How to Write a Syllabus (2023)

How to Write a Syllabus (1)

A well-designed syllabus is an essential tool for effectively managing a course. It gives students a clearunderstanding of your expectations and a road map for how the course will be conducted. When done right, a syllabus can prevent a lot of misunderstandings as the semester progresses.

As a middle school teacher, I put together a simple syllabus to communicate my plans and expectations to students and their parents. When I followed those years up with four years of college teaching, I had to take things to a new level: “The syllabus is seen asa legal agreementbetween you and your students,” my department head told me. It is a kind of contract. A promise. In other words, if a student ever wanted to contest their grade in my course, everyone involved in making the decision would referto my syllabus to see whether I had kept up my end of the bargain. Whatever I wrote there needed to be something I could still stand behind months later.

With that in mind, it’s worth it to put some time and effort into your syllabus well before you ever meet your students, and to make it as thorough and detailed as possible.

In this post, I will share what I include in my own syllabi. I refined my own model over time, pulling from various sources and modifying things through trial and error every semester. It’s certainly not the only way to write a syllabus, but what I can say with certainty is that I had very few issues every semester in terms of students not understanding what was expected of them. No debates over how I calculated grades. No misunderstandings about when assignments were due. And even those few times, I was able to point those students to the syllabus, which they just didn’t happen to read very carefully. So if you’re looking for a syllabus writing model, this one will get the job done.

By the way, if you’re not too handy with page layout and would like a ready-made syllabus template, scroll to the bottom of this post.

It is essential that you get your syllabus approved by your administration prior to giving it to students, especially if this is your first time teaching in your current school. Doing this will ensure that your syllabus includes everything your institution requires, that it is in line with school policy, and that your administrator is aware of how you plan to handle certain situations.

At least a week before you share it with students, send your administrator a copy for his or herapproval. Do this electronically so you have a record of the transaction. If you don’t hear back before it’s time to give it to students, send a follow-up email to get the approval. Although this all may sound like a bit much, and at the beginning of aschoolterm, it may be hard to imagine any kind of trouble, there may come a time when a student issues a complaint about you; if your actions are in line with your syllabus, and you have it on record that your administrator has approved that syllabus, you can save yourself a lot of problems.

(Video) How to Write a Syllabus

This list is for college, high school, or middle school syllabi. Items specific to college, but not necessarily applicable at the K-12 levels, are marked with an asterisk.

Your Details: Name, email, phone number, office hours*

Course Details: Course name, course number*, days and times the course meets, credit hours*

Course Description: A brief overview of what the course will cover for the term or year

Prerequisites/Corequisites: Any courses or other requirements that must be completed before taking this course. Corequisites are courses that must be taken at the same time as your course.

Objectives:Describe what the student should understand or be able to do as a result of taking your course.

Required Texts and Resources: List all required textbooks, other books, online resources and subscriptions, or other materials students must have to take the course.

How to Write a Syllabus (2)

(Video) How To Write a Syllabus | High School Teacher

Attendance Policy: Be very specific about what constitutes an excused absence, what constitutes a “tardy” (be sure to consider early departures as well…I had some students who regularly had to leave class early), and how these will impact student grades, if applicable. Make sure your policy is in line with your school’s policy.

Communication Protocols:Specifyhow often and through what channels students should be accessing course information, looking for updates and announcements, and contacting you. Because we have so many different means of communicating (online bulletin and discussion boards, social media, email and texting), it’s important totell students exactly which channels they should be on for your course and how often you expect them to check those channels. For example, if you plan to post new information on a learning management systemevery Sunday night, tell students they should be checking the platform every Sunday night.

Electronic Device Policy:Explain your policy on the use of cell phones, laptops, and other electronic devices in class, including any information about whether exceptions are made for students with accommodations.

Food & Drink Policy:Are food and drinks permitted in class? Explain your policy here.

Accommodations Statement: If you are teaching at the college level, find out what you are required to include on your syllabus about accommodating individuals with disabilities.

Course Requirements/Assignment List: Describe how students will be graded in the course. What assignments will you give? Will there be tests and quizzes? If each one is worth a certain number of points, specify that here. I found that rather than try to weigh assignments or make them a certain percentage of the grade, it was simplest to just assign points to every assignment, including tests, then calculate student grades as a percentage of the total points possible.

How to Write a Syllabus (3)

Academic Policies and Procedures: Explain how assignments should be submitted, along with your policy onlate work, resubmissions, and plagiarism/academic integrity.

