GLST/GEOG 100W Assessment Plan

GELO 1: “Students shall be able to produce discipline-specific written work that demonstrates upper-division proficiency in:

  • language use
  • grammar
  • clarity of expression.”


  • Group grammar presentations: Small groups of two students will select a grammar or style issue from a preselected list created by the professor (based on mechanical issues noted in early writing assignments). The students will create a handout explaining the concept (using field-specific examples) and include a short quiz for the class to practice.
  • Vernacular assignment: Students will choose a word or verbal concept particular to the jargon of their field and write a definition essay explaining how it is used in both GLST and GEOG, noting the differences and similarities in language and expression depending upon who is using the term. Because these are interdisciplinary fields, students may also research terms related to anthropology, natural sciences, sociology, history, and the physical sciences. In such cases, students must touch on the interdisciplinary aspect of the term they choose to write about.
  • “Map writing” exercise: Students will each be assigned a map at random that depicts a very small regional area. Students must then exercise their clarity of expression by writing a descriptive essay of the map for an audience that cannot see the map itself. Students will be grading in how effectively they describe their region.


GELO 2: “Students shall be able to explain, analyze, develop, and criticize ideas effectively, including ideas encountered in multiple readings and expressed in different forms of discourse.”


  • Final project options (creative, technical, or hybrid): Students will be able to choose between a creative research paper (in which they follow the steps of a traditional research paper but then present the information in the form of a story), a technical paper (in which they choose a region of the world and research/analyze a map and its political/historical contexts), or a hybrid (in which students will be required to invent and describe a map based on one of the fictional texts we read during the semester). This choice is designed to give GLST and GEOG students options that speak to their particular interests. All of these project options incorporate extensive research and analysis/synthesis of information. The final project, regardless of which option students choose) will require both research and effective analysis as well as critical thinking in presenting that information, specifically in relation to political/cultural/historical/social/etc contexts. Additionally, these projects will all be scaffolded with pre-writes, annotated bibliographies, revisions, etc., to promote development of complex and sophisticated ideas.
  • Literature review: This may or may not be folded into the final project, but in this assignment students collect a predetermined number of both scholarly and popular sources and a particular, narrow topic. They will then compare and synthesize these sources to determine the overall “slant” or research on the topic (as well as what may be missing).


GELO 3: “Students shall be able to organize and develop essays and documents for both professional and general audiences.”   


  • Grant-writing: Students will research a grant related to their field of study and write a “dummy” grant requesting funding for a project. This will require both GLST and GEOG students to use the language of their particular field as well as allow them to see what the “real world” of their chosen profession is like.
  • See “map writing” exercise above: Not only must students display clarity of language and expression, but they must also be able to present that information in written form for a general audience who has not see the region they are describing.
  • Discipline investigation report: Students must contact and interview a professional currently working in their future field, then translate the interview into a document that outlines what is required in that particular job. This allows GLST and GEOG students to do some individual research into their disciplines and get even more specific as they address not only their fields, but specific jobs.
  • Travel writing: Students will be required to write a brief travel-blog style entry in which they must both describe a place and an experience for a general audience, but also link it to the course’s more complex ideas of culture and mapping in a way that a general audience can understand.


GELO 4: “Students shall be able to organize and develop essays and documents according to appropriate editorial and citation standards.”


  • See final project options above (which will require in-text and bibliographic citations, even within the creative option).
  • Annotated bibliography: As part of the scaffolding for their final projects, students will be required to submit a thorough annotated bibliography in which the evaluate each source, provide brief analysis, and organize the sources according to how they may present them in an actual essay. A main focus of the annotated bibliography will be generating correct bibliographic entries in MLA or APA style.


GELO 5: “Students shall be able to locate, organize, and synthesize information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose, and to communicate that purpose in writing.”


  • Project analysis: Students must write an objective analysis of their final project to explain their purpose in writing the paper and how they achieved it.
  • See literature review above: Students must not only locate and document different types of sources, but they must also organize the research effectively and synthesize it to determine the general overview of available research on each topic.
  • Study abroad applications: Students must research a study-abroad program as SJSU and write an application to be submitted to the S.A. office, focusing on a specific audience and writing with a specific purpose. (Especially useful for students whose major requires them to study abroad.)
  • See final project options above


NOTE: While some of these assignments may appear address the particulars of one discipline over another (whether GLST or GEOG), the assignments are designed to work for both groups and give students opportunities to make broader arguments that touch on fields other than their own—for that is the diverse nature of the fields they hope to enter professionally.