PANEL & ROUNDTABLE: Writing-To-Learn: Using Writing To Support Learning (40 mins)


  • Tom Polk George Mason University
  • Kathryn Meeks George Mason University
  • Emily R C Staudt George Mason University



Writing-to-learn (WTL) assignments are low-stakes approaches to teaching course content through writing. These short and informal writing tasks offer students an opportunity to explore and consolidate their understanding of concepts. Research has demonstrated that WTL assignments increase critical thinking, enhance student engagement, and improve student reading comprehension. They can also be quite a lot of fun as they can facilitate more creative and personal connections to content and between peers. In this interactive session, faculty will learn the fundamentals of writing-to-learn pedagogies, discuss some sample WTL assignments from across disciplines, and have the opportunity to develop and discuss their own assignments.

Author Biographies

Tom Polk, George Mason University

Thomas Polk currently serves as Acting Director of the Writing Across the Curriculum Program and teaches academic and professional writing in the English department. His current research interests focus on WAC, writing development, literacy studies, and technical communications. Recent research has focused on writing assignment design, faculty development, research methodologies, and style pedagogies. Prior to working at Mason, he coordinated the writing center at Bowie State University

Kathryn Meeks, George Mason University

Graduate Professional Assistant

Emily R C Staudt, George Mason University

Graduate Teaching Assistant






WEDNESDAY 10:00am-10:40am