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Webinar Transcripts

Strategies for Understanding Walden Assignment Prompts

Transcript

Presented April 20, 2021

Last updated 5/3/2021 

 

Visual: The webinar begins with a PowerPoint title slide in the large central panel. The slide says, “Strategies for Understanding Assignment Prompts,” and the following:

Walden University Writing Center

April 20, 2021

Audio: Anne: Hello everyone.  Welcome to strategies for understanding assignment prompts.  We are so glad that you're here today taking time out of your busy schedules to learn with us and let's begin. 

 

Visual: The slide changes to the Presenters and Facilitators slide. The slide says, “Presenters and Facilitators,” and the following:

Presenter: Anne Shiell

Resource Manager of Student and Faculty Webinars
Walden University Writing Center
Pronouns: She, her, hers

Facilitator: Kacy Walz

Writing Instructor
Walden University Writing Center

Audio: I am Anne Shiell from the writing center here with Kacy Walls, our facilitator today. She will be handling the chat box and also -- we have close captioning available for our webinar. 

 

Visual: The slide changes to Strategies for Understanding Assignment Prompts slide. The slide says, “Strategies for Understanding Assignment Prompts,” and the following:

A recording will be available in our webinar archive

Closed captioning is
available via the Captioning link in the Links box

Download slides from “Files” pod (or email us if you’re on a mobile device)

Download Certificate of Attendance from “Files” pod

Technical trouble?

  • Review the Technical
    Suggestions in the Links pod
  • Select “Help” or the “i” icon in the right corner of the webinar room
  • Use the Q&A pod

Polls, files, chat box, and links are interactive

Audio: A few things before we get started and as I'm talking, feel free to keep chatting in the chat box, introduce yourself if you did not get a chance to yet. We’ll have a recording of this session available in our webinar archive soon. It depends on how fast the recording can get ready. But probably by early next week you can look for that and we’ll send out an email with the recording as well.

I mentioned we have closed captioning with a button you should be able to click in your zoom toolbar to turn it on and off if you would like.  We have slides available for the webinar as well as certificate of attendance and Kacy will be sharing those with you in the chat box.  Also come later be available from our webinar archive so Casey will post those slides or she has a chance and the certificate will become available later on towards the end of the webinar during our Q&A portion.

You can participate in the chat box throughout the webinar and if you have been to our webinars before, we typically hold them in the Adobe connect platform or we have a chat box and a private question and answer box and in zoom we just have a chat box so that's where you can go for comments or questions.

If you do have a technical question, I'll ask that you try to do a direct message to Kacy so we can get that figured out for you and keep the chat box clear for everybody to focus on the, the presentation topic, but feel free to participate in that chat feel free to purchase paid in that chat box throughout the webinar.  Zoom also has interactions -- reactions where you can interact if you would like to give a thumbs up or to tell me to slow down or speed up so there's a tool toolbar in zoom where you can go to find those reactions, and why don't we just give that a try if everybody could give me a thumbs up if you can hear me and see the slides. You may need to poke around in your toolbar to see those reactions.  I am seen a couple thumbs up.  Excellent.  So, feel free to use those as we go along.  As I mentioned, if you have any technical trouble you can try to start a private chat with Kacy. I'll note that Google Chrome is the recommended browser for zoom so that may be something to try if you're not using Chrome and you are having any trouble. There's also lots of support available at support that zoom.us. and before we dive again, I want to give a thank you to everybody who originally registered and then per-registered for our zoom presentation today. We had to do a little bit of last-minute shifting to make sure we can make this the best webinar experience for you so we really appreciate you reading the e-mails and getting the update and taken a moment to reregister.  We are glad you are here with us.

 

Visual: The slide changes to Session Overview slide. The slide says, “Session Overview,” and the following:

            In this webinar, we will:

  • Discuss 10 strategies for understanding assignment prompts
  • Practice one or more of the strategies with your assignment prompt
  • Learn additional resources for help.

Audio: All right, let's dig in. So, our session today we'll be talking about 10 strategies for understanding assignment prompts.

We're going to practice with one or more of the strategies with an assignment prompt that you provide, this will be independent work but it'll give you a little chance to workshop and go through some of the strategies that we talked about today, and we’ll also learn some additional resources for help.

So, let's, let's actually start out with a little bit of chat in the chat box I'd love to hear from you.

for general feelings and reactions and how do you feel when you're first reading through a new assignment prompt?

So, you have an assignment coming up in class, you find your instructions you read through that prompt. What's that experience like for you?

And hello to everybody who's just joined us, we've just gotten started and we're just kicking off a little chat about your experience when you read through a new assignment prompt

And all feelings are legitimate feelings. I'm seeing some anxiety some confusion sometimes it's hard to understand the prompt sometimes it can be a little intimidating to start even thinking about what to write. Yeah, the importance of making sure that you understand the prompt you're not missing any information. We do have a comment about rubrics being clear so that's great to hear. We'll be talking a bit about rubrics today.

There is a great comment about a lot of information and a lot of content in these assignment prompts sometimes so it takes little time to digest instructions.

Yeah. So, you're not alone. Thank you for participating in the chat I just wanted to kind of bring that up to, to show everybody that if you're feeling this way, it's perfectly normal and if you feel anxious or confused or intimidated or overwhelmed. 

Today we are going to dig into some strategies that hopefully will help you feel less that way when you take a look at your assignment take a look at your assignment prompts and have some clear steps and confidence for moving forward.

 

Visual: The slide changes to Overall Tip: Break It Down slide. The slide says, “Overall Tip: Break It Down and the following:

Tackling an assignment can be less overwhelming and confusing when we use specific strategies to break down the instructions and steps into smaller pieces.

