Writing Assignments

Common Writing Assignments

The body of your essay should be developed with the same attention to logical organization, coherence, and adequate development that you provide in any academic paper.

Writing Assignments

Support your thesis with solid generalizations and specific, relevant details. Don't fill out the essay by repeating yourself. Don't use subjective feelings instead of real analysis. Here you can briefly restate the thesis in new words, perhaps pointing to wider implications in a way that follows logically from what you've written rather than in a way that demands more explanation. Before submitting the essay: Reread and correct any illegible sections. Make sure your handwriting can be read. Check for spelling, grammatical mistakes, and accidental omissions. If you find any material that seems irrelevant, cross it out and add other information on another page, keying the addition to the page where it belongs.

WRITING ASSIGNMENTS

Recall of new terminology or concepts is only the beginning: Should they be thinking of a general educated audience, or an audience only of their peers? As micro themes grow in number and difficulty, topics for more formal assignments like critical analysis might emerge and signal productive directions for both teacher and student. To write well from an informational, argumentative, or expressive perspective, in other words, students need to use their analytical ability to focus their writing. Don't use subjective feelings instead of real analysis.

For more helpful assistance on getting started, organizing, and completing a draft, visit the Purdue On-Line Writing Lab. Campus Map Contact the Colleges. Writing to Learn Whether considering writing in the classroom for a writing course, a First Year Seminar, or a content-area course, it is important to understand how course content can actually be understood and secured through writing to learn. Ideas for using writing to learn in the classroom: List as many facts as you can think of about the writer based on what is found in the reading: What does this tell you about the writer's intellectual response to the subject?

Design assignments that isolate specific skills.

Such a commonplace book will help improve memory of course topics and serve as a helpful resource for review. Short, quick summaries of assigned readings could be asked for first, then short syntheses of ideas in several connected readings, and finally analyses of the quality of an argument or string of related ideas. As micro themes grow in number and difficulty, topics for more formal assignments like critical analysis might emerge and signal productive directions for both teacher and student.

These short freewrites can then be discussed or the class can move ahead. Either way, freewriting will allow students to focus closely on a topic. Share these ideas in class discussion, analyzing the strengths and weaknesses and relevance in terms of the assignment. Start freewriting on a possible direction for the assignment and stop after three minutes, then: Each time the student freewrites, in other words, the original idea becomes more and more focused - the students draws closer to the "center of gravity" for the actual writing assignment and have something to start with for a draft.

Such a discovery draft will then allow the student to build on early ideas as a more complete draft is written. Writing to Communicate When writing to communicate, students move from their informal and more discovery-based writing to more formal, demanding and public expectations of particular discourse and rhetorical conventions.

Do you want students to develop analytical, informational, argumentative, reflective, or expressive skills, or a combination of several skills? The essay instructions should make clear to students what set of skills will be most valued when completing the assignment. What is valued is the students' ability to examine closely the connection between the parts and the whole of a particular subject and their ability to investigate and articulate the way ideas connect to or contrast with one another.

Research Projects and Presentations

What is valued is the students' ability to summarize and synthesize information about a particular subject. What is valued is the students' ability to articulate a claim about a particular subject with appropriate evidence to support such a claim. What is valued is the students' ability to look at experiences retrospectively and articulate what has been learned from them. What is valued is the students' ability to consider the relevance of personal experience.

Ideas might be roughly sketched out to begin with using the following seed sentences as frames: Are they to be thinking of the teacher exclusively when completing the assignment?

  • Teaching Excellence & Educational Innovation?
  • Dog;
  • What are Strong Writing Assignments?.
  • Biophilic Cities: Integrating Nature into Urban Design and Planning.

Should they be thinking of a general educated audience, or an audience only of their peers? Should they be thinking of the audience as completely or partially informed about the subject? Will the audience hold values similar to or different from the writer? How much will the audience identify with the subject and topic under study?

Once the purpose, central idea, and audience have been established as part of the assignment, consider providing students additional advice on the STRUCTURE of their writing. They might bear in mind these structural possibilities: The writing situation considers a problem to which the student is proposing a solution. Students can be asked to consider the costs and benefits of the solution proposed. Finally, an assignment can also be accompanied by a MODEL that illustrates the expectation for writing.

Developing Strong Writing Assignments

Successful assignments can be saved and copied for such purposes in future classes. The following handouts provide examples of essay assignments that stress various purposes, sense of audience, and structural ideas: The following links provide helpful structures for such assignments: These general study habit hints might be useful as students work with material that will be covered by essay exams: During the exam period itself read the exam question all the way through at least twice in order to stick to the question being asked and to answer it fully. Make sure to use plenty of specific references to the material in question.

Try to correct as many errors in spelling and mechanics as you can find before you hand in your exam. After handing back a graded assignment, ask students to respond for 5 min. Ask them to identify one strength and one area to work on that is evident from the comments.

Another Middlebury blog

To get students to think about the topic s for the day and to generate ideas for class discussion. Ask students to spend the first 5 min. Let them know they will be asked to read their responses out loud, so they will prepare their compositions with care.

Writing Your Assignment - Skills Workshop

To facilitate student learning of course materials and give the instructor feedback on discussions and lectures. At the end of class, have students summarize a lecture or discussion, identify he key points, or pose a final question.

HELPFUL LINKS

WRITING ASSIGNMENTS. In a First-Year Seminar or a writing-intensive course, it is best to have several writing assignments and a variety of types of writing. Step-by-step guide to assignment writing. When you're undertaking tertiary study there are often a lot of assignments and writing to do, which can be daunting at.

Pass out 3x5 cards and have students write on a specific topic. Questions or topics may be expanded into more formal essays. To develop critical thinking skills in students by enabling them to identify strengths and weaknesses in arguments. If an argument has been raised in class or the reading, or more than one theory has been advanced, stop for 5 min.