(Video) Writing an Effective Syllabus

Course Calendar:This probably requires the most work up front from you, but if you put the time in now to mapping out daily or weekly activities and due dates, you’ll be more likely to stay on track this term.If you aren’t sure about some activities, it’s okay to put TBA in those spaces; just having the spaces set up will help you and your students plan for the semester. It’s also a smart idea to include some kind of “subject to change” language about specific due dates and activities; this will give you some flexibility to adjust the schedule as needed.

This sample shows daily activities for a college course; if you are creating a calendar for middle or high school, it might make more sense to map your plans by the week instead of by the day.

How to Write a Syllabus (4)

Simply handing the syllabus to students is no guarantee that they will read it. And delivering it electronically probably means even fewer eyes will actually make it to the last page. Students really should read your whole syllabus, so how can you make sure this happens?

Give them time: In my college classes, I would set aside about 5 minutes of the first class to allow students to read my syllabus. Just providingthis time in class, rather than sending it home to be read, can significantly boost the number of students who actually read the thing. I asked students to read it with a highlighter and a pen, and to note any questions they had, which I would answer after the silent period was done. I would then give a brief lecture on the syllabus, covering some of the main points and explaining things that might be confusing to students.

Quiz them:Some instructors create a brief quiz over the syllabus, to make sure students read it carefully. I never did this, but not because I was opposed to it. I just preferred the next option.

Play a Game: Once students have read the syllabus, you could do some sort of game or activity to “test” their knowledge, like or a scavenger hunt. Another option would be to have students teach sections of the syllabus to each other in a Jigsaw activity.

Get Signatures: It’s a good idea to have students (or their parents, if you’re teaching in a K-12 setting) sign a paper attesting that they have read and understood the syllabus. Although this doesn’t guarantee that they read the syllabus, it may provide you with some legal protection should a student or parent appeal something later on.

(Video) Preparing an Effective Course Syllabus

If you want to get your syllabus done quickly, my Syllabus Template will help you knock it out in no time. It includes an editable Microsoft Word template using the same style shown in the above screenshots, my own 6-page sample syllabus that can help you envision and craft your finished product, and a Syllabus Acceptance Form you can use to collect student signatures acknowledging receipt.

How to Write a Syllabus (5)

There’s a lot more where this came from.
Join the Cult of Pedagogy mailing list and get weekly tips, tools, and inspiration—in quick, bite-sized packages—all geared towardmaking your teaching more effective and fun. You’ll get access to my members-only library of free downloadable resources, includingmye-booklet, 20 Ways to Cut Your Grading Time in Half,which has helped thousands of teachers spend less time grading. If you are already a subscriber and want this resource, just check your most recent email for a link to the Members-Only Library—it’s in there!

How to Write a Syllabus (6)

Posted In:

Categories: Classroom Management

Tags: college teaching, first-year teachers, Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, organization


How do I complete a lot of syllabus? ›

Exam preparation tips for students that will help them to complete the syllabus in a short time. Divide your study period in 2 hours each. Take a break of 15-20 minutes after every 2 hours of long studying. When taking a break from studying keep your mind free from any exam-related thoughts and stress.

How do you get an A * in a level? ›

Tips for acing your A Levels:
  1. Class time is key. Definitely try and focus during class because teachers can help explain concepts better and you can ask questions when you don't understand.
  2. Revise later. ...
  3. Speak up. ...
  4. Revise some more. ...
  5. Limit distractions. ...
  6. Go over your mistakes. ...
  7. Have a plan. ...
  8. Ask for help.
20 Aug 2021

How many pages is a syllabus? ›

A syllabus is: A short document about the class created by your instructor. Usually under 10 pages in length.

How can I study 100 pages in one day? ›

How to study 100 pages book in one day? #shorts - YouTube

What are the 3 secret study tips? ›

3 Secret Study Tips
  • Know what your lecturers want. Before you start studying a topic, write down your lecturer's learning objectives for that topic. ...
  • Make a study plan. Many people waste time when they study because they don't have a plan. ...
  • Use effective study techniques.

How do you get 100 in all exams? ›

Try attempting high marks questions first i.e., start with 6 marks questions so that it will increase your confidence level. If you have prepared completely using NCERT, then there is no need for any other books. Also just glance formulas, theorems, key points, important notes during last minute preparation.

Why is maths A level so hard? ›

A-Level questions in Maths are particularly hard, because you'll often just get the question or equation, with no paragraph to explain any context. This means it's just you and the knowledge you've (hopefully!) absorbed up against an exam question – there are no clues or hints like at GCSE.

How many hours is A level maths? ›

Each paper is worth 50% of the total marks. The full A level is assessed by 3 two-hour written exams, each worth 33.3% of the total marks.

