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I discuss three different writing assignments that I have used in my calculus courses. These assignments are introduced with a discussion of purpose and audience. Defining these qualities of an assignment will ensure that your writing assignments are more successful. The assignments discussed and explored here represent three different purposes: personal, informational and a blend of the two. The audiences for these assignments are diverse and force the students to incorporate particular modes of writing that demonstrate much of their thinking. Assessment of student learning as a result of these assignments is discussed. A fourth writing assignment is developed from a basic idea in order to illustrate the use of purpose and audience to create meaningful assignments.




This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published in the journal PRIMUS, 2002, © Taylor & Francis, available online at:

Final version published as:

Green, K. (2002). Creating successful calculus writing assignments. PRIMUS: Problems, Resources, and Issues in Mathematics Undergraduate Studies, 12(2): 97-121. doi: 10.1080/10511970208984021