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Assignment Design for Research and Writing

Resources to reference when creating research and writing assignments to maximize clarity and accessibility.

Grammar, Mechanics, & Layout

Not as Important    ♦     Important  ♦     Extremely Important

  • Are you a strict grammarian and expect to see proper grammar and mechanics?
    • Let your students know!
      • Are you an Oxford comma fan or foe? 
      • Do you want to see the various uses of semicolons?
      • Do you expect American spelling/usage of words and punctuation?
  • Do you plan to offer refreshers on various grammatical and mechanical elements? If yes, such refreshers could be part of scaffolded assignments.
    • Consider the Writing Studio resources or include a reference book or online resource to help students with punctuation, sentence structure, and grammar.
  • Do you want a specific font style and size? Specific margins? Page numbers? Headings?Double or single line spacing?
    • This is a good way to remind students that paragraphs need to be indented; the paper needs a font that is readable and lends tone to the content. For example, Times New Roman has a more professional, academic look to it than Comic Sans does; however, Comic Sans might work well if the assignment is humorous or entertaining.

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