Creating Your Assignment Sheets

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In order to help our students best engage with the writing tasks we assign them, we need as a program  to scaffold the assignments with not only effectively designed activities, but equally effectively designed assignment sheets that clearly explain the learning objectives, purpose, and logistics for the assignment.

Checklist for Assignment Sheet Design

As a program, instructors should compose assignment sheets that contain the following elements.

A  clear description of the assignment and its purpose . How does this assignment contribute to their development as writers in this class, and perhaps beyond? What is the genre of the assignment? (e.g., some students will be familiar with rhetorical analysis, some will not).

Learning objectives for the assignment .  The learning objectives for each assignment are available on the TeachingWriting website. While you might include others objectives, or tweak the language of these a bit to fit with how you teach rhetoric, these objectives should appear in some form on the assignment sheet and should be echoed in your rubric.

Due dates or timeline, including dates for drafts .  This should include specific times and procedures for turning in drafts. You should also indicate dates for process assignments and peer review if they are different from the main assignment due dates.

Details about format (including word count, documentation form) .  This might also be a good place to remind them of any technical specifications (even if you noted them on the syllabus).

Discussion of steps of the process.  These might be “suggested” to avoid the implication that there is one best way to achieve a rhetorical analysis.

Evaluation criteria / grading rubric that is in alignment with learning objectives .  While the general  PWR evaluation criteria  is a good starting place, it is best to customize your rubric to the specific purposes of your assignment, ideally incorporating some of the language from the learning goals. In keeping with PWR’s elevation of rhetoric over rules, it’s generally best to avoid rubrics that assign specific numbers of points to specific features of the text since that suggests a fairly narrow range of good choices for students’ rhetorical goals. (This is not to say that points shouldn’t be used: it’s just more in the spirit of PWR’s rhetorical commitments to use them holistically.)

Canvas Versions of Assignment Sheets

Canvas offers an "assignment" function you can use to share assignment sheet information with students.  It provides you with the opportunity to upload a rubric in conjunction with assignment details; to create an upload space for student work (so they can upload assignments directly to Canvas); to link the assignment submissions to Speedgrader, Canvas's internal grading platform; and to sync your assigned grades with the gradebook.  While these are very helpful features, don't hesitate to reach out to the Canvas Help team or our ATS for support when you set them up for the first time. In addition, you should always provide students with access to a separate PDF assignment sheet. Don't just embed the information in the Canvas assignment field; if students have trouble accessing Canvas for any reason (Canvas outage; tech issues), they won't be able to access that information.

In addition, you might creating video mini-overviews or "talk-throughs" of your assignments.  These should serve as supplements to the assignment sheets, not as a replacement for them.

Sample Assignment Sheets

Check out some examples of Stanford instructors' assignment sheets via the links below. Note that these links will route you to our Canvas PWR Program Materials site, so you must have access to the Canvas page in order to view these files: 

See examples of rhetorical analysis assignment sheets

See examples of texts in conversation assignment sheets

See examples of research-based argument assignment sheets

Further reading on assignment sheets

Two signposts (icon)

Anatomy of an Assignment Sheet

Guides & tips.

In this guide, we invite instructors to think through the different sections of an assignment sheet and perhaps take a fresh look at their own assignment sheets. At the bottom of the page, you’ll find some insights into more effective assignment sheets from Writing Consultants working in the CAS Writing Center .

Key Elements

how to write a assignment sheets

Things to Consider

  • While an assignment does not necessarily have to have a title (this one’s a clunky mouthful), it can help students connect an individual assignment to the bigger context of the class.
  • Start by telling students the purpose of the assignment, connecting it to the course goals, especially the ones having to do with writing as opposed to course content. Why are students being asked to do the work assigned? What are they supposed to learn?
  • The due dates (or submission guidelines) section is a chance to draw students’ attention to how the assignment will be scaffolded.
  • Under assignment (or task ), tell students what they are supposed to do clearly and succinctly. Including a central motivating question can be helpful, though sometimes the assignment will call for students to develop that question themselves.
  • In the comments section (or additional information) you can include elaborations, warnings, guiding questions, etc. in a separate section. Here you can be more discursive than in the statement of task, but try not to go on for too long. Going over a page can overwhelm students.

Additional Resources

  • Learn more about transparent assignment design  and use a template for transparent assignments ( Winkelmes 2013-2016 ).
  • Look at the Writing Program’s templates for major assignments in WR 120 to begin customizing your own assignment sheets.

Tips from Tutors: What Writing Consultants Say About More Effective Assignment Sheets

Keep assignment sheets short (~1 page if possible)..

  • Students genuinely want to understand what’s being asked of them, but if there is too much information, they don’t always know how to prioritize what to focus on.
  • Focus on specific questions you want students to answer or tasks you want them to complete. Avoid content that isn’t specifically related to the assignment itself.
  • It’s generally best not to include all assignments for the semester in a single document. While it can be helpful to have one sheet or section of the syllabus with all assignments listed, it’s best to give each assignment its own document with detailed expectations.
  • Students need some guidelines for assignments. Following the WP “anatomy of an assignment” guidelines (above) helps students as they move from one WR course to the next, and it also helps consultants figure out where to find key information more quickly.

Give students some choices, but be (overly) clear about your expectations.

  • It’s especially challenging for WR 120 students to come up with their own “research question” and then answer it. If you’re asking them to do that, be very specific about what you want them to do and what parameters they should work within.
  • Don’t give students a long list of questions to consider — or, if you do, be incredibly explicit about what questions are intended to generate ideas as opposed to what questions they actually need to answer in their paper.
  • The best assignment sheets tend to be those that give students a set number of options and then ask them to pick one to answer.

Give clear (as in legible and also as in straightforward) feedback.

  • Provide typed rather than handwritten comments.
  • Avoid cryptic feedback like “awkward” or “?” that could be interpreted in different ways.
  • If you write comments in shorthand, be sure to provide students with a key.
  • Provide feedback as specific questions that students can either address themselves, or discuss with a writing consultant (or you!)

Remember WR courses are introductory courses.

  • Choose course readings for written assignments that lend themselves to teaching writing as opposed to seminal texts or your personal favorites.
  • Go over all readings that students are expected to write about in class and devote extra time to particularly challenging ones. If you are working on difficult topic and/or dense texts, don’t assume your students can navigate them without explicit scaffolding in class.
  • Not all students have been taught how to analyze quotations and use them as evidence to support their argument, so be sure to spend time teaching these skills.
  • Don’t take anything for granted. Students are coming from all kinds of educational backgrounds, and our courses meant to reinforce (but sometimes teach for the first time) skills all students will need for future college papers.  You may also want to read about the “hidden curriculum” in writing classes when considering inclusivity and assumptions.

Anatomy of an Assignment Sheet

By  Alexandra Gold

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Alexandra (AJ) Gold is a PhD Candidate in English at Boston University. Follow her on Twitter or check out her website.

230. That’s the number of undergraduate tutoring sessions I’ve had at my university’s writing center over the past year and a half. That’s 230 papers read, discussed, and collaboratively revised. You know what else that’s a lot of? Assignment sheets.

Each tutoring session begins with a review of the student’s assignment sheet, which provides a way for me to quickly familiarize myself with a student’s task and topic. In these sessions, I’ve seen all matter of assignment sheets – ones for low-stakes writing exercises, academic essays, and alternative genre assignments . They’ve spanned several course levels, including classes that serve second language learners. At every level, I’ve seen excellent, thought-provoking prompts and nearly incomprehensible ones.

This is not a condemnation of my university’s writing instructors, who are among the most dedicated and effective teachers I’ve encountered. Bad assignment sheets do not equal bad teachers. Bad assignment sheets, however, do often lead to poor student outcomes, and the problem is one with ready solutions.

Lost in Translation

As a tutor, I act as a mediator between students and teachers. Though most students come in with works-in-progress or full-fledged drafts, a good number of them seek help because they don’t know where to begin. Some of their “writer’s block” is a matter of confidence – and I, in turn, adopt the role of cheerleader. Still, many students’ hesitation is borne of confusion and uncertainty about a teacher’s expectations , stemming directly from the assignment sheet itself. In these scenarios, I become a translator — a task that’s not always easily accomplished.

Part of the problem, as Rebecca Weaver points out, is that students “aren’t in [teachers’] heads.” As Weaver elaborates: students, especially in their first and second-year, do not always have access to the “academic conventions and disciplinary discourses” instructors “take for granted.” The goals and lessons teachers want students to take away from the assignment sheet might consequently be unclear.  

Part of the problem  is even more basic: many assignment sheets are, quite simply, poorly written .

The assignment sheet is its own genre with its own rhetorical situation and conventions. At the end of the day, though, it is still a piece of writing like any other – something that’s easy to forget. As Leigh Ryan, Founder and Former Director of the University of Maryland Writing Center, advises: “the assignment sheet itself [should] serv[e] as a model of good writing, and the kind of writing that you expect students to produce in the assignment.” In my experience, Ryan is spot on. The strongest assignment sheets I see are those that model the elements of “good writing” we drill into students heads: clarity, concision, strong thesis (main point), audience awareness. The most confusing tend to neglect them.

Pitfalls & Fixes

Here some of the common pitfalls I’ve encountered along with some pointers for crafting more effective assignment sheets — especially for graduate students tasked with creating them for the first time, sometimes without any pedagogical training or guidance.

Pitfall #1 : The assignment sheet is too long. I’ve seen assignment sheets that run over several pages and are full of context about the topic that could be or likely was covered in class. Having to sort through this excess, students may not able to identify what information is most important. Excessively lengthy assignment sheets also tend to be discursive rather than directive, leaving students to glean what is relevant to the task and what is not. Sometimes they’re not equipped to do so, especially if they’re still learning critical reading strategies.

The Fix: Keep it short and to the point .  Though length does not determine clarity, the best assignment sheets are limited to about a page and get quickly to the main point (think of it as an assignment sheet “thesis”). These don’t read like academic essays that have been dropped into assignment sheets. They might give a few sentences of context, but they move directly to the task at hand. In addition, they avoid too much information from texts students have never encountered. One quote might be fine, but ample text from a source students aren’t going to be or have not been responsible for can be extremely confusing.

Pitfall #2 : The assignment sheet offers too many possible directions. One very common pitfall I see is assignment sheets that pose a series of questions. These are well-meaning, as the questions are meant to guide students’ thinking, but students can’t always decipher which or how many questions they’re “supposed to” respond to. They may attempt to do too much, leading to incoherent essays. In addition, offering too many possible directions might deter students from developing original claims, either because they feel beholden to address the concerns laid out or because they are looking to work quickly.

The Fix: Offer a set number of distinct essay choices or one broad theme/idea . Giving students a choice of essay topics can be very empowering for them, but instead of including an endless series of questions (What is the author’s tone? What role does the narrator play? How does it compare to the tone of book x?) present these questions either as a choice between definitive essay topics (compare the tone of book x to book y; discuss the role of narration in book x) or delineate one main, but broad point you’d like students to focus on (nalyze how the author creates irony in book x)

Pitfall #3 : The assignment sheet lacks active verbs. This follows from #2. Notice how, in the series of questions, the assignment sheet doesn’t use active verbs. It asks questions, but doesn’t provide a method or approach for students to employ. In effect, it doesn’t clearly define the task.

The Fix: Strong directives . Tell students exactly what you’d like them to do. Utilize strong verbs like: “compare,” “contrast,” “analyze,” “summarize,” “use x to critique y,” “read y through the theoretical lens of z.” One verb to avoid: consider. It’s somewhat weak directive and leaves room for student doubt; does “consider” mean you have to or just might do whatever is asked?

Pitfall #4 : The assignment sheet lacks guidelines. Sometimes I see assignment sheets that don’t give specific directions. If you want students to use a certain citation format, make sure that is spelled out. It may not be obvious to students or they may forget even if you tell them repeatedly. Remember, you are responsible for one of their many courses, each with different project guidelines.

The Fix: Specifics, specifics, specifics.   This is the easiest fix of all. I’ve learned (the hard way) that students like to have all of the information up front: give them the deadlines neatly plotted out, specific numbers for pages, etc. Write it down. The same goes for page count, due dates for all stages of the writing and revision process, the list of permissible texts, number and kind of sources, etc. This applies to low-stakes assignments, too: if you want solid 10 minute oral presentations, state exactly what you expect them to include.

Additional Suggestions

Beyond the major pitfalls and fixes I’ve addressed, here are three more things effective assignment sheets can include:

A stated “purpose” – if, for instance, the assignment’s goal is to make students think about audience, state that somewhere on your sheet. As GradHacker Travis reminds us , you should also think about how one assignment fits in with the others in the course; while each assignment sheet will have distinct purpose, they should ultimately work together.

Some grading criteria – you might briefly mention what you are looking for (e.g. an “A” paper will have an arguable thesis, strong transitions, clear organization, and few grammatical errors). You don’t have to provide an entire rubric, but you can establish some expectations in advance .

Examples – if you want your students use MLA citation, you could direct them to a relevant reference source like Purdue Owl , but you could also provide one works cited entry on your assignment sheet. Likewise, if you’re using a less familiar genre of text – e.g. if your students have never analyzed poetry before – you might provide a sample line citation. Same goes for songs/visual media, etc. If there’s anything that might not be intuitive about formatting, it’s worth providing a quick example.

The goal is to eliminate as much speculation and ambiguity as possible. Your assignment sheet shouldn’t be a guessing game or a source of undue frustration . By providing clear, to the point directions and ample specifics, you can help your students down the right path. It’s on them, of course, to hold up their end of the bargain, but we should ensure that they have the tools to do so.

And while I can’t promise you that students won’t still email you to ask basic questions the assignment sheet addresses, I can promise that if you follow these guidelines, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you’ve provided answers in advance. Sometimes in grad school you have to take what small victories you can get.

Do you have any tips for creating effective assignment sheets? Let us know in the comments!

[Image by Flickr user fschnell and used under a Creative Commons License.]

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MIT Comparative Media Studies/Writing

Resources for Teachers: Creating Writing Assignments

This page contains four specific areas:

Creating Effective Assignments

Checking the assignment, sequencing writing assignments, selecting an effective writing assignment format.

Research has shown that the more detailed a writing assignment is, the better the student papers are in response to that assignment. Instructors can often help students write more effective papers by giving students written instructions about that assignment. Explicit descriptions of assignments on the syllabus or on an “assignment sheet” tend to produce the best results. These instructions might make explicit the process or steps necessary to complete the assignment. Assignment sheets should detail:

  • the kind of writing expected
  • the scope of acceptable subject matter
  • the length requirements
  • formatting requirements
  • documentation format
  • the amount and type of research expected (if any)
  • the writer’s role
  • deadlines for the first draft and its revision

Providing questions or needed data in the assignment helps students get started. For instance, some questions can suggest a mode of organization to the students. Other questions might suggest a procedure to follow. The questions posed should require that students assert a thesis.

The following areas should help you create effective writing assignments.

Examining your goals for the assignment

  • How exactly does this assignment fit with the objectives of your course?
  • Should this assignment relate only to the class and the texts for the class, or should it also relate to the world beyond the classroom?
  • What do you want the students to learn or experience from this writing assignment?
  • Should this assignment be an individual or a collaborative effort?
  • What do you want students to show you in this assignment? To demonstrate mastery of concepts or texts? To demonstrate logical and critical thinking? To develop an original idea? To learn and demonstrate the procedures, practices, and tools of your field of study?

Defining the writing task

  • Is the assignment sequenced so that students: (1) write a draft, (2) receive feedback (from you, fellow students, or staff members at the Writing and Communication Center), and (3) then revise it? Such a procedure has been proven to accomplish at least two goals: it improves the student’s writing and it discourages plagiarism.
  • Does the assignment include so many sub-questions that students will be confused about the major issue they should examine? Can you give more guidance about what the paper’s main focus should be? Can you reduce the number of sub-questions?
  • What is the purpose of the assignment (e.g., review knowledge already learned, find additional information, synthesize research, examine a new hypothesis)? Making the purpose(s) of the assignment explicit helps students write the kind of paper you want.
  • What is the required form (e.g., expository essay, lab report, memo, business report)?
  • What mode is required for the assignment (e.g., description, narration, analysis, persuasion, a combination of two or more of these)?

Defining the audience for the paper

  • Can you define a hypothetical audience to help students determine which concepts to define and explain? When students write only to the instructor, they may assume that little, if anything, requires explanation. Defining the whole class as the intended audience will clarify this issue for students.
  • What is the probable attitude of the intended readers toward the topic itself? Toward the student writer’s thesis? Toward the student writer?
  • What is the probable educational and economic background of the intended readers?

Defining the writer’s role

  • Can you make explicit what persona you wish the students to assume? For example, a very effective role for student writers is that of a “professional in training” who uses the assumptions, the perspective, and the conceptual tools of the discipline.

Defining your evaluative criteria

1. If possible, explain the relative weight in grading assigned to the quality of writing and the assignment’s content:

  • depth of coverage
  • organization
  • critical thinking
  • original thinking
  • use of research
  • logical demonstration
  • appropriate mode of structure and analysis (e.g., comparison, argument)
  • correct use of sources
  • grammar and mechanics
  • professional tone
  • correct use of course-specific concepts and terms.

Here’s a checklist for writing assignments:

  • Have you used explicit command words in your instructions (e.g., “compare and contrast” and “explain” are more explicit than “explore” or “consider”)? The more explicit the command words, the better chance the students will write the type of paper you wish.
  • Does the assignment suggest a topic, thesis, and format? Should it?
  • Have you told students the kind of audience they are addressing — the level of knowledge they can assume the readers have and your particular preferences (e.g., “avoid slang, use the first-person sparingly”)?
  • If the assignment has several stages of completion, have you made the various deadlines clear? Is your policy on due dates clear?
  • Have you presented the assignment in a manageable form? For instance, a 5-page assignment sheet for a 1-page paper may overwhelm students. Similarly, a 1-sentence assignment for a 25-page paper may offer insufficient guidance.

There are several benefits of sequencing writing assignments:

  • Sequencing provides a sense of coherence for the course.
  • This approach helps students see progress and purpose in their work rather than seeing the writing assignments as separate exercises.
  • It encourages complexity through sustained attention, revision, and consideration of multiple perspectives.
  • If you have only one large paper due near the end of the course, you might create a sequence of smaller assignments leading up to and providing a foundation for that larger paper (e.g., proposal of the topic, an annotated bibliography, a progress report, a summary of the paper’s key argument, a first draft of the paper itself). This approach allows you to give students guidance and also discourages plagiarism.
  • It mirrors the approach to written work in many professions.

The concept of sequencing writing assignments also allows for a wide range of options in creating the assignment. It is often beneficial to have students submit the components suggested below to your course’s STELLAR web site.

Use the writing process itself. In its simplest form, “sequencing an assignment” can mean establishing some sort of “official” check of the prewriting and drafting steps in the writing process. This step guarantees that students will not write the whole paper in one sitting and also gives students more time to let their ideas develop. This check might be something as informal as having students work on their prewriting or draft for a few minutes at the end of class. Or it might be something more formal such as collecting the prewriting and giving a few suggestions and comments.

Have students submit drafts. You might ask students to submit a first draft in order to receive your quick responses to its content, or have them submit written questions about the content and scope of their projects after they have completed their first draft.

Establish small groups. Set up small writing groups of three-five students from the class. Allow them to meet for a few minutes in class or have them arrange a meeting outside of class to comment constructively on each other’s drafts. The students do not need to be writing on the same topic.

Require consultations. Have students consult with someone in the Writing and Communication Center about their prewriting and/or drafts. The Center has yellow forms that we can give to students to inform you that such a visit was made.

Explore a subject in increasingly complex ways. A series of reading and writing assignments may be linked by the same subject matter or topic. Students encounter new perspectives and competing ideas with each new reading, and thus must evaluate and balance various views and adopt a position that considers the various points of view.

Change modes of discourse. In this approach, students’ assignments move from less complex to more complex modes of discourse (e.g., from expressive to analytic to argumentative; or from lab report to position paper to research article).

