• Sun. Jul 21st, 2024

How to Write an Effective Assignment

Bytechbusinessmagazine

Mar 10, 2023

Do include the mission at a broad brushstroke level in the assignment description, to provide students with an idea of what they are supposed to accomplish. This will often serve as a kind of “process rubric” for them to use to evaluate their own progress as they work.

Do consider sequencing writing assignments in a way that builds on students’ developing skills. For example, by moving from summaries to arguments, or from narrow questions to more complex ones.

Preparation

Writing assignments can be daunting for students, especially when they are given a lot to write about in a short period of time. In order to avoid making mistakes that can lead to a lower grade, it is important to prepare for the assignment thoroughly. This includes reading the assignment question and researching the topic. Creating an outline can also help students organize their ideas and stay on track.

Another step in the preparation process is to explain the purpose of the assignment and how it will be evaluated. This helps students understand the connection between the assignment and the learning goals associated with it, which can increase student motivation and engagement.

It is also a good idea to clarify any logistics related to the assignment, such as format, length, documentation style, and writing style. Finally, it is a good idea to consider sequencing a long assignment into smaller, interconnected components. This allows students to develop the essay in stages and encourages thoughtfulness, complexity, and thoroughness.

Research

Many assignments require students to research a particular topic. The goal of this stage is to acquire a comprehensive understanding of the subject. This will help the writer develop a coherent argument in the essay and avoid writing off-topic information. A good way to do this is by reading a number of pre-existing sources and taking notes. It is also helpful to use programs like OneNote or Outline for Mac to organize the information into tabs that can be rearranged later on when it comes time to write the essay.

It is important to make the purpose of the assignment clear. This can help students understand how the assignment relates to their overall course goals and what they will learn from the task. Providing this information can also motivate students to complete their assignments thoughtfully. This can be done by including this information in the assignment description or on a handout, although it is essential that teachers do not overshadow content with excessive requirements (Bean, 1996).

Writing

Writing is the core of any assignment. In order to create a well-designed assignment, you need to determine the goals for the assignment and its essential logistics. For instance, you should be able to identify the amount of writing needed, the types of writing required (e.g., narrative, expository, persuasive), the writing style and documentation standards to be used, and the grading criteria.

It is also important to consider if the assignment should be a product-based or process-based. Process-based assignments, as envisioned by composition theorists like Peter Elbow, encourage students to reflect on their writing processes while assessing their products. In addition, it is often beneficial to break up large assignments into a series of smaller, more manageable projects (e.g., project proposal, annotated bibliography, rough draft). Providing students with some of these intermediate tasks in the assignment description can help them better understand the scope and complexity of an assigned task. It is also helpful to provide students with a list of available resources (e.g., campus writing centers, discipline-specific librarians) to assist them in planning and completing their work.

Proofreading

A manuscript peppered with typos and grammatical errors will quickly jolt the reader out of the narrative it’s trying to tell them. An effective proofreader is crucial to a smooth reading experience and a polished final product that communicates clearly and effectively.

Proofreading is a different process to editing, as it involves correcting spelling and grammatical mistakes and checking that the text follows a set style guide (e.g. APA, MLA or Harvard). Some proofreaders also double-check that citations are correct.

One of the best ways to improve your proofreading is to close the document, take a break, and come back to it with fresh eyes. It’s also helpful to read the text out loud, as this forces you to pronounce each word and helps you spot errors you might not have noticed otherwise. Studiosity’s Writing Feedback service can help you with both editing and proofreading, and our writing specialists are available 24 hours a day to review your work.

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