He or she may not go over it in class, but it’s the clearest possible statement of what the professor is looking for in the paper.
If it’s wordy, it may seem like those online “terms and conditions” that we routinely accept without reading.
” As I briefly discussed in Chapter 1, most instructors do a lot to make their pedagogical goals and expectations transparent to students: they explain the course learning goals associated with assignments, provide grading rubrics in advance, and describe several strategies for succeeding. Some professors make a point to give very few parameters about an assignment—perhaps just a topic and a length requirement—and they likely have some good reasons for doing so.
Here are some possible reasons: It is understandably frustrating when you feel you don’t know how to direct your efforts to succeed with an assignment.
When you write for a teacher you are usually swimming against the stream of natural communication.
The natural direction of communication is to explain what you understand to someone who doesn’t understand it.Your professor wants to see you work through complex ideas and deepen your knowledge through the process of producing the paper.Each assignment—be it an argumentative paper, reaction paper, reflective paper, lab report, discussion question, blog post, essay exam, project proposal, or what have you—is ultimately about your learning.But college papers aren’t written like letters; they’re written like articles for a hypothetical group of readers that you don’t actually know much about.There’s a fundamental mismatch between the real-life audience and the form your writing takes. It helps to remember the key tenet of the university model: you’re a junior scholar joining the academic community.But in writing an essay for a teacher your task is usually to explain what you are still engaged in trying to understand to someone who understands it better.Often when you write for an audience of one, you write a letter or email.Don’t be scared whenever you are given an assignment.Professors know what it was like to be in college and write all kinds of papers.Here are some tips: If a professor provides a grading rubric with an assignment prompt, thank your lucky stars (and your professor).If the professor took the trouble to prepare and distribute it, you can be sure that he or she will use it to grade your paper.