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How to pick and use an assignment notebook
Katie Azevedo September 8, 2017 executive function , homework , organization , productivity , routines , time management
You’re here because you want to know how to pick and use an assignment notebook. But I’m going to start by giving you the best assignment notebook tip ever: write it down.
Write down assignments. Write down due dates. Write down appointments. Write it all down. You could have the BEST assignment notebook in the universe, and it will still be horrible if you don’t use it .
Why you need an assignment notebook
Our brains were made for way cooler things than storing boring information like what pages we’re supposed to read for homework and what day we are going to the dentist.
Our brains were made for thinking. And creating. And day dreaming, or whatever.
So when we try to use our brains to store “shallow” information like homework assignments, guess what we end up doing? Yup, having less brain energy to think and create.
How does that affect us in school? We will have difficulty paying attention, learning, remembering, studying, reading, etc. — all because we are using up our background brain energy (our mental bandwidth!) trying to subconsciously remember when the heck our project is due.
What’s the solution?
Write it all down. Everything. Every time.
Here’s where having an assignment notebook or student agenda comes into play. You need one. And you need one that works for you .
Just as we all think and learn differently, we are all going to have unique preferences for what this system looks like and how we use it. But no matter your unique tastes and preferences, the whole point of using an assignment notebook or agenda is to have a place to deposit the information that sucks up our brain power. We all need a place to write down what we can’t forget but don’t need to store.
Why you think you don’t need an assignment notebook
The biggest resistance I hear from students about keeping an assignment notebook is this: “I can remember everything myself.”
Ugh. Please. Just because we CAN do something doesn’t mean we SHOULD. And just because we CAN do something, doesn’t mean it’s GOOD for us.
Even if you CAN remember all your assignments and due dates and tasks and appointments, you must also remember this: trying to store this information in our heads uses up brain energy that we should be using for other things!
I recommend that every student use an assignment notebook that has at least two basic components. After that, the rest is up to you. All assignment notebooks should have at least:
- a monthly calendar view
- a daily calendar view with space
The monthly calendar view
This is an essential component to any proper task management / assignment notebook system. A calendar view allows us to see, at a glance, what we have going on for the month. This is where we write down and keep track of anything that is time-sensitive, like appointments, due dates, work hours, practices, games, etc. Basically anything that requires us to BE at a certain place at a certain time goes in this section. We can also use this monthly calendar to mark important dates such as birthdays.
A quick glance at your monthly calendar should essentially alert you to what you’ve got going on in the next week, as well as any due dates that are lurking around the corner.
The daily calendar view
This is the second essential component to any good assignment notebook or student agenda. In the daily view, we write down what we have to do on that particular day . This information isn’t usually time sensitive, other than it needs to get done that day. (Unlike a doctor’s appointment, at 3:00, which you would put on your monthly view.) Here, we write down homework assignments (all of them! Every time! Even if it’s small!), tasks and to-dos. This stuff can be school related, life-related, job related, or personal. It’s important that this section have enough space for you to feel comfortable writing in. If it’s too small, you will probably end up leaving some items off, and that’s very much not the point!
Optional assignment notebook components
Although this part isn’t totally necessary for everyone, I think that most people would benefit from a simple list-like section in the front of their notebook to write down things that pop up and need to be addressed, but that aren’t necessarily tasks or appointments.
This is where you could jot down ideas you have, random things you want to remember for a later time, and projects you want to get to at some point. This could also be where you do your brain dumps .
If you came to this post looking for assignment notebook recommendations, I’m hesitant to offer any because anything I link here will eventually become outdated (you should always have a dated assignment notebook). But if you need a reference point, this is a good one.
Assignment notebook extras
Apart from having an assignment notebook or calendar with a monthly and daily view, you can play with any other components you want. I have a ton of different lives (mom, teacher at one school, teacher at another school, business owner, graduate student, etc. times infinity!!) so I have a lot of other sections in my own personal task management system. But that’s all the fun stuff that you get to play around with and figure out over time.
My last assignment notebook tip is based on the same principle for everything I teach: keep it simple. Start with the basics and only add sections if you need to.
Once you know how to pick and use an assignment notebook, here are my best tips for how to keep track of homework . Seriously helpful.
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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.
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.
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.”
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 he or she 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 her 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, he or she still has 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 she already knows 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 she or he expects.
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.
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How to Write a Perfect Assignment: Step-By-Step Guide
14 Sep 2022
❓How to Structure an Assignment?
✍️Main Steps of Assignment Writing
- 📖The research part
- 🗒Planning your text
- ✒️Writing major parts
📑Expert Tips for your Writing Assignment
✅Will I succeed with my assignments?
It is common for students of institutes and universities to get a task as a written assignment for a page or two. This academic type of work is widespread in the subjects of literature, history, or philosophy, but students of other specialties usually have to complete them too. For many, this becomes a real difficulty because not everyone has the talent for writing. In addition, even having decent knowledge in the field does not mean a well-executed written assignment.
Is writing essays your hobby?
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- Deadline: July 24, 2023
- Topic: Declaration of Independence
- Language: English
- Length: 1000-5000 words
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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.
