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Pre-Writing Strategies Tutorial » Understand Your Assignment

Example of Assignment Specifications

  1. Key Words:

    Discuss the IMPLICATIONS of the GREENHOUSE EFFECT for CANADA. (I should look up "implications").

  2. Length:

    4-5 pages (1200-1500 words)

  3. Plan:

    "Discuss" doesn't say much--but "implications" suggests I should look for cause-effect relationships.

  4. Sources:

    • scientific journals (especially Canadian ones)--go to Steacie Library.

    • check the reference section for science bibliographies.

    • use the bibliography in my textbook, and the bibliographies in the articles I find first.

    • do Internet search

  5. Audience:

    my prof, maybe my classmates.

  6. Narrowing Down the Topic:

    • maybe choose one implication and discuss it in detail--e.g., rising water tables and their effects across Canada

    • or, choose one geographical region and discuss the many changes it will undergo because of the greenhouse effect--where?

  7. Goals and/or Preliminary Thesis:

    I want to show people how the greenhouse effect will have a direct impact on their lives, to illustrate why they should join together and do something about it now.

    (--> Maybe choosing one or two regions and showing how people's lives there would change might be the best way to narrow my topic.)

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