As a result of his interviews with students, Light offers these suggestions when it comes to including writing assignments in college courses:
- Shorter papers are better than one longer paper. Light found that students who write four, five-page papers spend about 40 percent more time on their writing than students who were asked to submit one, 20-page paper.
- Have students write for each other, not just the instructor. Students who read and respond to each other’s work noted that doing so empowered them to explore new ideas and try new techniques with their writing.
- Focus writing assignments around a substantive course topic. Allow the students to explore content in-depth on their own, and provide feedback and support as they go through the process.