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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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David is one of those experienced content creators from the United Kingdom who has a high interest in social issues, culture, and entrepreneurship. He always says that reading, blogging, and staying aware of what happens in the world is what makes a person responsible. He likes to learn and share what he knows by making things inspiring and creative enough even for those students who dislike reading.
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Types of Assignments
Cristy Bartlett and Kate Derrington
As discussed in the previous chapter, assignments are a common method of assessment at university. You may encounter many assignments over your years of study, yet some will look quite different from others. By recognising different types of assignments and understanding the purpose of the task, you can direct your writing skills effectively to meet task requirements. This chapter draws on the skills from the previous chapter, and extends the discussion, showing you where to aim with different types of assignments.
The chapter begins by exploring the popular essay assignment, with its two common categories, analytical and argumentative essays. It then examines assignments requiring case study responses , as often encountered in fields such as health or business. This is followed by a discussion of assignments seeking a report (such as a scientific report) and reflective writing assignments, common in nursing, education and human services. The chapter concludes with an examination of annotated bibliographies and literature reviews. The chapter also has a selection of templates and examples throughout to enhance your understanding and improve the efficacy of your assignment writing skills.
Different Types of Written Assignments
At university, an essay is a common form of assessment. In the previous chapter Writing Assignments we discussed what was meant by showing academic writing in your assignments. It is important that you consider these aspects of structure, tone and language when writing an essay.
Components of an essay
Essays should use formal but reader friendly language and have a clear and logical structure. They must include research from credible academic sources such as peer reviewed journal articles and textbooks. This research should be referenced throughout your essay to support your ideas (See the chapter Working with Information ).
If you have never written an essay before, you may feel unsure about how to start. Breaking your essay into sections and allocating words accordingly will make this process more manageable and will make planning the overall essay structure much easier.
- An essay requires an introduction, body paragraphs and a conclusion.
- Generally, an introduction and conclusion are approximately 10% each of the total word count.
- The remaining words can then be divided into sections and a paragraph allowed for each area of content you need to cover.
- Use your task and criteria sheet to decide what content needs to be in your plan
An effective essay introduction needs to inform your reader by doing four basic things:
Table 18.1 An effective essay
An effective essay body paragraph needs to:
An effective essay conclusion needs to:
Common types of essays
You may be required to write different types of essays, depending on your study area and topic. Two of the most commonly used essays are analytical and argumentative . The task analysis process discussed in the previous chapter Writing Assignments will help you determine the type of essay required. For example, if your assignment question uses task words such as analyse, examine, discuss, determine or explore, you would be writing an analytical essay . If your assignment question has task words such as argue, evaluate, justify or assess, you would be writing an argumentative essay . Despite the type of essay, your ability to analyse and think critically is important and common across genres.
These essays usually provide some background description of the relevant theory, situation, problem, case, image, etcetera that is your topic. Being analytical requires you to look carefully at various components or sections of your topic in a methodical and logical way to create understanding.
The purpose of the analytical essay is to demonstrate your ability to examine the topic thoroughly. This requires you to go deeper than description by considering different sides of the situation, comparing and contrasting a variety of theories and the positives and negatives of the topic. Although in an analytical essay your position on the topic may be clear, it is not necessarily a requirement that you explicitly identify this with a thesis statement, as is the case with an argumentative essay. If you are unsure whether you are required to take a position, and provide a thesis statement, it is best to check with your tutor.
These essays require you to take a position on the assignment topic. This is expressed through your thesis statement in your introduction. You must then present and develop your arguments throughout the body of your assignment using logically structured paragraphs. Each of these paragraphs needs a topic sentence that relates to the thesis statement. In an argumentative essay, you must reach a conclusion based on the evidence you have presented.
Case Study Responses
Case studies are a common form of assignment in many study areas and students can underperform in this genre for a number of key reasons.
Students typically lose marks for not:
- Relating their answer sufficiently to the case details
- Applying critical thinking
- Writing with clear structure
- Using appropriate or sufficient sources
- Using accurate referencing
When structuring your response to a case study, remember to refer to the case. Structure your paragraphs similarly to an essay paragraph structure but include examples and data from the case as additional evidence to support your points (see Figure 18.5 ). The colours in the sample paragraph below show the function of each component.
The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) Code of Conduct and Nursing Standards (2018) play a crucial role in determining the scope of practice for nurses and midwives. A key component discussed in the code is the provision of person-centred care and the formation of therapeutic relationships between nurses and patients (NMBA, 2018). This ensures patient safety and promotes health and wellbeing (NMBA, 2018). The standards also discuss the importance of partnership and shared decision-making in the delivery of care (NMBA, 2018, 4). Boyd and Dare (2014) argue that good communication skills are vital for building therapeutic relationships and trust between patients and care givers. This will help ensure the patient is treated with dignity and respect and improve their overall hospital experience. In the case, the therapeutic relationship with the client has been compromised in several ways. Firstly, the nurse did not conform adequately to the guidelines for seeking informed consent before performing the examination as outlined in principle 2.3 (NMBA, 2018). Although she explained the procedure, she failed to give the patient appropriate choices regarding her health care.
