tool for eliciting sustained critical thought is a well-designed writing assignment on a subject matter problem. The underlying premise is that writing is closely linked with thinking and that in presenting students with significant problems to write about—and in creating an environment that demands their best writing—we can promote their general cognitive and intellectual growth" (xiii).

“…integrating writing and other critical thinking activities into a course increases students’ learning while teaching them thinking skills for posing questions, proposing hypotheses, gathering and analyzing data, and making arguments” (1).

John Bean, Engaging Ideas

Click here for more on Bean and his book Engaging Ideas

When students are asked to produce a piece of work that articulates their position on a topic, they become more invested in it. Writing requires active, engaged learning. As students explore their ideas, they learn more about what they think. In “Writing as a Mode of Learning,” Janet Emig explores the idea of using writing as a tool. She says,  “Writing involves the fullest possible functioning of the brain, which entails the active participation in the process of both the left and right hemispheres” (Emig 10).  Working through one’s ideas on paper provides an interaction with meaning that is not found in any other way. Through writing, students are forced to work through their ideas and make them understandable for themselves and for others, and as they struggle, they learn.

So...How Do I Incorporate Writing into My Course?

This page was created by Meghan Swanson.

Reading and Writing Resources

Meghan Swanson
RAW Coordinator


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Originally created by
Karin Spirn and
Meghan Swanson

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Page last modified: April 25, 2017