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Completing assignments in seminary can be a daunting task. Standards differ from professor to professor. The type and depth of writing one might be asked to do can vary from week to week. It can be hard to intuit what are baseline expectations that can be applied across the board. This page provides some quick reminders to think about before hitting "submit".
- Did I read the assignment instructions carefully? Do I know the assignment due date? Do I understand what I am being asked to turn in?
- Did I give myself enough time to write my assignment? Did I plan in advance to do the necessary reading or prep work before sitting down to actually write?
- Did I stick to the parameters of the assignment? Page or word limits? Specific course materials that are supposed to be included?
- Did I use Turabian/Chicago (citation method) consistently throughout my assignment?
- Did I cite anything I referenced that wasn't my original thoughts? Even if its not a direct quotation?
- Did I clearly articulate my point of view? Did I avoid rambling, run on sentences, getting too far off topic? Did I answer the question?
- Did I include a list of works cited or a bibliography at the end of my assignment?
- Did I proofread or edit my submission before turning it in?
Demystify Your Assignment
Breaking down the question(s) in your assignment
- Read your assignment question carefully as soon as you receive it. Make sure to approach your instructor if there's anything in the instructions that you do not understand. Delaying this process until the last minute usually leads to students too embarrassed to ask for clarification.
- Discern what type of assignment you've been assigned. Underline the central verb or verbs that describe the questions that you are expected to answer.
- Use the chart below to understand how your instructor wishes you to approach answering your question.
What type of question is the instructor asking?
Information words ask you to show what you know about a subject. Think of these types of questions as asking about the 5 W's (who, what, where, when and why).
Relation words ask you to demonstrate how things are connected.
Interpretation words ask you to present and defend your own ideas. Do not just give your opinion on a subject without providing evidentiary support. You will be expected to draw from examples, principles, concepts and definitions from either class lectures, class readings or your own research to make your argument.
Active verbs, key terms to look for in your assignment's question.