Change audiences. In this approach, students create drafts for different audiences, moving from personal to public (e.g., from self-reflection to an audience of peers to an audience of specialists). Each change would require different tasks and more extensive knowledge.

Change perspective through time. In this approach, students might write a statement of their understanding of a subject or issue at the beginning of a course and then return at the end of the semester to write an analysis of that original stance in the light of the experiences and knowledge gained in the course.

Use a natural sequence. A different approach to sequencing is to create a series of assignments culminating in a final writing project. In scientific and technical writing, for example, students could write a proposal requesting approval of a particular topic. The next assignment might be a progress report (or a series of progress reports), and the final assignment could be the report or document itself. For humanities and social science courses, students might write a proposal requesting approval of a particular topic, then hand in an annotated bibliography, and then a draft, and then the final version of the paper.

Have students submit sections. A variation of the previous approach is to have students submit various sections of their final document throughout the semester (e.g., their bibliography, review of the literature, methods section).

In addition to the standard essay and report formats, several other formats exist that might give students a different slant on the course material or allow them to use slightly different writing skills. Here are some suggestions:

Journals. Journals have become a popular format in recent years for courses that require some writing. In-class journal entries can spark discussions and reveal gaps in students’ understanding of the material. Having students write an in-class entry summarizing the material covered that day can aid the learning process and also reveal concepts that require more elaboration. Out-of-class entries involve short summaries or analyses of texts, or are a testing ground for ideas for student papers and reports. Although journals may seem to add a huge burden for instructors to correct, in fact many instructors either spot-check journals (looking at a few particular key entries) or grade them based on the number of entries completed. Journals are usually not graded for their prose style. STELLAR forums work well for out-of-class entries.

Letters. Students can define and defend a position on an issue in a letter written to someone in authority. They can also explain a concept or a process to someone in need of that particular information. They can write a letter to a friend explaining their concerns about an upcoming paper assignment or explaining their ideas for an upcoming paper assignment. If you wish to add a creative element to the writing assignment, you might have students adopt the persona of an important person discussed in your course (e.g., an historical figure) and write a letter explaining his/her actions, process, or theory to an interested person (e.g., “pretend that you are John Wilkes Booth and write a letter to the Congress justifying your assassination of Abraham Lincoln,” or “pretend you are Henry VIII writing to Thomas More explaining your break from the Catholic Church”).

Editorials . Students can define and defend a position on a controversial issue in the format of an editorial for the campus or local newspaper or for a national journal.

Cases . Students might create a case study particular to the course’s subject matter.

Position Papers . Students can define and defend a position, perhaps as a preliminary step in the creation of a formal research paper or essay.

Imitation of a Text . Students can create a new document “in the style of” a particular writer (e.g., “Create a government document the way Woody Allen might write it” or “Write your own ‘Modest Proposal’ about a modern issue”).

Instruction Manuals . Students write a step-by-step explanation of a process.

Dialogues . Students create a dialogue between two major figures studied in which they not only reveal those people’s theories or thoughts but also explore areas of possible disagreement (e.g., “Write a dialogue between Claude Monet and Jackson Pollock about the nature and uses of art”).

Collaborative projects . Students work together to create such works as reports, questions, and critiques.

The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Understanding Assignments

What this handout is about.

The first step in any successful college writing venture is reading the assignment. While this sounds like a simple task, it can be a tough one. This handout will help you unravel your assignment and begin to craft an effective response. Much of the following advice will involve translating typical assignment terms and practices into meaningful clues to the type of writing your instructor expects. See our short video for more tips.

Basic beginnings

Regardless of the assignment, department, or instructor, adopting these two habits will serve you well :

  • Read the assignment carefully as soon as you receive it. Do not put this task off—reading the assignment at the beginning will save you time, stress, and problems later. An assignment can look pretty straightforward at first, particularly if the instructor has provided lots of information. That does not mean it will not take time and effort to complete; you may even have to learn a new skill to complete the assignment.
  • Ask the instructor about anything you do not understand. Do not hesitate to approach your instructor. Instructors would prefer to set you straight before you hand the paper in. That’s also when you will find their feedback most useful.

Assignment formats

Many assignments follow a basic format. Assignments often begin with an overview of the topic, include a central verb or verbs that describe the task, and offer some additional suggestions, questions, or prompts to get you started.

An Overview of Some Kind

The instructor might set the stage with some general discussion of the subject of the assignment, introduce the topic, or remind you of something pertinent that you have discussed in class. For example:

“Throughout history, gerbils have played a key role in politics,” or “In the last few weeks of class, we have focused on the evening wear of the housefly …”

The Task of the Assignment

Pay attention; this part tells you what to do when you write the paper. Look for the key verb or verbs in the sentence. Words like analyze, summarize, or compare direct you to think about your topic in a certain way. Also pay attention to words such as how, what, when, where, and why; these words guide your attention toward specific information. (See the section in this handout titled “Key Terms” for more information.)

“Analyze the effect that gerbils had on the Russian Revolution”, or “Suggest an interpretation of housefly undergarments that differs from Darwin’s.”

Additional Material to Think about

Here you will find some questions to use as springboards as you begin to think about the topic. Instructors usually include these questions as suggestions rather than requirements. Do not feel compelled to answer every question unless the instructor asks you to do so. Pay attention to the order of the questions. Sometimes they suggest the thinking process your instructor imagines you will need to follow to begin thinking about the topic.

“You may wish to consider the differing views held by Communist gerbils vs. Monarchist gerbils, or Can there be such a thing as ‘the housefly garment industry’ or is it just a home-based craft?”

These are the instructor’s comments about writing expectations:

“Be concise”, “Write effectively”, or “Argue furiously.”

Technical Details

These instructions usually indicate format rules or guidelines.

“Your paper must be typed in Palatino font on gray paper and must not exceed 600 pages. It is due on the anniversary of Mao Tse-tung’s death.”

The assignment’s parts may not appear in exactly this order, and each part may be very long or really short. Nonetheless, being aware of this standard pattern can help you understand what your instructor wants you to do.

Interpreting the assignment

Ask yourself a few basic questions as you read and jot down the answers on the assignment sheet:

Why did your instructor ask you to do this particular task?

Who is your audience.

  • What kind of evidence do you need to support your ideas?

What kind of writing style is acceptable?

  • What are the absolute rules of the paper?

Try to look at the question from the point of view of the instructor. Recognize that your instructor has a reason for giving you this assignment and for giving it to you at a particular point in the semester. In every assignment, the instructor has a challenge for you. This challenge could be anything from demonstrating an ability to think clearly to demonstrating an ability to use the library. See the assignment not as a vague suggestion of what to do but as an opportunity to show that you can handle the course material as directed. Paper assignments give you more than a topic to discuss—they ask you to do something with the topic. Keep reminding yourself of that. Be careful to avoid the other extreme as well: do not read more into the assignment than what is there.

Of course, your instructor has given you an assignment so that they will be able to assess your understanding of the course material and give you an appropriate grade. But there is more to it than that. Your instructor has tried to design a learning experience of some kind. Your instructor wants you to think about something in a particular way for a particular reason. If you read the course description at the beginning of your syllabus, review the assigned readings, and consider the assignment itself, you may begin to see the plan, purpose, or approach to the subject matter that your instructor has created for you. If you still aren’t sure of the assignment’s goals, try asking the instructor. For help with this, see our handout on getting feedback .

Given your instructor’s efforts, it helps to answer the question: What is my purpose in completing this assignment? Is it to gather research from a variety of outside sources and present a coherent picture? Is it to take material I have been learning in class and apply it to a new situation? Is it to prove a point one way or another? Key words from the assignment can help you figure this out. Look for key terms in the form of active verbs that tell you what to do.

Key Terms: Finding Those Active Verbs

Here are some common key words and definitions to help you think about assignment terms:

Information words Ask you to demonstrate what you know about the subject, such as who, what, when, where, how, and why.

  • define —give the subject’s meaning (according to someone or something). Sometimes you have to give more than one view on the subject’s meaning
  • describe —provide details about the subject by answering question words (such as who, what, when, where, how, and why); you might also give details related to the five senses (what you see, hear, feel, taste, and smell)
  • explain —give reasons why or examples of how something happened
  • illustrate —give descriptive examples of the subject and show how each is connected with the subject
  • summarize —briefly list the important ideas you learned about the subject
  • trace —outline how something has changed or developed from an earlier time to its current form
  • research —gather material from outside sources about the subject, often with the implication or requirement that you will analyze what you have found

Relation words Ask you to demonstrate how things are connected.

  • compare —show how two or more things are similar (and, sometimes, different)
  • contrast —show how two or more things are dissimilar
  • apply—use details that you’ve been given to demonstrate how an idea, theory, or concept works in a particular situation
  • cause —show how one event or series of events made something else happen
  • relate —show or describe the connections between things

Interpretation words Ask you to defend ideas of your own about the subject. Do not see these words as requesting opinion alone (unless the assignment specifically says so), but as requiring opinion that is supported by concrete evidence. Remember examples, principles, definitions, or concepts from class or research and use them in your interpretation.

  • assess —summarize your opinion of the subject and measure it against something
  • prove, justify —give reasons or examples to demonstrate how or why something is the truth
  • evaluate, respond —state your opinion of the subject as good, bad, or some combination of the two, with examples and reasons
  • support —give reasons or evidence for something you believe (be sure to state clearly what it is that you believe)
  • synthesize —put two or more things together that have not been put together in class or in your readings before; do not just summarize one and then the other and say that they are similar or different—you must provide a reason for putting them together that runs all the way through the paper
  • analyze —determine how individual parts create or relate to the whole, figure out how something works, what it might mean, or why it is important
  • argue —take a side and defend it with evidence against the other side

More Clues to Your Purpose As you read the assignment, think about what the teacher does in class:

  • What kinds of textbooks or coursepack did your instructor choose for the course—ones that provide background information, explain theories or perspectives, or argue a point of view?
  • In lecture, does your instructor ask your opinion, try to prove their point of view, or use keywords that show up again in the assignment?
  • What kinds of assignments are typical in this discipline? Social science classes often expect more research. Humanities classes thrive on interpretation and analysis.
  • How do the assignments, readings, and lectures work together in the course? Instructors spend time designing courses, sometimes even arguing with their peers about the most effective course materials. Figuring out the overall design to the course will help you understand what each assignment is meant to achieve.

Now, what about your reader? Most undergraduates think of their audience as the instructor. True, your instructor is a good person to keep in mind as you write. But for the purposes of a good paper, think of your audience as someone like your roommate: smart enough to understand a clear, logical argument, but not someone who already knows exactly what is going on in your particular paper. Remember, even if the instructor knows everything there is to know about your paper topic, they still have to read your paper and assess your understanding. In other words, teach the material to your reader.

Aiming a paper at your audience happens in two ways: you make decisions about the tone and the level of information you want to convey.

  • Tone means the “voice” of your paper. Should you be chatty, formal, or objective? Usually you will find some happy medium—you do not want to alienate your reader by sounding condescending or superior, but you do not want to, um, like, totally wig on the man, you know? Eschew ostentatious erudition: some students think the way to sound academic is to use big words. Be careful—you can sound ridiculous, especially if you use the wrong big words.
  • The level of information you use depends on who you think your audience is. If you imagine your audience as your instructor and they already know everything you have to say, you may find yourself leaving out key information that can cause your argument to be unconvincing and illogical. But you do not have to explain every single word or issue. If you are telling your roommate what happened on your favorite science fiction TV show last night, you do not say, “First a dark-haired white man of average height, wearing a suit and carrying a flashlight, walked into the room. Then a purple alien with fifteen arms and at least three eyes turned around. Then the man smiled slightly. In the background, you could hear a clock ticking. The room was fairly dark and had at least two windows that I saw.” You also do not say, “This guy found some aliens. The end.” Find some balance of useful details that support your main point.

You’ll find a much more detailed discussion of these concepts in our handout on audience .

The Grim Truth

With a few exceptions (including some lab and ethnography reports), you are probably being asked to make an argument. You must convince your audience. It is easy to forget this aim when you are researching and writing; as you become involved in your subject matter, you may become enmeshed in the details and focus on learning or simply telling the information you have found. You need to do more than just repeat what you have read. Your writing should have a point, and you should be able to say it in a sentence. Sometimes instructors call this sentence a “thesis” or a “claim.”

So, if your instructor tells you to write about some aspect of oral hygiene, you do not want to just list: “First, you brush your teeth with a soft brush and some peanut butter. Then, you floss with unwaxed, bologna-flavored string. Finally, gargle with bourbon.” Instead, you could say, “Of all the oral cleaning methods, sandblasting removes the most plaque. Therefore it should be recommended by the American Dental Association.” Or, “From an aesthetic perspective, moldy teeth can be quite charming. However, their joys are short-lived.”

Convincing the reader of your argument is the goal of academic writing. It doesn’t have to say “argument” anywhere in the assignment for you to need one. Look at the assignment and think about what kind of argument you could make about it instead of just seeing it as a checklist of information you have to present. For help with understanding the role of argument in academic writing, see our handout on argument .

What kind of evidence do you need?

There are many kinds of evidence, and what type of evidence will work for your assignment can depend on several factors–the discipline, the parameters of the assignment, and your instructor’s preference. Should you use statistics? Historical examples? Do you need to conduct your own experiment? Can you rely on personal experience? See our handout on evidence for suggestions on how to use evidence appropriately.

Make sure you are clear about this part of the assignment, because your use of evidence will be crucial in writing a successful paper. You are not just learning how to argue; you are learning how to argue with specific types of materials and ideas. Ask your instructor what counts as acceptable evidence. You can also ask a librarian for help. No matter what kind of evidence you use, be sure to cite it correctly—see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial .

You cannot always tell from the assignment just what sort of writing style your instructor expects. The instructor may be really laid back in class but still expect you to sound formal in writing. Or the instructor may be fairly formal in class and ask you to write a reflection paper where you need to use “I” and speak from your own experience.

Try to avoid false associations of a particular field with a style (“art historians like wacky creativity,” or “political scientists are boring and just give facts”) and look instead to the types of readings you have been given in class. No one expects you to write like Plato—just use the readings as a guide for what is standard or preferable to your instructor. When in doubt, ask your instructor about the level of formality they expect.

No matter what field you are writing for or what facts you are including, if you do not write so that your reader can understand your main idea, you have wasted your time. So make clarity your main goal. For specific help with style, see our handout on style .

Technical details about the assignment

The technical information you are given in an assignment always seems like the easy part. This section can actually give you lots of little hints about approaching the task. Find out if elements such as page length and citation format (see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial ) are negotiable. Some professors do not have strong preferences as long as you are consistent and fully answer the assignment. Some professors are very specific and will deduct big points for deviations.

Usually, the page length tells you something important: The instructor thinks the size of the paper is appropriate to the assignment’s parameters. In plain English, your instructor is telling you how many pages it should take for you to answer the question as fully as you are expected to. So if an assignment is two pages long, you cannot pad your paper with examples or reword your main idea several times. Hit your one point early, defend it with the clearest example, and finish quickly. If an assignment is ten pages long, you can be more complex in your main points and examples—and if you can only produce five pages for that assignment, you need to see someone for help—as soon as possible.

Tricks that don’t work

Your instructors are not fooled when you:

  • spend more time on the cover page than the essay —graphics, cool binders, and cute titles are no replacement for a well-written paper.
  • use huge fonts, wide margins, or extra spacing to pad the page length —these tricks are immediately obvious to the eye. Most instructors use the same word processor you do. They know what’s possible. Such tactics are especially damning when the instructor has a stack of 60 papers to grade and yours is the only one that low-flying airplane pilots could read.
  • use a paper from another class that covered “sort of similar” material . Again, the instructor has a particular task for you to fulfill in the assignment that usually relates to course material and lectures. Your other paper may not cover this material, and turning in the same paper for more than one course may constitute an Honor Code violation . Ask the instructor—it can’t hurt.
  • get all wacky and “creative” before you answer the question . Showing that you are able to think beyond the boundaries of a simple assignment can be good, but you must do what the assignment calls for first. Again, check with your instructor. A humorous tone can be refreshing for someone grading a stack of papers, but it will not get you a good grade if you have not fulfilled the task.

Critical reading of assignments leads to skills in other types of reading and writing. If you get good at figuring out what the real goals of assignments are, you are going to be better at understanding the goals of all of your classes and fields of study.

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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Judith anderson herbert writing center college of arts & sciences, formal writing assignments, connect assignment goals with course goals.

At the beginning of any assignment, include a sentence or two that lets students see how this particular paper fits the overall goals of your course (which may be determined by the department or by you as the instructor).  Including the goals at the beginning of the assignment helps students understand why this paper “matters.”

Understand How Students Read Assignments

Understanding the differences between how students and faculty look at writing assignments can help you create better assignments for your course.

Work “Backwards”

Colorado State’s writing program recommends writing your ideal paper and then working backwards to be able to name the clear goals that you want to set forth for students.  Or, you could analyze an existing “ideal” student paper to define those goals and features.  Also, an instructor-annotated student paper can be very helpful as a model for students.  Once you’ve identified successful (and even unsuccessful) responses to an assignment, annotate it with comments that identify the relevant features.  Going over such models in class (with names removed) helps students   understand your expectations.

Identify Your Grading Criteria

A rubric or a list of grading criteria helps students understand the goals of the paper and the features you want to see.  Students can be overwhelmed or mystified by assignments–so giving them guidance about how to prioritize what they need to do can be a huge help.  Obviously, different disciplines and different assignments call for different rubrics.  Below is a list of sites you can look through to help you articulate the criteria that work for your assignments.  The more specific your rubric is, the more helpful it will be in guiding your students to write successfully.

  • Multiple Rubrics for Various Disciplines
  • The Rubric Bank
  • Grading Rubric for Criminal Justice Paper
  • General Rubric for Essays
  • Persuasive Essay Rubric
  • Argumentative Essay Rubric
  • Lab Report Rubric
  • Another Lab Report Rubric
  • Create Customizable Rubrics
  • Also, consider allowing students to participate in designing the rubric .

Strive for Clarity in Your Assignment Sheet

  • Use “active voice” commands as you write your assignment sheet.  It might feel more polite to write, “You might try comparing A to B,” but students need to see “Compare A to B.”
  • Use language that your students will understand.  Students may not know exactly what you want when they see phrases such as “the cogency of your argument.”
  • Don’t take for granted that students already know what is required when you assign a particular type of essay (e.g., a “review essay”)—so go ahead and define it for them.  Even writing terms such as “thesis” can mean different things from discipline to discipline, so provide a sample thesis that illustrates what you expect.
  • Provide models of the sort of writing you expect from your students.

Structure the Assignment Sheet Clearly

Many of us create assignments that are too long–and students need to decode them in order to move forward.  When students see a full page (or more) of text on an assignment sheet, they often feel overwhelmed.  Similarly, if students see only one sentence, they may feel that they do not know where to go next.  Here are a few suggestions:

  • Begin with a condensed section with the most important information.
  • Secondly, include goals and preparation steps.
  • Clearly highlight important items with bullet points or bold letters.
  • End with the least important information: formatting, page numbers, etc.
  • Make sure you have clearly separated the “getting started” section on your assignment sheet from the “features of the finished paper” section.

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Designing Writing Assignments

A well-designed assignment can focus and guide students’ work as they write papers and develop projects, and it can also make evaluating students’ work easier for faculty.  As Rebecca Hacker argues in The Chronicle of Higher Education , creating an assignment sheet is a challenging writing task, one that requires faculty to think not only about what they want students to produce but also what students need to know in order to produce good work.

What makes a good assignment?

Purpose: The assignment should develop students’ understanding of the most important concepts, content, and methods of the course or give students an opportunity to demonstrate their understanding – or both.

Alignment: The scale, form, and task of an assignment should fit with course goals. While traditional essays and research papers can accomplish many things, they’re not the only way to foster or measure students’ understanding of course ideas or methods. Sometimes, informal assignments or alternative projects fit better (and they can be easier to incorporate into your course and your workload).

Context: All writing happens in context, and good assignments specify the context. That might mean saying a few words about how the assignment fits in the unfolding of a course, but it could also mean inviting students to imagine writing for an audience other than the professor or in a professional or civic situation.

