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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  • Reverse Outlining a Published Article 

    Post, Ryan (2018)
    With the goal of improving the organization of students' writing, this exercise asks students to create a reverse outline of the introductory section of a published article. For each paragraph, students must a) give the ...
  • Sentence Structure Variation 

    Armstrong, Kacie (2018)
    This exercise was designed to help students understand the importance of sentence structure variation. A model passage was used to dissect and evaluate sentence structure variety, and then students practiced this skill in ...
  • Writing to Read 

    Gunhan, Aslihan (2019)
    This assignment is tailored to function as a "Writing to Read" exercise that was conducted in the classroom. By giving the students short prompts, I asked them to consider themselves in different positions (like a journal ...
  • An Assignment Sequence on Layli Long Soldier’s “38” 

    Martinez, Yessica (2020)
    An assignment sequence on Layli Long Soldier’s “38” that engages students in a close reading practice and challenges them to use the evolving thesis model proposed by David Rossenwasser and Jill Stephens. Through pre-writing ...
  • Cultivating Disaster Literacy: Concepts, Ethics, Vulnerabilities, Temporalities 

    Lord, Austin (2020)
    This sequence of assignments was designed to help students build critical thinking and writing skills that will help them communicate more clearly about the complexities of disaster, climate change, and environmental ...
  • Voice, Genre, Style, Diction, Tone: A Musical Guide to Writing Style 

    Tyson, Lee (2020)
    This handout explains and clarifies the distinctions among aspects of writing style (voice, genre, style, diction, and tone) through parallel concepts in music. While particularly useful in a writing course on musical ...
  • Mapping a City 

    Moynihan, Michael (2020)
    This in-class activity is designed to teach mapping as a tool to develop a research question. It also incorporates a spatial element into the brainstorming process in order to make connections between concepts and terms ...
  • Argument Construction 

    Kumar, Sneha (2019)
    This exercise helps students think through the argument construction process. It uses a series of prompts that encourage students to think about the following questions as they develop their arguments: • how does the ...
  • Sentence Variety Exercise 

    Houck, Dan (2019)
    The exercise asks students to take a blank canvas of simple sentences and add variety to make it more interesting and to emphasize whatever they think is important. It is short and easy, but produced a wide array of results ...
  • Grant Proposal Assignment 

    Lau, Ting Hui (2019)
    Students were assigned a travel grant proposal as their final assignment. Students had to design a research plan, travel itinerary, and budget for the Southeast Asia Program (SEAP) Engaged Travel Grant. The SEAP Engaged ...

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