The basic elements of a well-written assignment include the following:
Focus: The student has made his/her "big idea" clear. Basically they are able to communicate what exactly the paper or essay is about. A strong opening usually facilitates this goal. Another area of focus is defining what form of writing the student is expected to present. The four forms of writing are as follows:
1. Narrative: A narrative piece usually tells a story. It can include non-fiction such as autobiographies, biographies or memoirs; or non-fiction such as novels, short stories or fairy tales. A narrative assignment needs to include character development and introduction to the plot line in the beginning, the climax of the story in the middle and a resolution of the story in the conclusion. There always needs to be at least one character and a conflict that needs to be solved.
2. Descriptive: Literature, poetry, advertisements, menus, classifieds, catalogs all use descriptive writing. It is a great assignment to help your student develop their ability to use figurative language. They can use metaphors, similes, onomatopoeia, alliteration, personification, and hyperbole. Descriptive pieces enable a student to develop strong imagery and use words that are strong to the senses. The reader should be able to imagine how to see, hear, feel, touch, and/or smell what the author is describing.
3. Expository: Research papers are expository writing. This form of writing exists to give facts. It is vital that your child learn to master expository writing if they intend to go to college. They will need to develop a main idea and provide additional details to support this evidence including facts, quotations and references. Students should not include their opinions in an expository paper. News stories, articles, and reports are all examples of expository writing.
4. Persuasive: Persuasive writing is a style in which the author is trying believe the author's opinion. Political speeches and courtroom arguments, movie, theater and book reviews and newspaper editorials are examples of persuasive writing. The big idea is what the author wants the reader to believe. The body of the paper should include information that supports that opinion. Good persuasive writing includes facts and strong arguments to make the author's opinion sound logical.