Audio: So, the big overall tip. Before we get into the specific strategies, is that tackling an assignment can be less overwhelming and less confusing when we use specific strategies to break down those instructions and the steps into smaller pieces so little bite sized chunks taking it one step at a time. When we do that, hopefully you'll see that it can become much more approachable and manageable, to, to work through those assignment instructions.

Tackling an assignment can be less overwhelming and confusing when we use specific strategies to break down the instructions and steps into smaller pieces.

 

Visual: The slide changes to 10 Strategies for Understanding Assignment Prompts slide. The slide says, “10 Strategies for Understanding Assignment Prompts.”

Audio: So, our 10 strategies for understanding assignment prompts.

 

Visual: The slide changes to 10 Strategies for Understanding Assignment Prompts slide. The slide says, “10 Strategies for Understanding Assignment Prompts,” and the following:

  1. Understand the structure
  2. Highlight main requirements
  3. Expect assumed requirements
  4. Highlight action words
  5. Understand the vocabulary
  6. Change pronouns to first person
  7. Consult the rubric
  8. Create an outline
  9. Outline your outline
  10.  Consult the rubric again

Audio: We're going to go through these in detail, but I do have all 10 here on the slide for you, for if you download the slides I want to go back later and see them all at a glance. And we're going to start with number one, understanding the prompt structure.

 

Visual: The slide changes to Strategy 1: Understanding the Prompt Structure slide. The slide says, “Strategy 1: Understanding the Prompt Structure,” and the following:

Typically, Walden assignment prompts include the three following sections:

  1. Introduction and explanation
  2. Preparation
  3. The assignment / the action

Audio: So, typically at Walden assignment prompts, and I'll use the language of prompts as we go along, but I'm really talking about assignment instructions. They're, they're really the same thing those words are kind of used interchangeably, but the directions for your assignment. Your assignment prompts often include the three following sections and introduction and explanation section. And then the actual assignment, the actual sort of what you're supposed to do in the assignment.

And I say typically here because not every single assignment that you have at Walden will necessarily follow the structure. You may have some of these pieces but not all of them.

You may have additional pieces as well. But all of the strategies that we talked about today are still applicable to your assignment, whatever it looks like, whether it follows the exact structure not, but we'll go through an example on the next slide and I would love to hear in the chat if this structure is one that is familiar to you if you recognize it from the assignment prompts you have had so far. 

 

Visual: The slide changes to Assignment Prompt Structure slide. The slide says, “Assignment Prompt Structure,” and the following:

What’s the assignment’s topic? What is the scenario or situation you should respond to?

What should you read before writing? What should you think about or consider before writing?

What should you do when writing? What are the requirements for the assignment?

Reflection:
During this course, you have engaged in the writing process by brainstorming, outlining, drafting, reviewing, and revising an essay. You have also examined grammar, sentence, and paragraph construction. As this course draws to a close, take the time to reflect on your learning in this course, and how what you have learned will help you with future writing, both in your coursework and in your professional career.

To prepare for this Reflection:
Review previous topics, readings, assignments, Discussion threads, and your own writing in this course.
Consider the following questions and respond to them as part of your reflection essay.

  •  What practical skills have you learned to improve your writing?
  •  How would you describe your writing before taking this course?
  •  How would you describe your writing now?
  •  How do you anticipate the skills you have learned in this course will contribute to your personal and academic goals?

The assignment:
Compose a 2- to 3-page reflective essay in which you do the following:

  • Assess your growth as a writer based on your responses to the prompts above. Be sure to include how you anticipate the skills you have learned in this course will contribute to your personal and academic goals.

Questions about this assignment? Post them in the Contact the Instructor area. That way, everyone in the class will see, and benefit from, the Instructor's response.
Submit your Reflection by Day 7. In order to receive full credit, all assignments are due on time.

Audio: Here is our example assignment prompt and we are quick to use this throughout the webinar today. There's a lot of text on this slide I know we're going to take a minute to sit with it I am going to read some of it to you probably all of it actually for any students who are listening today, and to sort of call out those three pieces that we talked about so let me know in the chat as we go through this. Apologies, my headset just turned off.  Can I get a thumbs up in the list if you can hear me?

Okay. Excellent. Thanks so much.

Okay, so our reflection piece here this is that, I'm going to skip back again so is that introduction and explanation section here it's called reflection during this course you have engaged in the writing process by brainstorming outlining drafting reviewing and revising an essay. You have also examined grammar sentence and paragraph construction. As this course draws to a close, take the time to reflect on your learning in this course, and how what you have learned will help you with future writing, both in your coursework and in your professional career.

So, this introduction explanation section is sort of setting up the assignment for you it's giving you an introduction to the topic of the assignment, it's telling you what is the scenario or what's the situation that you should respond to.

Then we get into our preparation section of the prompt.  To prepare for this reflection, review previous topics, readings, assignments, discussion threads, and your own writing in this course. Consider the following questions and respond to them as part of your reflection essays.

What practical skills have you learned to improve your writing? How would you describe your writing before taking this course? How would you describe your writing now? And how do you anticipate the skills you learned in this course will contribute to your personal and academic goals?

So, this section of the prompt here is preparing you to begin writing and getting you thinking about what you should do first, what should you reflect on what should you read or consult before you write what should you think about and consider before you actually sit down and start the writing process.

Then we have skip back again what we call the assignment portion of the prompt. And here we have composed a two to three page reflective essay in which you do the following. And then it gives you exactly what you're supposed to do in the peace, assess your growth as a writer based on your responses to the prompt above. Be sure to include how you anticipate the skills you've learned in this course will contribute to your personal and academic goals.

And then we have some information to about what you should do if you have questions, post them in the contact instructor area. And then we have some really important information to about the deadline, submit your reflection by day seven.

