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The Assignment and Your Purpose

Student AssistanceWhat do you want to accomplish through your assignment?

ESSAYS & OTHER WRITING ASSIGNMENTS

Ask yourself:

  • What type of class are you writing for?
  • What point do I want to get across to my audience?
  • Am I trying to inform my audience?
  • Am I trying to explain how to do something to my audience?
  • Am I trying to persuade my audience?
  • Am I making an argument for my audience to consider?
  • Are there any key words that will help you to figure out what you should be doing?

For example, if you are writing a reflection or reflective piece are you . . .

  • being asked to reflect on your writing process?
  • reflecting on a reading assignment?
  • focusing on how you have personally grown through an experience?

Reflection can mean any of these things or more.  By focusing on the meaning of that word you can begin to determine what the reason is behind the assignment.

  • Is there a format that you should be using for this particular type of writing?
    • Should this be in APA or MLA format?
    • Are you writing a business or friendly letter?
    • Are you writing a memo?
    • Is this a proposal for a business venture?

There are different formats used to set up your writing, so it is important to determine which one you should be using.

SPEECHES

Writing for a speech is different than many other types of writing that you will encounter.  In most cases, you will not be writing out your speech word for word, but instead you will be preparing an outline to organize your ideas.  However, when you are writing a speech, you will need to determine why you giving the speech in the first place.

Ask yourself:

  • Am I trying to inform my audience?
  • Am I trying to demonstrate how to do something to my audience?
  • Am I trying to persuade my audience?
  • Am I making an argument for my audience to consider?
  • Am I trying to entertain my audience?
  • Am I speaking for a special occasion or event: funeral, wedding, etc.?