Skip to main content Skip to footer

40 Writing Tasks and Activities

  1. Write a summary (of lecture, class discussion, readings, etc.) 
  2. Write test questions (based on lectures, class discussion, readings, etc.)
  3. Use free writing (on any topic) or focused free writing (on selected topic)
  4. Use key words (write definitions, associations, contrast to other words, etc.)
  5. Use mapping (write key word in center of page, map related words, associations)
  6. Write responses (to quotations, questions, events, characters, movies, class discussion--or to another student's writing)
  7. Take double entry notes (class notes in one column, reflections in a second column)
  8. Keep journals (many variations are possible)
  9. Write autobiography (e.g., my history as a math student) or biography (e.g., grandparent)
  10. Write reflections (on an assignment, lab procedure, class discussion, event)
  11. Do character study (record details about a historical figure, literary character, etc.)
  12. Build contradictions (record all your arguments; then list all counter-arguments)
  13. Create a simile or metaphor (e.g., a metaphor for teaching [gardener, midwife, coach])
  14. Write a letter (to a real person or audience, or a fictional or historical person)
  15. Write a children's story (to explain a scientific concept, develop an ethical dilemma, etc.)
  16. Compare understanding now with previous understanding
  17. Write proposal (for lengthy future assignments, lab procedures, problem solving, etc.)
  18. Write critiques/critical responses (to self or others)
  19. Use I-search paper (describe the research process, as well as submitting final product)
  20. Write a "commercial," slogan, acronym, obituary, for a concept, process, or person
  21. Record or summarize interviews; prepare questions for interviews
  22. Outline debates
  23. Keep learning logs
  24. Respond to or create case studies
  25. Defend an action, idea, decision
  26. Refute an idea, theory, principle, point of view
  27. Role play and respond
  28. Write process analysis or outline
  29. Create dialogues (based on case studies, events, historical figures)
  30. Create a newspaper headline describing event or scenario
  31. Develop an annotated bibliography
  32. Put contents of a graph or table or data in writing/or vice versa
  33. List characteristics or criteria
  34. Create examples of a concept or term
  35. Create projections (e.g., 10 years from now. . . .)
  36. Write memos (to instructor/classmate/supervisor/fellow employee)
  37. Identify personal goals (for course, assignment, etc.)
  38. Paraphrase or interpret reading material
  39. Create a hypothetical scenario (you were born of the opposite gender, in a different culture) 
  40. Apply the five senses to the event, person, situation

Diane Boehm, Writing Center Director Emeritus, Saginaw Valley State University

Contact Us
(989) 964-2016(989) 964-2016

Dr. Kim Lacey, Writing Program Administrator


Brown Hall 358


WPA Office Hours: Mondays, 10:00-11:00 a.m.