That type of information is usually towards the bottom of the assignment portion in the prompt. So, this is the meat of the assignment what should you do when you're writing and what are those main requirements.

Does this structure look familiar to anybody? Let me know in the chat box

 

Visual: Slide changes to Strategy 2: Highlight Main Requirements slide. The slide says, “Highlight Main Requirements,” and the following:

To prepare for this Reflection:

Review previous topics, readings, assignments, Discussion threads, and your own writing in this course.

Consider the following questions and respond to them as part of your reflection essay.

  • What practical skills have you learned to improve your writing?
  • How would you describe your writing before taking this course?
  • How would you describe your writing now?
  • How do you anticipate the skills you have learned in this course will contribute to your personal and academic goals?

The assignment:

Compose a 2- to 3-page reflective essay in which you do the following:

Assess your growth as a writer based on your responses to the prompts above. Be sure to include how you anticipate the skills you have learned in this course will contribute to your personal and academic goals.

Questions about this assignment? Post them in the Contact the Instructor area. That way, everyone in the class will see, and benefit from, the Instructor's response.

Submit your Reflection by Day 7. In order to receive full credit, all assignments are due on time.

Audio: And, we'll move on to strategy number two, which is to highlight the main requirements. So, here in yellow on the screen, I've highlighted the main requirements of the assignment prompt. So here in yellow I have highlighted the main requirements of the assignment prompt so first reflection.  I consider this the main requirement because it is telling me the type of paper assignment I am supposed to be doing so is that a reflection?  a research paper?  Some critical analysis or or maybe even a presentation. So, you want to pay attention to that type of piece of writing that you're supposed to be doing for the assignment.

Then you'll see I've highlighted those four questions from the prepare section. So, sometimes there are main requirements that show up throughout the whole assignment prompt. Sometimes they're mostly found in that last third portion, but in this particular example we have some main requirements in the second and the third portion.

Then in the assignment portion, the third section, I've highlighted a two to three page -- that is held on the scope of my paper, so it's good to keep that in mind as I begin and I've highlighted the meat of the assignment here the main topic. 

And then I've highlighted the again kind of the meat of the assignment the main topic growth, my growth as a writer, and also how I anticipate this skills I've learned in the course will contribute to your personal academic goals and as I'm talking you can perhaps here that I'm using first person to really help me think about it from my perspective. And then I've also highlighted here by day seven so that crucial information about when the assignment is due.

And if you follow the strategy, however you want to annotate your or whatever strategies you use however you want to annotate your prompt is, is just great if you like to use highlighting like I do different colors or if you want to circle things or write in the margins, whatever you want to do whatever works for you, is a good way to do it.

 

Visual: Slide changes to Strategy 3: Expect Assumed Requirements slide. The slide says, “Strategy 3: Expect Assumed Requirements and the following:

Did you notice anything about what’s not in the assignment prompt?

Even if the assignment prompt doesn’t explicitly ask for these things, they are most likely necessary:

 

Audio: So, strategy number three is to expect assumed requirements. So, as we were reading through the prompt. You might have noticed that there are some things that are not explicitly stated in the assignment prompt. However, this slide gives you gives you some tips about things that you should expect to include in your assignment, even if they are not explicitly stated as part of the requirements.

So, for example, evidence from source material.  This will especially depend on the language used in the prompt to get to in a couple slides with what you are supposed to do if you are to illustrate your points with examples.  If you ever used source material and most of the time for your assignments, you will be asked or expected to use outside sources and use that evidence to back up your points in APA style especially with citations and reference entries to give credit to any sources you use.  General APA formatting is also another sometimes not explicit expectation and generally you want to include an introduction paragraph with a thesis statement or purpose statement and also a conclusion paragraph.  We are not going to take into these pieces here today but in the downloadable slides, all the links you see are interactive so you can dig into each of these pieces more after the webinar if you would like to learn more about thesis statements.

 

Visual: The slide changes to Strategy 4: Highlight Action Words slide. The slide says, “Strategy 4: Highlight Action Words,” and the following:

To prepare for this Reflection:

Review previous topics, readings, assignments, Discussion threads, and your own writing in this course.

Consider the following questions and respond to them as part of your reflection essay.

  • What practical skills have you learned to improve your writing?
  • How would you describe your writing before taking this course?
  • How would you describe your writing now?
  • How do you anticipate the skills you have learned in this course will contribute to your personal and academic goals?

The assignment:

  • Compose a 2- to 3-page reflective essay in which you do the following:
  • Assess your growth as a writer based on your responses to the prompts above. Be sure to include how you anticipate the skills you have learned in this course will contribute to your personal and academic goals.
  • Questions about this assignment? Post them in the Contact the Instructor area. That way, everyone in the class will see, and benefit from, the Instructor's response.
  • Submit your Reflection by Day 7. In order to receive full credit, all assignments are due on time.

Audio: Strategy number four is to highlight the action words so these are the verbs. The words that are telling you what you will actually need to do for the assignment. So, for this example assignment I've highlighted prepare, review, consider, respond, describe, another describe, anticipate could have been highlighted as well.  Compose, assess, include so all of those words telling me what to do when I write in these words are important to understand the differences and distinctions between them and sometimes there is a lot of overlap, but there's some differences and there's some nuance there too. So that's a strategy is to go through and actually highlight again however you want to do it different colors circling highlight those words.

 

Visual: The slide changes to Strategy 5: Understand the Vocabulary slide. The slide says, “Strategy 5: Understand the Vocabulary,” and the following:

            Another example undergraduate assignment prompt

      This week, you will examine the characteristics of a successful distance learner. Objectives:

  •   Explain the effectiveness of instructional interactions in distance learning environments
  •   Describe the metaphors for learning as these apply to distance learning environments
  •   Identify the attributes of successful distance learning

Audio: And then the next step is to make sure that you understand vocabulary. So, this is another different assignment portion of a of an assignment prompt here on the slide where we've also highlighted some of those action words of those verbs so this week you will examine the characteristics and your objectives are to explain, describe, and identify.

