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Check it wreck it

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Successfully Using Assignment Sheets

Successfully Using Assignment Sheets

Published in: Education, Technology

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  • 1. Check It Before You Wreck It
    Using your assignment sheet to guide you to a successful finish
  • 2. Tales from the Writing Center
    The assignment: Compare “Learning to Read and Write” with “Graduation in Stamps.”
    Look at how a dominant culture affects a minority.
    Look at how patterns of imagery establish theme.
    Look at how a person’s life choices affect one’s destiny.
    Analyze authors’ theme.
  • 3. Drawing a blank
    We discussed the assignment briefly and I gave the student some pointers.
    The student sat there staring at a blank white screen.
    He hadn’t taken any notes in preparation for writing a draft.
    He hadn’t annotated his assignment sheet to pick out the highlights.
    He hadn’t annotated the two essays in his textbook
  • 4. Well begun is half done
    After the student had been working for about an hour, I checked on his progress. At this point, he had a typed rough draft just over one page in length. Two pages was the length requirement. The student was very tired and frustrated. I checked his draft, hoping to be the bearer of good news. Unfortunately, this is what I saw:
  • 5. Driving cross country without a map
    Main idea of paragraph one: education
    Main idea of paragraph two: dominant culture
    Main idea of paragraph three: education
    Main idea of paragraph four: education
    As you can see, he had only answered one question completely and another in part. His draft was both incomplete and repetitive.
  • 6. It only works if you work it
    The Writing Process
    Collecting: gathering your ideas and taking notes.
    Shaping: figuring out which ideas you want to tackle and in what order.
    Drafting: going from handwritten notes to a rough draft to a smooth draft.
    Revising: adding development, flow, and polish.
  • 7. Avoiding informationoverload
    Teachers can pack a lot of information onto an assignment sheet.
    To begin with, look for verbs. Verbs tell you what to do. Use a highlighter to mark the verbs. Also highlight key words. This is an easy shortcut.
    If the assignment sheet uses numbered questions or bullet points, check these off as you write your draft.
  • 8. Before…
    Explore similarities and differences by listing the elements that the works have in common.
    Organizethis list into logical groups.
    Introducethe works under analysis and the authors.
    Stateyour thesis, that is, the main point you are trying to make by choosing to write about these two works.
    Provide background material on the relevance or appeal of the works.
    Argue the similarities or differences by analyzing appropriate passages.
    Remind the reader of the writer’s theme and the important literary elements.
    Suggestthe wider significance of your analysis.
    Revise your analysis, insertingtransitional words and phrases.
    Checkfor style and grammar
    Avoida series of short, choppy sentences.
    Combinesentences for a smooth, logical flow of ideas.
  • 9. …After
    Explore
    Organize
    Introduce
    State
    Provide
    Argue
    Remind
    Suggest
    Revise
    Check
    Avoid
    Combine
  • 10. Before…
    Explore similarities and differences by listing the elements that the works have in common.
    Organizethis list into logical groups.
    Introducethe works under analysis and the authors.
    Stateyour thesis, that is, the main point you are trying to make by choosing to write about these two works.
    Provide background material on the relevance or appeal of the works.
    Argue the similarities or differences by analyzing appropriate passages.
    Remind the reader of the writer’s theme and the important literary elements.
    Suggestthe wider significance of your analysis.
    Revise your analysis, insertingtransitional words and phrases.
    Checkfor style and grammar
    Avoida series of short, choppy sentences.
    Combinesentences for a smooth, logical flow of ideas.
  • 11. …After
     Explore similarities and differences by listing the elements that the works have in common.
     Organizethis list into logical groups.
     Introducethe works under analysis and the authors.
     Stateyour thesis, that is, the main point you are trying to make by choosing to write about these two works.
     Provide background material on the relevance or appeal of the works.
     Argue the similarities or differences by analyzing appropriate passages.
     Remind the reader of the writer’s theme and the important literary elements.
     Suggestthe wider significance of your analysis.
     Revise your analysis, insertingtransitional words and phrases.
     Checkfor style and grammar
     Avoida series of short, choppy sentences.
     Combinesentences for a smooth, logical flow of ideas.