Assigning Myself: an Action Research Investigation Into the Making of Writing Assignments

Date of Graduation

Summer 1998


Master of Arts in English



Committee Chair

Nancy Walker


Were teachers of writing to complete their own writing assignments before giving them to their students, they could better determine if the assignments they give allow examination of issues they, themselves, need to address, if their assignments tend to accommodate their own writing style preferences, and if they facilitate the learning they were intended to foster. During one semester of teaching college-level freshman composition, I completed my own assignments with my students in an attempt to illustrate both the value of teacher action research and the need for teachers of writing to attempt their own writing assignments. One discovery among many that I made was that my students and I found the same parts of the assignments difficult or easy to complete. Because of this, in doing future assignments myself, I could anticipate troublesome requirements and better determine pre-writing activities to aid students in their writing processes. I also learned that I tend to give assignments that allow for exploration of relationships with family and tend to be more demanding of students whose writing styles are similar to mine. I conclude the documentation of this study by urging all teachers of writing to attempt their own examination of teaching practices through educational action research.

Subject Categories

English Language and Literature


© Melissa Gail Everett