Engaging: Good assignments engage students in the concepts and content of a course. In addition, students produce better work when they tackle challenging questions that matter and when they write in ways that build on but also stretch their skills. Good assignments should also be interesting for faculty. Writing Studies scholar Irv Peckham encourages faculty to avoid assigning papers that we don’t want to read.

This Assignment Design MadLib template will help you think about how an assignment can help students learn the key content of your course. Want more help? Check out this example for an informal reading response and another example for a multimedia project .

What, Why, and How: Guiding Questions for Assignment Design

WHAT does the project involve?

  • What are you asking students to do?
  • In what context are they writing — for whom, with what expectations or needs, with what situational constraints or challenges?
  • How should students develop these projects? For example, what kinds of research should they do? Do you want them to use specific analytical approaches or particular course materials or concepts?
  • Practical details – form, length, documentation, style, due dates

WHY are students doing the project?:

  • What do you want students to learn by doing this project?
  • What do you hope these projects will demonstrate about students’ learning?
  • How does the project develop, build on, and/or deploy the central knowledge and approaches of the course?

HOW you will evaluate students’ work?:

  • Criteria – What qualities are you looking for?
  • Rubric – How well does a project need to demonstrate each criteria? Note that some faculty like rubrics, because they make the standards for assignments clear and facilitate grading. Others find them limiting.

Here are two examples that show how the MadLib translates into an assignment:

  • Framing Document
  • Introducing Your Space

You can also download a Writing Assignment Template to follow as you write your own assignment sheet.

More Ideas and Resources  

  • Backward design can help ensure that assignments advance course goals

The goal of a course is for students to understand a set of ideas, concepts, materials, or methods, so assignments ought to focus on generating and demonstrating that understanding. If we begin course planning by articulating the end goal in concrete terms – what could students do if they understood the core ideas of the course? – then we can design assignments that emphasize those goals.

  • Consider breaking big projects down into smaller parts

Students generally produce better work if they develop large projects over time, rather than doing all the work at the end of the semester. Scaffolding assignments by asking students to complete several parts of a project over the course of a semester will generate better papers at the end. While responding to incremental assignments takes time, doing a little more work in the middle of the semester can make grading final papers easier.

  • Multimodal assignments challenge and engage students

Digital and multimedia assignments – what Writing Studies experts call “multimodal assignments” – generate interesting and meaningful work, and they can be both engaging and challenging for students and more interesting for faculty to review. Yet they also pose some particular challenges, because they ask students to integrate words with images, sound, and video, and they often involve learning new digital production skills. Faculty also evaluate these projects differently. We’ve posted some ideas about how to approach these assignments under  Assigning and Assessing Multimodal Projects .

How to Write a Perfect Assignment: Step-By-Step Guide

image

Table of contents

  • 1 How to Structure an Assignment?
  • 2.1 The research part
  • 2.2 Planning your text
  • 2.3 Writing major parts
  • 3 Expert Tips for your Writing Assignment
  • 4 Will I succeed with my assignments?
  • 5 Conclusion

How to Structure an Assignment?

To cope with assignments, you should familiarize yourself with the tips on formatting and presenting assignments or any written paper, which are given below. It is worth paying attention to the content of the paper, making it structured and understandable so that ideas are not lost and thoughts do not refute each other.

If the topic is free or you can choose from the given list — be sure to choose the one you understand best. Especially if that could affect your semester score or scholarship. It is important to select an  engaging title that is contextualized within your topic. A topic that should captivate you or at least give you a general sense of what is needed there. It’s easier to dwell upon what interests you, so the process goes faster.

To construct an assignment structure, use outlines. These are pieces of text that relate to your topic. It can be ideas, quotes, all your thoughts, or disparate arguments. Type in everything that you think about. Separate thoughts scattered across the sheets of Word will help in the next step.

Then it is time to form the text. At this stage, you have to form a coherent story from separate pieces, where each new thought reinforces the previous one, and one idea smoothly flows into another.

Main Steps of Assignment Writing

These are steps to take to get a worthy paper. If you complete these step-by-step, your text will be among the most exemplary ones.

The research part

If the topic is unique and no one has written about it yet, look at materials close to this topic to gain thoughts about it. You should feel that you are ready to express your thoughts. Also, while reading, get acquainted with the format of the articles, study the details, collect material for your thoughts, and accumulate different points of view for your article. Be careful at this stage, as the process can help you develop your ideas. If you are already struggling here, pay for assignment to be done , and it will be processed in a split second via special services. These services are especially helpful when the deadline is near as they guarantee fast delivery of high-quality papers on any subject.

If you use Google to search for material for your assignment, you will, of course, find a lot of information very quickly. Still, the databases available on your library’s website will give you the clearest and most reliable facts that satisfy your teacher or professor. Be sure you copy the addresses of all the web pages you will use when composing your paper, so you don’t lose them. You can use them later in your bibliography if you add a bit of description! Select resources and extract quotes from them that you can use while working. At this stage, you may also create a  request for late assignment if you realize the paper requires a lot of effort and is time-consuming. This way, you’ll have a backup plan if something goes wrong.

Planning your text

Assemble a layout. It may be appropriate to use the structure of the paper of some outstanding scientists in your field and argue it in one of the parts. As the planning progresses, you can add suggestions that come to mind. If you use citations that require footnotes, and if you use single spacing throughout the paper and double spacing at the end, it will take you a very long time to make sure that all the citations are on the exact pages you specified! Add a reference list or bibliography. If you haven’t already done so, don’t put off writing an essay until the last day. It will be more difficult to do later as you will be stressed out because of time pressure.

Writing major parts

It happens that there is simply no mood or strength to get started and zero thoughts. In that case, postpone this process for 2-3 hours, and, perhaps, soon, you will be able to start with renewed vigor. Writing essays is a great (albeit controversial) way to improve your skills. This experience will not be forgotten. It will certainly come in handy and bring many benefits in the future. Do your best here because asking for an extension is not always possible, so you probably won’t have time to redo it later. And the quality of this part defines the success of the whole paper.

Writing the major part does not mean the matter is finished. To review the text, make sure that the ideas of the introduction and conclusion coincide because such a discrepancy is the first thing that will catch the reader’s eye and can spoil the impression. Add or remove anything from your intro to edit it to fit the entire paper. Also, check your spelling and grammar to ensure there are no typos or draft comments. Check the sources of your quotes so that your it is honest and does not violate any rules. And do not forget the formatting rules.

with the right tips and guidance, it can be easier than it looks. To make the process even more straightforward, students can also use an assignment service to get the job done. This way they can get professional assistance and make sure that their assignments are up to the mark. At PapersOwl, we provide a professional writing service where students can order custom-made assignments that meet their exact requirements.

Expert Tips for your Writing Assignment

Want to write like a pro? Here’s what you should consider:

  • Save the document! Send the finished document by email to yourself so you have a backup copy in case your computer crashes.
  • Don’t wait until the last minute to complete a list of citations or a bibliography after the paper is finished. It will be much longer and more difficult, so add to them as you go.
  • If you find a lot of information on the topic of your search, then arrange it in a separate paragraph.
  • If possible, choose a topic that you know and are interested in.
  • Believe in yourself! If you set yourself up well and use your limited time wisely, you will be able to deliver the paper on time.
  • Do not copy information directly from the Internet without citing them.

Writing assignments is a tedious and time-consuming process. It requires a lot of research and hard work to produce a quality paper. However, if you are feeling overwhelmed or having difficulty understanding the concept, you may want to consider getting accounting homework help online . Professional experts can assist you in understanding how to complete your assignment effectively. PapersOwl.com offers expert help from highly qualified and experienced writers who can provide you with the homework help you need.

Will I succeed with my assignments?

Anyone can learn how to be good at writing: follow simple rules of creating the structure and be creative where it is appropriate. At one moment, you will need some additional study tools, study support, or solid study tips. And you can easily get help in writing assignments or any other work. This is especially useful since the strategy of learning how to write an assignment can take more time than a student has.

Therefore all students are happy that there is an option to  order your paper at a professional service to pass all the courses perfectly and sleep still at night. You can also find the sample of the assignment there to check if you are on the same page and if not — focus on your papers more diligently.

So, in the times of studies online, the desire and skill to research and write may be lost. Planning your assignment carefully and presenting arguments step-by-step is necessary to succeed with your homework. When going through your references, note the questions that appear and answer them, building your text. Create a cover page, proofread the whole text, and take care of formatting. Feel free to use these rules for passing your next assignments.

When it comes to writing an assignment, it can be overwhelming and stressful, but Papersowl is here to make it easier for you. With a range of helpful resources available, Papersowl can assist you in creating high-quality written work, regardless of whether you’re starting from scratch or refining an existing draft. From conducting research to creating an outline, and from proofreading to formatting, the team at Papersowl has the expertise to guide you through the entire writing process and ensure that your assignment meets all the necessary requirements.

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how to write a assignment sheets

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Writing Assignments

Kate Derrington; Cristy Bartlett; and Sarah Irvine

Hands on laptop

Introduction

Assignments are a common method of assessment at university and require careful planning and good quality research. Developing critical thinking and writing skills are also necessary to demonstrate your ability to understand and apply information about your topic.  It is not uncommon to be unsure about the processes of writing assignments at university.

  • You may be returning to study after a break
  • You may have come from an exam based assessment system and never written an assignment before
  • Maybe you have written assignments but would like to improve your processes and strategies

This chapter has a collection of resources that will provide you with the skills and strategies to understand assignment requirements and effectively plan, research, write and edit your assignments.  It begins with an explanation of how to analyse an assignment task and start putting your ideas together.  It continues by breaking down the components of academic writing and exploring the elements you will need to master in your written assignments. This is followed by a discussion of paraphrasing and synthesis, and how you can use these strategies to create a strong, written argument. The chapter concludes with useful checklists for editing and proofreading to help you get the best possible mark for your work.

Task Analysis and Deconstructing an Assignment

It is important that before you begin researching and writing your assignments you spend sufficient time understanding all the requirements. This will help make your research process more efficient and effective. Check your subject information such as task sheets, criteria sheets and any additional information that may be in your subject portal online. Seek clarification from your lecturer or tutor if you are still unsure about how to begin your assignments.

The task sheet typically provides key information about an assessment including the assignment question. It can be helpful to scan this document for topic, task and limiting words to ensure that you fully understand the concepts you are required to research, how to approach the assignment, and the scope of the task you have been set. These words can typically be found in your assignment question and are outlined in more detail in the two tables below (see Table 19.1 and Table 19.2 ).

Table 19.1 Parts of an Assignment Question

Topic words These are words and concepts you have to research and write about.
Task words These will tell you how to approach the assignment and structure the information you find in your research (e.g., discuss, analyse).
Limiting words These words define the scope of the assignment, e.g., Australian perspectives, relevant codes or standards or a specific timeframe.

Make sure you have a clear understanding of what the task word requires you to address.

Table 19.2 Task words

Give reasons for or explain something has occurred. This task directs you to consider contributing factors to a certain situation or event. You are expected to make a decision about why these occurred, not just describe the events. the factors that led to the global financial crisis.
Consider the different elements of a concept, statement or situation. Show the different components and show how they connect or relate. Your structure and argument should be logical and methodical. the political, social and economic impacts of climate change.
Make a judgement on a topic or idea. Consider its reliability, truth and usefulness. In your judgement, consider both the strengths and weaknesses of the opposing arguments to determine your topic’s worth (similar to evaluate). the efficacy of cogitative behavioural therapy (CBT) for the treatment of depression.
Divide your topic into categories or sub-topics logically (could possibly be part of a more complex task). the artists studied this semester according to the artistic periods they best represent. Then choose one artist and evaluate their impact on future artists.
State your opinion on an issue or idea. You may explain the issue or idea in more detail. Be objective and support your opinion with reliable evidence. the government’s proposal to legalise safe injecting rooms.
Show the similarities and differences between two or more ideas, theories, systems, arguments or events. You are expected to provide a balanced response, highlighting similarities and differences. the efficiency of wind and solar power generation for a construction site.
Point out only the differences between two or more ideas, theories, systems, arguments or events. virtue ethics and utilitarianism as models for ethical decision making.
(this is often used with another task word, e.g. critically evaluate, critically analyse, critically discuss) It does not mean to criticise, instead you are required to give a balanced account, highlighting strengths and weaknesses about the topic. Your overall judgment must be supported by reliable evidence and your interpretation of that evidence. analyse the impacts of mental health on recidivism within youth justice.
Provide a precise meaning of a concept. You may need to include the limits or scope of the concept within a given context. digital disruption as it relates to productivity.
Provide a thorough description, emphasising the most important points. Use words to show appearance, function, process, events or systems. You are not required to make judgements. the pathophysiology of Asthma.
Highlight the differences between two (possibly confusing) items. between exothermic and endothermic reactions.
Provide an analysis of a topic. Use evidence to support your argument. Be logical and include different perspectives on the topic (This requires more than a description). how Brofenbrenner’s ecological system’s theory applies to adolescence.
Review both positive and negative aspects of a topic. You may need to provide an overall judgement regarding the value or usefulness of the topic. Evidence (referencing) must be included to support your writing. the impact of inclusive early childhood education programs on subsequent high school completion rates for First Nations students.
Describe and clarify the situation or topic. Depending on your discipline area and topic, this may include processes, pathways, cause and effect, impact, or outcomes. the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the film industry in Australia.
Clarify a point or argument with examples and evidence. how society’s attitudes to disability have changed from a medical model to a wholistic model of disability.
Give evidence which supports an argument or idea; show why a decision or conclusions were made. Justify may be used with other topic words, such as outline, argue. Write a report outlining the key issues and implications of a welfare cashless debit card trial and make three recommendations for future improvements. your decision-making process for the recommendations.
A comprehensive description of the situation or topic which provides a critical analysis of the key issues. Provide a of Australia's asylum policies since the Pacific Solution in 2001.
An overview or brief description of a topic. (This is likely to be part of a larger assessment task.) the process for calculating the correct load for a plane.

The criteria sheet , also known as the marking sheet or rubric, is another important document to look at before you begin your assignment. The criteria sheet outlines how your assignment will be marked and should be used as a checklist to make sure you have included all the information required.

The task or criteria sheet will also include the:

  • Word limit (or word count)
  • Referencing style and research expectations
  • Formatting requirements

Task analysis and criteria sheets are also discussed in the chapter Managing Assessments for a more detailed discussion on task analysis, criteria sheets, and marking rubrics.

Preparing your ideas

Concept map on whiteboard

Brainstorm or concept map:  List possible ideas to address each part of the assignment task based on what you already know about the topic from lectures and weekly readings.

Finding appropriate information: Learn how to find scholarly information for your assignments which is

See the chapter Working With Information for a more detailed explanation .

What is academic writing?

Academic writing tone and style.

Many of the assessment pieces you prepare will require an academic writing style.  This is sometimes called ‘academic tone’ or ‘academic voice’.  This section will help you to identify what is required when you are writing academically (see Table 19.3 ). The best way to understand what academic writing looks like, is to read broadly in your discipline area.  Look at how your course readings, or scholarly sources, are written. This will help you identify the language of your discipline field, as well as how other writers structure their work.

Table 19.3 Comparison of academic and non-academic writing

Is clear, concise and well-structured Is verbose and may use more words than are needed
Is formal. It writes numbers under twenty in full. Writes numbers under twenty as numerals and uses symbols such as “&” instead of writing it in full
Is reasoned and supported (logically developed) Uses humour (puns, sarcasm)
Is authoritative (writes in third person- This essay argues…) Writes in first person (I think, I found)
Utilises the language of the field/industry/subject Uses colloquial language e.g., mate

Thesis statements

Essays are a common form of assessment that you will likely encounter during your university studies. You should apply an academic tone and style when writing an essay, just as you would in in your other assessment pieces. One of the most important steps in writing an essay is constructing your thesis statement.  A thesis statement tells the reader the purpose, argument or direction you will take to answer your assignment question. A thesis statement may not be relevant for some questions, if you are unsure check with your lecturer. The thesis statement:

  • Directly  relates to the task .  Your thesis statement may even contain some of the key words or synonyms from the task description.
  • Does more than restate the question.
  • Is specific and uses precise language.
  • Let’s your reader know your position or the main argument that you will support with evidence throughout your assignment.
  • The subject is the key content area you will be covering.
  • The contention is the position you are taking in relation to the chosen content.

Your thesis statement helps you to structure your essay.  It plays a part in each key section: introduction, body and conclusion.

Planning your assignment structure

Image of the numbers 231

When planning and drafting assignments, it is important to consider the structure of your writing. Academic writing should have clear and logical structure and incorporate academic research to support your ideas.  It can be hard to get started and at first you may feel nervous about the size of the task, this is normal. If you break your assignment into smaller pieces, it will seem more manageable as you can approach the task in sections. Refer to your brainstorm or plan. These ideas should guide your research and will also inform what you write in your draft. It is sometimes easier to draft your assignment using the 2-3-1 approach, that is, write the body paragraphs first followed by the conclusion and finally the introduction.

Writing introductions and conclusions

Clear and purposeful introductions and conclusions in assignments are fundamental to effective academic writing. Your introduction should tell the reader what is going to be covered and how you intend to approach this. Your conclusion should summarise your argument or discussion and signal to the reader that you have come to a conclusion with a final statement.  These tips below are based on the requirements usually needed for an essay assignment, however, they can be applied to other assignment types.

Writing introductions

Start written on road

Most writing at university will require a strong and logically structured introduction. An effective introduction should provide some background or context for your assignment, clearly state your thesis and include the key points you will cover in the body of the essay in order to prove your thesis.

Usually, your introduction is approximately 10% of your total assignment word count. It is much easier to write your introduction once you have drafted your body paragraphs and conclusion, as you know what your assignment is going to be about. An effective introduction needs to inform your reader by establishing what the paper is about and provide four basic things:

  • A brief background or overview of your assignment topic
  • A thesis statement (see section above)
  • An outline of your essay structure
  • An indication of any parameters or scope that will/ will not be covered, e.g. From an Australian perspective.

The below example demonstrates the four different elements of an introductory paragraph.

1) Information technology is having significant effects on the communication of individuals and organisations in different professions. 2) This essay will discuss the impact of information technology on the communication of health professionals.   3)  First, the provision of information technology for the educational needs of nurses will be discussed.  4)  This will be followed by an explanation of the significant effects that information technology can have on the role of general practitioner in the area of public health.  5)  Considerations will then be made regarding the lack of knowledge about the potential of computers among hospital administrators and nursing executives.  6)   The final section will explore how information technology assists health professionals in the delivery of services in rural areas .  7)  It will be argued that information technology has significant potential to improve health care and medical education, but health professionals are reluctant to use it.

1 Brief background/ overview | 2 Indicates the scope of what will be covered |   3-6 Outline of the main ideas (structure) | 7 The thesis statement

Note : The examples in this document are taken from the University of Canberra and used under a CC-BY-SA-3.0 licence.

Writing conclusions

You should aim to end your assignments with a strong conclusion. Your conclusion should restate your thesis and summarise the key points you have used to prove this thesis. Finish with a key point as a final impactful statement.  Similar to your introduction, your conclusion should be approximately 10% of the total assignment word length. If your assessment task asks you to make recommendations, you may need to allocate more words to the conclusion or add a separate recommendations section before the conclusion. Use the checklist below to check your conclusion is doing the right job.

Conclusion checklist 

  • Have you referred to the assignment question and restated your argument (or thesis statement), as outlined in the introduction?
  • Have you pulled together all the threads of your essay into a logical ending and given it a sense of unity?
  • Have you presented implications or recommendations in your conclusion? (if required by your task).
  • Have you added to the overall quality and impact of your essay? This is your final statement about this topic; thus, a key take-away point can make a great impact on the reader.
  • Remember, do not add any new material or direct quotes in your conclusion.

This below example demonstrates the different elements of a concluding paragraph.

1) It is evident, therefore, that not only do employees need to be trained for working in the Australian multicultural workplace, but managers also need to be trained.  2)  Managers must ensure that effective in-house training programs are provided for migrant workers, so that they become more familiar with the English language, Australian communication norms and the Australian work culture.  3)  In addition, Australian native English speakers need to be made aware of the differing cultural values of their workmates; particularly the different forms of non-verbal communication used by other cultures.  4)  Furthermore, all employees must be provided with clear and detailed guidelines about company expectations.  5)  Above all, in order to minimise communication problems and to maintain an atmosphere of tolerance, understanding and cooperation in the multicultural workplace, managers need to have an effective knowledge about their employees. This will help employers understand how their employee’s social conditioning affects their beliefs about work. It will develop their communication skills to develop confidence and self-esteem among diverse work groups. 6) The culturally diverse Australian workplace may never be completely free of communication problems, however,   further studies to identify potential problems and solutions, as well as better training in cross cultural communication for managers and employees,   should result in a much more understanding and cooperative environment. 

1  Reference to thesis statement – In this essay the writer has taken the position that training is required for both employees and employers . | 2-5 Structure overview – Here the writer pulls together the main ideas in the essay. | 6  Final summary statement that is based on the evidence.

Note: The examples in this document are taken from the University of Canberra and used under a CC-BY-SA-3.0 licence.

Writing paragraphs

Paragraph writing is a key skill that enables you to incorporate your academic research into your written work.  Each paragraph should have its own clearly identified topic sentence or main idea which relates to the argument or point (thesis) you are developing.  This idea should then be explained by additional sentences which you have paraphrased from good quality sources and referenced according to the recommended guidelines of your subject (see the chapter Working with Information ). Paragraphs are characterised by increasing specificity; that is, they move from the general to the specific, increasingly refining the reader’s understanding. A common structure for paragraphs in academic writing is as follows.

Topic Sentence 

This is the main idea of the paragraph and should relate to the overall issue or purpose of your assignment is addressing. Often it will be expressed as an assertion or claim which supports the overall argument or purpose of your writing.

Explanation/ Elaboration

The main idea must have its meaning explained and elaborated upon. Think critically, do not just describe the idea.

These explanations must include evidence to support your main idea. This information should be paraphrased and referenced according to the appropriate referencing style of your course.

Concluding sentence (critical thinking)

This should explain why the topic of the paragraph is relevant to the assignment question and link to the following paragraph.

Use the checklist below to check your paragraphs are clear and well formed.

Paragraph checklist

  • Does your paragraph have a clear main idea?
  • Is everything in the paragraph related to this main idea?
  • Is the main idea adequately developed and explained?
  • Do your sentences run together smoothly?
  • Have you included evidence to support your ideas?
  • Have you concluded the paragraph by connecting it to your overall topic?

Writing sentences

Make sure all the sentences in your paragraphs make sense. Each sentence must contain a verb to be a complete sentence. Avoid sentence fragments . These are incomplete sentences or ideas that are unfinished and create confusion for your reader. Avoid also run on sentences . This happens when you join two ideas or clauses without using the appropriate punctuation. This also confuses your meaning (See the chapter English Language Foundations for examples and further explanation).

Use transitions (linking words and phrases) to connect your ideas between paragraphs and make your writing flow. The order that you structure the ideas in your assignment should reflect the structure you have outlined in your introduction. Refer to transition words table in the chapter English Language Foundations.

Paraphrasing and Synthesising

Paraphrasing and synthesising are powerful tools that you can use to support the main idea of a paragraph. It is likely that you will regularly use these skills at university to incorporate evidence into explanatory sentences and strengthen your essay. It is important to paraphrase and synthesise because:

  • Paraphrasing is regarded more highly at university than direct quoting.
  • Paraphrasing can also help you better understand the material.
  • Paraphrasing and synthesising demonstrate you have understood what you have read through your ability to summarise and combine arguments from the literature using your own words.

What is paraphrasing?

Paraphrasing is changing the writing of another author into your words while retaining the original meaning. You must acknowledge the original author as the source of the information in your citation. Follow the steps in this table to help you build your skills in paraphrasing (see Table 19.4 ).

Table 19.4 Paraphrasing techniques

1 Make sure you understand what you are reading. Look up keywords to understand their meanings.
2 Record the details of the source so you will be able to cite it correctly in text and in your reference list.
3 Identify words that you can change to synonyms (but do not change the key/topic words).
4 Change the type of word in a sentence (for example change a noun to a verb or vice versa).
5 Eliminate unnecessary words or phrases from the original that you don’t need in your paraphrase.
6 Change the sentence structure (for example change a long sentence to several shorter ones or combine shorter sentences to form a longer sentence).

Example of paraphrasing

Please note that these examples and in text citations are for instructional purposes only.

Original text

Health care professionals   assist people often when they are at their most  vulnerable . To provide the best care and understand their needs, workers must demonstrate good communication skills .  They must develop patient trust and provide empathy   to effectively work with patients who are experiencing a variety of situations including those who may be suffering from trauma or violence, physical or mental illness or substance abuse (French & Saunders, 2018).

Poor quality paraphrase example

This is a poor example of paraphrasing. Some synonyms have been used and the order of a few words changed within the sentences however the colours of the sentences indicate that the paragraph follows the same structure as the original text.

Health care sector workers are often responsible for vulnerable  patients.   To understand patients and deliver good service , they need to be excellent communicators .  They must establish patient rapport and show empathy if they are to successfully care for patients from a variety of backgrounds  and with different medical, psychological and social needs (French & Saunders, 2018).

A good quality paraphrase example

This example demonstrates a better quality paraphrase. The author has demonstrated more understanding of the overall concept in the text by using the keywords as the basis to reconstruct the paragraph. Note how the blocks of colour have been broken up to see how much the structure has changed from the original text.

Empathetic   communication is a vital skill for health care workers.   Professionals in these fields   are often responsible for patients with complex medical, psychological and social needs. Empathetic   communication assists in building rapport and gaining the necessary trust   to assist these vulnerable patients  by providing appropriate supportive care (French & Saunders, 2018).

The good quality paraphrase example demonstrates understanding of the overall concept in the text by using key words as the basis to reconstruct the paragraph.  Note how the blocks of colour have been broken up, which indicates how much the structure has changed from the original text.

What is synthesising?

Synthesising means to bring together more than one source of information to strengthen your argument. Once you have learnt how to paraphrase the ideas of one source at a time, you can consider adding additional sources to support your argument. Synthesis demonstrates your understanding and ability to show connections between multiple pieces of evidence to support your ideas and is a more advanced academic thinking and writing skill.

Follow the steps in this table to improve your synthesis techniques (see Table 19.5 ).

Table 19.5 Synthesising techniques

1 Check your referencing guide to learn how to correctly reference more than one author at a time in your paper.
2 While taking notes for your research, try organising your notes into themes. This way you can keep similar ideas from different authors together.
3 Identify similar language and tone used by authors so that you can group similar ideas together.
4 Synthesis can not only be about grouping ideas together that are similar, but also those that are different. See how you can contrast authors in your writing to also strengthen your argument.

Example of synthesis

There is a relationship between academic procrastination and mental health outcomes.  Procrastination has been found to have a negative effect on students’ well-being (Balkis, & Duru, 2016). Yerdelen, McCaffrey, and Klassens’ (2016) research results suggested that there was a positive association between procrastination and anxiety. This was corroborated by Custer’s (2018) findings which indicated that students with higher levels of procrastination also reported greater levels of the anxiety. Therefore, it could be argued that procrastination is an ineffective learning strategy that leads to increased levels of distress.

Topic sentence | Statements using paraphrased evidence | Critical thinking (student voice) | Concluding statement – linking to topic sentence

This example demonstrates a simple synthesis. The author has developed a paragraph with one central theme and included explanatory sentences complete with in-text citations from multiple sources. Note how the blocks of colour have been used to illustrate the paragraph structure and synthesis (i.e., statements using paraphrased evidence from several sources). A more complex synthesis may include more than one citation per sentence.

Creating an argument

What does this mean.

Throughout your university studies, you may be asked to ‘argue’ a particular point or position in your writing. You may already be familiar with the idea of an argument, which in general terms means to have a disagreement with someone. Similarly, in academic writing, if you are asked to create an argument, this means you are asked to have a position on a particular topic, and then justify your position using evidence.

What skills do you need to create an argument?

In order to create a good and effective argument, you need to be able to:

  • Read critically to find evidence
  • Plan your argument
  • Think and write critically throughout your paper to enhance your argument

For tips on how to read and write critically, refer to the chapter Thinking for more information. A formula for developing a strong argument is presented below.

A formula for a good argument

A diagram on the formula for a ggood argument which includes deciding what side of argument you are on, research evidence to support your argument, create a plan to create a logically flowing argument and writing your argument

What does an argument look like?

As can be seen from the figure above, including evidence is a key element of a good argument. While this may seem like a straightforward task, it can be difficult to think of wording to express your argument. The table below provides examples of how you can illustrate your argument in academic writing (see Table 19.6 ).

Table 19.6 Argument

Introducing your argument • This paper will argue/claim that...
• ...is an important factor/concept/idea/ to consider because...
• … will be argued/outlined in this paper.
Introducing evidence for your argument • Smith (2014) outlines that....
• This evidence demonstrates that...
• According to Smith (2014)…
• For example, evidence/research provided by Smith (2014) indicates that...
Giving the reason why your point/evidence is important • Therefore this indicates...
• This evidence clearly demonstrates....
• This is important/significant because...
• This data highlights...
Concluding a point • Overall, it is clear that...
• Therefore, … are reasons which should be considered because...
• Consequently, this leads to....
• The research presented therefore indicates...

Editing and proofreading (reviewing)

Once you have finished writing your first draft it is recommended that you spend time revising your work.  Proofreading and editing are two different stages of the revision process.

  • Editing considers the overall focus or bigger picture of the assignment
  • Proofreading considers the finer details

Editing mindmap with the words sources, content,s tructure and style. Proofreading mindmap with the words referencing, word choice, grammar and spelling and punctuation

As can be seen in the figure above there are four main areas that you should review during the editing phase of the revision process. The main things to consider when editing include content, structure, style, and sources. It is important to check that all the content relates to the assignment task, the structure is appropriate for the purposes of the assignment, the writing is academic in style, and that sources have been adequately acknowledged. Use the checklist below when editing your work.

Editing checklist

  • Have I answered the question accurately?
  • Do I have enough credible, scholarly supporting evidence?
  • Is my writing tone objective and formal enough or have I used emotive and informal language?
  • Have I written in the third person not the first person?
  • Do I have appropriate in-text citations for all my information?
  • Have I included the full details for all my in-text citations in my reference list?

There are also several key things to look out for during the proofreading phase of the revision process. In this stage it is important to check your work for word choice, grammar and spelling, punctuation and referencing errors. It can be easy to mis-type words like ‘from’ and ‘form’ or mix up words like ‘trail’ and ‘trial’ when writing about research, apply American rather than Australian spelling, include unnecessary commas or incorrectly format your references list. The checklist below is a useful guide that you can use when proofreading your work.

Proofreading checklist

  • Is my spelling and grammar accurate?
  •  Are they complete?
  • Do they all make sense?
  • Do they only contain only one idea?
  • Do the different elements (subject, verb, nouns, pronouns) within my sentences agree?
  • Are my sentences too long and complicated?
  • Do they contain only one idea per sentence?
  • Is my writing concise? Take out words that do not add meaning to your sentences.
  • Have I used appropriate discipline specific language but avoided words I don’t know or understand that could possibly be out of context?
  • Have I avoided discriminatory language and colloquial expressions (slang)?
  • Is my referencing formatted correctly according to my assignment guidelines? (for more information on referencing refer to the Managing Assessment feedback section).

This chapter has examined the experience of writing assignments.  It began by focusing on how to read and break down an assignment question, then highlighted the key components of essays. Next, it examined some techniques for paraphrasing and summarising, and how to build an argument. It concluded with a discussion on planning and structuring your assignment and giving it that essential polish with editing and proof-reading. Combining these skills and practising them, can greatly improve your success with this very common form of assessment.

  • Academic writing requires clear and logical structure, critical thinking and the use of credible scholarly sources.
  • A thesis statement is important as it tells the reader the position or argument you have adopted in your assignment. Not all assignments will require a thesis statement.
  • Spending time analysing your task and planning your structure before you start to write your assignment is time well spent.
  • Information you use in your assignment should come from credible scholarly sources such as textbooks and peer reviewed journals. This information needs to be paraphrased and referenced appropriately.
  • Paraphrasing means putting something into your own words and synthesising means to bring together several ideas from sources.
  • Creating an argument is a four step process and can be applied to all types of academic writing.
  • Editing and proofreading are two separate processes.

Academic Skills Centre. (2013). Writing an introduction and conclusion . University of Canberra, accessed 13 August, 2013, http://www.canberra.edu.au/studyskills/writing/conclusions

Balkis, M., & Duru, E. (2016). Procrastination, self-regulation failure, academic life satisfaction, and affective well-being: underregulation or misregulation form. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 31 (3), 439-459.

Custer, N. (2018). Test anxiety and academic procrastination among prelicensure nursing students. Nursing education perspectives, 39 (3), 162-163.

Yerdelen, S., McCaffrey, A., & Klassen, R. M. (2016). Longitudinal examination of procrastination and anxiety, and their relation to self-efficacy for self-regulated learning: Latent growth curve modeling. Educational Sciences: Theory & Practice, 16 (1).

Writing Assignments Copyright © 2021 by Kate Derrington; Cristy Bartlett; and Sarah Irvine is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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What Does an Effective Assignment Sheet Look Like?

  • Post author By Tom Polk
  • Post date April 18, 2018

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It recently occurred to us that, while we have been sharing resources about designing assignments this semester, we haven’t actually shared any samples of designs.  These resources are helpful when considering how to design our assignments, but they don’t show us how to communicate that assignment through a prompt sheet.  So, they compel us to ask: what does a good assignment sheet actually look like?

As Rebecca Weaver rightly points out , a good assignment sheet facilitates good student writing: “Assignment sheets that clearly explain the purpose, objectives, suggestions for starting, timelines, resources, and evaluation criteria helps students write better papers.”  She likens them to “user’s manuals” that inform students about the process and expectations of an assignment.  When the sheet isn’t clear, doesn’t contain sufficient information, or isn’t written at all, students are left to fill in gaps on their own, which can often lead to poor performance.  As Weaver puts it, we are essentially asking them to “be in our heads.”  Our scholarly training and practice develop writing practices that seem obvious and natural, if not explicit, but those disciplinary conventions are often foreign to undergraduate (and even graduate) students.  Assignment sheet serve as one of the places in which we can share a few of those disciplinary practices with our students.

Weaver’s assignment sheet template is available through her blog post on The Chronicle of Higher Education .  To view Weaver’s template directly, click here .  WAC Mason also has several sample assignments available for review .

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Understanding Writing Assignments

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How to Decipher the Paper Assignment

Many instructors write their assignment prompts differently. By following a few steps, you can better understand the requirements for the assignment. The best way, as always, is to ask the instructor about anything confusing.

  • Read the prompt the entire way through once. This gives you an overall view of what is going on.
  • Underline or circle the portions that you absolutely must know. This information may include due date, research (source) requirements, page length, and format (MLA, APA, CMS).
  • Underline or circle important phrases. You should know your instructor at least a little by now - what phrases do they use in class? Does he repeatedly say a specific word? If these are in the prompt, you know the instructor wants you to use them in the assignment.
  • Think about how you will address the prompt. The prompt contains clues on how to write the assignment. Your instructor will often describe the ideas they want discussed either in questions, in bullet points, or in the text of the prompt. Think about each of these sentences and number them so that you can write a paragraph or section of your essay on that portion if necessary.
  • Rank ideas in descending order, from most important to least important. Instructors may include more questions or talking points than you can cover in your assignment, so rank them in the order you think is more important. One area of the prompt may be more interesting to you than another.
  • Ask your instructor questions if you have any.

After you are finished with these steps, ask yourself the following:

  • What is the purpose of this assignment? Is my purpose to provide information without forming an argument, to construct an argument based on research, or analyze a poem and discuss its imagery?
  • Who is my audience? Is my instructor my only audience? Who else might read this? Will it be posted online? What are my readers' needs and expectations?
  • What resources do I need to begin work? Do I need to conduct literature (hermeneutic or historical) research, or do I need to review important literature on the topic and then conduct empirical research, such as a survey or an observation? How many sources are required?
  • Who - beyond my instructor - can I contact to help me if I have questions? Do you have a writing lab or student service center that offers tutorials in writing?

(Notes on prompts made in blue )

Poster or Song Analysis: Poster or Song? Poster!

Goals : To systematically consider the rhetorical choices made in either a poster or a song. She says that all the time.

Things to Consider: ah- talking points

  • how the poster addresses its audience and is affected by context I'll do this first - 1.
  • general layout, use of color, contours of light and shade, etc.
  • use of contrast, alignment, repetition, and proximity C.A.R.P. They say that, too. I'll do this third - 3.
  • the point of view the viewer is invited to take, poses of figures in the poster, etc. any text that may be present
  • possible cultural ramifications or social issues that have bearing I'll cover this second - 2.
  • ethical implications
  • how the poster affects us emotionally, or what mood it evokes
  • the poster's implicit argument and its effectiveness said that was important in class, so I'll discuss this last - 4.
  • how the song addresses its audience
  • lyrics: how they rhyme, repeat, what they say
  • use of music, tempo, different instruments
  • possible cultural ramifications or social issues that have bearing
  • emotional effects
  • the implicit argument and its effectiveness

These thinking points are not a step-by-step guideline on how to write your paper; instead, they are various means through which you can approach the subject. I do expect to see at least a few of them addressed, and there are other aspects that may be pertinent to your choice that have not been included in these lists. You will want to find a central idea and base your argument around that. Additionally, you must include a copy of the poster or song that you are working with. Really important!

I will be your audience. This is a formal paper, and you should use academic conventions throughout.

Length: 4 pages Format: Typed, double-spaced, 10-12 point Times New Roman, 1 inch margins I need to remember the format stuff. I messed this up last time =(

Academic Argument Essay

5-7 pages, Times New Roman 12 pt. font, 1 inch margins.

Minimum of five cited sources: 3 must be from academic journals or books

  • Design Plan due: Thurs. 10/19
  • Rough Draft due: Monday 10/30
  • Final Draft due: Thurs. 11/9

Remember this! I missed the deadline last time

The design plan is simply a statement of purpose, as described on pages 40-41 of the book, and an outline. The outline may be formal, as we discussed in class, or a printout of an Open Mind project. It must be a minimum of 1 page typed information, plus 1 page outline.

This project is an expansion of your opinion editorial. While you should avoid repeating any of your exact phrases from Project 2, you may reuse some of the same ideas. Your topic should be similar. You must use research to support your position, and you must also demonstrate a fairly thorough knowledge of any opposing position(s). 2 things to do - my position and the opposite.

Your essay should begin with an introduction that encapsulates your topic and indicates 1 the general trajectory of your argument. You need to have a discernable thesis that appears early in your paper. Your conclusion should restate the thesis in different words, 2 and then draw some additional meaningful analysis out of the developments of your argument. Think of this as a "so what" factor. What are some implications for the future, relating to your topic? What does all this (what you have argued) mean for society, or for the section of it to which your argument pertains? A good conclusion moves outside the topic in the paper and deals with a larger issue.

You should spend at least one paragraph acknowledging and describing the opposing position in a manner that is respectful and honestly representative of the opposition’s 3 views. The counterargument does not need to occur in a certain area, but generally begins or ends your argument. Asserting and attempting to prove each aspect of your argument’s structure should comprise the majority of your paper. Ask yourself what your argument assumes and what must be proven in order to validate your claims. Then go step-by-step, paragraph-by-paragraph, addressing each facet of your position. Most important part!

Finally, pay attention to readability . Just because this is a research paper does not mean that it has to be boring. Use examples and allow your opinion to show through word choice and tone. Proofread before you turn in the paper. Your audience is generally the academic community and specifically me, as a representative of that community. Ok, They want this to be easy to read, to contain examples I find, and they want it to be grammatically correct. I can visit the tutoring center if I get stuck, or I can email the OWL Email Tutors short questions if I have any more problems.

16 Ideas for Student Projects Using Google Docs, Slides, and Forms

July 31, 2016

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As you probably know, Google Drive is far more than a place to store files online. It also includes a suite of versatile creation tools, many of which perform the same functions as the ones we use in other spaces. These include  Google Docs,  a word processing program that behaves similarly to Microsoft Word,  Google Slides,  a presentation program similar to PowerPoint, and  Google Forms,  a survey-creation tool similar to Survey Monkey.  Although Drive also includes other tools, these three are particularly useful for creating rigorous, academically robust projects. If your school uses Google Classroom or at least gives students access to Google Drive, your students are probably already using these tools to write papers or create slideshow presentations, but there are other projects they could be doing that you may not have thought of.

Below I have listed 16 great ideas for projects using Google Docs, Slides, and Forms.

Annotated Bibliography By the time a student reaches the later years of high school, and certainly by the time she’s gotten to college, it’s likely that she’ll be required to write an annotated bibliography, a list of resources that not only includes the bibliographical information of each source, but also a short paragraph summarizing the resource and reflecting on its usefulness for a given project. Usually an annotated bibliography is required as a part of a larger research paper, but it could stand alone as an assignment that tasks students with seeking out and evaluating sources just for the practice of doing so. And the research tools in Google Docs allow students to locate, read, and cite their sources all in one place. To learn more, see this guide from Cornell University Library on How to Prepare an Annotated Bibliography .

Book Review Instead of a book report, have students write a book review instead. This is certainly not a new idea, but publishing the work electronically allows students to enhance the final product with the book’s cover image, a link to the book’s page on Amazon, and even links to other titles the author has written or articles on related topics. For models and inspiration, elementary and middle school students can read student-written reviews on sites like Spaghetti Book Club . Older or advanced students might work toward more sophisticated, nuanced review styles like book reviews written on Oprah.com .

Collaborative Story Because Google Docs is cloud-based, multiple people can work on a Doc at the same time. So students can work together on a story, a script for a play, or any other kind of group writing project. They can use the comments feature to give each other feedback and make decisions together. And because students can work from any location with an Internet connection, collaboration isn’t restricted to school hours; each group member can work on the project from any location whenever they have time.

Media-Rich Research Paper Any kind of research paper can be given a big boost when done in a Google Doc, because students can insert images, drawings, and links to other relevant resources, like articles and videos. Using the research tools built into Docs, students can research their topics and include in-text citations with footnotes.

Super Simple Blog If you don’t want to mess with actual blogging platforms, but want students to be able to experience writing blog posts that contain images and hyperlinks to other websites, this could be accomplished easily in a single running Google Doc.

Table Being able to organize information visually is an important skill, and students who understand how to build a table in Google Docs will have a skill for presenting all kinds of information in the future. They can be used as a compare and contrast exercise, to display data from an experiment, or even put together a schedule. Yes, you could do these things yourself, print them, and have students fill them out, but why not have students practice creating the tables themselves? 

Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Story Because slides can contain hyperlinks to other slides, students could build a whole story where the reader chooses different options at key points in the story, leading them down completely different paths. The reader would consume the content as a slideshow, clicking on the links themselves as they go through. This could be a pretty massive undertaking, but we all know students who would be totally up for the challenge.

E-book These could take a variety of forms: mini-textbooks, children’s books, cookbooks or how-to manuals, personal art or writing portfolios, even yearbook-style memory books. To learn more about the possibilities, see my post from earlier this year on  Student E-Books .

Magazine Along the same lines as an e-book, students could use a similar template to create a PDF magazine or newsletter that is shared online on a regular schedule. The possibilities here are endless, useful for student clubs or sports teams, classroom or grade-level newsletters, or magazines put out by groups of students who share a common interest, like gaming systems, soccer, or books.

Museum Kiosk Imagine if we could enhance science fair projects with a looping video display that provides the audience with vivid visuals and text about our topic. Or imagine an art show, where a self-running informational slideshow could be placed beside an art display to share the story behind the piece and photos of the work in progress? This is possible and EASY in Google Slides: Simply create a slideshow, then use the “Publish to the Web” feature to create a slideshow that auto-advances and has no need for a presenter. Pop that up on an iPad or laptop and you’re all set. This mock-up of a slideshow on Coral Reefs shows you what it could look like (click the image to open in a new window).

Short Film Students can upload their own images and add text boxes to a slideshow to create an animated story, then record the slideshow with a Google extension called Screencastify . They can either record their own voice as narration, add background music, or both. There are so many different kinds of films students could produce: illustrated stories or poems, final reflections for a 20 Time or Genius Hour project, video textbooks on content-related topics, or news-like feature stories of school or community events. In this quick sample, I added music from YouTube’s library of royalty-free music that anyone can use to enhance their recordings:

Video Tutorial Using the same screencasting software mentioned above, students could also create their own video tutorials by creating a Slides presentation on their topic (such as “How to Open a Combination Lock”), then recording the slideshow with narration. This would make a nice final product for a unit on informational writing or a way for students to demonstrate their learning at the end of a unit in science (“How to Take Care of Lab Equipment”), social studies (“How to Measure Distance on a Map”), or math (“How to Multiply Fractions”). Student-made tutorials could even be created to teach classroom procedures. And any tutorials students make could be stored for later, so other students can also benefit from them.  Learn more about how Screencastify works right inside Chrome .

Peer Survey Whenever students need to gather data to support an argumentative essay or speech, let them gather data quickly and easily by creating a survey with Google Forms. Links to the survey can be sent out via email, QR codes , or through a post in a learning management system like Edmodo or Google Classroom. When results come in, students can use them to support whatever claim they are trying to make in their argument, or make adjustments based on what they discover in their research.

Feedback Form Have students provide feedback to each other’s presentations, speeches, even videos using Google Forms. Here’s how it would work: Each student creates her own form, asking for the kind of feedback she wants on the project. As other students view or the project, they can be sent to a form to offer praise or constructive criticism, which the creator would then be able to view privately and use to improve the project. Students could even use their feedback to write a reflection on their process after the project is done.

Quiz One great way to learn material is to create a test or quiz over the content. Have students use Google Forms to create their own multiple-choice, True/False, fill-in-the-blank, or open-ended quizzes on the content they are learning.

Visual Representation of Data Sets Whenever people enter responses to a Form, Google allows the form creator to view responses in charts and graphs. Have students gain a better understanding of how data can be represented visually by accepting responses (or entering their own fake ones) into a Form, then looking at how the numbers are represented in graphs. This could work well as a series of math lessons.

Way Beyond Worksheets

Just this morning on Twitter, someone posted a comment along these lines: “A worksheet on a Google Doc is STILL a worksheet. Students should be using tech to create!” I’ve heard this sentiment over and over, and it’s exactly why I’ve put this list together. Google offers some incredibly powerful tools if we know how to use them. I hope this list has given you a few new ideas to put into your students’ hands. ♦

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Categories: Instruction , Technology

Tags: assessment , content area literacy , English language arts , Grades 3-5 , Grades 6-8 , Grades 9-12 , project-based learning , teaching with tech , tech tools

51 Comments

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This is wonderful.

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This is my first year teaching in an alternative high school. All students have IEP’s as well as social and emotional disabilities. I really want to focus on literacy as many are well below grade-level, ability wise. Writing of course is a big part of literacy. I’m looking for ideas that they can collaborate on, via Google Docs, Slides, etc. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

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Check out Boomwriter: A Fun Twist on Collaborative Writing . Lots of good resources there that you might like. Also take a look at Student-Made E-Books: A Beautiful Way to Demonstrate Learning .

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I am an RSP teacher in Anaheim. For summer school I am going to have them build a “Bucket List” in Google slides.

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Thanks for compiling these resources. I use many already but haven’t tried Screencastify yet. My district uses Google Classroom, but the forms app is blocked on student accounts- I think because it’s a perfect medium for under-the-radar cyberbullying (“How much do you hate Linda?…A little, a lot, a ton…”). Before teachers plan a lesson using forms, they should make sure the feature is enabled for students in their district. In my district, students can access forms and create them but they cannot send them to other students.

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Thanks, Robyn. Good to know!

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I love these ideas! You are so creative and now I have GREAT ideas for my SS project! Thanks! XD

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this is all true

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Our district is allowing extra credit this year and I have always been totally opposed to offering extra credit. These ideas are worth extra credit, and my focus this year is on what the students can teach me and the rest of their peers.

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This gave me some good ideas for culminating activities. Thanks!

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Thank you so much for sharing these ideas about creating projects by using the Google Drive! The middle school I teach at implemented a 1:1 program last year with Chromebooks, so the students have easy access to all of the Google apps. I had always grown up using Word docs and I was a little hesitant to start using Google docs at first. After just a few weeks, I absolutely fell in love with it! It is amazing how you can access all of your docs, forms, slides that you create from any device you’re using and the fact that everything automatically saves is just the cherry on top. I am grateful for this feature, especially working in a middle school where it is easy for students to forget to save something before exiting out. Although I teach Math, I found a lot of your project ideas to be utilized cross-curriculum and I truly appreciate it. I got my feet wet last year and had my students create google slides presentations in groups. At the beginning of this year, I started with a google form I created where students answered review questions from 6th grade Math. I love that when you get the results from all of the forms, you can easily see which areas students are struggling in and which areas they are proficient in because it is presented the results in graphs and charts. I just learned recently that you can create quizzes now, which is awesome because all of the testing in my district is done on the computers, so this will help prepare my students. I want to borrow your idea of having students create peer surveys that they can post on Google classroom in order to gather information and analyze results. This is a great skill for students to have. Thanks again, I truly enjoy reading your blogs!

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Be positive at all time

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Great collection of resources! Easy to read and very helpful for teachers who often do not get the tutorials they need to instruct with GAFE. I particular like the Museum Kiosk idea. It will work great will my history classes.

– Kevin

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Hi everyone! I also would like to suggest my own (free) templates site. Im designing these presentations using “free” resources from other sites such as FreePik, FlatIcon,… and I think the result is pretty good. I invite you to have a look. The site is https://slidesppt.com

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In the section of student blog posts, can you clarify how all the students in one class could be writing and posting a running blog which everyone in the class can read and respond to ?

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This is Holly Burcham, a Customer Experience Manager. The idea Jenn laid out here is to simply create a shared Google Doc where each student would basically be responsible for his/her own page (literally page 1, page 2, etc.). Within a shared Doc, everyone with permission can be in and typing at the same time. Once “posts” are written, students can go in and add comments to others’ work. The comments would show up in the margins and would be arranged by corresponding content, not time like a typical blog post.

But, as you can imagine, this could quickly become very convoluted and a bit messy. The thought behind using Docs as a student blog is more for writing practice, getting the feel for writing a blog post without doing the real thing…

So, if you’re interested in your students truly creating a blog, we highly recommend checking out Edublogs and Kidblog . Hope this helps!

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How are these good for projects? you said that these are for kid presentations, all I see are essay templates and idea’s for teachers to map out their classroom jobs(other then the coral)

Hi, Isaac! I’m not sure what could be used to map out classroom jobs specifically from this post, and I think the ideas here go way beyond essay outlines–please get back to me to clarify exactly what you’re referring to, because we believe all the ideas here are good for student use. Thanks!

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You might update this post. Google Forms now supports branching which would be much easier to create a “choose your own” adventure type experience.

Thanks for the suggestion. I can picture how that would work, yes, but I guess the aesthetic experience might be lacking in a Google Form. With Slides you have complete creative freedom to design the slides like a real book. I guess it would be a matter of personal preference?

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Where do I go to find accessibility features of Google docs, slides, and forms? I am a teacher of the blind and visually impaired. This technology is wonderful but without the ability to navigate the site independently, my students are at a lost. Can you direct me?

Hi! A couple of things that may be of help: Go to “Tools” in the menu bar and select Voice Typing (use Google Chrome). You can also click on Add-Ons in the menu bar and add the Speech Recognition Soundwriter extension for free. Here’s a link to find more Google Accessibility features — you just have to spend a bit of time looking through the list to see what may be relevant to your needs. I hope this helps!

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You can also combine Google forms and docs to simplify book reports for elementary students: https://electriceducator.blogspot.com/2016/03/elementary-book-report-machine.html?m=1

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Is there an available rubric or assessment piece for the museum kiosk activity?

Hi Colleen! No, sorry, I don’t have anything on that!

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Hi I am a teacher at a elementary school and I was wondering if you had any ideas for what I could do for an autobiography book report.

Hi Madison,

There really are so many things you can have the kids do — I would first think about what you’re expecting the kids to be able to do in the end. What will actually be assessed and what will they be accountable for? (I suggest checking out Understanding Backward Design if you haven’t already.) From there, they can choose how to present what they learned, meeting the assessment criteria. I think using some of the ideas in the Slides section of the post could work really well, especially Student Made E-Books , or making a short film.

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Madison, I love the idea of using Google Slides for autobiography book report. I’m thinking about Jennifer’s Slides suggestions and just tailoring it to your book report criteria/rubric. Thoughts?

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thank you very much!!

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Thank you! I can’t wait to explore some of these options more. This list is very much appreciated! 🙂

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I really appreciate your kindness and your efforts and I’m going to try everything you have mentioned in this wonderful article

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Thanks. Higher Ed ESOL Prof -no lesson prep for me… but I DO have my reading list for the next several (10-12) hours! All suggestions added to the original post are appreciated.

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I am a huge fan of Google resources, but you have showed me some new ways I can use these. Thank you for sharing!

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Thanks for some great ideas! I have another suggestion that I have used before- my students really liked it- a collaborative Google Slides presentation. I did this for types of organic molecules as an intro to organic chemistry. Each pair of students in the class was assigned a specific molecule to research. They had to create 1 slide with some specific information and add to a collaborative google slides presentation that I shared on Google Classroom. When the slideshow was complete, they could all access it, and they used it to take notes.

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Great suggestion Susan! Thanks so much for sharing this idea.

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I am wondering if I can find similar google instructions to send to my students now that we are teaching remotely and 90% of them probably don’t know how to use Google. This would be a fantastic use of their time. Thank you

Take a look at Jenn’s Google Drive Basics video course ! I think it’s got what you’re looking for – it’s for teachers and students!

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I am thinking about doing a Rap Challenge in which they (as teams based on which class period they are in) create lyrics using WWII vocabulary we have used.

I create raps for my students and my though was that I would take parts of ALL of their submissions and create a WWII rap to add to the collection they have heard already.

Which of the Google Drive features would be my best bet for collaboration like that while the students are all working from home?

Hi Jim! I think this could be done in Google Docs pretty easily, as they are just writing a script, correct? If you want to share video or audio, you can just put these files into a shared folder in Drive and give all students access to those files. I hope this helps!

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Amazing ideas

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An innovative way to eliminate paper.

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Hi! I love this site. I am beginning to use technology in my higehr education classroom. Could you help me to suggest some kind of game to use in Communication Skilss? Thanks a lot

Hi! Check out our Gamification Pinterest board and see what might be relevant. Hope this helps!

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I’m a college student (who is now a nanny which brought me to this page) and for the screen recording, I highly reccomend Loom over Screencastify. In my experience using both during the remote learning period, the video quality is much higher on Loom, the user interface is easier, and you can’t edit Screencastify videos in an external editor like iMovie. (I had to do a group presentation and since partner lived in Kuwait we used this vs Zoom, etc. to record the presentation since we weren’t recording at the same time. It was very difficult to figure out how to merge our parts of the presentation into a single file.)

Also with screencastify the time limit per video on the free version (5 min I think) was frustrating as my work was longer. May not be a problem for students but for educators using the tool who don’t have the premium, this could be highly inconvenient. With Loom there isn’t a time limit.

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What an adventure for me, who’s relatively new to this google drive thing. Mind blowing resources. It’s amazing. I’m excited as to what I can do with and in google drive. I’m definitely taking it one day at a time, will surely enjoy this ‘CRUISE’. Thank you Jennifer.

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What does it mean to type I am from Germany?

Hi Flannery! It can mean a few different things depending on the context–either typing on a keyboard or the “kind” of something (“What type of ice cream do you like?”). We’d love to give a specific answer, so please let us know which part of the post or which comment you saw that you’d like more clarification on. Thanks!

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Thanks for sharing these ideas. July 2021

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I love all the awesome ways to incorporate technology in the classroom. This post had so many options to choose from and some that I personally loved when I was in school. There are so many different ways to make learning fun with technology!

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So glad you enjoyed the post!

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Writing Center

Collaborative assignments.

  • allow students to learn from each other
  • expose students to points of view besides their own
  • foster discussion and debate
  • open students' eyes to how their work compared to that of their peers, giving them a better sense of their own strengths and weaknesses as writers and thinkers
  • encourage students to consider their audience, an important aspect of learning to write effectively and yet a component missing in many traditional assignments
  • teach students to negotiate the issues inherent in any collaborative venture.

Pick a Task

Group composition, spell out expectations, the first meeting, brainstorming techniques, additional resources.

EnglishForEveryone.org

Writing practice worksheets terms of use, finish the story writing worksheets.

  • Beginning Finish the Story - The Snow Day
  • Beginning Finish the Story - The Fair
  • Beginning Finish the Story - Summer Camp
  • Beginning Finish the Story - The Birthday Party
  • Beginning Finish the Story - The Halloween Costume
  • Beginning Finish the Story - The 4th of July
  • Intermediate Finish the Story - The Beach Trip
  • Intermediate Finish the Story - The Great Find
  • Intermediate Finish the Story - Which Way?
  • Intermediate Finish the Story - Finding Muffin
  • Intermediate Finish the Story - The Zoo
  • Advanced Finish the Story - The Troublemaker

Question Response Writing Worksheets

  • Beginning Question Response - Your Favorite Color
  • Beginning Question Response - Your Favorite Day
  • Beginning Question Response - Your Favorite Number
  • Beginning Question Response - In Your Family
  • Beginning Question Response - Your Favorite Sport
  • Beginning Question Response - Your Favorite Clothes
  • Beginning Question Response - Your Favorite Music
  • Beginning Question Response - How You Relax
  • Beginning Question Response - Lunch Time
  • Beginning Question Response - With Your Friends
  • Beginning Question Response - Collecting Stamps
  • Beginning Question Response - Your Birthplace
  • Beginning Question Response - Starting Your Day
  • Intermediate Question Response - Your Favorite Food
  • Intermediate Question Response - Your Favorite Movie
  • Intermediate Question Response - Your Favorite Song
  • Intermediate Question Response - TV Programs
  • Intermediate Question Response - Your Favorite Time
  • Intermediate Question Response - Which Country?
  • Intermediate Question Response - The Wisest Person
  • Intermediate Question Response - Someone You Admire
  • Advanced Question Response - A Great Accomplishment
  • Advanced Question Response - The Most Exciting Thing
  • Advanced Question Response - Oldest Memory
  • Advanced Question Response - The Most Productive Day of the Week
  • Advanced Question Response - An Interesting Person
  • Advanced Question Response - What Have You Built?
  • Advanced Question Response - What You Like to Read

Practical Writing Worksheets

  • Beginning Practical - Grocery List
  • Beginning Practical - TO Do List
  • Beginning Practical - At the Beach
  • Beginning Practical - The Newspaper
  • Intermediate Practical - Absent From Work
  • Intermediate Practical - Your Invitation
  • Intermediate Practical - Paycheck
  • Intermediate Practical - The New House
  • Advanced Practical - Soccer Game Meeting
  • Advanced Practical - Note About Dinner
  • Advanced Practical - A Problem
  • Advanced Practical - A Letter to Your Landlord
  • Advanced Practical - A Product

Argumentative Writing Worksheets

  • Intermediate Argumentative - Cat, Star, or Book?
  • Intermediate Argumentative - Soccer or Basketball?
  • Intermediate Argumentative - Giving and Receiving
  • Intermediate Argumentative - Does Practice Make Perfect?
  • Advanced Argumentative - Five Dollars or a Lottery Ticket?
  • Advanced Argumentative - The Most Important Word
  • Advanced Argumentative - An Apple
  • Advanced Argumentative - Too Many Cooks

Writing Worksheets

  • Beginning Writing Worksheet
  • Intermediate Writing Worksheet
  • Advanced Writing Worksheet

Using Precise Language

  • Using Precise Language - An Introduction
  • Using Precise Language Practice Quiz

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Formatting and presenting your assessments correctly is important because many include marks for presentation.

