There are many different types of writing assignments, each with its own distinct purpose and requirement. Writing assignments in school range from short, simple reports, sometimes only several hundred words, to longer academic essays or even a creative piece. All assignments have one primary requirement: you must provide a meaningful contribution to the class.
Writing assignments in school vary greatly in purpose, length, and the contact between the writer (you), the assignment, and the instructor (the professor). In some cases you will be required to collect data and then write an essay based on your findings. Other times you will be required to analyze opposing views and then write from your point of view. Some assignments, such as research papers, are more complex and writing them requires a great deal of research and writing skill.
Types of writing assignments
There are two types of writing assignments that you should familiarize yourself with. The first type is topical assignments. These types of assignment require you to read and research specific topics, presenting your findings in a meaningful way. These types of assignments usually use multiple texts, such as primary sources, literary works, art, or history and so on, in order to support your argument.
The second type is research papers, which, as the name implies, are written in the form of a research paper. As the name indicates, research papers require a considerable amount of research, or analysis, in order to support your arguments. You will be required to do your own research, or use secondary sources, such as books, magazines, and so on. Your results will be published along with your course materials, but they won’t be incorporated into the class curriculum. For students who are taking the AP Exam, writing assignments for AP courses require detailed and concise research. Students who are taking the CLEP Exam, however, can use their results to support their argument without having to include them in the course materials.
Once you have decided which type of writing assignment is best suited to your needs, you must prepare to begin your assignment. Begin by researching the topics and materials that you will be using for your assignment. You will need to find the proper writing format (in terms of format, style, and density) for your assignment.
Some writing assignments may require that you proofread and edit your work before you submit it for approval; others require that you incorporate new research into your original text. Be sure to learn what format is appropriate for your writing.
One of the most important parts of any assignment is the assigned reading. In many cases, students skip this step entirely, rushing right to the critical analysis section of the assigned reading. However, this is one step that you should not bypass. Read your assigned reading as deeply as you can, and then write down your thoughts after you read it. Then, use your notes to support your arguments.