PS: Political Science & Politics

The Teacher

Writing Better Writing Assignments

Allison Ranka1 and Heather Poola2

a1 SUNY Oswego

a2 Denison University


Although most instructors care deeply about student writing, they often give little attention to the part of the writing process over which they maintain complete control: the assignment itself. Yet, the written prompt that we distribute is often where student confusion (and confused writing) begins. Using Bloom’s taxonomy as inspiration, we offer instructors a typology directly linked to course objectives, which we believe can be readily understood by student writers.