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Student Writing Standards

We would not hand a student a violin and ask them to play, so why would we  expect that after one course in writing students would be proficient? Writing, like the violin, requires practice. And, like the beginning stages of learning the violin, the sound can be painful.

Students need practice in writing and we have made that commitment to give them just that: practice.

As a result, UTB faculty, from across campus, have devised a standard for writing a paragraph: the foundation of any successful paper, essay question, or foundation for critical thinking. This standard will be presented to students during their campus orientation, their University Experience First Year class, and in the web and handbook student resources.

Obviously as students progress into their majors, each department and/or college will introduce their own standard according to the accreditation and professional organizational standards of their discipline.

The following pages will introduce the professional development activities and electronic tools that will assist faculty into introducing writing and critical thinking activities in all classes.

Paragraph Writing Certificate Program – This is a series of professional development workshops and activities that allow faculty and graduate students to earn a certificate in paragraph writing. This is a unique certificate program that is added to your professional qualifications and vita.

Safe Assign -  Let a tool check for plagiarism before students hand in a paper or assignment so you no longer are the plagiarism police.  Safe Assign is an electronic tool housed in Blackboard for students to submit their papers to check for plagiarisms. This teaches students about what plagiarism is and forces them to rewrite their papers if they have errored in judgement. 

Smart Thinking - This is an electronic tool for students to submit their papers for grammatical edits. This helps students to learn more about grammar, spelling and time management.

These tools allow faculty more time to teach, evaluate and access student learning and critical thinking skills while the tools help students understand the lengthy process of writing professionally. Students learn this on their own time and pace, fitting nicely into busy students’ schedules.

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