Topic sentence | Explanations using paraphrased evidence including in-text references | Critical thinking (asks the so what? question to demonstrate your student voice). | Relating the theory back to the specifics of the case. The case becomes a source of examples as extra evidence to support the points you are making.
Reports are a common form of assessment at university and are also used widely in many professions. It is a common form of writing in business, government, scientific, and technical occupations.
Reports can take many different structures. A report is normally written to present information in a structured manner, which may include explaining laboratory experiments, technical information, or a business case. Reports may be written for different audiences including clients, your manager, technical staff, or senior leadership within an organisation. The structure of reports can vary, and it is important to consider what format is required. The choice of structure will depend upon professional requirements and the ultimate aims of the report. Consider some of the options in the table below (see Table 18.2 ).
Table 18.2 Explanations of different types of reports
Reflective writing is a popular method of assessment at university. It is used to help you explore feelings, experiences, opinions, events or new information to gain a clearer and deeper understanding of your learning. A reflective writing task requires more than a description or summary. It requires you to analyse a situation, problem or experience, consider what you may have learnt and evaluate how this may impact your thinking and actions in the future. This requires critical thinking, analysis, and usually the application of good quality research, to demonstrate your understanding or learning from a situation. Essentially, reflective practice is the process of looking back on past experiences and engaging with them in a thoughtful way and drawing conclusions to inform future experiences. The reflection skills you develop at university will be vital in the workplace to assist you to use feedback for growth and continuous improvement. There are numerous models of reflective writing and you should refer to your subject guidelines for your expected format. If there is no specific framework, a simple model to help frame your thinking is What? So what? Now what? (Rolfe et al., 2001).
Table 18.3 What? So What? Now What? Explained.
The Gibbs’ Reflective Cycle
The Gibbs’ Cycle of reflection encourages you to consider your feelings as part of the reflective process. There are six specific steps to work through. Following this model carefully and being clear of the requirements of each stage, will help you focus your thinking and reflect more deeply. This model is popular in Health.
The 4 R’s of reflective thinking
This model (Ryan and Ryan, 2013) was designed specifically for university students engaged in experiential learning. Experiential learning includes any ‘real-world’ activities including practice led activities, placements and internships. Experiential learning, and the use of reflective practice to heighten this learning, is common in Creative Arts, Health and Education.
What is it.
An annotated bibliography is an alphabetical list of appropriate sources (books, journals or websites) on a topic, accompanied by a brief summary, evaluation and sometimes an explanation or reflection on their usefulness or relevance to your topic. Its purpose is to teach you to research carefully, evaluate sources and systematically organise your notes. An annotated bibliography may be one part of a larger assessment item or a stand-alone assessment piece. Check your task guidelines for the number of sources you are required to annotate and the word limit for each entry.
How do I know what to include?
When choosing sources for your annotated bibliography it is important to determine:
- The topic you are investigating and if there is a specific question to answer
- The type of sources on which you need to focus
- Whether they are reputable and of high quality
What do I say?
Important considerations include:
- Is the work current?
- Is the work relevant to your topic?
- Is the author credible/reliable?
- Is there any author bias?
- The strength and limitations (this may include an evaluation of research methodology).
It is easy to get confused by the terminology used for literature reviews. Some tasks may be described as a systematic literature review when actually the requirement is simpler; to review the literature on the topic but do it in a systematic way. There is a distinct difference (see Table 15.4 ). As a commencing undergraduate student, it is unlikely you would be expected to complete a systematic literature review as this is a complex and more advanced research task. It is important to check with your lecturer or tutor if you are unsure of the requirements.
Table 18.4 Comparison of Literature Reviews
Generally, you are required to establish the main ideas that have been written on your chosen topic. You may also be expected to identify gaps in the research. A literature review does not summarise and evaluate each resource you find (this is what you would do in an annotated bibliography). You are expected to analyse and synthesise or organise common ideas from multiple texts into key themes which are relevant to your topic (see Figure 18.10 ). Use a table or a spreadsheet, if you know how, to organise the information you find. Record the full reference details of the sources as this will save you time later when compiling your reference list (see Table 18.5 ).
Overall, this chapter has provided an introduction to the types of assignments you can expect to complete at university, as well as outlined some tips and strategies with examples and templates for completing them. First, the chapter investigated essay assignments, including analytical and argumentative essays. It then examined case study assignments, followed by a discussion of the report format. Reflective writing , popular in nursing, education and human services, was also considered. Finally, the chapter briefly addressed annotated bibliographies and literature reviews. The chapter also has a selection of templates and examples throughout to enhance your understanding and improve the efficacy of your assignment writing skills.
- Not all assignments at university are the same. Understanding the requirements of different types of assignments will assist in meeting the criteria more effectively.
- There are many different types of assignments. Most will require an introduction, body paragraphs and a conclusion.
- An essay should have a clear and logical structure and use formal but reader friendly language.
- Breaking your assignment into manageable chunks makes it easier to approach.
- Effective body paragraphs contain a topic sentence.
- A case study structure is similar to an essay, but you must remember to provide examples from the case or scenario to demonstrate your points.
- The type of report you may be required to write will depend on its purpose and audience. A report requires structured writing and uses headings.
- Reflective writing is popular in many disciplines and is used to explore feelings, experiences, opinions or events to discover what learning or understanding has occurred. Reflective writing requires more than description. You need to be analytical, consider what has been learnt and evaluate the impact of this on future actions.
- Annotated bibliographies teach you to research and evaluate sources and systematically organise your notes. They may be part of a larger assignment.
- Literature reviews require you to look across the literature and analyse and synthesise the information you find into themes.
Gibbs, G. (1988). Learning by doing: A guide to teaching and learning methods. Further Education Unit, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford.
Rolfe, G., Freshwater, D., Jasper, M. (2001). Critical reflection in nursing and the helping professions: a user’s guide . Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Ryan, M. & Ryan, M. (2013). Theorising a model for teaching and assessing reflective learning in higher education. Higher Education Research & Development , 32(2), 244-257. doi: 10.1080/07294360.2012.661704
Academic Success Copyright © 2021 by Cristy Bartlett and Kate Derrington is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.
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Writing a Book Report
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This resource discusses book reports and how to write them.
Book reports are informative reports that discuss a book from an objective stance. They are similar to book reviews but focus more on a summary of the work than an evaluation of it. Book reports commonly describe what happens in a work; their focus is primarily on giving an account of the major plot, characters, thesis, and/or main idea of the work. Most often, book reports are a K-12 assignment and range from 250 to 500 words.
Book reviews are most often a college assignment, but they also appear in many professional works: magazines, newspapers, and academic journals. If you are looking to write a book review instead of a book report, please see the OWL resource, Writing a Book Review .
Before You Read
Before you begin to read, consider what types of things you will need to write your book report. First, you will need to get some basic information from the book:
- Publisher location, name of publisher, year published
- Number of Pages
You can either begin your report with some sort of citation, or you can incorporate some of these items into the report itself.
Next, try to answer the following questions to get you started thinking about the book:
- Author: Who is the author? Have you read any other works by this author?
- Genre: What type of book is this: fiction, nonfiction, biography, etc.? What types of people would like to read this kind of book? Do you typically read these kinds of books? Do you like them?
- Title: What does the title do for you? Does it spark your interest? Does it fit well with the text of the book?
- Pictures/Book Jacket/Cover/Printing: What does the book jacket or book cover say? Is it accurate? Were you excited to read this book because of it? Are there pictures? What kinds are there? Are they interesting?
As You Read
While reading a work of fiction, keep track of the major characters. You can also do the same with biographies. When reading nonfiction works, however, look for the main ideas and be ready to talk about them.
- Characters: Who are the main characters? What happens to them? Did you like them? Were there good and bad characters?
- Main Ideas: What is the main idea of the book? What happens? What did you learn that you did not know before?
- Quotes: What parts did you like best? Are there parts that you could quote to make your report more enjoyable?
When You Are Ready to Write
Announce the book and author. Then, summarize what you have learned from the book. Explain what happens in the book, and discuss the elements you liked, did not like, would have changed, or if you would recommend this book to others and why. Consider the following items as well:
- Principles/characters: What elements did you like best? Which characters did you like best and why? How does the author unfold the story or the main idea of the book?
- Organize: Make sure that most of your paper summarizes the work. Then you may analyze the characters or themes of the work.
- Your Evaluation: Choose one or a few points to discuss about the book. What worked well for you? How does this work compare with others by the same author or other books in the same genre? What major themes, motifs, or terms does the book introduce, and how effective are they? Did the book appeal to you on an emotional or logical way?
- Recommend: Would you recommend this book to others? Why? What would you tell them before they read it? What would you talk about after you read it?
Do a quick double check of your paper:
- Double-check the spelling of the author name(s), character names, special terms, and publisher.
- Check the punctuation and grammar slowly.
- Make sure you provide enough summary so that your reader or instructor can tell you read the book.
- Consider adding some interesting quotes from the reading.
Your Assignment Helpers
Best Assignment Writing Tips For All Levels
What is an assignment.
Depending on the context, assignment serves deferent purposes. However, when it comes to the definition of what is an assignment, a common agreement is that it is a task or work allocated to someone, usually as part of a study, a job or course. In the context of academia, an assignment refers to tasks that students perform every day. From writing an essay, researching to general tasks that contribute to overall grading of a student, the definition of an assignment within the context of learning covers many things.
It also noteworthy that without a keen interest on assignments, students in college may find it difficult coping with other academic related tasks. The big question is do you have what it takes to craft the best assignments on any subject or topic? Also, what is an assignment book? Well, let’s start by answering the latter question by saying that without a book on which to write assignments, students would find it difficult to accomplish vital academic writing tasks and projects.
Moreover, to understand more about assignments and also come up with a conclusive answer to the question of what is an assignment, the following are worth noting:
Role of Assignments
Teachers do not just issue assignments. They do it to help students cope with among other things, areas of difficulties. Thus, before a student starts doing assignments, he or she should ask the question, what does an instructor expect? The catch here is that what is expected of you as a student when it comes to writing assignments is important. Also, ask the question, do you have what it takes to craft the best assignment papers?
