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Writing Guide

Written Assignments

Step 1: Choose the template for your paper

  • For a weekly writing assignment, you'll use the APA Word Template.

  • The format will remain the same (caps, indents, spacing), you'll just insert your own information and click on Save As.
  • Name your document this way: Jstudent_exampleproblem_101519
    • Organizing files:
      • Quarter > Course Name > Module > JStudent_exampleproblem_101519
      • Example: Spring 2020 > Eng Comp > Module 3 > JDoe_Discovery and Planning_041520
  • Now you are ready to move on to Step 2.

Step 2: Setting up the assignment

  • Copy and paste the assignment into a Word document.
  • Break the required elements of the assignment into bullet points. This will ensure that you meet all the requirements of the assignment.  It will also save you a lot of time.
  • Now that you know exactly what the assignment is asking of you, go ahead and start reading the material for the module.  When you find the information you need, type that into the Word document under the corresponding bullet point. Remember to put it into your own words (i.e. paraphrase). 
    • This is where you'll also use in-text citations if applicable.
  • You can polish up your paper as you go along, or wait until the end when you have all your content written.

Step 3: Creating an outline

  • Outline: You have the information you need to write your paper.  Take the bullet points with the information underneath and paste it into the APA template format you've already downloaded and saved. 
  • Start with the main points
    • You'll build your paragraphs around the main points.
      • Generally there is one main idea per paragraph.
    • Fill in details to support each main idea.
      • These will also be the bulleted elements from the beginning when you set the assignment up.
  • Mind Maps and Graphic Organizers may help you with this process.  

Watch the short video below for information on creating an outline in Microsoft Word 2013.

Step 4: Building the paper

Now that you have the information you need to write your paper, you'll start your rough draft.  You can take the information from your outline and place it into your APA formatted paper that you've already downloaded and saved.  The outline will show you what your paragraphs will contain.  Again, start with the main points from your outline.  You'll build your paragraphs around those main points (remember, one main point per paragraph) and fill in details to support each main idea. Go back to step 3 if you have more questions on writing an outline.

Remember that writing is a process.  If you get stuck as you go, utilize your resources:

  • APA Guide for help with formatting, citations, and reference page.
  • Grammarly for help with spelling, grammar, mechanics, and when you may need to cite something (plagiarism check).
  • Submit to Writing Lab to have your paper reviewed by a tutor.
    • Scroll down to see Drop Box & Rubric for Writing Submission below.
  • Work with a tutor.  Make an appointment with a tutor in Tutor Match.  
    • See the Tutoring Resources box at bottom left. Click on the Tutor Match tab.
  • Utilize Learning Express for writing assistance. 
  • NoodleTools for help with creating in-text citations and reference pages.
  • Watch a webinar (multiple topics).
  • View the English Composition Guide for helpful resources. 

Step 5: Review and then submit your paper

  • Double check that the assignment's required elements (bulleted from earlier) are all in your paper.
  • Use the Rubric in the box below to self-assess your assignment.
    • This is the same rubric the Writing Lab staff will use as a guideline for your written work.  Use the rubric to 'score' your own paper.  You'll see helpful resources right there for you to make any changes before you submit it to the Writing Lab.  See the bottom box for complete information about the Rubric and how to use it. 
  • You're almost finished!  Now that you're getting close to finishing your paper, you can choose to have someone else provide feedback on it before you submit it to your instructor.
    • Submit it to the Writing Lab for review. Follow the these user-friendly instructions. Feedback will be provided to you within 24-48 hours.  The feedback will be based on this rubric and will also provide specific next steps based on what is needed to improve the paper.
  • Submit your finished paper to the instructor using the drop box.
    • Click on the Attachments button. A new "Attachments" window will open.
    • Click on the Browse button. A new window will open, directing you to locate the assignment on your computer.
    • When you have located the assignment file on your computer, select it and click the Open button in the window. The filename will then appear in the File to Upload field.
    • Type the title of your assignment in the Title box. The title should be your first initial and last name (i.e. JDoe.doc).
    • Leave the File Type drop-down box set to Auto-detect.
    • Click the Upload File button.
    • A message will appear stating that your file upload was successful. Click the OK button.
    • A new screen will appear showing your attached assignment and the date and time submitted.
  • Review the instructor's feedback after grading.  You will see your writing improve over time.

Resources for Weekly Written Assignments

Rubric & Paper Review (Brainfuse Writing Lab)

The General Writing Rubric

Use this rubric as a first step to self-assess your assignment.  After determining which column you think best describes your work, use the resources to the right to improve your work.  Refer back to it each time you feel you are near completion of the assignment to help you stay on track.  This is also the same rubric that the Writing Lab staff will use to provide feedback and resources suggestions.

Video: How to use the Rubric 

Submit to the Writing Lab (in Brainfuse)

Writing is a process. It helps to have feedback from others as you go through that process.  You can submit your work for review to the Writing Lab. Just make sure you have time before your submission deadline (it takes 24-48 hours).  Here's the process:

      After using the rubric to self-assess where you're at in terms of your assignment and you've made changes using the resources provided, you can opt to submit your assignment to the Writing Lab in Brainfuse for feedback and suggestions.  Once you're logged into Brainfuse, click on the Writing Lab. How to use the Writing Lab.

Using the Writing Lab

  1. Select your citation format (Typically APA 7th Edition).
  2. Add your assignment instructions for the reviewer.
  3. Select up to 3 areas from the provided list where you would like the writing tutor to focus his/her analysis. If no selection is made, then a general review will be completed.
  4. Add any additional comments, upload your assignment and click Submit.
  5. In 24-48 hours, go back into the Message Center in Brainfuse and find your reviewed paper.  You may find suggested specific resources for you, one of which may be a tutor appointment.  How to make an appointment with a tutor
  6. Revise your paper using the resources suggested.  If you have any questions, make an appointment with the tutor using Tutor Match  How to make an appointment with a tutor
  7. After you have made your revisions, use the rubric again to self-assess.  At that point, you may feel your assignment is ready to submit to your instructor.  If that is the case, do so. If you think your assignment needs more work, you may resubmit your assignment to the   How do I use the Writing Lab?
  8. When you feel your assignment is ready for submission to your instructor, submit it using the assignment drop box within your course