 

Visual: The slide changes to Common Vocabulary slide. The slide says, “Common Vocabulary,” and the following:

Analyze: Explain a multifaceted text or idea by breaking it into its parts. Go beyond summary to tell readers how ideas and evidence relate, connect, and support each other.

Assess / Evaluate: Make an informed judgment; determine the significance or value of something by examining it closely.

Compare and contrast: Examine two or more items and write about similarities and differences.

Compose: Write.

Demonstrate: Show through evidence and examples.

Describe: Write in detail.

Discuss: Interpret or make a judgment.

Examine: Investigate; inspect in detail.

            Explain: Write about the reasons and/or details.

Illustrate: Use examples.

Paraphrase: Restate a passage in your own words (remember to give credit through citations).

Reflect: Think about an idea deeply and consider its impact.

Respond: Write in conversation with an idea or source.

Review: Read and consider; critically examine.

Summarize: Express the main points of a reading in a shorter form.

Support: Provide evidence (usually from sources, sometimes from experience) to back up your points.

Synthesize: Compare, contrast, and combine ideas and information; add your own analysis.

Audio: So, if you don't understand some of the vocabulary, or you're not sure what differentiates when one verb from another and really the nuance of what you should be doing. You’ll want to take some time and just even do a quick Google search. I also have some resources for you later on in the webinar but where you can go to find this common vocabulary and what it means.

Some of this may seem a little, perhaps a little bit obvious, you know, explain, compose just simply means to write. Right. But there is a difference in whether you're being asked for example to summarize, which is where you're expressing the main points of of a reading or, or source or someone else's discussion in a short form, or whether you're being asked to analyze which goes a step beyond a summary and you are relating ideas and evidence together, connecting it showing how it supports, explaining something by breaking it into parts, which is also different than synthesizing which takes that a step further and includes your own kind of creation of ideas or analysis when you're comparing and contrasting combining ideas.

So, we're not going to go through each of these vocabulary words today but I wanted to have them here in the slides for you to refer back to if you'd like to later, and to just emphasize this strategy this point to highlight and then make sure that you and make sure you understand what the action words are and what you are asked to do in the assignment. 

 

Visual: The slide changes to Strategy 6: Change Pronouns to First Person slide. The slide says, “Strategy 6: Change Pronouns to First Person,” and the following:

            To prepare for this Reflection:

Review previous topics, readings, assignments, discussion threads, and your own writing in this course.

Consider the following questions and respond to them as part of your reflection essay.

  • What practical skills have you learned to improve your writing?
  • How would you describe your writing before taking this course?
  • How would you describe your writing now?
  • How do you anticipate the skills you have learned in this course will contribute to your personal and academic goals?

Audio: So, moving to strategies six, change pronouns to first present and this is where I was skipping ahead doing as reading where a lot of the times you might have an assignment that is written in second person talking about you respond to these questions as part your writing. What practical skills have you learned to improve your writing, and a simple trick that some students find really helpful is to just change the pronouns to first person. So start talking about, I and my instead.

 

Visual: The slide changes to Example: Change Pronouns to First Person slide. The slide says, “Example: Change Pronouns to First Person,” and the following:

To prepare for this Reflection:

Review previous topics, readings, assignments, discussion threads, and your own writing in this course.

Consider the following questions and respond to them as part of your reflection essay.

      • What practical skills have I learned to improve my writing?
      • How would I describe my writing before taking this course?
      • How would I describe my writing now?
      • How do I anticipate the skills I have learned in this course will contribute to my personal and academic goals?

Audio: And on the next slide here we just have a quick example of that where we've, we've changed the questions here into first person so what practical skills have I learned to improve my writing, how would I describe my writing before taking this course.

And this really simple trick it just helps some students kind of get into that mindset of thinking through the assignment, especially if it's an assignment like this one where it involves kind of reflective component.

So, this may not work for everybody but it's it's pretty easy I encourage you to give it a try and see if that's a strategy that does work for you.

 

Visual: The slide changes to Strategy 7: Consult the Rubric slide. The slide says, “Strategy 7: Consult the Rubric,” and the following:

            What criteria are included? What criteria are worth the most points?

           

 

Final Paper Evaluation Critera

Quality of the introduction, which should include:

  • Identification of the issue
  • Reasons why that issue was selected
  • A brief discussion and roadmap of the analysis to follow

 

10 points

Identification of assumptions and avoidance of ambiguity and jargon

 

10 points

Discussion of and analysis regarding the reasons and evidence supporting your argument

 

30 points

Quality of the conclusion
 

20 points

Evidence cited throughout the paper is properly cited using resources, obth scholarly and from the mass media

 

10 points

APA style and Walden style standards are used throughout the paper, and the assignment is devoid of grammatical and syntactical errors

 

10 points

Total Points Possible

100 points

 

Audio: All right. Somebody mentioned rubrics early on, which was great to hear. One of our ,actually two of our strategies is are related to rubrics so strategy seven consult the rubric.

And I'll pause a moment to say that these strategies do follow a general order. But the rubric strategies in particular, really could kind of come at any time in your process of digesting the assignment prompt so consulting the rubric might even be something that you do as a first step right away before you even really start digging into the prompt and doing you're highlighting and annotating. That's not a bad idea. You don't have to do it right away, you could save it until until this step or a little bit later on, but at some point, you definitely want to take a look at the rubric.

And you want to look for two things in particular, what criteria are included. So what are you going to be evaluated on in this assignment.

And then also what are the point values, what criteria are worth the most points in particular and how do they compare to each other?

