College-level Writing: The Essential Ten Percent

Really? Writing? Again?
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Involved students rate their skills in decision making and problem solving higher than students who are not involved. While data are not currently available to indicate whether involved students actually perform these better than did their uninvolved peers, cocurricular experiences provide many opportunities to practice these important skills.

Student leaders set goals, evaluate the effectiveness of their organizations, and seek collaborative solutions to issues that inhibit their effectiveness. If employers are looking for people who can work independently and with others to solve problems and make decisions, clearly student leaders are a good group to recruit.

The abilities to communicate verbally and in writing are essential skills that are highly sought after by employers. Students will be called upon to write a considerable number of papers and give many presentations during their time in college. In the Project CEO Benchmarking Study , only 1 percent of students indicated that they had not developed the skills of verbal communication and about 5 percent indicated they had not had the opportunity to develop the skill of writing and editing.

Communication: the abilities to communicate verbally and in writing are essential skills that are highly sought after by employers. Cocurricular experiences also offer many opportunities for students to develop and refine these skills. Students lead meetings, write for campus publications, and speak persuasively about issues about which they are passionate. Student leaders perceived themselves as developing these skills considerably more so than their peers who were not involved. Students join student organizations for many reasons, but the one that most share is that they find the mission of the group compelling and want to help the group meet its goals.

This does not tend to attract individuals who are passive observers within the group. Students who are passionate engage with each other. This provides an excellent context for them to gain communication skills and helps them learn how to function as a member of a team. Teamwork is at the heart of a variety of cocurricular experiences. From intercollegiate athletics, intramural sports, or club teams where students function as part of an actual team to any number of initiatives in which students must work together to accomplish shared goals, for students who are engaged in campus life, opportunities to develop the skill of working in teams abound.

When you ask a student what aspect of college they dislike the most, they may well say that it is their participation in group projects. Most people who have ever participated in a group project have at least one horror story that illustrates the frustrations of working with others. The challenges underscore why the skill of working as a member of a team is so desirable.

The students themselves see a benefit. The skill of working as a member of a team is especially valuable to employers; student leaders have had the chance to refine this skill in college, and can bring this skill to any number of jobs and careers. One of the most significant challenges that any business faces is attracting and retaining the best employees. For businesses that rely upon well-prepared recent college graduates, this is particularly important. We suggest that business leaders would be very wise to focus on attracting engaged college students.

These students have already demonstrated among the most important characteristics employers are looking for—the desire to engage. They also appear to be more likely than their peers to have developed critical skills from these experiences.

Chapter 1. Introduction to Academic Writing

For colleges and universities that want to improve their ability to close the gap between the skills naturally produced in college and the needs of employers, focusing on getting students involved also has many benefits. As we endeavor to improve the outcomes produced by institutions of higher education, open and earnest communication can be very beneficial. For colleges and universities, we must accept and acknowledge that while post-graduation employment is not the sole purpose of education, it is a critical outcome.

We must also help our partners in the business community to understand the value of a transformative educational experience. Success will be measured by how well graduates can meet the demands that will challenge them throughout their careers. A focus on developing transferable skills provides an excellent common ground for us to partner to meet these worthy shared goals. Arum, R. Academically Adrift: Limited learning on college campuses. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. Benjamin, M. Baxter Magolda Eds.

Sterling, VA: Stylus. Duckworth, A. Florida College Access Network. Goal Report. Florida Consortium of Metropolitan Research Universities. Annual Report. Florida Department of Education. Gallup-Purdue Index. Great Jobs, Great Lives. Governing Electronic Magazine.


High School Graduation Rates by State. Kansas State University. Kruger, K. Kuh, G. High impact educational practices: What they are, who has access to them, and why they matter. Light, R. Making the most of college: Students speak their minds. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Lumina Foundation. Goal Mackes, M. Maxwell, J. The 21 irrefutable laws of leadership: follow them and people will follow you. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson. Parrish, J. Florida Jobs Report. Presentation; Florida Chamber of Commerce Days.

