Scaffolding assignment

In class, we had the opportunity to create an assignment that we could possibly take into our FYC (English 1101 and 1102) courses that we will teach next fall. I tried my best to come up with an assignment that is scaffolded, builds upon itself, so students can interact with the assignment on multiple levels to understand the concepts. This is the final draft, after workshopping with my peers and countless revisions. The majority of the assignment has individual work, student interaction, revisions, and practice with audience, voice, and tone. I will paste my assignment design bellow:

Audience Revision—Understanding Tone and Audience


In this assignment, we will focus on various audiences and voices to understand why writers make certain rhetorical decisions. This assignment will prepare you to analyze writing and respond to peers in order to gain a fuller understanding on rhetorical choices. This assignment will lead into your first paper of the semester, which will be a rhetorical analysis of an artwork of your choice (we will discuss this more as the semester progresses). The main goal of this assignment is to have students to be able to identify different audiences and be able to adjust their writing and rhetorical choices accordingly. This is worth doing because students will learn to think about why they are making certain choices, and anticipate what those could look like for each different audience.

Threshold Concepts 

  • Writing is a social and rhetorical activity 
    • This is an important concept to take into future classes and assignments. We all connect with writing inside and outside of school. It is important to work on these skills that are connected to our daily life.
  • Writing enacts and creates identities and ideologies
    • As we are moving through this course, we will focus on our personal voice while understanding how our personal voices are situated almost other’s voices and identities.

Content Focus

This is not content focused, but objective focused.

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will be able to contrast the different voices that derive from different audiences.
  • Students will be able to modify their rhetorical choices and voices to fit different audiences.
  • Students will be able to analyze rhetorical choices.
  • Students will be able to effectively critique classmate’s writing for clarity.

Assignment Steps and Sequence

  1. Students will chose and audience from the following list:
    1. Personal relationship: parent, sibling, or grandparent
    2. Professional relationship: a professional in your field (related to your major)
    3. Student relationship: your classmates and/ or me

2. Students will then compose 200-300 words explaining a topic of your choice, geared towards your chosen audience. I can provide some examples of topics in class if you are stuck and unable to come up with one that you like. 

3. Students will then come to class with their paragraphs and we will workshop them in class. This is where your participation is critical! You will be required to bring in a typed copy of your paragraphs so you and your peers will have something physical to workshop on. We will separate into about four groups and we will go around reading our paragraphs. You will give:

-critical feedback

-an assessment on who the audience is

-why you believe that the audience is a specific identified audience

-what rhetorical choices is the writer using to convey this to the audience

(think sentence structure, word choice, tone, and voice)

-was it effective? Why or why not?

I will go around to add to and listen to some of your conversations.

4. Once we have adequate time for feedback, I will require each of you to revise your paragraphs. This is where the main portion of the assignment and assessment will come from. The revisions could take place in any form (Ex: blog post, video, flyer, or text on paper) for a NEW audience from the list above.

5. These new revisions will be placed in the dropbox before the next class and we will continue with our lesson and discussion on rhetorical analysis, audience, and voice. These are important foundations to keep in mind when you are working on your first essay.

6. Please include a 150-200 word reflection with your revision letting me know exactly what you did to change your topic to fit the needs of the new audience. Talk about the form you chose and give yourself a mini-analysis. Did your choices and changes work? If so, why? If not, why?

Notes on the Writing Process

The writing process can be an incredibly difficult and taxing process. We, as a class, will take out time understanding the rhetorical tools that writers have at their disposal in order to craft unique texts for various audiences. We will tackle this project in stages, and hopefully will come out of this assignment feeling well-equip to tackle the first essay of the semester. Please let me know if you are having any difficulty identifying specific qualities of your intended audience— I am free to meet in my office hours to talk about how you can progress in this assignment. Also, I highly recommend going to the Writing Center (available on both campuses) in order to start the brainstorming process, assess the clarity of your writing, or just to get a fresh set of eyes on your assignment.

Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help you all with this process—there are a lot of helpful resources on campus!

Helpful Links

Assessment and Evaluation

This assignment will be graded on a standard grading scale. 

A separate grade will be taken for each student’s participation in the discussion and workshop; however, the majority of this grade will come from your revisions post-workshop. 

I am looking for an in-depth analysis and reflection for your revision. You will not only be graded on your ability to apply the concepts we have learned in your writing, but for your ability to explain what you did and why you did it.

The rubric will be as followed:

-First writing assignment: 0/10 possible points

-Participation on class discussion: 0/10 possible points

-Revised first writing assignment: 0/20 possible points

-Second writing assignment: 0/20 possible points

-Reflection: 0/20 possible points

-Clarity, grammar, displaying understanding of concepts: 0/20 possible points

TOTAL: 0/100 possible points

Here is a student copy of this assignment: