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Reader's Expectations

Sometimes professors state the reader's expectations explicitly in the assignment, or they assume that the writer knows these standards. Expectations vary by discipline and include the following:
  • structure (inductive or deductive),
  • degree of development (evidence, arguments),
  • style and tone (formal/informal),
  • format and documentation.

If you are an inexperienced writer or unfamiliar with a professor's expectations, you should ask your reader to explain his/her expectations and to show you some sample papers.  You can also become familiar with the style, structure, and format in your field by reading texts and journals in the discipline.


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