Tallahassee, FL. Pounds, M. Florida Sun-Sentinel. Peck, A. United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, April Employment Report. University of Houston n. Adam Peck has served as assistant vice president and dean of student affairs at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas, since and has been a student affairs practitioner for more than 20 years.

He previously served as chair of the Texas Deans of Students Association. Prior to his current role, he was the director of student life at Saint Louis University, senior student affairs administrator for the Texas Union at the University of Texas at Austin, and director of student activities at McKendree College now McKendree University. Michael Preston has served as executive director of the Florida Consortium of Metropolitan Research Universities since July , where he works with Florida International University, the University of Central Florida UCF , and the University of South Florida on collaborative projects designed to increase retention, improve graduation rates, and ensure graduates are career ready.

Prior to taking on this role, he served for four years as the director of the Office of Student Involvement at UCF, where he oversaw a comprehensive involvement program including entertainment programming, student organizations, volunteer and service programs, and student government.

He has worked in higher education for nearly 20 years and is regularly asked to speak and present on such topics as student affairs assessment, personal career development, student engagement practices, and developing student leadership competencies. In addition to his work in student affairs at UCF, he is a faculty member in the higher education and policy studies department, where he teaches on the subject of organization and administration in higher education.

Learn more. View All. Post-secondary writing assignments place greater emphasis on learning to think critically about a particular discipline and less emphasis on personal and creative writing. By now you have a general idea of what to expect from your courses. At the beginning of the semester, your workload is relatively light. This is the perfect time to brush up on your study skills and establish good habits. When the demands on your time and energy become more intense, you will have a system in place for handling them.

This section covers specific strategies for managing your time effectively. You will also learn about different note-taking systems that you can use to organize and record information efficiently.

The Most Efficient Way to Improve Your Essay Writing

As you work through this section, remember that every student is different. The strategies presented here are tried-and-true techniques that work well for many people. However, you may need to adapt them to develop a system that works well for you personally. If your friend swears by her smartphone, but you hate having to carry extra electronic gadgets around, then using a smartphone will not be the best organizational strategy for you. Read with an open mind, and consider what techniques have been effective or ineffective for you in the past.

Which habits from your high school years or your work life could help you succeed now? Which habits might get in your way? What changes might you need to make? To succeed in your post-secondary education—or any situation where you must master new concepts and skills—it helps to know what makes you tick. For decades, educational researchers and organizational psychologists have examined how people take in and assimilate new information, how some people learn differently than others, and what conditions make students and workers most productive.

Here are just a few questions to think about:. Most people have one channel that works best for them when it comes to taking in new information. Knowing yours can help you develop strategies for studying, time management, and note taking that work especially well for you.

To begin identifying your learning style, think about how you would go about the process of assembling a piece of furniture. Which of these options sounds most like you? You would carefully look over the diagrams in the assembly manual first so you could picture each step in the process. You would silently read the directions through, step by step, and then look at the diagrams afterward. You would read the directions aloud under your breath. Having someone explain the steps to you would also help.

You would start putting the pieces together and figure out the process through trial and error, consulting the directions as you worked. Now read the following explanations of each option in the list above. Again, think about whether each description sounds like you. Your learning style does not completely define you as a student. Auditory learners can comprehend a flow chart, and kinesthetic learners can sit still long enough to read a book. However, if you do have one dominant learning style, you can work with it to get the most out of your classes and study time.

Use coloured pens, highlighters, or the review feature of your word processing program to revise and edit writing. Verbal Use the instructional features in course texts—summaries, chapter review questions, glossaries, and so on—to aid your studying. Use informal writing techniques, such as brainstorming, freewriting, blogging, or posting on a class discussion forum to generate ideas for writing assignments. Reread and take notes on your writing to help you revise and edit. If possible, obtain an audiobook version of important course texts. Talk through your ideas with other students when studying or when preparing for a writing assignment.

Read your writing aloud to help you draft, revise, and edit. Kinesthetic When you read or study, use techniques that will keep your hands in motion, such as highlighting or taking notes. Use self-stick notes to record ideas for writing. These notes can be physically reorganized easily to help you determine how to shape your paper. Take breaks during studying to stand, stretch, or move around.

Tip The material presented here about learning styles is just the tip of the iceberg. There are numerous other variations in how people learn. Some people like to act on information right away while others reflect on it first. Some people excel at mastering details and understanding concrete, tried-and-true ideas while others enjoy exploring abstract theories and innovative, even impractical, ideas.

In university or college, you have increased freedom to structure your time as you please. With that freedom comes increased responsibility.

High school teachers often take it upon themselves to track down students who miss class or forget assignments. Your instructors now, however, expect you to take full responsibility for managing yourself and getting your work done on time. At the beginning of the semester, establish a weekly routine for when you will study and write. A general guideline is that for every hour spent in class, you should expect to spend another two to three hours on reading, writing, and studying for tests.

Therefore, if you are taking a biology course that meets three times a week for an hour at a time, you can expect to spend six to nine hours per week on it outside of class. You will need to budget time for each class just like an employer schedules shifts at work, and you must make that study time a priority. That may sound like a lot when taking several classes, but if you plan your time carefully, it is manageable.

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A typical full-time schedule of 15 credit hours translates into 30 to 45 hours per week spent on schoolwork outside of class. All in all, a full-time student would spend about as much time on school each week as an employee spends on work. Balancing school and a job can be more challenging, but still doable. In addition to setting aside regular work periods, you will need to plan ahead to handle more intense demands, such as studying for exams and writing major papers. At the beginning of the semester, go through your course syllabi and mark all major due dates and exam dates on a calendar.

Use a format that you check regularly, such as your smartphone or the calendar feature in your email. The two- to three-hour rule may sound intimidating. However, keep in mind that this is only a rule of thumb.

Reading Strategies

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Realistically, some courses will be more challenging than others, and the demands will ebb and flow throughout the semester. You may have trouble-free weeks and stressful weeks. When you schedule your classes, try to balance introductory-level classes with more advanced classes so that your work load stays manageable. Crystal knew that to balance a job, classes, and a family, it was crucial for her to get organized.

For the month of September, she drew up a week-by-week calendar that listed not only her own class and work schedules but also the days her son attended preschool and the days her husband had off from work. She and her husband discussed how to share their day-to-day household responsibilities so she would be able to get her schoolwork done. Crystal also made a note to talk to her supervisor at work about reducing her hours during finals week in December.

Now that you have learned some time management basics, it is time to apply those skills. For this exercise, you will develop a weekly schedule and a semester calendar. Working with your class schedule, map out a week-long schedule of study time. Try to apply the two to three-hour rule. Be sure to include any other nonnegotiable responsibilities, such as a job or child care duties.

Use your course syllabi to record exam dates and due dates for major assignments in a calendar paper or electronic. Use a star, highlighting, or other special marking to set off any days or weeks that look especially demanding. Setting up a schedule is easy. Sticking with it, however, may be challenging. A schedule that looked great on paper may prove to be unrealistic. Keep in mind, however, that your weekly schedule and semester calendar are time management tools. Like any tool, their effectiveness depends on the user: you. If you leave a tool sitting in the box unused e.

And if, for some reason, a particular tool or strategy is not getting the job done, you need to figure out why and maybe try using something else. Keep this list handy as a reference you can use throughout the semester to troubleshoot if you feel like your schoolwork is getting off track. Do set aside time to review your schedule and calendar regularly and update or adjust them as needed. Do be realistic when you schedule study time.

Do not plan to write your paper on Friday night when everyone else is out socializing. When Friday comes, you might end up abandoning your plans and hanging out with your friends instead. Do be honest with yourself about where your time goes. Do not fritter away your study time on distractions like email and social networking sites. Do accept that occasionally your work may get a little off track. No one is perfect. Do accept that sometimes you may not have time for all the fun things you would like to do.