This may include marks for things such as:

  • formatting and layout
  • APA referencing
  • writing style
  • grammar and spelling.

Before you start on your assessment:

  • check your assessment question, emails from your course leader, and learning materials for how it should be presented
  • read the instructions carefully. Make sure you understand them and follow them exactly
  • if you're not sure about what’s required contact your course leader.

Please note that assessments for psychology courses have specific requirements for formatting and presentation. Refer to the information and guidance provided on our Library and Learning Centre website:

APA Style for Psychology assessments

General guidelines for electronic submissions

  • Most assessments should be produced using Microsoft Word.
  • You can also submit assessments using: .doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx or .rtf.
  • if you don’t have Microsoft Word go to My Open Polytechnic to download and access your free version
  • if you're not sure about the file type required, contact your course leader.
  • Use a clear, readable font, such as Verdana, Calibri, Tahoma or Arial and use the same font throughout.
  • Use black text on a white background.
  • Avoid coloured backgrounds or text in a colour other than black, unless you have special permission to use them.
  • Use 11 or 12 point font for the body of your assessment.
  • Use 1.5 spacing and 2.53 cm (1”) wide margins.
  • Leave a blank line between paragraphs.
  • If the questions are short, leave a blank line between each question. If they are long, start each question on a new page.
  • Left-justify your work (also known as left-aligned).
  • Use bold for headings.
  • Essays don’t usually need subheadings; reports usually do.

Most assessments need a title page, which should include:

  • the title and number of the assessment
  • the course number and name
  • the due date
  • your full name and student number.

Centre this information on the page, starting approximately one-third of the way down the page.

  • Number and clearly label figures and tables.
  • Add numbers as follows: Figure 1, Figure 2, Table 1, Table 2, and so on.
  • Put table and figure captions above the table.
  • Don't number the items in a reference list.

For more help with figures and tables, check:

Get more help with tables  and figures – APA  Style website

Headers and footers

Insert a header or footer on each page (except the title page). It should contain:

  • your name (last name, first name/s)
  • your student number
  • the course code
  • the assessment number
  • page numbers.

Reference list

The reference list comes at the end of the assessment and should start on a new page labelled 'References'.

Need more help with reference lists? Check out the guides below:

Quick referencing APA guidelines  (PDF 47 KB; opens in a new window)

Guide to APA referencing  (PDF 395.11 KB; opens in a new window)

Appendices are used for information that:

  • is too long to include in the body of your assessment
  • supplements or complements the information you are providing.

Start each appendix (if applicable) on a new page. If there's just one appendix label it ‘Appendix’ without a number. If there is more than one, label them Appendix A, Appendix B, and so on.

In the main text of your assessment, refer to the Appendix by the label – for example, Appendix A.

Tops and bottoms of pages

Check the top and bottom of your pages to ensure they avoid:

  • widows – single lines of text at the top of a page
  • orphans – first lines of paragraphs at the bottom of a page
  • tombstones – headings or subheadings alone at the bottom of a page
  • split lists – lists that are divided between two pages (if possible).

General guidelines for hard copies

Most of the guidelines above also apply to hard copies (printed or handwritten documents).

If your course requires or allows handwritten assessments, be sure to follow the course instructions on presenting handwritten assessments.

Word limits and word count guidelines 

Word limits support the development of concise writing skills. Word count guidelines help you to understand the expectation of workload for an assessment.

 For more detailed information about these go to:

Word limits and word count guidelines  

Got a question?

If you want to talk with someone about formatting and presenting your assessments, contact The Library and Learning Centre | Te Whare Pukapuka Wāhanga Whakapakari Ako. 

Contact the Library and Learning Centre

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Assignment Tracker Template For Students (Google Sheets)

Assignment Tracker Template For Students (Google Sheets)

  • 6-minute read
  • 18th May 2023

If you’re a student searching for a way to keep your assignments organized, congratulate yourself for taking the time to set yourself up for success. Tracking your assignments is one of the most important steps you can take to help you stay on top of your schoolwork .

In this Writing Tips blog post, we’ll discuss why keeping an inventory of your assignments is important, go over a few popular ways to do so, and introduce you to our student assignment tracker, which is free for you to use.

Why Tracking Is Important

Keeping your assignments organized is essential for many reasons. First off, tracking your assignments enables you to keep abreast of deadlines. In addition to risking late submission penalties that may result in low grades, meeting deadlines can help develop your work ethic and increase productivity. Staying ahead of your deadlines also helps lower stress levels and promote a healthy study-life balance.

Second, keeping track of your assignments assists with time management by helping prioritize the order you complete your projects.

Third, keeping a list of your completed projects can help you stay motivated by recording your progress and seeing how far you’ve come.

Different Ways to Organize Your Assignments

There are many ways to organize your assignment, each with its pros and cons. Here are a few tried and true methods:

  • Sticky notes

Whether they are online or in real life , sticky notes are one of the most popular ways to bring attention to an important reminder. Sticky notes are a quick, easy, and effective tool to highlight time-sensitive reminders. However, they work best when used temporarily and sparingly and, therefore, are likely better used for the occasional can’t-miss deadline rather than for comprehensive assignment organization.

  • Phone calendar reminders  

The use of cell phone calendar reminders is also a useful approach to alert you to an upcoming deadline. An advantage to this method is that reminders on your mobile device have a good chance of grabbing your attention no matter what activity you’re involved with.

On the downside, depending on how many assignments you’re juggling, too many notifications might be overwhelming and there won’t be as much space to log the details of the assignment (e.g., related textbook pages, length requirements) as you would have in a dedicated assignment tracking system.

  • Planners/apps

There are a multitude of physical planners and organization apps for students to help manage assignments and deadlines. Although some vow that physical planners reign superior and even increase focus and concentration , there is almost always a financial cost involved and the added necessity to carry around a sometimes weighty object (as well as remembering to bring it along with you).

Mobile organization apps come with a variety of features, including notifications sent to your phone, but may also require a financial investment (at least for the premium features) and generally will not provide substantial space to add details about your assignments.

  • Spreadsheets

With spreadsheets, what you lose in bells and whistles, you gain in straightforwardness and customizability – and they’re often free! Spreadsheets are easy to access from your laptop or phone and can provide you with enough space to include whatever information you need to complete your assignments.

There are templates available online for several different spreadsheet programs, or you can use our student assignment tracker for Google Sheets . We’ll show you how to use it in the next section.

How to Use Our Free Writing Tips Student Assignment Tracker

Follow this step-by-step guide to use our student assignment tracker for Google Sheets :

  • Click on this link to the student assignment tracker . After the prompt “Would you like to make a copy of Assignment Tracker Template ?”, click Make a copy .

how to write a assignment sheets

Screenshot of the “Copy document” screen

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2. The first tab in the spreadsheet will display several premade assignment trackers for individual subjects with the name of the subject in the header (e.g., Subject 1, Subject 2). In each header, fill in the title of the subjects you would like to track assignments for. Copy and paste additional assignment tracker boxes for any other subjects you’d like to track, and color code the labels.

Screenshot of blank assignment template

Screenshot of the blank assignment template

3. Under each subject header, there are columns labeled for each assignment (e.g., Assignment A, Assignment B). Fill in the title of each of your assignments in one of these columns, and add additional columns if need be. Directly under the assignment title is a cell for you to fill in the due date for the assignment. Below the due date, fill in each task that needs to be accomplished to complete the assignment. In the final row of the tracker, you should select whether the status of your assignment is Not Started , In Progress , or Complete . Please see the example of a template that has been filled in (which is also available for viewing in the Example tab of the spreadsheet):

Example of completed assignment tracker

Example of completed assignment tracker

4. Finally, for an overview of all the assignments you have for each subject throughout the semester, fill out the assignment tracker in the Study Schedule tab. In this tracker, list the title of the assignment for each subject under the Assignment column, and then color code the weeks you plan to be working on each one. Add any additional columns or rows that you need. This overview is particularly helpful for time management throughout the semester.

how to write a assignment sheets

There you have it.

To help you take full advantage of this student assignment tracker let’s recap the steps:

1. Make a copy of the student assignment tracker .

2. Fill in the title of the subjects you would like to track assignments for in each header row in the Assignments tab.

3. Fill in the title of each of your assignments and all the required tasks underneath each assignment. 

4. List the title of the assignment for each subject and color code the week that the assignment is due in the Study Schedule .

Now that your assignments are organized, you can rest easy . Happy studying! And remember, if you need help from a subject-matter expert to proofread your work before submission, we’ll happily proofread it for free .

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Examples

Assignment Sheet

Ai generator.

how to write a assignment sheets

One of the many sheet uses specifically directed toward academic purpose is the assignment sheet. Students are given assignments and have to submit a research regarding the topic given for assignment in an assignment sheet.

As with the balance sheet, assignment sheet examples in the page provide further information in the sheet uses and functions of an assignment sheet. Feel free to scroll down and get a closer look on the samples provided for in the page. The sheets in word are all available for download by clicking on the download link button below the sample. So stay awhile and have a good look around.

Assignment Sheet Example

Assignment Sheet Template

  • Google Docs
  • Editable PDF

Size: A4, US

Assignment Cover Sheet Example

Assignment Cover Sheet Example

Size: 82 KB

Name Sheet for Assignment

Name Assignment Sheet

Size: 159 KB

Repossession Assignment Sheet

Repossession Assignment Sheet

Size: 260 KB

Sheet for Student Assignment

how to write a assignment sheets

Size: 98 KB

Homework Assignment Sheet

Homework Assignment Sheet

Portfolio Assignment Sample Sheet

Portfolio Assignment Sample Sheet

Size: 213 KB

What Is an Assignment Sheet?

An assignment sheet is a document written for the statement of purpose of delegating or appointing a task or research and discussion on a topic or purpose.

General  sheet examples in doc  provide further aid regarding an assignment sheet and how it is made. Just click on the download link button below the samples to access the files.

Reviewing an Assignment Sheet

In reviewing an assignment sheet, the following questions need to be asked or satisfied:

  • What is it that the assignment is asking me to do?
  • Are there clear instructions in completing the assignment?
  • What needs to be done in order to be successful in the assignment?
  • Are the due dates clearly stated and shown?
  • Are the technical requirements stated clearly?
  • Is there any resource or resources included?
  • Is the assignment stated in a clear language?
  • Is the tone appealing to students?
  • Do I have clear understanding why the assignment is being done?

Day Shift Assignment Sheet Example

Day Shift Assignment Sheet Example

Size: 448 KB

Sheet for Multimedia Assignment

Sheet for Multimedia Assignment

Size: 15 KB

Missing Assignment Sample Sheet

Missing Assignment Sample Sheet

Size: 141 KB

Sheet for Faculty Assignment

Sheet for Faculty Assignment

Size: 232 KB

Sheet for Clinical Assignment

Sheet for Clinical Assignment

Video Assignment Sample Sheet

Video Assignment Sample Sheet

Size: 27 KB

How to Make an Effective Assignment Sheet, for Students

In creating an effective assignment sheet, the following have to be considered:

  • Plan the task or purpose of the assignment. Ensure that the students understand critical tasks that need to be done which includes research, simple analysis , synthesis, and summary of the assignment.
  • Schedule the whole process. Make a step by step instructions of what the project plan seeks to accomplish.
  • Explain the requirements for the assignment.
  • Decide on the due dates for the assignments. Include detailed instructions for important writing assignments.
  • Include all important information that would make up a strong paper during submission. Help the students to understand the importance of sources. Discuss on formatting of the assignment and other suggestions in connection to the assignment.
  • Include the grading criteria for your assignments.

Sample sheet templates and sheet examples in pdf are found in the page for your review. The examples further show how an assignment sheet is structured and the format it follows. To download an example, click on the download link button below the example.

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How do I write a fact sheet?

A fact sheet is a brief document that shares relevant information about a topic in a way that is easy for laypeople to understand.

Fact sheets should:

  • Include a title with the words Fact Sheet. For example: Rural Public Health Fact Sheet .
  • Include an introduction—1-3 sentences at the top explaining what the fact sheet is about and why it is important.
  • Be fairly short— check your assignment requirements for any guidance on minimum length, but generally fact sheets are 1-2 pages at most.
  • Use bullet points.
  • Be single spaced, with double space between any defined sections.
  • Define any specific terms that are used, and otherwise be written in plain English without jargon.
  • Be written in the present tense.
  • Use one or two sentences at a time—no wordy paragraphs.
  • Report only the most important information. Don’t get lost in the details of your topic.
  • Cite any sources used in a references list at the bottom (on the same page as the rest of the text).

You may want to:

  • Bold text or use text boxes to emphasize the most important points.
  • Include charts or graphics to provide visual interest (but remember to cite them if you didn’t create them yourself!).

Below are some examples of fact sheets you can look at for inspiration.

Influenza (Flu) Fact Sheet

What You Need to Know about COVID-19

Exterior Sprinkler Systems

Center for Rural Health. (n.d.). Communication tools: Fact sheets . University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences. https://ruralhealth.und.edu/communication/factsheets

Colorado Nonprofit Association. (n.d.). How to create a fact sheet . https://www.coloradononprofits.org/advocacy/public-policy-resources/how-create-fact-sheet

Cubon-Bell, V. (2019). What is a fact sheet? Kent State University Center for Teaching and Learning. https://www.kent.edu/ctl/fact-sheets

District of Columbia Department of Health. (n.d.). Influenza (flu) fact sheet . https://dchealth.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/doh/publication/attachments/Influenza_0.pdf

Michigan Department of Health & Human Services. (n.d.). What you need to know about COVID-19 . Michigan.gov. https://www.michigan.gov/documents/mdhhs/nCOV-2019_General_Fact_Sheet_v2-4-20_680266_7.pdf

National Fire Protection Association. (n.d.). Exterior sprinkler systems . https://www.nfpa.org/-/media/Files/Firewise/Fact-sheets/FirewiseFactSheetsExteriorSprinklers.ashx

  • Health Sciences
  • Reading and Writing
  • Last Updated Jun 21, 2021
  • Answered By Kerry Louvier

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How can I find my course textbook?

You can expect a prompt response, Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM-4:00 PM Central Time (by the next business day on weekends and holidays).

Questions may be answered by a Librarian, Learning Services Coordinator, Instructor, or Tutor. 

how to write a assignment sheets

Introduction

Background on the Course

CO300 as a University Core Course

Short Description of the Course

Course Objectives

General Overview

Alternative Approaches and Assignments

(Possible) Differences between COCC150 and CO300

What CO300 Students Are Like

And You Thought...

Beginning with Critical Reading

Opportunities for Innovation

Portfolio Grading as an Option

Teaching in the computer classroom

Finally. . .

Classroom materials

Audience awareness and rhetorical contexts

Critical thinking and reading

Focusing and narrowing topics

Mid-course, group, and supplemental evaluations

More detailed explanation of Rogerian argument and Toulmin analysis

Policy statements and syllabi

Portfolio explanations, checklists, and postscripts

Presenting evidence and organizing arguments/counter-arguments

Research and documentation

Writing assignment sheets

Assignments for portfolio 1

Assignments for portfolio 2

Assignments for portfolio 3

Workshopping and workshop sheets

On workshopping generally

Workshop sheets for portfolio 1

Workshop sheets for portfolio 2

Workshop sheets for portfolio 3

Workshop sheets for general purposes

Sample materials grouped by instructor

Writing Assignment Sheets

Included here are the assignment sheets for most of the major writing tasks assigned by instructors in recent semesters. We include multiple samples for each essay so you can choose from a variety of prompts.

  • Under "Assignments for portfolio 3," you'll find mediating/negotiating and analysis assignments.

Several instructors did not assign specific essays during the second half of the term. Rather, they introduced general rhetorical strategies in a series of short activities and then had their students define their own assignments by identifying the rhetorical context within which they wished to write and choosing the most appropriate argumentative strategy for that context.

Just a note of comfort: having taught synthesis/response and the problem-solving essay before, you are already well acquainted with the problems most of your students will face in the COCC300 essays. On the other hand, we would like to push the students beyond 100-level writing. In the exploratory essay (the COCC300 version of synthesis/response) this might mean, as Laura Thomas put it, "getting students to make the individual texts to disappear." That is, rather than asking students to represent discrete arguments in oppositional relation to each other, instead asking students to represent the complexity of the relations among different perspectives. One possible means of achieving this complexity is to ask students to consider the rhetorical context of the essays they are synthesizing and to explain how the apparent differences in perspectives might be related to the different purposes and audiences each author had in mind.

And a self-indulgent note about the persuasive essay, should you choose to assign it. As Aims defines this essay, students are asked to appeal not only to reason (a typical expectation in the academic community) but also to character, style, and emotion (rather atypical in our world). Because all appeals can be so effective in motivating people to action--toward both worthy and unworthy ends--I suggest that the weeks leading up to the persuasion essay offer a likely spot in the syllabus to talk about the ethics of argumentation, should this topic interest you. During the spring 1995 term, for example, I spent one well-received class period on the ethical nature of persuasion. Having read about audience appeals in Aims, the students and I watched a series of video clips from Branagh's Henry V , Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech, Eleanor Roosevelt's appeal to the United Nations, and one of Hitler's many vacuous presentations. After each clip, the students considered the appeals the speaker used, why those appeals were effective for his or her audience, and what end the speaker wished to achieve through his or her persuasion. Thus, without positioning myself as a morality cop, the students started thinking about how their own essays fit into larger ethical systems.

How to Write a Memo in 8 Steps

Rachel Meltzer

Whether you’ve had an internal policy change you need to share or you’re spearheading a project that investors need to know about, a memo is the best way to communicate valuable information within your organization. Memos are a good way to disseminate such information to your colleagues, tenants, volunteers, or other internal organization members. 

When should you send a memo? How do you write a memo? We’ll answer these questions and give you a step-by-step guide for creating a memo plus share lots of examples of memos.  Give your writing extra polish Grammarly helps you communicate confidently Write with Grammarly

Table of contents

What is a memo , what is the purpose of a memo, write a memo in 8 steps, how is a memo different from . . . , examples of memos.

A memo, short for memorandum , is a way to inform a group of people about a specific problem, solution, or event. A memo should be brief, straightforward, and easy to read. It informs recipients and provides an action plan with specific next steps. 

You may send a memo as a paper letter, fax, or PDF attached to an email. Although the widespread use of email essentially replaced memos in many circumstances, memos are still helpful for some important messages. 

Memos are designed for official internal communications of a business or organization. They are often sent to an entire organization but are also useful for informing a single department, team, or smaller group of people. Memos disperse necessary information using a simple, easy-to-follow format. 

When to write a memo

You should write a memorandum when you need to relay official business items efficiently. The aim of your memo should be to inform, bring attention to a problem, or answer a question. The following purposes are suitable for a memo: 

  • broadcast internal changes
  • disseminate news
  • share an upcoming event
  • update public safety guidelines
  • raise awareness about an issue
  • address a problem
  • make a request
  • share project updates

How to format a memo

If you are sending a memo via email, it should be formatted as a PDF. This retains the style you’ve applied to the document. Traditionally memos use twelve-point font for the body and fourteen- to sixteen-point font for the headings. Keep the font and design simple. 

A memo should include the following.

  • Opening statement
  • Call to action and task statement

You also have the option to include attachments to support the message you are conveying in your memo. If your memo is more than one page, you should have a summary to wrap up your points. 

Memos should always be professional and polite—regardless of the topic you’re introducing. Stay focused on the facts and actionable plans. You should not use emoji in business memos . Keep it brief, direct, and clear and include only necessary information.  

The heading lists who is receiving the memo, who is sending the memo, the date the memo was written, and the subject of the memo. You can view how to format this section below. 

To: [Recipients’ full names and job titles or department]

From: [Your full name and job title]

Date: [Today’s date]

Subject: [What the memo is about]

Since you addressed the recipients in the heading, there’s no need to include a greeting. 

2 Opening statement 

This section can be between one and three sentences. The opening statement is where you briefly state the purpose of your memo. Include only a summary of the most crucial information in this section. Later you’ll be able to get into the details. 