What is syllabus and examples? ›

A syllabus is your guide to a course and what will be expected of you over the course of the quarter. Generally it will include course policies, rules and regulations, required texts, and a schedule of assignments.

How do I create a syllabus in Word? ›

Click Syllabus under the Course Home button. Select Compose Text Item (Visual Editor). Click Instructor Information. In the drop-down list provided, select an instructor or teaching assistant, and click Go.
Create a Syllabus
  1. Create a new syllabus.
  2. Add syllabus items.
  3. Add instructor information.
  4. Upload an existing syllabus.

What is syllabus sequence? ›

A syllabus (also called a scope and sequence plan) is a description of the contents of a course and order in which the content will be taught. Syllabus design is a core component of course design and an area that has long been the focus of discussion and debate in language teaching.

What should a syllabus contain? ›

Your syllabus should include the name of the course or section and the course or section number as well as the particular semester and year (e.g., Fall 2008). Include the meeting times and days of the class as well as the building name and room number where you will meet.

What are the parts of syllabus? ›

Components of a Syllabus (Online and On-Campus Courses)
  • Instructor Information. ...
  • Course Description. ...
  • Course Objectives (Course Outcomes) ...
  • Course Methodology. ...
  • Grading Criteria. ...
  • Grade Computation. ...
  • Course Policies. ...
  • Attendance.
12 Oct 2017

How do you write a high school syllabus? ›

How To Write a Syllabus | High School Teacher - YouTube

What is the trick to memorizing? ›

Use mnemonics.

Mnemonics are systems and tricks that make information for memorable. One common type is when the first letter of each word in a sentence is also the first letter of each word in a list that needs to be memorized.

Is it OK to study one day before exam? ›

With discipline and focus, you can still succeed on your exam with only one day to prepare. While it is always best to prepare for a test at least a week in advance, sometimes life gets in the way. There are a few ways to guarantee your best performance on your test with only one day to study.

How can I memorize faster? ›

Peruse these steps to help you learn how to memorize faster:
  1. Prepare. ...
  2. Record What You're Memorizing. ...
  3. Write Everything Down. ...
  4. Section Your Notes. ...
  5. Use the Memory Palace Technique. ...
  6. Apply Repetition to Cumulative Memorization. ...
  7. Teach It to Someone. ...
  8. Listen to the Recordings Continuously.
7 Mar 2022

How do Toppers study? ›

Take restricted but nutritious diet and keep the negative thoughts away from your mind. Avoid losing sleep and do not disturb your sleep pattern. Practice meditation and breathing exercise for increasing your concentration. Probably the most important among the habits of toppers!

What is the biggest secret of topper? ›

The most unknown secret about toppers is that they devote as high as 70% of their time in practice. The more they practice, the higher they score in the examinations. If you want to improve your recall during exam time, the best way is to recall the information multiple times in multiple contexts before the exam.

How can I study faster without forgetting? ›

So, if you want to determine how to study well for exams without forgetting then you must try to study for short periods. Try to take a break in between and then again come back and study. This will enable you to learn faster as well as remember whatever you learn for a longer period of time.

How do you become an A+ student? ›

How To Become a Straight A Student
  1. Manage your time in 5 minutes each day. ...
  2. Always have a plan. ...
  3. Be organized. ...
  4. Take care of your physical health. ...
  5. Don't cram — instead, use a periodic review system. ...
  6. Form a homework group. ...
  7. Set up a distraction-free study area. ...
  8. Clarify your doubts immediately.

How do I become a top student? ›

10 Habits of Successful Students
  1. Get Organized. Making a plan for what you're going to do and when you're going to do it will make sure you're always ahead of the curve - literally.
  2. Don't multitask. ...
  3. Divide it up. ...
  4. Sleep. ...
  5. Set a schedule. ...
  6. Take notes. ...
  7. Study. ...
  8. Manage your study space.

How can I be number 1 in exams? ›

Top Exam Preparation Tips
  1. Start your revision early. ...
  2. Organise your study time. ...
  3. Look after yourself during study and exam time. ...
  4. Vary your revision techniques. ...
  5. Vary your locations. ...
  6. Take regular breaks. ...
  7. Know your exam. ...
  8. Make sure you know the practical details about your exam.

What is the hardest A-Level? ›

In order of easiest to most difficult, our list of the top 15 hardest A-Levels are: Art, Design & Technology (Product Design), Business Studies, Politics, Economics, History, English Literature, Psychology, Modern Languages, Mathematics, Computer Science, Biology, Chemistry, Further Mathematics, and Physics.