Do recognize times when you feel overextended. Sometimes you may just need to get through an especially demanding week. However, if you feel exhausted and overworked all the time, you may need to scale back on some of your commitments. Do make a plan for handling high-stress periods, such as final exam week. Try to reduce your other commitments during those periods—for instance, by scheduling time off from your job. Build in some time for relaxing activities, too. Do not procrastinate on challenging assignments.

Instead, break them into smaller, manageable tasks that can be accomplished one at a time. For instance, if you have a free half hour between classes, use it to preview a chapter or brainstorm ideas for an essay. Do not rely on caffeine and sugar to compensate for lack of sleep. These stimulants may temporarily perk you up, but your brain functions best when you are rested.

The key to managing your time effectively is consistency. Completing the following tasks will help you stay on track throughout the semester. Many people find it is best to set aside a few minutes for this each day and to take some time to plan at the beginning of each week. For the next two weeks, focus on consistently using whatever time management system you have set up.

Check in with yourself daily and weekly, stick to your schedule, and take note of anything that interferes. At the end of the two weeks, review your schedule and determine whether you need to adjust it. Identify at least two habits from the dos list that you could use to improve your time management skills. What could you do to combat this habit? If you are part of the workforce, you have probably established strategies for accomplishing job-related tasks efficiently.

How could you adapt these strategies to help you be a successful student? For instance, you might sync your school and work schedules on an electronic calendar. Instead of checking in with your boss about upcoming work deadlines, establish a buddy system where you check in with a friend about school projects. Give school the same priority you give to work. One final valuable tool to have in your arsenal as a student is a good note-taking system. Just the act of converting a spoken lecture to notes helps you organize and retain information, and of course, good notes also help you review important concepts later.

Although taking good notes is an essential study skill, many students have never received guidance on note taking. Marking, note making, or note taking is a matter of personal preference in terms of style. The most important thing is to do something. Again we stress that reading is like a dialogue with an author. The author wrote this material. Pretend you are actually talking to the author.

Put small checks in pencil where you would normally underline. When you finish a section, look back and see what you really need to mark. If you check over 50 percent of the page, you probably are marking to go back and learn later versus thinking about what is really important to learn now! The following sections discuss different strategies you can use to take notes efficiently.

No matter which system you choose, keep these general note-taking guidelines in mind. Before class, quickly review your notes from the previous class and the assigned reading. Fixing key terms and concepts in your mind will help you stay focused and pick out the important points during the lecture.

Come to class with a positive attitude and a readiness to learn. During class, make a point of concentrating. Ask questions if you need to. Be an active participant. During class, capture important ideas as concisely as you can. Use words or phrases instead of full sentences, and abbreviate when possible. Visually organize your notes into main topics, subtopics, and supporting points, and show the relationships between ideas.

Leave space if necessary so you can add more details under important topics or subtopics. A good note-taking system needs to help you differentiate among major points, related subtopics, and supporting details. It visually represents the connections between ideas. Finally, to be effective, your note-taking system must allow you to record and organize information fairly quickly. Although some students like to create detailed, formal outlines or concept maps when they read, these may not be good strategies for class notes because spoken lectures may not allow time for to create them.

Instead, focus on recording content simply and quickly to create organized, legible notes. Try one of the following techniques. A modified outline format uses indented spacing to show the hierarchy of ideas without including roman numerals, lettering, and so forth. Just use a dash or bullet to signify each new point unless your instructor specifically presents a numbered list of items. Notice how the line for the main topic is all the way to the left.

Subtopics are indented, and supporting details are indented one level further. If you are a visual learner, you may prefer to use a more graphic format for notes, such as a mind map. Although the format is different, the content and organization are the same. If the content of a lecture falls into a predictable, well organized pattern, you might choose to use a chart or table to record your notes.

