The Archive of Teaching Materials for the Knight Institute makes available the winning entries for the John S. Knight and James F. Slevin Assignment Sequence Prizes and for the Knight Award for Writing Exercises. These sequences and exercises were produced for First-Year Writing Seminars, one of the country's largest and most diverse programs in writing in the disciplines: each semester, over 100 different courses are taught in more than 30 departments and programs located in the humanities, social sciences, expressive arts, and sciences. Through introductory work in each seminar's particular field of study, students learn to write in a range of genres and in ways that emphasize clarity, coherence, intellectual force, and stylistic control.

All documents (in pdf form) are searchable; “Assignment Sequences” and “Writing Exercises” may be searched separately, or the entire archive may be searched at once. For a more in-depth description of how to use these materials, please go to the following link:

So that we may continue to improve the Archive, please report any problems with searching to the Knight Institute: .

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  • How to Craft an Academic Title? 

    Huang, Junting (2018)
    In this exercise, students learn to analyze academic titles of a research essay. It consists of three separate steps. They are designed to help them 1) identify the “academic style,” 2) understand the basic elements (the ...
  • Honing Close Reading through Lectio Divina and the Edan Project 

    Kioko, Victoria Emma (2018)
    My course asked students to take pleasure in the many facets of “the story” - its motivations, assertions, paradoxes, strategies, and inconsistencies through readings of some of the most recent great books from African ...
  • Tackling Long, Complicated Sentences 

    Freshour, Carrie (2017)
    This is a handout for an in-class lesson, provided midway through the semester on correcting long, wordy, complicated sentences to improve student writing for clarity. Students revisit this activity during a peer-review ...
  • How to Argue Like a Philosopher 

    Mobus, Freya (2017)
    This assignment sequence helps students to learn how to argue like a philosopher. Philosophical arguments have a certain structure, and the often very abstract content requires a high level of clarity. My preparatory writing ...
  • Film Viewing Refection Worksheet 

    Kriszta, Pozsonyi (2017)
  • Creative Writing Exercise: Crafting a Text for a Specific Audience 

    Benedetta Luciana Sara, Carnaghi (2017)
    The goal of this sequence of writing exercises is to teach students to be aware of the intended audience of their texts. It also helps them pay attention to the genre that their text belongs to, the goal(s) that it should ...
  • Writing as an Act of Conversing: Discussing Free Speech 

    Lucia, Munguia (2017)
    This assignment sequence includes three essays, various preparation assignments, and in-class activities. Crafted for the development of critical thinking skills, it takes students through a brief history of the philosophical ...
  • Thesis Telephone 

    McDonald, Cait (2016)
    Argumentative writing requires that you state a position and make a claim. Typically this main claim, or thesis, will come at the end of your introduction, where it functions to summarize of what you’ll be arguing in your ...
  • Putting the Moves on Your Readers: How to Construct a Seductive and Scintillating Opening Paragraph 

    Hall, Amelia (2016)
    This handout demystifies the moves that a successful “opening paragraph” should make, and in particular suggests that students think of their opening paragraphs as needing to attract readers with two really good “one-liners”—the ...
  • Digital Dissections Using Voyant 

    Hall, Amelia (2016)
    This assignment sequence consists of two lab report writing assignments, an informal writing assignment on endings, an introduction to digital humanities handout, and a “How to Perform a digital dissection” handout, all ...

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