So, in this rubric example this is the rubric that goes along with the assignment example that we've been reading through.

You'll see I've circled two criteria discussion of an analysis regarding the reasons and evidence supporting your argument that's worth 30 points that's the most points out of all the criteria.

And then quality of the conclusion is worth the second most points 20 points for that one. So, I've circled these two to kind of keep those in mind as I go forward, and we'll return to that again later on.


 

Visual: The slide changes to Strategy 8: Create an Outline slide. The slide says, “Strategy 8: Create an Outline,” and the following:

            Tip: Use language from the assignment prompt (in your outline and draft)

  1.       Introduction
    1. Background information
    2. Thesis statement
  2. How would I describe my writing before taking this course?
    1. Main idea: Before taking this course, my writing was…
  3. How would I describe my writing now?
    1. Main idea: After taking this course, my writing is…
  4. What practical skills have I learned to improve my writing?
    1. Main idea: I have learned many writing skills such as…
  5. How do I anticipate the skills I have learned in this course will contribute to my personal and academic goals?
    1. Main idea: These skills will contribute to my goals by…
  6. Conclusion

Audio: So, strategy number eight, create an outline.

As I go through this slide, I'd love to hear in the chat box from you. Do you usually outline your assignments is outlining something that you typically do a strategy you already use totally fine if you don't, but I'd love to hear if that's something of the conclusion is worth the second most points.  Twenty points for that so I have circled them to keep them in mind as I go forward and we will return later on.  So, strategy number eight, create an outline.  and I would love to hear in the checkbox do you usually outline assignments?  Is it something you typically do or already used?  Find if you don't.  And I would love to hear if that is Nuccio are part of your regular practice already.

And there's a tip here to to use the language from the assignment prompt, in your outline in your draft. So, as I'm reading this, I think you'll, you'll hopefully hear some of that language reflected back from the assignment prompts that I read through earlier. So, we start out with our introduction, which will include some background information and a thesis statement. And again, that piece of it is not something that's necessarily going to be spelled out in the assignment instructions. But, but one of those sort of non explicit pieces that you should expect to include in the assignment.

And then we get into the the kind of meat of the assignment here and you'll see that I've organized my outline based on those four questions from that middle part of the assignment.

So, how would I describe my writing before taking this course? How would I describe my writing now? What practical skills have I learned to improve my writing, and how do I anticipate the skills I've learned in this course will contribute to my personal and academic goals? I've also shifted these questions again to using first person.

So, whether I combine some of these or whether I have them broken out into four separate sections will depend on some different things. It'll depend on how long my paper supposed to be the scope of my paper. It'll depend on how much I have to say about each of these things, but it'll depend on how I think they are best organized. So, if you are going to create an outline from this assignment prompt, your outline might look different, and that's perfectly fine.

This is just one way to do it. But I've, I've section out each of these pieces so for example the first question How would I describe my writing before taking this course, that could be a paragraph. It could be multiple paragraphs, but it's its own sort of section, and this helps me also see at a glance. Okay. If I cover all of these four pieces I know that I'm going to hit each of those four required questions from the assignment prompt. So, the outline helps to organize your information, and it also helps make sure that you are hitting on each of those key required pieces.

Underneath that I've dug in even a little bit deeper with some, some starts at a main idea so sort of pre writing my, my topic sentence is almost so for the first question there, for example, the main idea before taking this course my writing was, and that'll help me just get into my, my brainstorming my drafting for that section, you'll notice then that we end with a conclusion. Again, one of those one of those pieces of your writing assignment that might not be explicitly stated in the prompt, but that you do want to include and again in this downloadable slides the links here are active if you want to learn more about introductions and conclusions.

 

Visual: The slide changes to Strategy 9: Outline your Outline slide. The slide says, “Outline your Outline,” and the following:

            Map out and schedule time for discrete writing tasks, including revision

            Introduce – 30 min

            Look at previous writing – 30 min

            Reflect – 15 min

            Reflect – 15 min

            Brainstorm & reflect – 15 min

            Conclude – 15 min

            Estimate total time for initial draft:  2 hours

           

  1.       Introduction
    1. Background information
    2. Thesis statement
  2. How would I describe my writing before taking this course?
    1. Main idea: Before taking this course, my writing was…
  3. How would I describe my writing now?
    1. Main idea: After taking this course, my writing is…
  4. What practical skills have I learned to improve my writing?
    1. Main idea: I have learned many writing skills such as…
  5. How do I anticipate the skills I have learned in this course                                             will contribute to my personal and academic goals?
    1. Main idea: These skills will contribute to my goals by…
  6. Conclusion

Audio: Alright so strategy number nine outlining your outline.

This is where you sit down with your outline, and do some sort of time management kind of planning, so you'll want to map out, and then schedule time for your district writing tasks and also including revision in that as well.

So, what I want you to notice here is actually down at the bottom, with the estimated total time for initial draft being two hours. So, when you're when you're mapping out an outline in your outline you can approach this a couple different ways.

You can sit down and think, Okay, I think I struggle with introductions sometimes so I'm going to guess that maybe I have 30 minutes to spend on my introduction. I'll try to do that.

Or, you might think that that I'll just start the introduction and kind of see how long it takes me. But what I actually recommend for students is to also sit down with your, your calendar, and that deadline that you've highlighted from the assignment prompt and kind of work backwards in your schedule and see how much time you realistically have to devote to this assignment, or in this, in this case to the drafting the initial draft of the assignment, and maybe you determine, I have two hours of two hours this week that I can devote to this assignment before it's due. And so, then you can kind of work backwards from that and decide how much time you have for each of these discrete writing tasks.