What happens if I fail my A-Levels? ›

Summary. Failing your A levels can feel like a dead end, but there's absolutely nothing to worry about. There are numerous options available to you after failing exams from apprenticeships to entry level jobs, resits to distance learning.

How many hours do top students study? ›

It can be as low as 20 hours per week and as high as 70 hours per week. For example, at Ivy League schools such as Yale, some top students spend about 50 hours per week studying. However, there are top students who spend 30 hours (or less) per week studying.

Should you revise everyday? ›

Revising every day of the week can be beneficial, but it also has some disadvantages. Revision every day in the weeks before your exam is good, because it keeps your brain constantly in that revision headspace. It also means you don't have to revise so intensively every day.

Is 2 hours of revision a day enough? ›

You should aim to revise for one to two hours a day, but it doesn't have to be all in one go. What is this? In fact, taking breaks whilst revising is much more beneficial than just doing it all in one go. You give your brain a chance to rest, which is crucial to the success of your revision – and eventually exams.

Who prepares a syllabus? ›

A syllabus may be set out by an examination board or prepared by the tutor or instructor who teaches or controls the course.

What is the main purpose of a syllabus? ›

A syllabus lets students know what the course is about, why the course is taught, where it is going, and what will be required for them to be successful in the course (Altman & Cashin, 2003).

What is an English syllabus? ›

English Syllabus. A syllabus is a document that describes the content of a language course and the sequence in which it is taught.

How do I make a syllabus accessible? ›

Use large, sans serif fonts on a plain background with high contrast between text and background. Use clear, consistent layouts and organization schemes for presenting content. Use headings, bulleted lists, and paragraph breaks to facilitate reading of large amounts of text.

How do I create a syllabus in canvas? ›

To upload a syllabus file:
  1. StepsActions.
  2. In your Canvas course, in the left-hand navigation, click Syllabus.
  3. In the right-hand sidebar, click Edit Syllabus Description.
  4. In the Content Pane, click the Files tab.
  5. Click Upload a new file, and then browse for your syllabus file.
  6. Click Upload.
1 Dec 2021

What's the plural of syllabus? ›

Syllabuses & Syllabi

Both forms of the plural are acceptable, although people might look askance at you if you use syllabi.

What are the three types of syllabus? ›

In this chapter, three different syllabus types based on the Communicative Approach are discussed. These include the Situational Syllabus, and the Functional-Notional Syllabus, and the Task-Based Syllabus, which is discussed in more detail.

What are the principles of syllabus design? ›

It should include very good and clear measurable objectives. It should reflect students' needs and be realistic about what they can achieve. A syllabus needs variety, i.e. focusing on all skills and systems, language areas, functions, tasks, materials, input and output. It should be flexible, informative and informing.

How do you use a syllabus? ›

Page 1
  1. syllabus.
  2. 6 WAYS TO USE. ...
  4. The syllabus lists required text, readers, and other materials like i>clickers. ...
  6. The syllabus lists office hours and academic support services, like the Student Learning Center (SLC) adjunct courses and study groups. ...

What is the most important part of a syllabus? ›

Perhaps most important, your syllabus is the "constitution" of your course; it is a contract that binds both you and your students. It details what you are going to give them and why. It specifies what is expected of them and how you are going to assess their efforts.

What is difference between curriculum and syllabus? ›

Syllabus and curriculum both are important terms used in reference to an educational program but they have different meanings. A curriculum is a combination of topics, subjects or activities that are to be included in an educational program. Whereas, the syllabus covers portions of topics in a particular subject.

What is syllabus analysis? ›

Analysis of syllabus involves planning as one of the major activities. Planning is a process that is determined by what students need to learn while a lesson plan helps to develop an organization for a learning session (Merrill, 2016).

What is a syllabus in teaching? ›

A syllabus a requisite document for teaching in that it serves to outline the basic elements of a course including what topics will be covered, a weekly schedule, and a list of tests, assignments, and their associated weightings.

How do you read a syllabus? ›

How to Read a Course Syllabus - YouTube

How do you write a syllabus for English class? ›

How to Write a Syllabus - YouTube

How do you write a notebook syllabus? ›

Create Your Syllabus - YouTube

Why is high school syllabus important? ›

It conveys information about expectations.

The syllabus lays out your expectations for the quality of work you expect from your students and shows students how they should prepare for class. For example, the syllabus can explain whether students are supposed to do the readings before or after class.

How do I complete the whole syllabus in one week? ›

Plan to take at least a 10-minute break each hour you study. For example, you might study for 45 minutes, then take a 15-minute break. Come back and study for another 45 minutes. Similarly, you might study for 30 minutes, take a 10-minute break, and then study for another 30 minutes.