Try starting with, “I’m writing to inform you . . .”

In three to ten sentences, provide context. Context is where you let people know what you’re writing about, why you’re writing them, and any other critical information. 

This section may include the following: 

  • supporting evidence
  • why your organization made the decision you’re discussing in the memo
  • background information
  • a problem statement
  • how you found the problem 
  • important timing or dates
  • other key points

4   Call to action and task statement

This section can be either two to three sentences or a bullet-pointed list. This is where you lay out the next steps for your recipients. Write about what the recipient should do after they read the memo or how you plan to solve the problem you’ve described. 

Try writing, “Please [task you’d like completed] by [due date]” or “I appreciate your cooperation in this matter.”

5 Discussion

The aim of this portion is to persuade the recipients to follow your recommended actions. Lay out all of the details that support your ideas, beginning with the most critical information. Give specific supporting facts, ideas, and research that back up your memo, organizing the information from strongest to weakest. 

The closing section is an opportunity to end your memo on a courteous note. We recommend you share what you want your recipients to take action on one more time here, as well. Generally, memos don’t include a farewell. But if you want to have one, make sure to keep it brief. 

7 Optional additions

You can include a summary or attachments with your memo if you need to. You should include a summary if your memo is more than one page. Summaries help recipients more easily digest the information you’ve shared. 

You can place the summary right before your closing statement. A summary may list key recommendations, a summation of important information, references, methods, or resources you used. If the information in your memo needs further clarification, you can place it within this section. Summaries can be a few sentences long or a bullet-pointed list of key information. 

Your supplemental information should include any documentation you want to share, such as graphs, lists, tables, or photos. If you choose to include attachments, include a note about what you’ve attached below your closing. 

If you’re sending your memo via email, these additional attachments can be added to your email. If you send your memo as a letter or fax, include these after the last page of your memo document. 

Refer to your attachments as such: “Attached: [name of attachment], [date created].”

Now that you’ve written your memo, it’s time to revise! Follow the steps below to ensure your memo is as clear and concise as possible. Remember: the shorter, the better. 

  • Cut out any unnecessary material.
  • Clarify your main points.
  • Proofread for spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes.
  • Check your facts and resources.
  • Get feedback from a colleague before sending.

A memo is a concise but informal communication within an organization to disseminate an official message. But how does this differ from an email, a letter, a circular, or minutes? Let’s clarify the definitions of these standard business documents. 

How is a memo different from an email?

Memos are typically more formal in tone and language than emails, which are most effective when they’re short and to the point . In the future, the company may use your memo as an official document that will be printed, disseminated as hard copies, or distributed professionally to a large group of people in a readable format. 

How is a memo different from a letter?

Typically, letters are addressed to individuals outside of the organization. They are meant for longer external messages communicating a specific topic. These may be informal or formal in tone. 

How is a memo different from a press release?

Memos are usually used for internal communications, while press releases are intended for external communications. A press release is understood to typically be a longer, more detailed document than a memo. 

How is a memo different from a circular?

Circulars are for mass distribution. On the other hand, memos are for a select group of people. Circulars typically have multiple topics and calls to action. Memos should address only one subject, briefly.

How is a memo different from minutes?

Meeting minutes are official documents containing the notes from a meeting. While a memo may refer to minutes in its supplemental attachments, you should not use a memo as a format for meeting minutes or vice versa. 

It can be challenging to get started writing without a memo example. Here are two examples of the most commonly used memo formats. 

Example 1: Internal changes

When an organization makes policy, procedural, or high-level staffing changes, an internal change memo should be written. The HR department may send this email, or it might come from the leadership team or another department. 

To: All Employees

From: Kelly Source, Human Resources Manager

Date: July 20, 2022

Subject: Changes to Paid Time Off System

I’m writing to inform you about the recent changes to our PTO system. We are switching platforms to PalmLeaf HR. This system will go into effect on October 1, 2022. 

In switching to PalmLeaf HR, our company is attempting to make submitting your PTO requests simpler. You can find tutorials for navigating this easy-to-use platform attached to this memo. 

You’ll receive an onboarding email from PalmLeaf HR directly this week. Please be sure to set up your account no later than September 30, 2022. 

If you’re having trouble setting up your account, please email us with any questions at [email protected]

Thank you for your cooperation during this transition. We’re hopeful that this will make managing your PTO easier.

Attached: PalmLeafHR Guide, January 2022

Example 2: General business memo

A general business memo format may be used for just about any business item. Whether it’s  a project in progress or an internal analysis, this versatile format will fit. 

To: Ava Colon, Phil Comma, and Dave Period

From: Peter Office, Senior Data Analyst

Date: May 20, 2022

Subject: Revenue Analysis

I’m writing to address the revenue analysis report your team requested. This analysis covers revenue streams from 2010 to the first quarter of 2022. 

This report was requested by the sales team in January 2022 when Dave Period stepped into the Chief Sales Coordinator position. The analysis was compiled using Tableau, and the reports are attached. 

At this time, I am asking you to review the data and let me know if there’s anything else you’d like me to analyze more deeply. The best way for you to view the dashboard is through the invite from Tableau in your email inbox. 

Here are the main points from my analysis: 

  • Our main stream of revenue is our flagship product, Hawaiian-style shirts. 
  • The second top revenue stream is the running hats.
  • Our revenue is generated sales driven primarily through email marketing efforts. 
  • There were some periods during which the data were not available and are therefore not included in this analysis. 

Thank you for taking the time to review this analysis. Please feel free to send any questions or concerns you have to me at [email protected]. If you’re having technical difficulties accessing the dashboard, please contact our IT department at [email protected] for assistance.

  • Tableau Guide, 2022
  • 2010–2021 Revenue Analysis Report, May 2022

What is a memo?

A memo, short for memorandum , is a brief internal communication that informs a group about a specific problem, solution, or event. Memos may be sent as a paper letter or fax or attached to an email as a PDF. 

A memo is meant to inform a group of people about a complex topic, a policy change, or other brief official business within an organization. 

What is the basic structure of a memo?

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For first-year architecture students, an assignment of consequence.

For decades, the Jim Vlock First Year Building Project has offered students at the Yale School of Architecture the opportunity to design and build a house in New Haven, creating badly needed homes for individuals and families who would otherwise struggle to afford one.

The project recently launched a multi-year partnership with the Friends Center for Children, an early-childhood care and education in New Haven, offering to design and build five adjacent houses for two of the center’s educators and their families by 2027. The partnership is part of the Friends Center’s Teacher Housing Initiative, which addresses both the crisis in childcare and affordable housing by providing 20% of the center’s educators with rent-free homes, substantially increasing their take-home pay.

Last year, Yale students designed and built the first duplex dwelling, in the Fair Haven Heights neighborhood of New Haven. In this video, we follow the Yale students throughout the year-long process, from the first site visits, through design and construction, and ultimately to the celebration of the newly completed home.

A group of students lifting a wall off a concrete foundation.

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The project, a key facet of the curriculum in the school’s professional architecture degree program, was established in 1967 when the late Charles Moore, who directed Yale’s Department of Architecture from 1965 to 1971, sought to address students’ desire to pursue architecture committed to social action. The first-of-its-kind program is now emulated by many other architecture schools.

In its early years, students traveled to sites in Appalachia to build community centers and medical facilities. Since 1989, when the project switched its focus to building affordable housing in New Haven, first-year students have designed and built more than 50 homes in the city’s economically challenged neighborhoods.

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How to compare two Excel sheets using VLOOKUP? [FREE Template]

  • Last updated on July 3, 2024

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You are the boss of ACME Inc. And one day, both of your accountants Sara and James come to you with two versions of the customer payment data. How do you compare these two Excel sheets and reconcile the data? We can use VLOOKUP to do just that. In this article, let me explain the step-by-step process.

Step 1: Set up data in two Excel sheets

Copy both sets of data to two sheets in an Excel file. For example, here I have two sheets – one with Sara’s data and another with James’ data. Both datasets have identical columns, but the data is not same.

how to write a assignment sheets

Step 2: Start with the first sheet and write the VLOOKUP formula

Go to the first sheet. Here, we are going to use VLOOKUP (or XLOOKUP, if you have Excel 365) to get the matching value from second sheet.

For the purpose of this exercise, you need a unique identifier column like Customer ID or invoice number.

In the adjacent column we are going to write the VLOOKUP function to get the corresponding values for the customer ID’s from second sheet. The set up should look like this:

Spreadsheet set up for comparing two sheets

Step 3: The LOOKUP formula

Write the VLOOKUP formula like this:

VLOOKUP Formula Explanation:

  • VLOOKUP formula finds matching value from a range. For example, here we can use it to search for the customer ID and get their payment details.
  • B3: refers to the cell with customer ID
  • ‘James Sheet’!$B$3:$C$32: is the range of data in second Excel sheet which we are trying to match
  • 2: is the column number of the “Amount paid” column in second sheet.
  • FALSE: ensures that VLOOKUP will look for an exact match in the second sheet.
  • Learn more about VLOOKUP function .

Or if you prefer to use XLOOKUP formula , use this:

VLOOKUP formula for comparing two sheets

Fill this formula down so you can see the matching values from second sheet.

At the end of this step, your first sheet should look like this:

If you have any missing IDs, those cells should have #N/A.

#N/A error in VLOOKUP when the ID is missing in the second worksheet

Step 4: Reconcile the values

Now that you have the matching value from second Excel sheet, let’s reconcile both to see which values matched and which values are different.

For this, we can use IF formula. Here is the formula:

Using IF formula to reconcile the results of two sheet comparison

This formula compares the first sheet value with the second sheet value and tells us if they are same or different. It also checks for the #N/A error and flags those records as “Missing ID”.

Fill the formula down and you will have reconciliation information for your data.

Completed reconciliation of the data

Now you can use FILTERS in Excel to see all matching or not matching records easily.

Step 5: Conditional format the non-matching records

Using conditional formatting to highlight unmatched values

This optional step helps us quickly spot all the non-matching and missing ID values quickly.

To do this,

  • Select the entire range of data (for example: B3:E32)
  • Go to Home ribbon > Conditional Formatting and click on “ new rule”
  • Select the rule type as “Use a formula to determine the…”
  • Type the rule as =$E3 = “Not matching” (refer to the below image)
  • Set the formatting to highlight the non-matching records
  • Click OK to add the rule.
  • Add one more rule for “ID missing” highlight and repeat steps 3 to 6

conditional formatting rule

When you finish, your data will highlight all the non-matching and missing ID values in different color so you can easily identify them.

Related: Learn more about Excel conditional formatting feature .

FREE Comparison & Reconciliation Template

If you need a quick template to compare two Excel sheets and reconcile the data, download my sample file here .

Other techniques to reconcile and compare two Excel sheets:

While using VLOOKUP is a quick and elegant way to compare two spreadsheets, Excel also offers few more options. These are:

  • Power Query: We can use Power Query to compare two sheets or two workbooks of data and reconcile the differences between values. Power Query also makes it easy to compare when you have multiple ID columns (for example: Customer ID & Date as the criteria for comparison). Refer to my Power Query tutorial page for more information on how to combine data with it.
  • Using XLOOKUP instead of VLOOKUP: As demoed above, we can use the new XLOOKUP function in Excel to perform the comparison. This allows for built-in error handling so we can see “Missing IDs” easily. Read more about XLOOKUP function here .
  • Using Conditional formatting: Excel’s conditional formatting also offers a powerful and simple way to compare two lists of values. See this page for details .
  • Using formulas vs. Power Query: I discuss the approaches for comparing two Excel sheets with formulas and PQ in my YouTube video here .
  • Using Pivot Tables: Excel Pivot tables can link two tables of data on a key column (like customer ID) so you can easily compare values from both in one view. This feature is called relationships. Learn more about Table Relationships in Excel here .

In conclusion…

Comparing two Excel sheets is an easy task once you know how to use the VLOOKUP (or XLOOKUP) function in Excel. I have used this exact approach countless times when dealing with multiple versions of files or different versions of truth. The process is easy, and the results are actionable.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 3, 2024  

Secretary of State Shirley N. Weber, Ph.D., Assigns Numbers to November Ballot Measures, Invites Ballot Arguments  

Sacramento, Calif. - Secretary of State Shirley N. Weber, Ph.D., assigned proposition numbers today to the legislative and initiative measures set to appear on the November 5, 2024, General Election ballot. Secretary Weber also invited interested Californians to submit arguments to be considered for inclusion in the Official Voter Information Guide. The guide is mailed to every voting household in California and posted on the Secretary of State’s website.

The propositions are listed below, along with the Legislative Counsel’s digest or the Attorney General’s official circulating title and summary.

Proposition 2        

AB 247 (Chapter 81, Statutes of 2024). Muratsuchi. Education finance: school facilities: Kindergarten Through Grade 12 Schools and Local Community College Public Education Facilities Modernization, Repair, and Safety Bond Act of 2024. (PDF)

(1) The California Constitution prohibits the Legislature from creating a debt or liability that singly or in the aggregate with any previous debts or liabilities exceeds the sum of $300,000, except by an act that (1) authorizes the debt for a single object or work specified in the act, (2) has been passed by a  2 / 3  vote of all the Members elected to each house of the Legislature, (3) has been submitted to the people at a statewide general or primary election, and (4) has received a majority of all the votes cast for and against it at that election.

This bill would set forth the Kindergarten Through Grade 12 Schools and Local Community College Public Education Facilities Modernization, Repair, and Safety  Bond Act of 2024 as a state general obligation bond act that would provide $10,000,000,000  to construct and modernize education facilities,  including $8,500,000,000 for elementary and secondary educational facilities and $1,500,000,000 for community college facilities,  as specified. This bond act would become operative only if approved by the  voters.

(2) The Leroy F. Greene School Facilities Act of 1998 provides for the adoption of rules, regulations, and procedures, under the administration of the Director of General Services, for the allocation of state funds by the State Allocation Board for the construction and modernization of public school facilities.

This bill would require a school district to submit to the Department of General Services a 5-year school facilities master plan as a condition of participating in the school facilities program under the act.  The bill would amend the methodology for calculating the local contribution a school district is required to make in order to be eligible to receive state funding under the act, as specified.  The bill would require a school district that seeks new construction or modernization funding under the act after November 5, 2024, to submit an updated report of the school district’s existing school building capacity to the State Allocation Board.

The bill would authorize the allocation of state funds under the act for the replacement of school buildings that are at least 75  years old, for specified assistance to school districts with a school facility located on a military installation, as specified, and small school districts, as defined, and for the testing and remediation of lead levels in water fountains and faucets used for drinking or preparing food on schoolsites, as provided. The bill would authorize new construction and modernization grants to be used for seismic mitigation purposes, certain health and safety projects, and, among other things, to establish schoolsite-based infrastructure to provide broadband internet access. The bill would also authorize modernization grants to be used for the control, management, or abatement of lead.

The bill would increase the maximum level of total bonding capacity, as defined, that a school district could have  and still  be eligible for financial hardship assistance under the act from $5,000,000 to $15,000,000. The bill, commencing with the 2026–27  fiscal year, would increase that $15,000,000 maximum by a specified inflation  adjustment each fiscal year.  The bill would authorize the State Allocation Board to provide assistance for purposes of procuring interim housing to school districts and county offices of education impacted by a natural disaster for which the Governor has declared a state of emergency. The bill would also make conforming changes.

The bill would make these provisions effective upon the adoption  by the voters  of the Kindergarten Through Grade 12 Schools and Local Community College Public Education Facilities Modernization, Repair, and Safety Bond Act of 2024.

(3) This bill would declare that it is to take effect immediately as an urgency statute.

Proposition 3

ACA 5 (Resolution Chapter 125, Statutes of 2023) Low. Marriage equality. (PDF)

The California Constitution provides that only a marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California, and federal law permanently enjoins the state from enforcing this constitutional provision.

This measure would repeal this unenforceable constitutional provision and would instead provide that the right to marry is a fundamental right, as specified.

Proposition 4

SB 867 (Chapter 83, Statutes of 2024). Allen. Safe Drinking Water, Wildfire Prevention, Drought Preparedness, and Clean Air Bond Act of 2024. (PDF)

The California Drought, Water, Parks, Climate, Coastal Protection, and Outdoor Access For All Act of 2018, approved by the voters as Proposition 68 at the June 5, 2018, statewide primary election, authorizes the issuance of bonds in the amount of $4,100,000,000 pursuant to the State General Obligation Bond Law to finance a drought, water, parks, climate, coastal protection, and outdoor access for all program. Article XVI of the California Constitution requires measures authorizing general obligation bonds to specify the single object or work to be funded by the bonds and further requires a bond act to be approved by a  2 / 3  vote of each house of the Legislature and a majority of the voters.

This bill would enact the Safe Drinking Water, Wildfire Prevention, Drought Preparedness, and Clean Air Bond Act of 2024, which, if approved by the voters, would authorize the issuance of bonds in the amount of $10,000,000,000 pursuant to the State General Obligation Bond Law to finance projects for safe drinking water, drought, flood, and water resilience, wildfire and forest resilience, coastal resilience, extreme heat mitigation, biodiversity and nature-based climate solutions, climate-smart, sustainable, and resilient farms, ranches, and working lands, park creation and outdoor access, and clean air programs.

This bill would declare that it is to take effect immediately as an urgency statute.

Proposition 5

ACA 1 was amended by ACA 10, which will appear on the ballot as Proposition 5.

ACA 1 (Resolution Chapter 173, Statutes of 2023) Aguiar-Curry. Local government financing: affordable housing and public infrastructure: voter approval. (PDF)

(1) The California Constitution prohibits the ad valorem tax rate on real property from exceeding 1% of the full cash value of the property, subject to certain exceptions.

This measure would create an additional exception to the 1% limit that would authorize a city, county, city and county, or special district to levy an ad valorem tax to service bonded indebtedness incurred to fund the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or replacement of public infrastructure, affordable housing, including downpayment assistance, or permanent supportive housing, or the acquisition or lease of real property for those purposes, if the proposition proposing that tax is approved by 55% of the voters of the city, county, city and county, or special district, as applicable, and the proposition includes specified accountability requirements. The measure would prohibit a city, county, city and county, or special district from placing a proposition on the ballot pursuant to these provisions if the voters have previously approved a proposition pursuant to these provisions or the below special tax provisions until all funds from the previous proposition are committed to programs and projects listed in the specific local program or ordinance, as described. The measure, subject to certain vote thresholds, would authorize the Legislature to enact laws establishing additional accountability measures and laws for the downpayment assistance programs authorized by the measure, as specified. The measure would specify that these provisions apply to any city, county, city and county, or special district measure imposing an ad valorem tax to pay the interest and redemption charges on bonded indebtedness for these purposes that is submitted at the same election as this measure.

(2) The California Constitution conditions the imposition of a special tax by a local government upon the approval of  2 / 3  of the voters of the local government voting on that tax.

This measure would authorize a local government to impose, extend, or increase a sales and use tax or transactions and use tax imposed in accordance with specified law or a parcel tax for the purposes of funding the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or replacement of public infrastructure, affordable housing, including downpayment assistance, or permanent supportive housing, or the acquisition or lease of real property for those purposes, if the proposition proposing that tax is approved by a majority vote of the membership of the governing board of the local government and by 55% of its voters voting on the proposition and the proposition includes specified accountability requirements. The measure would prohibit a local government from placing a proposition on the ballot pursuant to these provisions if the voters have previously approved a proposition pursuant to these provisions or the above ad valorem tax provisions until all funds from the previous proposition are committed to programs and projects listed in the specific local program or ordinance, as described. The measure, subject to certain vote thresholds, would authorize the Legislature to enact laws establishing additional accountability measures and laws for the downpayment assistance programs authorized by the measure, as specified. This measure would also make conforming changes to related provisions. The measure would specify that these provisions apply to any local measure imposing, extending, or increasing a sales and use tax, transactions and use tax, or parcel tax for these purposes that is submitted at the same election as this measure.

