Succeed With Common Writing Assignments

Imagine that you’re asked to write a 10-page paper on a certain theme, like the relationship between gender and globalization. The instructor may provide a nebulous paper prompt or offer little guidance about how to approach the topic. In other cases, instructors assign a short informal writing assignment and expect students to write using their own voice. The result can be a writing project that is less formal than what the instructor expects and that fails to meet course goals.

When it comes to writing, the more students understand what’s required of them, the easier it is for them to succeed. This collection of OWL resources offers a range of strategies that can help students understand the purpose and expectations of their assignments, break down the components of an essay or research paper, and plan, draft, and edit their work to get it right.

The first step in this process is analysing the assignment question to make sure that students understand what is expected of them and that they know how to approach the topic. From there, students can move on to the key elements of an essay and how to build a well-argued argument. This collection of resources also includes techniques for paraphrasing and synthesis and helps students to put their ideas together to create an effective written response Homework Market.

Other important aspects of a successful assignment include considering the rhetorical situation and making the assignment clear enough for students to understand. These can be addressed by breaking down the assignment into manageable parts and providing clear guidelines for each part, i.e., the page length and citation format (see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial for more information).

How to Succeed With Common Writing Assignments

In addition to these technical details, it’s helpful to consider the overall expectations that the instructor has for this assignment. For example, is the instructor really interested in a student’s ability to express their voice or do they want them to focus on evidence and analysis? What is the instructor’s preferred writing style? The answers to these questions can help students determine how much flexibility they should have in their final product.

In addition, it is often useful for instructors to provide an example of a well-written paper as a model. This can help students see what good work looks like and gives them a starting point for their own writing efforts. Finally, it’s important to sequence writing assignments in a way that allows students to develop their work over time and provide feedback on each section of the assignment as it is completed. This can encourage more complex work and can lead to a final product that is polished through sustained attention, multiple drafts, and thoughtful editing.

Each body paragraph should focus on a specific point or idea that supports your thesis. Start each paragraph with a clear topic sentence, followed by supporting evidence and examples. Ensure smooth transitions between paragraphs to maintain the logical flow of your argument.

Review your assignment for clarity, coherence, and consistency. Check for grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, and proper punctuation. Consider the overall structure and flow of your writing. It’s often helpful to take a break before revising to approach your work with a fresh perspective.

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