So, then you might decide okay I can spend 30 minutes on the introduction. Then, how would I describe my writing before taking this course? Okay, so I need to probably look at some of my previous writing in order to begin drafting this part so I'll spend 30 minutes on that.

The next two questions are kind of reflection questions How would I describe my writing now, but practical skills have I learned to improve my writing? So, I'm going to spend maybe 15 minutes on each of those doing some reflection writing.

Then for the last question, how do I anticipate the skills I've learned in this course will contribute to my personal and academic goals? Okay, so I need to both kind of reflect here but also do some brainstorming, so I'll spend maybe 15 minutes on that, and add it all up that gives me about 15 minutes for the conclusion. So, so I've got my kind of rough, rough map rough outline here for all of these writing tasks.

And you, of course don't have to stick to this, if you start writing your introduction and you. You know, you, you get it done in 15 minutes, then by all means take those 15 minutes and put them somewhere else. This is just kind of a rough, a rough outline a rough map of how you might spend your time drafting your assignment.

 

Visual: The slide changes to Strategy 10: Consult the Rubric Again slide. The slide says, “Strategy 10: Consult the Rubric Again,” and the following:

            Revise time estimates and tasks, if needed, based on the rubric

            Introduce – 30 min

            - 15 min

            Look at previous writing – 15 min

            Reflect – 15 min

            Reflect – 15 min

            Brainstorm, consult readings,  & reflect – 30 min

            Conclude – 15 min

            - 30 min

            Estimate total time for initial draft:  2 hours

           

  1.       Introduction
    1. Background information
    2. Thesis statement
  2. How would I describe my writing before taking this course?
    1. Main idea: Before taking this course, my writing was…
  3. How would I describe my writing now?
    1. Main idea: After taking this course, my writing is…
  4. What practical skills have I learned to improve my writing?
    1. Main idea: I have learned many writing skills such as…
  5. How do I anticipate the skills I have learned in this course                                             will contribute to my personal and academic goals?
    1. Main idea: These skills will contribute to my goals by…
  6. Conclusion

Audio: So, the next strategy then strategy number 10, is to consult the rubric again go back and check the rubric one more time, or several times if you need to.

So, I'm actually going to go back in our slides back to the rubric and will remember that discussion of an analysis regarding the reasons and evidence supporting your argument, 30 points. And then the next, the next highest point criteria is quality of the conclusion.

Okay. So, with that in mind, Let's go back and look at our outline again. So we'll see that initially, I had planned out 30 minutes for the introduction and 15 minutes for the conclusion. Well, if I look back at that rubric again and remember that the conclusion is actually worth more points than the introduction.

So, I think I would revise this to spend more time on the conclusion, and less time on the introduction.

I also saw that the reasoning and evidence and analysis were key parts of the rubric too so I need to make sure that I am even though this is a reflection piece that I am bringing in outside sources. I'm using evidence to back up the points that I'm making. And so to do that I'm going to need to do some reading or some rereading of my course assignments or research.

So, I'm going to build in some time for consulting readings here, and bump this portion, up to 30 minutes.

So, if I want to stick within this to two hour time frame, then I'm going to have to make another adjustment right because I bumped this brainstorm consult reading some reflection time up, so I'm going to spend a little less time looking at my previous writing.

So again, this doesn't have to be something that you follow exactly as you're going through it but it can hopefully help you plan out estimate your time, and also kind of keep a check on that time too so if you find for example that you're working on your introduction, and you're taking longer than you wanted to longer than you thought and you've already hit your 15 minutes, maybe you take a break and maybe you go on and work on a different section just to make sure that you're not accidentally spending an hour or more on the introduction. When you've only allotted yourself two hours for the whole draft.

So, this is one of my favorite strategies that that students don't don't often know a lot of times I'll hear from students that they outline but they haven't gone through this practice of outlining the outline, using the rubric as a guide so I hope that this is something new for you, or something you might you might give a try.

 

Visual: The slide changes to Chat slide. The slide says, “Chat,” and the following:

            Do you already practice any of these strategies?

Do you have other strategies to share?

Audio: So, let's pause a minute, I know I've been talking about you a lot. I want to hear a little more from you now. Do you already practice any of these strategies, or do you have any other strategies that you would like to share that we didn't talk about today that your colleagues and your peers might find helpful. So, I'm going to go on mute for a moment, take a drink of water, and let's just chat a little bit.

Great, yeah I'm seeing a comment about copying and pasting the assignment instructions in Word, or in some other kind of program, I think that's an excellent idea is actually taking those assignment instructions somewhere else, I use Word often so I would, I would put it in Word, and then using using that program to do you're highlighting and the annotation. That's a great idea.

Great. And I'm hearing some comments to about folks who are already practicing outlining and how that's a great strategy that works for them. It'll get easier I think as you as you practice it and the more that you do it definitely so it doesn't maybe take as long as it used to. Yeah.

Great, finding some comments about rubrics using the rubrics as a guide, comment about printing assignment prompts Yes, absolutely. if you're somebody who really likes to work with that physical copy of your assignment prompt and read through it in your

hand, maybe even mark it up with a with a pen or a pencil. That's a great strategy to, I find that helpful for myself I know

We also have a great question about locating articles. Yes, we don't currently have any future webinars planned around this but the library in particular was in library has a lot of great resources and help for you to if you, If you need some research assistance or, or have some troubles finding articles that are good fit for the assignment. Yeah, thanks Kacy for posting that link.

Yeah. Excellent, thanks for sharing your strategies everybody.

 

Visual: The slide changes to Workshop slide. The slide says, “Workshop.”

Audio: Alright so we are now at the portion of our webinar where we're going to workshop a little bit.

So, we'll take a quick look again at what an example might look like. And then I'll turn it over to you for some independent workshop and we can keep the chat going to, as we as we do that as well.