Well, provided you conceptualize the significance of assignments towards academic grading, you will begin to take them seriously. Moreover, because these tasks can sometimes be overwhelming, especially to a student taking many different units from different courses, college assignment planner becomes necessary. A planner helps prioritize assignments with respect to urgency.
Without a topic, assignments, especially academic ones, would count for nothing. A topic is always premised on the course a student pursues. It is, therefore, the responsibility of every student to dig deeper into a topic through research, understand it well then craft a winning paper on it.
What Does The Assignment Require?
When doing assignments, students should also pay close attention to vital requirements. Does it require you to explain, define, illustrate, describe, trace, summarize or research? Always ask these vital questions before writing assignment rubric college. Moreover, find out if an assignment requires you to compare, relate, apply, or contract. With these at the back of your mind, crafting the best assignment should be easy.
Who Will Read Your Assignment?
Finally, ask the question, who will read your college writing assignment? Students do not do assignments for the sake of it. By knowing your audience, choosing a tone and sources of information becomes easy.
Students should always strive to do their best when handling academic assignments. They also should not forget that it’s possible to buy articles and homework of high quality online. With tips explored in this post and our professional help, handling these tasks becomes a breeze.
How to Write a Great Book Report
Hero Images / Getty Images
- M.Ed., Education Administration, University of Georgia
- B.A., History, Armstrong State University
One assignment has lasted the test of time, uniting generations of students in a common learning exercise: book reports. While many students dread these assignments, book reports can help students learn how to interpret texts and gain a broader understanding of the world around them. Well-written books can open your eyes to new experiences, people, places, and life situations that you may have never thought about before. In turn, a book report is a tool that allows you, the reader, to demonstrate that you have understood all the nuances of the text you just read.
What's a Book Report?
In the broadest terms, a book report describes and summarizes a work of fiction or nonfiction . It sometimes — but not always — includes a personal evaluation of the text. In general, regardless of grade level, a book report will include an introductory paragraph that shares the title of the book and its author. Students will often develop their own opinions about the underlying meaning of the texts through developing thesis statements , typically presented in the opening of a book report, and then using examples from the text and interpretations to support those statements.
Before You Start Writing
A good book report will address a specific question or point of view and back up this topic with specific examples, in the form of symbols and themes. These steps will help you identify and incorporate those important elements. It shouldn't be too hard to do, provided you're prepared, and you can expect to spend, on average, 3-4 days working on the assignment. Check out these tips to ensure you're successful:
- Have an objective in mind. This is the main point you want to present or the question you plan to answer in your report.
- Keep supplies on hand when you read. This is very important. Keep sticky-note flags, pen, and paper nearby as you read. If you're reading an eBook , make sure you know how to use the annotation function of your app/program.
- Read the book. It seems obvious, but too many students try to take a shortcut and simply read summaries or watch movies, but you often miss important details that can make or break your book report.
- Pay attention to detail. Keep an eye out for clues that the author has provided in the form of symbolism . These will indicate some important point that supports the overall theme. For instance, a spot of blood on the floor, a quick glance, a nervous habit, an impulsive action, a repetitive action... These are worth noting.
- Use your sticky flags to mark pages. When you run into clues or interesting passages, mark the page by placing the sticky note at the beginning of the relevant line.
- Look for themes. As you read, you should begin to see an emerging theme. On a notepad, write down some notes on how you came to determine the theme.
- Develop a rough outline. By the time you finish reading the book , you will have recorded several possible themes or approaches to your objective. Review your notes and find points that you can back up with good examples (symbols).
Your Book Report Introduction
The start of your book report provides an opportunity to make a solid introduction to the material and your own personal assessment of the work. You should try to write a strong introductory paragraph that grabs your reader's attention. Somewhere in your first paragraph , you should also state the book's title and the author's name.
High school-level papers should include publication information as well as brief statements about the book's angle, the genre, the theme , and a hint about the writer's feelings in the introduction.
First Paragraph Example: Middle School Level
" The Red Badge of Courage ", by Stephen Crane, is a book about a young man growing up during the Civil War. Henry Fleming is the main character of the book. As Henry watches and experiences the tragic events of the war, he grows up and changes his attitudes about life.
First Paragraph Example: High School Level
Can you identify one experience that changed your entire view of the world around you? Henry Fleming, the main character in "The Red Badge of Courage", begins his life-changing adventure as a naive young man, eager to experience the glory of war. He soon faces the truth about life, war, and his own self-identity on the battlefield, however. "The Red Badge of Courage", by Stephen Crane, is a coming of age novel published by D. Appleton and Company in 1895, about thirty years after the Civil War ended. In this book, the author reveals the ugliness of war and examines its relationship to the pain of growing up.
The Body of the Book Report
Before you get started on the body of the report, take a few minutes to jot down some helpful information by considering the following points.
- Did you enjoy the book?
- Was it well written?
- What was the genre?
- (fiction) Which characters play important roles that relate to the overall theme?