(3) The California Constitution prohibits specified local government agencies from incurring any indebtedness exceeding in any year the income and revenue provided in that year, without the assent of  2 / 3  of the voters and subject to other conditions. In the case of a school district, community college district, or county office of education, the California Constitution permits a proposition for the incurrence of indebtedness in the form of general obligation bonds for the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or replacement of school facilities, including the furnishing and equipping of school facilities, or the acquisition or lease of real property for school facilities, to be adopted upon the approval of 55% of the voters of the district or county, as appropriate, voting on the proposition at an election.

This measure would expressly prohibit a special district, other than a board of education or school district, from incurring any indebtedness or liability exceeding any applicable statutory limit, as prescribed by the statutes governing the special district. The measure would also similarly require the approval of 55% of the voters of the city, county, city and county, or special district, as applicable, to incur bonded indebtedness, exceeding in any year the income and revenue provided in that year, that is in the form of general obligation bonds issued to fund the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or replacement of public infrastructure, affordable housing, or permanent supportive housing projects, if the proposition proposing that bond includes specified accountability requirements. The measure would specify that this 55% threshold applies to any proposition for the incurrence of indebtedness by a city, county, city and county, or special district for these purposes that is submitted at the same election as this measure.

(4) This measure would deem another measure on the same statewide election ballot relating to state or local requirements for the imposition, adoption, creation, or establishment of taxes, charges, and other revenue measures in conflict with it and would make the other measure null and void if this measure receives more affirmative votes.

ACA 10 (Resolution Chapter 134, Statutes of 2024) Aguiar-Curry. Local government financing: affordable housing and public infrastructure: voter approval. (PDF)    

Assembly Constitutional Amendment No. 1 of the 2023–24 Regular Session (ACA 1) would, if adopted by the people, amend Section 4 of Article XIII A, Section 2 of Article XIII C, and Section 3 of Article XIII D of, and would add Section 2.5 of Article XIII C to, the California Constitution, relative to local finance. Under these provisions, ACA 1 would condition the imposition, extension, or increase of a sales and use tax or transactions and use tax imposed in accordance with specified law or a parcel tax by a local government for the purposes of funding the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or replacement of public infrastructure, affordable housing, including downpayment assistance, or permanent supportive housing, or the acquisition or lease of real property for those purposes, on the proposition proposing that tax being approved by a majority vote of the membership of the governing board of the local government and by 55% of its voters voting on the proposition and the proposition includes specified accountability requirements. ACA 1 would also make conforming changes.

This measure would remove the above-described provisions of ACA 1 relating to special taxes and make conforming changes in other provisions of ACA 1. The measure would direct the Secretary of State to make those amendments in ACA 1.

ACA 1 would create an additional exception to the 1% ad valorem property tax rate limit for an ad valorem tax or special assessment to pay the interest and redemption charges on bonded indebtedness incurred by a city, county, or special district, as defined, to fund the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or replacement of public infrastructure, affordable housing, including downpayment assistance, or permanent supportive housing, or the acquisition or lease of real property for those purposes, if the proposition proposing that tax is approved by 55% of the voters of the city, county, city and county, or special district, as applicable, voting on the proposition on or after the effective date of ACA 1 and on the proposition including specified accountability requirements. ACA 1 would provide that this exception applies to an ad valorem tax for these purposes that is submitted at the same election as ACA 1.

This measure would specify that the proposition proposing bonded indebtedness for which an ad valorem tax may be imposed under ACA 1, and any measure imposing an ad valorem tax for these purposes, may be voted on at the same election as ACA 1 or at a later election held after the effective date of ACA 1. The measure would also modify the definition of affordable housing for these purposes to include housing developments, or portions of housing developments, that are affordable to individuals, families, seniors, people with disabilities, veterans, or first-time homebuyers, who are lower income households or middle-income households earning up to 150% of countywide median income, capitalized operating reserves, downpayment assistance programs, first-time homebuyer programs, permanent supportive housing, as defined, and associated facilities, if used to serve residents of affordable housing. The measure would also modify the definition of public infrastructure for these purposes to include, among other things, facilities or infrastructure for the delivery of public services, including education, police, fire protection, parks, recreation, open space, emergency medical, public health, libraries, flood protection, streets or highways, public transit, railroad, airports, and seaports. The measure would make conforming changes and direct the Secretary of State to make those amendments in ACA 1.

ACA 1 would authorize the Legislature, subject to a 2 / 3   vote, to enact laws establishing additional accountability measures consistent with the purposes and intent of the bonded indebtedness provisions of ACA 1.

This measure would additionally authorize the Legislature, subject to a 2 / 3   vote, to enact laws imposing additional conditions or restrictions on the acquisition or lease of real property for purposes described in the bonded indebtedness provisions of ACA 1. The measure would also require that any repeal of those conditions or restrictions be subject to a 2 / 3   vote.

ACA 1 would require the approval of 55% of the voters of the city, county, city and county, or special district, as applicable, to incur bonded indebtedness, exceeding in any year the income and revenue provided in that year, that is in the form of general obligation bonds issued to fund the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or replacement of public infrastructure, affordable housing, or permanent supportive housing projects, if the proposition proposing that bond includes specified accountability requirements. ACA 1 would specify that this 55% threshold applies to any proposition for the incurrence of indebtedness by a city, county, city and county, or special district for these purposes that is submitted at the same election as ACA 1.

This measure would specify that this 55% threshold applies to any proposition for the incurrence of indebtedness by a city, county, city and county, or special district for these purposes that is submitted at the same election as ACA 1 or at a later election held after the effective date of ACA 1. The measure would direct the Secretary of State to make those amendments in ACA 1.

Proposition 6

ACA 8 (Resolution Chapter 133, Statutes of 2024) Wilson. Slavery. (PDF)

The California Constitution prohibits slavery and prohibits involuntary servitude, except as punishment to a crime.

This measure would instead prohibit slavery in any form. This measure would prohibit the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation from disciplining any incarcerated person for refusing a work assignment. The measure would also clarify that its provisions do not prohibit the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation from awarding credits to an incarcerated person who voluntarily accepts a work assignment.

Proposition 32

RAISES MINIMUM WAGE. INITIATIVE STATUTE. Existing law requires annual increases to California’s minimum wage until it has reached $15.00 per hour for all businesses on January 1, 2023. This measure extends these annual increases ($1.00 per year) until minimum wage—currently, $15.00 per hour for businesses with 26 or more employees, and $14.00 per hour for smaller businesses—reaches $18.00 per hour. Thereafter, as existing law requires, the minimum wage will annually adjust for inflation. In periods of decreased economic activity, or General Fund deficit, the Governor may suspend annual increase up to two times, thereby extending timeline for reaching $18.00 per hour. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local governments: Unclear change in annual state and local tax revenues, likely between a loss of a couple billion dollars and a gain of a few hundred million dollars. Increase in annual state and local government costs likely between half a billion dollars and a few billion dollars. ( 21-0043A1 .)

Proposition 33

EXPANDS LOCAL GOVERNMENTS’ AUTHORITY TO ENACT RENT CONTROL ON RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY. INITIATIVE STATUTE. Current state law (the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act of 1995) generally prevents cities and counties from limiting the initial rental rate that landlords may charge to new tenants in all types of housing, and from limiting rent increases for existing tenants in (1) residential properties that were first occupied after February 1, 1995; (2) single-family homes; and (3) condominiums. This measure would repeal that state law and would prohibit the state from limiting the right of cities and counties to maintain, enact, or expand residential rent-control ordinances. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on the state and local governments: Overall, a potential reduction in state and local revenues in the high tens of millions of dollars per year over time. Depending on actions by local communities, revenue losses could be less or more. ( 22-0008 .)

Proposition 34

RESTRICTS SPENDING BY HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS MEETING SPECIFIED CRITERIA. INITIATIVE STATUTE. Requires certain health care providers to spend 98% of revenues from federal discount prescription drug program on direct patient care. Applies only to health care providers that: spent over $100,000,000 in any ten-year period on anything other than direct patient care; and operated multifamily housing with over 500 high-severity health and safety violations. Penalizes noncompliance by revoking health care licenses and tax-exempt status. Permanently authorizes state to negotiate Medi-Cal drug prices on statewide basis. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local governments: Increased costs to state government, potentially up to the millions of dollars annually, to review entities’ compliance with the measure and enforce the measure’s provisions. These costs would be paid for by fees created under the measure. Uncertain fiscal impacts to state and local government health programs, depending on how the affected entities respond to the measure’s requirements. ( 23-0021A1 .)

Proposition 35

PROVIDES PERMANENT FUNDING FOR MEDI-CAL HEALTH CARE SERVICES. INITIATIVE STATUTE . Makes permanent the existing tax on managed health care insurance plans, currently set to expire in 2026, which the state uses to pay for health care services for low-income families with children, seniors, people with disabilities, and other groups covered by the Medi-Cal program. Requires revenues to be used only for specified Medi-Cal services, including primary and specialty care, emergency care, family planning, mental health, and prescription drugs. Prohibits revenues from being used to replace other existing Medi-Cal funding. Caps administrative expenses and requires independent audits of programs receiving funding. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local governments: Uncertain overall impact on state revenues and spending, including reduced legislative flexibility over the use of MCO tax funds. The extent of this impact depends on whether the measure would result in different state decisions around imposing, structuring, and spending proceeds from the managed care organization tax than in the absence of the measure. ( 23-0024A1 .)

Proposition 36

ALLOWS FELONY CHARGES AND INCREASES SENTENCES FOR CERTAIN DRUG AND THEFT CRIMES. INITIATIVE STATUTE.

  • Allows felony charges for possessing certain drugs, including fentanyl, and for thefts under $950—both currently chargeable only as misdemeanors—with two prior drug or two prior theft convictions, as applicable. Defendants who plead guilty to felony drug possession and complete treatment can have charges dismissed.
  • Increases sentences for other specified drug and theft crimes.
  • Increased prison sentences may reduce savings that currently fund mental health and drug treatment programs, K-12 schools, and crime victims; any remaining savings may be used for new felony treatment program.

Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local governments: Increased state criminal justice system costs potentially in the hundreds of millions of dollars annually, primarily due to an increase in the state prison population. Some of these costs could be offset by reductions in state spending on local mental health and substance use services, truancy and dropout prevention, and victim services due to requirements in current law. Increased local criminal justice system costs potentially in the tens of millions of dollars annually, primarily due to increased court-related workload and a net increase in the number of people in county jail and under county community supervision. ( 23-0017A1 .)

Ballot Arguments

Arguments may be submitted for or against the measures. Arguments selected for the Official Voter Information Guide will be on public display between July 23 and August 12. If multiple arguments are submitted for a proposition, state law gives first priority to arguments written by legislators in the case of legislative measures and to proponents of an initiative or referendum; subsequent priority goes to bona fide citizen associations and then to individuals. No more than three signers are allowed to appear on an argument or rebuttal to an argument.

Ballot arguments cannot exceed 500 words and rebuttals to ballot arguments cannot exceed 250 words. All submissions should be typed and double-spaced. Arguments may be hand-delivered to the Secretary of State’s Elections Division at 1500 11 th  Street, 5 th  Floor, Sacramento, California 95814; faxed to (916) 653-3214; or emailed to [email protected] . If faxed or emailed, the original documents must be received within 72 hours. The deadline to submit ballot arguments is July 9 by 5:00 p.m. The deadline to submit rebuttals to the ballot arguments is July 18 by 5:00 p.m.

Candidate Statements

Secretary Weber also invited candidate statements for inclusion in the Official Voter Information Guide. Candidates for United States Senate may buy space for a 250-word candidate statement in the voter guide. Candidates for state legislative office or the United States House of Representatives may purchase space for a candidate statement in a county voter information guide.

The deadline to submit candidate statements to the Secretary of State’s office is July 17 by 5:00 p.m. Candidates for the United States House of Representatives, California State Senate, and California State Assembly have until August 9 to submit candidate statements to their county elections official for the local voter information guide in the county or counties in which the district lies.

For more information on ballot measures, candidate statement filing requirements, and election deadlines, please visit:  https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/upcoming-elections/general-election-nov-5-2024 .

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IMAGES

  1. How to Write an Assignment: Step by Step Guide

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  2. How to Write an Assignment: Step by Step Guide

    how to write a assignment sheets

  3. FREE 9+ Sample Assignment Sheet Templates in PDF

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  4. Assignment Sheet Template

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  5. Assignment Sheet

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  6. FREE 9+ Sample Assignment Sheet Templates in PDF

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COMMENTS

  1. Creating Your Assignment Sheets

    Canvas offers an "assignment" function you can use to share assignment sheet information with students. It provides you with the opportunity to upload a rubric in conjunction with assignment details; to create an upload space for student work (so they can upload assignments directly to Canvas); to link the assignment submissions to Speedgrader ...

  2. How To Design An Assignment Sheet

    How to Design an Assignment Sheet | College Teaching TipsIf you're teaching a college course that includes paper assignments in it, here's a video where I go...

  3. Anatomy of an Assignment Sheet

    Things to Consider. While an assignment does not necessarily have to have a title (this one's a clunky mouthful), it can help students connect an individual assignment to the bigger context of the class.; Start by telling students the purpose of the assignment, connecting it to the course goals, especially the ones having to do with writing as opposed to course content.

  4. Anatomy of an Assignment Sheet

    Assignment sheets. Each tutoring session begins with a review of the student's assignment sheet, which provides a way for me to quickly familiarize myself with a student's task and topic. In these sessions, I've seen all matter of assignment sheets - ones for low-stakes writing exercises, academic essays, and alternative genre assignments.

  5. Templates for college and university assignments

    Templates for college and university assignments. Include customizable templates in your college toolbox. Stay focused on your studies and leave the assignment structuring to tried and true layout templates for all kinds of papers, reports, and more. Category. Color. Create from scratch. Show all.

  6. Resources for Teachers: Creating Writing Assignments

    Instructors can often help students write more effective papers by giving students written instructions about that assignment. Explicit descriptions of assignments on the syllabus or on an "assignment sheet" tend to produce the best results. These instructions might make explicit the process or steps necessary to complete the assignment.

  7. Understanding Assignments

    What this handout is about. The first step in any successful college writing venture is reading the assignment. While this sounds like a simple task, it can be a tough one. This handout will help you unravel your assignment and begin to craft an effective response. Much of the following advice will involve translating typical assignment terms ...

  8. PDF Student Paper Setup Guide, APA Style 7th Edition

    Indent the first line of every paragraph of text 0.5 in. using the tab key or the paragraph-formatting function of your word-processing program. Page numbers: Put a page number in the top right corner of every page, including the title page or cover page, which is page 1. Student papers do not require a running head on any page.

  9. Formal Writing Assignments

    Strive for Clarity in Your Assignment Sheet. Use "active voice" commands as you write your assignment sheet. It might feel more polite to write, "You might try comparing A to B," but students need to see "Compare A to B.". Use language that your students will understand. Students may not know exactly what you want when they see ...

  10. Designing Writing Assignments

    Designing Writing Assignments. A well-designed assignment can focus and guide students' work as they write papers and develop projects, and it can also make evaluating students' work easier for faculty. As Rebecca Hacker argues in The Chronicle of Higher Education, creating an assignment sheet is a challenging writing task, one that ...

  11. How to Write a Perfect Assignment: Step-By-Step Guide

    To construct an assignment structure, use outlines. These are pieces of text that relate to your topic. It can be ideas, quotes, all your thoughts, or disparate arguments. Type in everything that you think about. Separate thoughts scattered across the sheets of Word will help in the next step. Then it is time to form the text.

  12. Writing Assignments

    The criteria sheet, also known as the marking sheet or rubric, is another important document to look at before you begin your assignment. The criteria sheet outlines how your assignment will be marked and should be used as a checklist to make sure you have included all the information required. The task or criteria sheet will also include the:

  13. What Does an Effective Assignment Sheet Look Like?

    As Rebecca Weaver rightly points out, a good assignment sheet facilitates good student writing: "Assignment sheets that clearly explain the purpose, objectives, suggestions for starting, timelines, resources, and evaluation criteria helps students write better papers.". She likens them to "user's manuals" that inform students about ...

  14. Understanding Writing Assignments

    Many instructors write their assignment prompts differently. By following a few steps, you can better understand the requirements for the assignment. The best way, as always, is to ask the instructor about anything confusing. Read the prompt the entire way through once. This gives you an overall view of what is going on.

  15. 16 Ideas for Student Projects Using Google Docs, Slides, and Forms

    Older or advanced students might work toward more sophisticated, nuanced review styles like book reviews written on Oprah.com. Book Review. Collaborative Story. Because Google Docs is cloud-based, multiple people can work on a Doc at the same time. So students can work together on a story, a script for a play, or any other kind of group writing ...

  16. Collaborative Assignments

    Collaborative Assignments. Collaborative writing or speaking assignments are assumed to be full-length assignments completed in pairs or small groups. Collaborative assignments transform the usually solitary work of writing, editing, and public speaking into a group endeavor. Instructors value such assignments because of their real-world relevance.

  17. Writing Practice Worksheets

    In these writing practice worksheets, students practice both reading and writing in these exercises. First, they read the uncompleted story. Then, they try to finish it using their own words. Beginning Finish the Story - The Snow Day. Beginning Finish the Story - The Fair. Beginning Finish the Story - Summer Camp.

  18. Formatting for Assignments

    Fonts. Use a clear, readable font, such as Verdana, Calibri, Tahoma or Arial and use the same font throughout. Use black text on a white background. Avoid coloured backgrounds or text in a colour other than black, unless you have special permission to use them. Use 11 or 12 point font for the body of your assessment.

  19. Write assignments

    Do you need help with your academic writing assignments? Visit the UNE Library website and find out how to write assignments with the Academic Skills office. You can learn to structure and write different types of assignments, such as essays, reviews and reports. You can also access online tutorials, feedback tools and marking criteria to improve your writing skills and grades.

  20. Assignment Tracker Template For Students (Google Sheets)

    1. Make a copy of the student assignment tracker. 2. Fill in the title of the subjects you would like to track assignments for in each header row in the Assignments tab. 3. Fill in the title of each of your assignments and all the required tasks underneath each assignment. 4.

  21. Assignment Sheet

    Schedule the whole process. Make a step by step instructions of what the project plan seeks to accomplish. Explain the requirements for the assignment. Decide on the due dates for the assignments. Include detailed instructions for important writing assignments. Include all important information that would make up a strong paper during submission.

  22. How do I write a fact sheet?

    Answer. A fact sheet is a brief document that shares relevant information about a topic in a way that is easy for laypeople to understand. Fact sheets should: Include a title with the words Fact Sheet. For example: Rural Public Health Fact Sheet. Include an introduction—1-3 sentences at the top explaining what the fact sheet is about and why ...

  23. Writing Assignment Sheets

    Writing Assignment Sheets. Included here are the assignment sheets for most of the major writing tasks assigned by instructors in recent semesters. We include multiple samples for each essay so you can choose from a variety of prompts. Under "Assignments for portfolio 1," you'll find samples for summary, Toulmin analysis, response, summary ...

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  25. How to Write a Memo [Template & Examples]

    Try starting with, "I'm writing to inform you . . ." 3 Context. In three to ten sentences, provide context. Context is where you let people know what you're writing about, why you're writing them, and any other critical information. This section may include the following: supporting evidence

  26. For first-year architecture students, an assignment of ...

    For decades, the Jim Vlock First Year Building Project has offered students at the Yale School of Architecture the opportunity to design and build a house in New Haven, creating badly needed homes for individuals and families who would otherwise struggle to afford one. The project recently launched ...

  27. How to compare Two Excel Sheets with VLOOKUP (FREE file)

    How do you compare these two Excel sheets and reconcile the data? We can use VLOOKUP to do just that. In this article, let me explain the step-by-step process. Step 1: Set up data in two Excel sheets. Copy both sets of data to two sheets in an Excel file. For example, here I have two sheets - one with Sara's data and another with James' data.

  28. Secretary of State Shirley Weber Assigns Numbers to November Ballot

    This measure would prohibit the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation from disciplining any incarcerated person for refusing a work assignment. The measure would also clarify that its provisions do not prohibit the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation from awarding credits to an incarcerated person who voluntarily accepts a work ...