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Writing Across the Curriculum

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Writing Assignments Across the Undergraduate Curriculum


Writing Assignments Across the Undergraduate Curriculum is a research project that, as the name suggests, focuses on creating a database of knowledge about the writing that undergraduates are asked to perform. The principal investigator for the research team is Roger Graves here at the University of Alberta. This research is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (410-201101845).

The project has two main activities. First, we collect and analyse groups of syllabi from departments, faculties (in the US the term would be colleges), or entire institutions. To date, we have collected and coded over 1700 writing assignments in 9 different academic units. Each syllabus has been analysed for 20 or more characteristics, and we have presented preliminary results from this work at local, national, and international conferences. Second, we are investigating beyond the syllabus and the descriptions of the assignments to identify the motives and concerns of faculty as they create their assignments, and the experiences of students as they attempt to write documents in response to the assignment prompts.

We are interested in collecting further groups of assignments and adding them to the database. To enquire about becoming a member of this project, email Roger Graves at

For a more detailed description of the research project, click here.

Research team members

University of Alberta Heather Graves
Dan Harvey
Aly Koskela
Melissa Haynes
Catherine Lee
University of Calgary Jo-Anne Andre
University of Lethbridge David Slomp
University of Manitoba Anne Parker
Kathryn Marcynuk
University of the Fraser Valley Gloria Borrows
Graham Shaw
University of Toronto Andrea Williams
Heather Coiner
University of Waterloo Judi Jewinski
Jay Dolmage
University of Winnipeg Jennifer Clary-Lemon
Huron University College Theresa Hyland
Grace Howell
Allan MacDougall
New Mexico State University Patricia Wojahn
Shelly Stovall
Royal Military College Marion McKeown
Wilfrid Laurier University Boba Samuels