 

Visual: The slide changes to Example Workshop slide. The slide says, “Example Workshop,” and the following:

Reflection:
During this course, you have engaged in the writing process by brainstorming, outlining, drafting, reviewing, and revising an essay. You have also examined grammar, sentence, and paragraph construction. As this course draws to a close, take the time to reflect on your learning in this course, and how what you have learned will help you with future writing, both in your coursework and in your professional career.

To prepare for this Reflection:
Review previous topics, readings, assignments, Discussion threads, and your own writing in this course.
Consider the following questions and respond to them as part of your reflection essay.

    •  What practical skills have I learned to improve my writing?
    •  How would I describe my writing before taking this course?
    •  How would I describe my writing now?
    •  How do I anticipate the skills I have learned in this course will contribute to my personal and academic goals?

The assignment:
Compose a 2- to 3-page reflective essay in which you do the following:

  • Assess your growth as a writer based on your responses to the prompts above. Be sure to include how you anticipate the skills you have learned in this course will contribute to your personal and academic goals.

Questions about this assignment? Post them in the Contact the Instructor area. That way, everyone in the class will see, and benefit from, the Instructor's response.
Submit your Reflection by Day 7. In order to receive full credit, all assignments are due on time.

Word to look up: Assess

Topic: My growth as a writer and how my writing skills will contribute to my goals.

Audio: So, here is again our example prompt that we've been working through throughout the webinar. And this is what it might look like in in say a word or this is a PowerPoint you could certainly do it in there too.

But this is the prompts and I've gone through it and use several of the strategies, not the outlining here but several of the initial strategies to annotate this prompt with again highlighting the key information, and requirements, you'll see that I've changed those questions to first person, highlighting the verbs action words. And then I've also gone here and I've circled one of those words assess maybe that's a word that I'm not as familiar with or I want to kind of remind myself what exactly that means and includes and what my instructor will be looking for when they asked me to assess my growth. And then I've also circled here that main topic growth as a writer my growth as a writer, and how my writing skills will contribute to my goals, those are key points to remember as I get started, as I'm brainstorming as I'm developing my thesis statement, and then really as I'm going through each of the different pieces of my outline as well.

So, again, I just want to say that your annotated assignment prompt might not look exactly like this. And that's perfectly fine.

Sometimes you need to kind of try some different strategies and really see what works best for you. But this is how a prompt might look after you've gone through it.

And this sort of active engagement with the prompt digging into it, annotating it, you know, really using whatever tool you have a highlighter or a physical pen and pencil or something like that even taking notes as you're outlining that's really going to help you break down the prompt into manageable pieces and, and just engage with it before you actually sit down and start the drafting process, it'll get you thinking and brainstorming and reflecting and doing all of that important pre work to make approaching your assignment, a lot, a lot less scary, and a lot more, more manageable and and help you feel confident. Okay, excuse me, about getting started.

 

Visual: The slide changes to Workshop Checklist slide. The slide says, “Workshop Checklist,” and the following:

  1. Highlight main requirements (page length, due date, etc.)
  2. Highlight action words (verbs: things you need to do)
  3. Understand the vocabulary (highlight any words you don’t know or fully understand, then look them up)
  4. Change pronouns to first person (use I instead of you; my instead of your)
  5. Consult the rubric; note the requirements and the point values
  6. Create an outline; use questions and language from the prompt to help plan and organize
  7. Outline your outline; estimate the time you want to spend on each section
  8. Consult the rubric again; adjust your outline if needed

Audio: Just going through and doing that, that annotating and reading and digging into an assignment that you have either one that you're working on right now, or maybe an assignment coming up in a future week, or if you're not working on anything right now you could even go back and pull up a past assignments prompt and still go through the exercise to just kind of see how it works. Figure out what strategies you like and what sort of annotating you like to do in that kind of thing.

We have the checklist here that I'll keep open on the screen. So again we're, we're using the strategies of highlighting the main requirements, highlighting the action words, understanding the vocabulary and then kind of a subset of that is to look any words that you don't fully understand or remember, changing the pronouns to first person consulting the rubric, creating your outline outlining or outline, then consulting the rubric again.

So, we'll take some time with this.

I think the initial steps are are definitely the ones that take less time you should expect to probably spend more time when you're creating your outline, and then outlining your outline, but if that's if that's the point you're at, that's a great thing to do today too. So, again, we'll keep this slide open we'll keep the chat box open, and we've got about 20 minutes left today.

Sorry, everybody my headset automatically turns off if I am talking too much so clearly it's time for our workshop. I'll go on mute.

Go through the checklist, you can let us know in the chat box, which thing, are things which strategies you're working on today, and also let us know in the chat box if you want to go back through any of the previous slides we can certainly do that as we workshop if you want to see something again, or if you have any questions.

Kacy and I will be here to answer them.

We have one question about the strategy involving pronouns and changing second person to first person and whether or if I in my are our best use for all assignments and discussions.

I don't know if I would say always or for everybody. It's, it's not a strategy that everybody unnecessarily loves but some students do find it helpful. So, I would encourage giving it a try for yeah for any, any assignment or any discussion assignment that you have, if, if it's a if it's in second person, changing this pronouns, so that you're approaching the assignment, thinking about you yourself. The key but I, myself, rather, can be helpful to get into that kind of a kind of a mindset so yeah so I would encourage you to give it a try.

I'm seeing folks working on different strategies today which is excellent. That's great.

Whatever strategy or strategies you want to try today is wonderful practice and then we can certainly talk more about them or ask questions if you have them or share, share how it went or other experiences or strategies you have to.

We have a question about finding our saved webinars and we have a webinar archive with all of our recorded webinars there and we will be sure to get a link for that and post it will also send that out in the email after, after the webinar to0 the follow up email.