- Did you notice reoccurring symbols?
- Is this book a part of a series?
- (nonfiction) Can you identify the writer's thesis?
- What is the writing style?
- Did you notice a tone?
- Was there an obvious slant or bias?
In the body of your book report, you will use your notes to guide you through an extended summary of the book. You will weave your own thoughts and impressions into the plot summary . As you review the text, you'll want to focus on key moments in the storyline and relate them to the perceived theme of the book, and how the characters and setting all bring the details together. You'll want to be sure that you discuss the plot, any examples of conflict that you encounter, and how the story resolves itself. It can be helpful to use strong quotes from the book to enhance your writing.
As you lead to your final paragraph, consider some additional impressions and opinions:
- Was the ending satisfactory (for fiction)?
- Was the thesis supported by strong evidence (for nonfiction)?
- What interesting or notable facts do you know about the author?
- Would you recommend this book?
Conclude your report with a paragraph or two that covers these additional points. Some teachers prefer that you re-state the name and author of the book in the concluding paragraph. As always, consult your specific assignment guide or ask your teacher if you have questions about what is expected of you.
- 10 Steps to Writing a Successful Book Report
- Book Report: Definition, Guidelines, and Advice
- How to Find the Theme of a Book or Short Story
- How to Design a Book Cover
- How to Write and Format an MBA Essay
- How to Write a Response Paper
- How to Write a Critical Essay
- Top Conservative Novels
- 7 Active Reading Strategies for Students
- How to Understand a Difficult Reading Passage
- What Is an Autobiography?
- How to Keep a Reading Log or Book Journal
- Writing a History Book Review
- 50 General Book Club Questions for Study and Discussion
- 20 Book Activities to Try With Grades 3-5
- How to Remember What You Read
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Award-winning author of the assignment and hello, the story behind the assignment.
- THE ASSIGNMENT – Curriculum Guides and Teacher Info
- Out and About: A Tale of Giving
- Life Imitates Art
- Visit HELLO? Sites
- Contributor to Small Miracles from Beyond
- Contributor to Small Miracles of the Holocaust
- Waiting for Peace
- Extraordinary Guidance
- Author Visits
- Curriculum Guides
- On July 25, 2016, I received a message on Facebook from librarian Wendy Watts Scalfaro asking if I would be interested in coming to her Syracuse-area high school to conduct workshops about my YA novel, Hello? . It’s important that I mention that Wendy and I had never met in person. We were Twitter friends and she was taking a “Teacher’s Write” class that was a part of
- In September 2016, Wendy contacted River’s End Bookstore to arrange for a book signing and I finalized the event on December 7, 2016. We set the date for Tuesday, April 4, 2017
- I traveled to the Syracuse area on Sunday, April 2, 2017. I had a full-day school visit on the 3rd. On the 4th, I decided to leave extra early for Oswego. It was pouring and my windshield wipers could barely keep up. I was concerned about driving in those conditions, especially since River’s End Bookstore was quite a distance away. At one point, I wondered why Wendy had contacted this bookstore when there were at least a half-dozen bookstores within the Syracuse area. I was truly baffled. It took me nearly an hour to get to Oswego. At this point, I was desperate for caffeine and ended up stopping at this grocery store.
- It’s hard to tell from the photo, but this parking lot is slightly bowl-shaped. I had pulled into a spot on the right side of the photo, but because of the amount of rain, the lot was flooded. I didn’t want to get out of my car because I was wearing knit Ugg boots and my feet would have been soaked through immediately. So, I did something I normally wouldn’t do to pass the time: I went on Facebook.
- That’s when I saw this article posted by my aunt.
- I clicked on the link. To my shock, I discovered that this antisemitic school assignment debating the Holocaust took place in Oswego. I contacted my aunt. I contacted writer friends, attaching the link to my text message, saying, “Can you believe I’m in this town?” I spoke to fellow author, Gayle Rosengren, and told her and my aunt that I needed to figure out a way to get in touch with Archer Shurtliff and Jordan April, the two teens courageous teens who refused to do the assignment. Although they and one other student did an alternative, that left over 70 students who created a memorandum from the Nazis’ point-of-view. Even though the assignment had been completed, Archer and Jordan were determined to never have anyone else be in a position of having to do this assignment. I was impressed by their conviction and very much wanted to let them know that I thought that they were brave and their actions heroic. The problem, however, was that I had no idea how to get in touch with them. It’s not like I was speaking at a local high school. Finally, I made the decision to ask the bookstore owner for his help. I planned to purchase copies of my YA novel Hello? and ask him to send them to the teens along with a personal note. I was nervous. What if the owner disagreed with the teens’ stance and advocated in favor of the assignment?
- I decided the risk was worth it. At this point, my expectations for the evening were low. It was still raining and I wasn’t sure how many people would come out in the rain to hear me speak. I arrived a half-hour early, and once again rehearsed how I would approach the owner about my special request.
- In a blink of an eye, everything changed. I took four steps into the bookstore and immediately recognized Jordan. I stopped in my tracks and said, “Oh my goodness! It’s the world-famous Jordan!” Her face morphed from confused to surprised. “How do you know who I am?” she asked. I showed her my phone. It turned out that Jordan worked at the bookstore.
