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Reading and Understanding Your Assignment: Assignment Format Description

This guide will help you read assignments given to you by your professors so that you understand what they are looking for.

Assignment Format Description

Many assignments follow a basic format that tells you what you need to accomplish. There is usually:

  • An Overview: This sets the stage for the assignment with a discussion of the subject, introduction to the topic, or a reminder of pertinent class discussion.
  • The Task: This explains what the instructor wants you to do for your assignment. Look for key verbs like analyze, summarize, or compare to figure out what actions the instructor wants you to take.
  • Additional Material: This can include questions to help you think about your topic, but may not be required to include in your assignment.
  • Style Tips: These are the instructor’s comments about their writing expectations.
  • Technical Details: These instructions include information on format rules or guidelines including page length, spacing, citation formats, and due date.