SOME SUGGESTIONS FOR SYLLABUS PLANNING
???? Try to keep in mind what you expect students to do with the content that you have
chosen rather than thinking about the amount of content you expect to cover. Let the
pace be determined by what you can reasonably expect from students as they work
through the material.
???? Be realistic about the amount of student work (reading, writing, oral, revisions,
research, etc.) that can be accomplished in the course of a single semester. Map it
out carefully on your syllabus draft before you decide how much content to cover,
and especially before you decide on what books to cover.
???? For each day’s reading assignment, indicate what student work is expected (either
as in-class activity or to be handed in). Try to draw up two syllabi in tandem — one
for what will be covered, the other for how it will be covered.
???? Try to remember what happens at certain times of the semester and take into
account things like: time for individual conferences with students (on writing or oral
work, for example, or for preregistration); peak times for mid-semester exams and
papers, religious holidays, your absence for conferences, etc.
???? Try to coordinate oral and written assignments (i.e., alternate or assign an oral report
in advance of a written project). Help students to appreciate how a thesis statement
works for both, as well as the importance of the introduction and conclusion,
supporting evidence, and logical development of thought.
???? Select assignments that move from the simple to the more complex, and place them
at appropriate intervals. Be sure to allow enough time for progress to be made.
Think about your own schedule in terms of time for grading of student work or
meeting with students before the next assignment. Try to get a piece of writing from
them in the first week and no later than the second week.
???? If you think you would like to have one of the librarians talk during class about library
resources either at the library or in your classroom, allow time for that in your
???? Allow time for your tutorial to discuss and do the honesty exercises. (See academic