- I did purchase my book for both teens and inscribed it with a message of gratitude. That night, I had a three-way call with Jordan and Archer. I was amazed by their strength, courage, and determination. I was in awe of their decisiveness: the assignment was wrong. No one should advocate for genocide.
- That evening, I could barely sleep so I wrote about the experience. Those thoughts turned into an article that was published on several sites. Here’s one of them: Opinion: No justification for high school assignment debating genocide . When I returned home, author Clara Kensie said to me, “You have to write a YA novel about this.”
- It might seem like it was an easy decision, but it wasn’t. The day before had been one of the most challenging I’d had as an educator and speaker and I admit that I wondered, Is this what I’m supposed to be doing with my life? It was a bad moment. And then it got worse. That evening, I received the sixtieth + rejection for a YA novel that I had worked on for over six years: “Thank you for your query. Sorry it’s taken me an embarrassingly long time to get back to you. I’m afraid XXXXX is a pass for me. I’m just not connecting in the “must have” way that I’d need to offer representation. Best of luck,” ____Agent Z
- I was done. Clearly, writing was not what I was supposed to do with my life. So, I called my elder son Justin and told him that I’d reached my end and that maybe I should attend UW-Milwaukee and get a master’s degree in psychology. Justin, oh-son-of-mine, said what I’ve said to him on many occasions. “This will pass. It was one bad moment. Don’t give up.”
- Obviously, I didn’t. But that’s because I couldn’t turn my back on all the amazing series of events that lead up to what transpired the very next day. I believe in miracles. I believe in Divine Providence. For me, writing this novel has been an experience of that faith.
- Early on in my research, I connected with Syracuse University Professor Emeritus, Alan Goldberg, Coordinator Spector/Warren Fellowship and Director Regional Holocaust & Genocide Initiative, School of Education. Professor Goldberg was one of the individuals who spoke out against the real assignment and was involved in creating new curriculum to be used in New York Schools. For me, what was remarkable is that Professor Alan Goldberg shares the same name as my father, Alan Goldberg. It was the first time in my life I’d ever met someone who had the same name as my dad.
- On November 3, 2017, an author friend of mine, Debbi Lakritz, told me about the Jewish Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators’ Seminar, which was to take place on Sunday, November 12th in New York City. At this point, I had finished several drafts of my new novel and was ready to find an agent. This seminar sounded like a fantastic opportunity. There were several issues, however. The cost of the conference and buying a plane ticket. Money was extremely tight. My husband had been freelancing for several years and we were definitely struggling. I talked to my husband about the event and my concerns. Without any hesitation, he encouraged me to go. I contacted Evie Saphire-Bernstein, the program manager at the Jewish Book Council. Despite missing the deadline, she welcomed and encouraged me to be a part of the event. Her kindness was the open door I needed. So I signed up and bought my plane ticket.
- At the seminar, I met some fantastic people, many have become friends. I also reconnected with Lizzy Mason, a publicist from Bloomsbury (now Page Street), who spoke at the event. We’d met on several occasions at Book Expo America events and so seeing her made this event even more special. We discussed this novel, and from that conversation Lizzy became one of my biggest cheerleaders. I also received valuable feedback from two agents: “This is an important topic, but you need to rewrite your novel from third-person omniscient to first person. I got the message and promised myself that I would start again. But the most incredible thing that transpired at the seminar was a meeting Random House publicist Josh Redlich. I introduced myself right after his panel discussion, shared the elevator pitch for The Assignment. He said, “I know who would love this book. Send it to Beverly Horowitz. I sent myself a email with her name…and…
- Many rewrites later, I was ready to send my manuscript out to agents again. This time, I received requests for the entire novel almost instantly. One of those agents was Steven Chudney, who turned out to be my dream agent. When it was time to submit to editors at publishing houses, I asked Steven to include Beverly. He put her on the top of the list.
- Within a few weeks we had an offer from Beverly. So, there you have it. What a journey! Thank YOU, dear reader, for being a part of it.
How to Write a Book Review: Awesome Guide
A book review allows students to illustrate the author's intentions of writing the piece, as well as create a criticism of the book — as a whole. In other words, form an opinion of the author's presented ideas. Check out this guide from EssayPro — dissertation writing service to learn how to write a book review successfully.
What Is a Book Review?
You may prosper, “what is a book review?”. Book reviews are commonly assigned students to allow them to show a clear understanding of the novel. And to check if the students have actually read the book. The essay format is highly important for your consideration, take a look at the book review format below.
Book reviews are assigned to allow students to present their own opinion regarding the author’s ideas included in the book or passage. They are a form of literary criticism that analyzes the author’s ideas, writing techniques, and quality. A book analysis is entirely opinion-based, in relevance to the book. They are good practice for those who wish to become editors, due to the fact, editing requires a lot of criticism.
Book Review Template
The book review format includes an introduction, body, and conclusion.
- Describe the book cover and title.
- Include any subtitles at this stage.