This system works best when you already know, either before class or at the beginning of class, which categories you should include. The next figure shows how this system might be used. In addition to the general techniques already described, you might find it useful to practise a specific strategy known as the Cornell note-taking system. This popular format makes it easy not only to organize information clearly but also to note key terms and summarize content. During the lecture, you record notes in the wide column.

You can do so using the traditional modified outline format or a more visual format if you prefer. Then, as soon as possible after the lecture, review your notes and identify key terms. Jot these down in the narrow left-hand column. You can use this column as a study aid by covering the notes on the right-hand side, reviewing the key terms, and trying to recall as much as you can about them so that you can mentally restate the main points of the lecture. Uncover the notes on the right to check your understanding. Finally, use the space at the bottom of the page to summarize each page of notes in a few sentences.

Often, at school or in the workplace, a speaker will provide you with pre-generated notes summarizing electronic presentation slides. You may be tempted not to take notes at all because much of the content is already summarized for you. However, it is a good idea to jot down at least a few notes. Doing so keeps you focused during the presentation, allows you to record details you might otherwise forget, and gives you the opportunity to jot down questions or reflections to personalize the content.

Over the next few weeks, establish a note — taking system that works for you. If you are not already doing so, try using one of the aforementioned techniques. Remember that the Cornell system can be combined with other note-taking formats. It can take some trial and error to find a note-taking system that works for you.

If you find that you are struggling to keep up with lectures, consider whether you need to switch to a different format or be more careful about distinguishing key concepts from unimportant details. In the preceding sections, you learned what you can expect from your courses and identified strategies you can use to manage your work and to succeed. This section covers more about how to handle the demands placed on you as a writer at the post-secondary world.

The general techniques you will learn will help ensure your success on any writing task, whether you complete an exam in an hour or an in-depth research project over several weeks. Writing well is difficult. Even people who write for a living sometimes struggle to get their thoughts on the page.

Even people who generally enjoy writing have days when they would rather be doing anything else. For people who do not like writing or do not think of themselves as good writers, writing assignments can be stressful or even intimidating. And of course, you cannot get through post-secondary courses without having to write—sometimes a lot, and often at a higher level than you are used to. No magic formula will make writing quick and easy.

However, you can use strategies and resources to manage writing assignments more easily. This section presents a broad overview of these strategies and resources. The remaining chapters of this book provide more detailed, comprehensive instruction to help you succeed at a variety of assignments. To complete a writing project successfully, good writers use some variation of the following process. The writer generates ideas to write about and begins developing these ideas.

Outlining a structure of ideas. The writer determines the overall organizational structure of the writing and creates an outline to organize ideas. Usually this step involves some additional fleshing out of the ideas generated in the first step. Writing a rough draft. The writer uses the work completed in prewriting to develop a first draft. The draft covers the ideas the writer brainstormed and follows the organizational plan that was laid out in the first step. The writer revisits the draft to review and, if necessary, reshape its content.

This stage involves moderate and sometimes major changes: adding or deleting a paragraph, phrasing the main point differently, expanding on an important idea, reorganizing content, and so forth. The writer reviews the draft to make additional changes. Editing involves making changes to improve style and adherence to standard writing conventions—for instance, replacing a vague word with a more precise one or fixing errors in grammar and spelling. Once this stage is complete, the work is a finished piece and ready to share with others.

Chances are you have already used this process as a writer. You may also have used it for other types of creative projects, such as developing a sketch into a finished painting or composing a song. The steps listed above apply broadly to any project that involves creative thinking. You come up with ideas often vague at first , you work to give them some structure, you make a first attempt, you figure out what needs improving, and then you refine it until you are satisfied.

Most people have used this creative process in one way or another, but many people have misconceptions about how to use it to write. Here are a few of the most common misconceptions students have about the writing process:. Freewriting —writing about the topic without stopping for a set period of time—is one prewriting technique you might try in that situation. However, for other assignments, a structured set of notes or a detailed graphic organizer may suffice.

