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Purpose

In this Section

Professors, whether in Humanities, Business, Science or Engineering, have multiple goals for their assignments. These goals may be assumed but not stated in the assignment. Ask your professor his/her goals for an assigned paper. The ultimate goal is to persuade the reader to accept a thesis or take an action. Sub-tasks that accomplish that goal could include one, or a combination, of the following:


  • define, summarize and/or compare key course concepts
  • synthesize concepts studied throughout the course
  • critique texts, projects, experiments
  • apply course concepts in experiments or to personal experience

Ultimately, the goal is to persuade the reader to accept a thesis or take an action. The professor may use the writing task as a take-home test in order to assess your knowledge of course material and class discussions; your ability to argue your position on an author's work; or your ability to apply ideas in another context.


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