Pitching Writing

In "Pitching Writing", Laurence Musgrove gives advice to faculty teaching writing. One piece of advice concerned how faculty design assignments:

Garbage In, Garbage Out. And then come the many complaints that students don’t know how to write.

I don’t mean to place all of the blame on faculty — though some serious reflection on our culpability in these matters would certainly help. However, I did say to my colleague that students often fail to understand the complexity and time-consuming nature of writing, and instead of just demanding writing projects and assume students come to us as primed and ready to fire away, we need to help them manage their writing projects by providing carefully constructed assignments and a few opportunities to practice writing as a process over the course of the term.