Writers and Authors

The important thing is to have a solid plan for organizing ideas and details. However, understand that sometimes you will have to write when you are not in the mood. Sit down and start your draft even if you do not feel like it. If necessary, force yourself to write for just one hour. By the end of the hour, you may be far more engaged and motivated to continue.

If not, at least you will have accomplished part of the task. That task will be much easier if you give your best effort to the draft before submitting it. Take time to determine what you can change to make the work the best it can be. At the very least, doing so will help you catch an embarrassing typo or two. Revising and editing are the steps that make good writers into great writers. The writing process also applies to timed writing tasks, such as essay exams. Before you begin writing, read the question thoroughly and think about the main points to include in your response. Use scrap paper to sketch out a very brief outline.

Keep an eye on the clock as you write your response so you will have time to review it and make any needed changes before turning in your exam. By combining those skills with what you have learned about the writing process, you can make any writing assignment easier to manage.

Writers and Authors : Occupational Outlook Handbook: : U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

When your instructor gives you a writing assignment, write the due date on your calendar. Then work backward from the due date to set aside blocks of time when you will work on the assignment. Always plan at least two sessions of writing time per assignment, so that you are not trying to move from step 1 to step 5 in one evening. Trying to work that fast is stressful, and it does not yield great results. You will plan better, think better, and write better if you space out the steps.

Ideally, you should set aside at least three separate blocks of time to work on a writing assignment: one for prewriting and outlining, one for drafting, and one for revising and editing. Sometimes those steps may be compressed into just a few days. If you have a couple of weeks to work on a paper, space out the five steps over multiple sessions. Long-term projects, such as research papers, require more time for each step.

In certain situations you may not be able to allow time between the different steps of the writing process. For instance, you may be asked to write in class or complete a brief response paper overnight. If the time available is very limited, apply a modified version of the writing process as you would do for an essay exam.

It is still important to give the assignment thought and effort. However, these types of assignments are less formal, and instructors may not expect them to be as polished as formal papers. When in doubt, ask the instructor about expectations, resources that will be available during the writing exam, and if he or she has any tips to prepare you to effectively demonstrate your writing skills. Together, these weekly assignments counted for 20 percent of the course grade. Although each response took just a few hours to complete, Crystal found that she learned more from the reading and got better grades on her writing if she spread the work out in the following way:.

In this exercise, make connections between short — and long — term goals. Review the long- and short-term goals you set for yourself for the discussion at the beginning of the module. One reason students sometimes find post-secondary courses overwhelming is that they do not know about, or are reluctant to use, the resources available to them.

There is help available; your student fees help pay for resources that can help in many ways, such as a health centre or tutoring service. If you need help, consider asking for help from any of the following:. He or she may be able to shed light on a confusing concept or give you strategies to catch up. Your academic counsellor. Many institutions assign students an academic counsellor who can help you choose courses and ensure that you fulfill degree and major requirements. Find out what is offered at your school and use the services that you need.

They will not write or edit your paper for you, but they can help you through the stages of the writing process. In some schools, the writing centre is part of the academic resource centre. Use these services if you need help coping with a difficult personal situation or managing depression, anxiety, or other problems. Students sometimes neglect to use available resources due to limited time, unwillingness to admit there is a problem, or embarrassment about needing to ask for help. Unfortunately, ignoring a problem usually makes it harder to cope with later on.

Waiting until the end of the semester may also mean fewer resources are available, since many other students are also seeking last minute help. Identify at least one resource you think could be helpful to you and that you would like to investigate further. Schedule a time to visit this resource within the next week or two so you can use it throughout the semester. You now have a solid foundation of skills and strategies you can use to succeed in university or college. The remainder of this book will provide you with guidance on specific aspects of writing, ranging from grammar and style conventions to how to write a research paper.

Chapter 1. Skip to content Increase Font Size. Self-Practice Exercise 1. Self-practice exercise 1. Key Takeaways Post-secondary-level reading and writing assignments differ from high school assignments, not only in quantity but also in quality. Learning Objectives Use strategies for managing time effectively Understand and apply strategies for taking notes efficiently Determine the specific time management, study, and note taking strategies that work best for you individually. Ideas that the instructor repeats frequently or points out as key ideas.

