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Writing Assignments that Avoid AI

Avoid Assignments That: 

  • Summarize a source.
  • Deliver broad information on an established general topic.
  • Analyze materials (such as a classic novel) when similar analyses openly exist online.
  • Share un-verifiable personal reflection details.
  • Critique topics that are openly critiqued in similar ways online.


  • Properly incorporate a specific number of scholarly sources in a particular format.
  • Explain how specific supporting information connects back to course content (thereby making new knowledge).
  • Define a discipline-specific organization for the project, ideally providing a concise outline.

Human-focused Activities

  • Put students in pairs. Assign an audio pre-write conversation before the students begin writing.
  • Assign a class presentation pre-write before students begin writing, with class Q&A time.
  • Require students visit a Writing Center tutor to talk about their project.
  • In class, ask students to pair and share progress/plans/challenges for various stages of drafting, including outlining, setting up topic sentences for each paragraph, and first draft writing.
  • Put students in teams to complete group assignments, ideally about real-world scenarios (such as interviewing locals to build an oral history, or working with a service-learning client).

Download the shareable document: Human-focused Writing Assignments (438KB)


Writing Center
Zahnow 250
(989) 964-6061

Dr. Bill Williamson, Acting Assistant Director
Zahnow 250B
(989) 964-2055