How can I finish my math syllabus fast? ›

Study smaller quantities of syllabus every day instead of taking on huge portions. If you hurry with all the chapters you haven't yet covered, you will be able to memorise very little of it for exam day.

How do I complete my syllabus in 20 days? ›

Here are some tips which help you in your board exam preparation so that you can achieve your true potential.
  1. Pomodoro Technique – useful in preparing board exams. ...
  2. Feynman technique. ...
  3. Set a specific time for study. ...
  4. Goal oriented study sessions. ...
  5. Practice along with tests. ...
  6. Practice sample and previous year papers (Research)

How do I complete a 4 month syllabus? ›

Question 5: How will I finish my curriculum in four months?
  1. Recognise the syllabus and exam pattern.
  2. Weaknesses and strength.
  3. Make a day plan.
  4. Maintain some spare time.
  5. Mock exams and previous year papers.
  6. NCERT textbooks.
  7. Group studies.
9 Mar 2022

How do you study 5 chapters in one hour? ›

How to Study One Chapter in One Hour | How to Become a Topper

What should I do 1 hour before an exam? ›

Top tips to prepare for exams
  1. Use your moments wisely. The few minutes before you switch off the light is a fantastic time for memorisation. ...
  2. Eat a great meal. Make a special effort to cook yourself a decent meal. ...
  3. Laugh. ...
  4. Make sure you wake up. ...
  5. Know when to stop. ...
  6. Use the space. ...
  7. Don't drink too much. ...
  8. Do what works for you.

What is the best time for study? ›

Most of the students prefer to study in the early morning, generally from 4 or 5 AM in the morning as the brain is more likely to concentrate. It could be the best option for students who have more stamina early in the day.

Is 1 month enough to study for exams? ›

Aim to begin studying at least one month in advance.

Three to four weeks ahead of time is the latest that you want to create a study plan for yourself. Cramming is toxic."

How can I cover all syllabus in one day? ›

Divide up the hours in the day and decide what you will focus on when. Make sure you allow yourself time to sleep. Make a list of everything you need to know. Review the syllabus or any handouts given to you by your teacher.

What is the maximum hours to study? ›

What needs to be kept in mind to avoid stress? The students should study a maximum of 10 hours a day and a minimum of 7 hours of study is enough for them to pass. We tell them to practice as much as they can through sample papers, and solving them in 3 hours by keeping a watch beside.

How do you get 100 in all exams? ›

To get higher marks in your exams, take thorough notes in your classes so you can use them to study. Also, try to study for at least 30 minutes every day leading up to your exams so you memorize the material. Avoid cramming for your tests the night before or you could overload your brain and forget everything.

IS 60 is good in 10th class? ›

60% is a decent percentage but not really good according to class 10 board result standard.So you should not face much problem to get a decent college for yourself.

Is a 90 percent Class 10 good? ›

Ans: A 90 % and above score is considered a good percentage in class 10th.

How long does it take to complete 12 syllabus? ›

Ans. Class 12 syllabus is very vast, and to cover it entirely, you will need more than one month. But if you follow a proper study plan, you can cover enough to get average marks in 12th board preparation.

Can you complete 11 and 12 a year? ›

No this is not possible at all. For 12 the examination, Your must have to passed 11th standard. You cannot attend 11th and 12th boards examination at same time.

How long does it take to complete a class 10 syllabus? ›

You must study for at-least 6 – 7 hours per day if you want to complete your syllabus and gain good marks. More study hours will result in efficient results. Therefore, dedicate as much time you can give in order to prepare well for the exams.


1. 7 Things to Include on Your Syllabus | Syllabus Templates
(Mr and Mrs Social Studies)
2. Designing a Course Syllabus
(Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning)
3. Creating a Syllabus
4. Tips For Creating A College Class Syllabus
(Ever Educating)
5. Directed Writing/ Speech/ O Levels English/ New Syllabus /2024
6. My Syllabus & Classroom Procedures
(too cool for middle school)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Duncan Muller

Last Updated: 08/09/2023

Views: 6627

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (59 voted)

Reviews: 90% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Duncan Muller

Birthday: 1997-01-13

Address: Apt. 505 914 Phillip Crossroad, O'Konborough, NV 62411

Phone: +8555305800947

Job: Construction Agent

Hobby: Shopping, Table tennis, Snowboarding, Rafting, Motor sports, Homebrewing, Taxidermy

Introduction: My name is Duncan Muller, I am a enchanting, good, gentle, modern, tasty, nice, elegant person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.