University of Vermont

Center for Teaching and Learning

Teaching International and Multilingual Students

Framing and Evaluating Student Writing

Appropriate norms for academic writing can vary across different cultures and educational systems. A few challenges that international students face due to these differences include appropriate framing of their own or other writers’ ideas, as well as proper application of a genre or a required academic style. Some strategies for creating and evaluating writing assignments include:

  • Clearly explain expectations and objectives for the writing assignment.
  • Because it takes much longer to write correctly and effectively in a non-native language, it is helpful to provide as much lead time as possible for assignments.
  • Consider dividing the assignment into stages or drafts. This can facilitate the writing process and give students an opportunity to implement feedback effectively.
  • Prioritize what to focus on when giving feedback. (For example, it might be counterproductive to provide detailed feedback on grammar choices in cases where major ideas or arguments are not developed appropriately.)
  • Refer students to on-campus or online resources where they can access guidelines about certain academic styles and conventions (citation, paraphrasing, bibliography, etc.)
  • For potential issues with plagiarism, please read Promoting Academic Integrity.

Tip sheets from UVM's Writing in the Disciplines Program:

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