- Include the Author’s Name.
- Write a brief description of the novel.
- Briefly introduce the main points of the body in your book review.
- Avoid mentioning any opinions at this time.
- Use about 3 quotations from the author’s novel.
- Summarize the quotations in your own words.
- Mention your own point-of-view of the quotation.
- Remember to keep every point included in its own paragraph.
- In brief, summarize the quotations.
- In brief, summarize the explanations.
- Finish with a concluding sentence.
- This can include your final opinion of the book.
- Star-Rating (Optional).
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How to Write a Book Review: Step-By-Step
Writing a book review is something that can be done with every novel. Book reviews can apply to all novels, no matter the genre. Some genres may be harder than others. On the other hand, the book review format remains the same. Take a look at these step-by-step instructions from our professional writers to learn how to write a book review in-depth.
Step 1: Planning
Create an essay outline which includes all of the main points you wish to summarise in your book analysis. Include information about the characters, details of the plot, and some other important parts of your chosen novel. Reserve a body paragraph for each point you wish to talk about.
Consider these points before writing:
- What is the plot of the book? Understanding the plot enables you to write an effective review.
- Is the plot gripping? Does the plot make you want to continue reading the novel? Did you enjoy the plot? Does it manage to grab a reader’s attention?
- Are the writing techniques used by the author effective? Does the writer imply factors in-between the lines? What are they?
- Are the characters believable? Are the characters logical? Does the book make the characters are real while reading?
- Would you recommend the book to anyone? The most important thing: would you tell others to read this book? Is it good enough? Is it bad?
- What could be better? Keep in mind the quotes that could have been presented better. Criticize the writer.
Step 2: Introduction
Presumably, you have chosen your book. To begin, mention the book title and author’s name. Talk about the cover of the book. Write a thesis statement regarding the fictitious story or non-fictional novel. Which briefly describes the quoted material in the book review.
Step 3: Body
Choose a specific chapter or scenario to summarise. Include about 3 quotes in the body. Create summaries of each quote in your own words. It is also encouraged to include your own point-of-view and the way you interpret the quote. It is highly important to have one quote per paragraph.
Step 4: Conclusion
Write a summary of the summarised quotations and explanations, included in the body paragraphs. After doing so, finish book analysis with a concluding sentence to show the bigger picture of the book. Think to yourself, “Is it worth reading?”, and answer the question in black and white. However, write in-between the lines. Avoid stating “I like/dislike this book.”
Step 5: Rate the Book (Optional)
After writing a book review, you may want to include a rating. Including a star-rating provides further insight into the quality of the book, to your readers. Book reviews with star-ratings can be more effective, compared to those which don’t. Though, this is entirely optional.
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Here is the list of tips for the book review:
- A long introduction can certainly lower one’s grade: keep the beginning short. Readers don’t like to read the long introduction for any essay style.
- It is advisable to write book reviews about fiction: it is not a must. Though, reviewing fiction can be far more effective than writing about a piece of nonfiction
- Avoid Comparing: avoid comparing your chosen novel with other books you have previously read. Doing so can be confusing for the reader.
- Opinion Matters: including your own point-of-view is something that is often encouraged when writing book reviews.
- Refer to Templates: a book review template can help a student get a clearer understanding of the required writing style.
- Don’t be Afraid to Criticize: usually, your own opinion isn’t required for academic papers below Ph.D. level. On the other hand, for book reviews, there’s an exception.
- Use Positivity: include a fair amount of positive comments and criticism.
- Review The Chosen Novel: avoid making things up. Review only what is presented in the chosen book.
- Enjoyed the book? If you loved reading the book, state it. Doing so makes your book analysis more personalized.
Writing a book review is something worth thinking about. Professors commonly assign this form of an assignment to students to enable them to express a grasp of a novel. Following the book review format is highly useful for beginners, as well as reading step-by-step instructions. Writing tips is also useful for people who are new to this essay type. If you need a book review or essay, ask our book report writing services ' write paper for me ' and we'll give you a hand asap!
We also recommend that everyone read the article about essay topics . It will help broaden your horizons in writing a book review as well as other papers.
Book Review Examples
Referring to a book review example is highly useful to those who wish to get a clearer understanding of how to review a book. Take a look at our examples written by our professional writers. Click on the button to open the book review examples and feel free to use them as a reference.
Kenneth Grahame’s ‘The Wind in the Willows’
Kenneth Grahame’s ‘The Wind in the Willows’ is a novel aimed at youngsters. The plot, itself, is not American humor, but that of Great Britain. In terms of sarcasm, and British-related jokes. The novel illustrates a fair mix of the relationships between the human-like animals, and wildlife. The narrative acts as an important milestone in post-Victorian children’s literature.
Dr. John’s ‘Pollution’
Dr. John’s ‘Pollution’ consists of 3 major parts. The first part is all about the polluted ocean. The second being about the pollution of the sky. The third part is an in-depth study of how humans can resolve these issues. The book is a piece of non-fiction that focuses on modern-day pollution ordeals faced by both animals and humans on Planet Earth. It also focuses on climate change, being the result of the global pollution ordeal.
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