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ASSIGNMENTS – WHAT I AM LOOKING FOR WHEN I GRADE
1) Good
grammar, spelling, and punctuation. When
you write poorly, you lose your voice.
The reader “turns off and” does not hear everything you have to
offer. Avoid the use of “etc,” slang
words, abbreviations (its 2009, not ’09).
Avoid writing like you speak. Write formally, not casually. For example, do not use contractions.
2) Good
organization and use of paragraphs. Make
sure every assignment has an introduction and a conclusion paragraph.
3) Do
not fear long answers in this class.
4) A
thorough and insightful analysis.
Explain your answers and comments.
Support your points with examples and relevant details.
5) Make
sure your assignment lets me know you have read the required readings. Integrate them into your work. There are
different types of questions in this course.
One type gives you a hypothetical fact situation to analyze based on the
cases you have read about in the assigned readings. If you are referring to a
particular case you have read about (and you should be doing quite a bit of
that!), mention the case in your answer.
Do not tell me the details about the case, tell me how the court’s
decision in the case you are referring to is (or is not) precedent for helping
you decide the hypothetical case you are analyzing.
Whenever you refer to the name of a court case, you MUST cite it
correctly. Example: Smith v. Jones OR Smith
v. Jones. Notice you either
underline or italicize the case name.
Versus is always shortened to a small “v.”
6) Follow
directions. Answer the entire
question. Some questions will have
multiple parts. You will miss points if
you do not answer all of the parts to the question.
7) Beware
of plagiarism. Use YOUR own words. If I
discover that any part of an assignment is plagiarized, it will be assigned an
automatic zero. If plagiarism is
repeated in a second assignment, I will start the paperwork for a failing grade
based on plagiarism – which is considered academic dishonesty.
8) Avoid
quotations. Take that quote and put it
into YOUR words.
9) DO NOT use sources outside of what we read
in class. You will read the most
important cases. What we read for this
class prepares you for answering the assignment questions.
10) Unless I
ask for a personal opinion, do not use the first (I, me, us…).
11) Good writing
does not involve using complicated sentence structures. Take long, convoluted sentences and break
them down into two or three sentences.
Big, fancy words only work if they are used correctly! Avoid using 10 words to say something that
could be stated in 5 words. Avoid
repeating the same word or phrase in a sentence/paragraph. Find different ways of saying the same thing.
12) Use the
ACTIVE VOICE whenever possible – as opposed to the PASSIVE VOICE. The active voice is stronger, easier for the
reader, and generally uses fewer words.
If you have forgotten what the active and passive voices are, consult a
grammar website!!!!!! Making the switch
to active voice is an easy and dramatic way to improve your writing skills
quickly.
13) If you are
confused by when to use apostrophes and possessive v. plural nouns, consult a
grammar website.
15) Always make certain your subject and verb
agree – plural and singular.
16) Make sure you use the correct form of the
past tense.
17) Scholarly,
academic expository writing is not creative writing. It is quite
formulaic. We are not writing novels.
+ Please follow module direction please include long answers
Separate anwers to questions/

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