Okay, I see Kacy already posted it. Thank you Kacy.

We also have a question about the seventh addition in the archived -- we do have few webinars that are devoted specifically to the change between sixth and seventh edition.  All and all of the rest of the webinars unless explicitly noted they are in the sixth.  All other webinars like this one, for example, are updated for APA seven so you can assume the live webinars are in APA seven.

We'll spend a little more time on the workshop today. And, actually, I see that somebody was able to do an annotation on the checklist, which is great.

If you would like to, you should be able to find a little annotation button in your zoom toolbar. And I've just checked that so that any annotations will be anonymous. But if you find the annotations, there are some options there for for like for drawing or for stamp, you could put a little checkmark next to the different, different strategies that you're working on today. Thanks Kacy under view options you can find that those annotations if you'd like to actually show us in the checklist which ones you're working on.

This is great. Thanks everybody. I love seeing what you're working on in this checklist. I want to talk and chat a little bit about it too but we have a few more minutes if we want, let's do what it gives me a thumbs up if you want to move forward and a little bit, or a thumbs down if you want a few more minutes to workshop independently.

Alright, I'm seeing a bunch of thumbs up.

All right, great. Great, let's move along then

Tell me, how did the chat go, or how does the chat How did the workshop go. What do you focus on we talked about that a little bit already did you discover anything Did you find anything that was, that was helpful either to, to, to try for the first time or to try again.

Did you learn anything about your own sort of process the way you like to work the way you like to annotate. Is there anything you still need help with, and if so, what's your, what's your plan for getting help?

Let me know in the chat box.

 

Visual: The slide changes to Chat slide. The slide says “Chat,” and the following:

            How did the workshop go?

What did you focus on?

Did you discover anything?

What do you still need help with,
and what is your plan for getting help?

Audio: Wonderful. Thanks for the comments. I'm so glad to hear that timing each section was a helpful strategy that we've talked about today.

Excellent. I also see I love this comment about making an appointment to get on the paper reschedule with the Writing Center. Yes, absolutely. that is a great strategy to do if you're doing your coursework, to build that time in for getting feedback, and then revising too, if you're not familiar with our pay per view service, definitely get in touch with us, check out our website we have lots of information about that service for you I love to see that as part of your, your strategy,

I saw lots of highlighting today. Absolutely. That's one of my personal favorite strategies. I am somebody who very much benefits from, from color coding and highlighting.

Excellent. Well thank you everybody so much for participating in the workshop today we have about five minutes left for q amp a if we have any other questions.

Oh, I skipped something, let me quickly go through our additional resources that I mentioned for you and then we'll get to q amp A.

 

Visual: The slide changes to Additional Resources slide. The slide says, “Additional Resources,” and the following:

Webinar replay: Strategies for Demystifying Assignment Prompts

Podcast episode: "Doesn’t Meet Requirements"—Strategies for Following Your Assignment Instructions (Episode 11)

Blog post: Prompted to Write: A Guide for Using Walden Assignment Prompts to Your Advantage

Audio: So, I do want to point out that we have three resources in particular about this very same topic but with some, some additional information for you are different ways to look at it as well. And also different formats so if you like to listen, we have a podcast episode on strategies for falling your assignment instructions. If you like to read something perhaps a little shorter a little more informal, we have a blog post about using Walden assignment prompts to your advantage. And we also have a web page with some of those common writing terms that we looked at earlier in the, in the webinar as well. Alright, we've got a few minutes left for questions I see Kacy, Thank you, has also posted again, the slides in the chat box if you'd like to download those.

Look at them again have those active links to more information. She's also posted a certificate of attendance. If you'd like that, and then also a link to our to our feedback survey and actually this is my fault. It looks like the link didn’t properly format so you'll need to probably copy that whole thing, and post that into your browser URL, and we'll also send out the survey by email. But, but thanks in advance for taking a minute for that survey.

This workshop format for our webinars is a bit new, we'd love your feedback on that also zoom, we have been using Adobe Connect for years and years and years, and we are looking more at shifting to Zoom perhaps and really want to hear about how that experience is for you and what you, what you prefer and what you'd like to see out of our webinars as well if you'd like more workshop if you'd like breakout groups if you'd like to see each other and chat with each other. Let us know your ideas.

Are there any questions that we didn't have a chance to get to throughout the webinar, feel free to post those in the chat box and we've got a few minutes we can, we can spend on, on any last questions.

 

Visual: Slide changes to Questions slide. It says, “Questions,” and the following:

            Ask now in the chat box or email us at writingsupport@waldenu.edu

Audio: Kacy: Thanks Anne, and we didn't have too many overarching questions we had some very specific questions about different formatting for references and citations so I really recommend checking out our web page for those resources and I just wanted to highlight somebody in the chat box commented for strategy of making appointment with the writing center so it's a great strategy and thank you so much and lots of positive vaccine it's helpful and they are excited to use the strategies so --

Anne: Excellent. That's great. Thank you, everybody. I had a lot of fun today I hope you did too and I hope that you also really took some very practical strategies, away, away to do that you can can put into practice right away with your, your current assignment or your next assignment, that's our hope for today.

So, we have just a couple minutes left to stick around if anybody does have questions. We also have our email address up on the screen, writing support at Walden you. And if you have questions that you think of later, or if you're Casey mentioned some very specific, like citation and reference challenges if you're if you're working on something like that you are checking out our website going through the resources and you're still not finding what you need then feel free to email us at that address, and we'll be sure to get you some help and some answers within, within 24 hours.

So, I think I'm not seeing any more questions so I think we can wrap it up again. Thanks so much everybody we will send out all the information to you by email and we hope to see you again our April webinars will be posted soon on the website so keep an eye out for those. Have a great rest of your day.