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What Makes a Good Assignment?

What Makes a Good Assignment?


When you’re writing an assignment, it’s important to keep your audience in mind. But what does that mean? What makes a good assignment? And how do you go about developing one? In this article, I’ll walk through six key elements of effective assignments and show how they can help set your work apart from others.

A clear purpose

An effective assignment is one that has a clear purpose. The purpose of an assignment is what you want to achieve and why you’re doing it in the first place. It’s important to know what your goals are so that you can set up assignments to meet those goals. There are many things that contribute to this goal, including:

  • Knowing what your instructor wants from you and being able to give it to them
  • Knowing how the assignment fits into the larger class structure
  • Knowing why each part of an assignment matters

Understand the core idea 

Before you begin writing your assignment, it’s important to understand the core idea of the topic at hand. What are you trying to communicate? What do your readers need to know about this subject? If you’re unfamiliar with a topic or if it doesn’t interest you, then it will be hard for you to write about it effectively.

Your goal should be that when someone reads your paper they understand what was being discussed in class and why it matters—not just because it’s due tomorrow. This is easier said than done though! Luckily there are some simple strategies for making sure that happens:

  • Know what type of paper is expected (a problem/solution essay? an analysis?) and make sure that’s what you’ve written
  • Write about something familiar—a hobby or personal experience—or something important in society today (the environment).

Well prepared questions 

A good assignment is one that meets the requirements of the assignment and is well-prepared.

Well prepared questions are the foundation of an assignment. Not only do they help you avoid getting bogged down with irrelevant information, but they also allow you to focus on what matters most: developing your own ideas and making sense of them.

There’s a lot more to know about asking questions than simply including them in your writing or speech. To get started, let’s look at some common mistakes people make when asking questions:

What’s at stake? 

When you’re working on an assignment, it is important to know what your audience wants to know. What is the purpose of the content? What is the purpose of the topic? And what is at stake for them in finding out more about their subject matter?

This last question can be particularly helpful when deciding whether or not you should use a certain resource. If a reader has gone through all they can stand and still don’t have an answer to their question, it might be time to take some extra time digging into something new.

Communicate with your audience

Good writing assignments are more than just a way for students to practice their skills. They also serve as a way for the teacher to communicate with their audience. If you want your essay or research paper to have an impact on the people who read it, you need to develop a relationship with them first.

Your audience should be able to relate to your words on some level; if they don’t, they won’t be interested in what you have to say and won’t bother reading past the first few sentences. This is why developing voice is so important—it ensures that your writing will communicate effectively with its intended audience.

Authenticity is extremely important when it comes time for creating any type of assignment because authenticity breeds trust in readers’ minds—if they can tell that what they’re reading comes from someone who understands them personally rather than just another textbook writer (or worse yet: an algorithm), then there’s more of a chance that those same readers will get something out of what has been written down on paper (or screen). By being yourself when writing an assignment about whatever topic interests you most right now, make sure not only do others know where these ideas came from but also how much effort went into finding out all this information beforehand!

Useful information 

Good assignments should provide useful information while still being interesting and engaging.

  • Make sure the information you provide is useful. You should always be asking yourself if what you’re writing will be helpful to your audience. If it isn’t, then it doesn’t belong in your assignment.
  • Make sure the information is interesting and engaging as well as useful. If a reader has to put forth effort to get through your text, they may decide not to read it at all—and if they do read it anyway, they probably won’t remember anything from it after they’re done reading! So make sure that all of your content is both informative and enjoyable to read—it’ll keep readers engaged longer, which makes them more likely to retain what they’ve learned over time (which can lead up into exam preparation).

Ask yourself what you want 

Here is a list of questions you should ask yourself before writing your assignment:

  • What do I want the reader to understand about this topic?
  • What do I want the reader to believe about this topic?
  • What do I want the reader to do with their understanding and belief of this topic?
  • How can I best convey my desired message through my writing style, structure, content, tone and word choice?


The most important thing is to have a clear idea of what you want out of your assignment. Once you’ve figured that out, it will be much easier for you to write something that has a real audience and purpose.

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