Ideas the instructor lists on a whiteboard or transparency. Details, facts, explanations, and lists that develop main points. Review your notes regularly throughout the semester, not just before exams. Organizing Ideas in Your Notes A good note-taking system needs to help you differentiate among major points, related subtopics, and supporting details. Modified Outline Format A modified outline format uses indented spacing to show the hierarchy of ideas without including roman numerals, lettering, and so forth.

Charting If the content of a lecture falls into a predictable, well organized pattern, you might choose to use a chart or table to record your notes. The Cornell Note-Taking System In addition to the general techniques already described, you might find it useful to practise a specific strategy known as the Cornell note-taking system. To use the Cornell system, begin by setting up the page with these components: The course name and lecture date at the top of the page A narrow column about two inches at the left side of the page A wide column about five to six inches on the right side of the page A space of a few lines marked off at the bottom of the page During the lecture, you record notes in the wide column.

Writing at Work Often, at school or in the workplace, a speaker will provide you with pre-generated notes summarizing electronic presentation slides. Key Takeaways Understanding your individual learning style and preferences can help you identify the study and time management strategies that will work best for you. To manage your time effectively, it is important to look both at the short term daily and weekly schedules and the long term major semester deadlines.

To manage your time effectively, be consistent about maintaining your schedule. If your schedule is not working for you, make adjustments. Learning Objectives Identify strategies for successful writing Demonstrate comprehensive writing skills Identify writing strategies for use in future classes. Identify one action from Step 3 that you can do today. Then do it.

Key Takeaways Following the steps of the writing process helps students complete any writing assignment more successfully. To manage writing assignments, it is best to work backward from the due date, allotting appropriate time to complete each step of the writing process. Setting concrete long- and short-term goals helps students stay focused and motivated. A variety of resources are available to help students with writing and with other aspects of post-secondary life.

Previous: Preface. Next: Chapter 2. License Chapter 1. Share This Book. High School. Reading assignments are moderately long. Teachers may set aside some class time for reading and reviewing the material in depth. Some reading assignments may be very long. You will be expected to come to class with a basic understanding of the material. Teachers often provide study guides and other aids to help you prepare for exams. Reviewing for exams is primarily your responsibility. Your grade is determined by your performance on a wide variety of assessments, including minor and major assignments.

Not all assessments are writing based. Your grade may depend on just a few major assessments. Most assessments are writing based. Writing assignments include personal writing and creative writing in addition to expository writing. Outside of creative writing courses, most writing assignments are expository. The structure and format of writing assignments is generally stable over the high school years. Depending on the course, you may be asked to master new forms of writing and follow standards within a particular professional field. Teachers often go out of their way to identify and try to help students who are performing poorly on exams, missing classes, not turning in assignments, or just struggling with the course.

Setting Goals

How deeply do I need to understand the reading? In this way, reading provided an important stimulus as you worked to identify an appropriate subject for your paper. And Cinderella herself is a disaster. In paragraph 3, he makes a specific proposal, and in the final paragraph, he anticipates resistance to the proposal. Popular articles. The IB program does not have many multiple choice tests; therefore, students have to be good writers to perform well on IB exams… The IB program places such a heavy emphasis on communication that the students and teachers have adapted their definition to include anything that involves clearly stating ideas and explaining rationale.

Although teachers want their students to succeed, they may not always realize when students are struggling. They also expect you to be proactive and take steps to help yourself. Assignment Type. Personal response paper. Expresses and explains your response to a reading assignment, a provocative quote, or a specific issue; may be very brief sometimes a page or less or more in depth.

Restates the main points of a longer passage objectively and in your own words. For a psychology course, students write a one-page summary of an article about a man suffering from short-term memory loss. States and defends your position on an issue often a controversial issue. For a criminal justice course, students state their positions on capital punishment using research to support their argument. Problem-solution paper.