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The Power of Short Writing Assignments

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No writer has ever fallen short of words and ideas for long write-ups. Many of them would attest that short writing pieces require more effort, research, and thinking. This is why editing a written piece is more difficult than writing itself.

The students won’t understand this at this stage, but you can actually instill smart thinking and writing skills with short assignments. For a fact, students, with all their naiveness, find long assignments difficult. Such tasks also become a nuisance for teachers as grading them is more arduous.

Short writing assignments are indeed a win-win for both. When you switch to shorter assignments, your students will feel more excited about completing them. So, here’s how you can make the best use of this opportunity.

Experimenting with Brief Assignments

While there is no limitation to the kind of assignments you can ask your students to do, you have plenty to explore with brief writing assignments. This is different from long-form ones. Students often turn to an essayservice because working on multiple projects from different subjects at once gets tiring for many of them.

These short assignments can do wonders for your class engagement and effective skill development. And more importantly, you can have them complete these tasks in the class while monitoring everyone’s performance in real-time. This does not only saves you time for other errands of your profession but also gives students space for other activities at home.

In this article, we will learn about ways to incorporate short writing assignments into your course.

Types of Short Writing Assignments

The best thing about these kinds of assignments is that you can include them in your class schedule or get them done right after a lesson.

Summarizing Exercise

Composing an elaborative argument is less demanding than summarizing a chapter in 50-100 words. This activity will push your students to focus more on the theme of the lesson. Initially, you will have to guide students about how they can create better summaries. Once they are equipped with the necessary skills, it will enhance their comprehension and grasping ability in the class.

You can show them how they should read effectively while taking notes of important information simultaneously. Then, they should compile the main theme and author’s message in a short paragraph in the most meaningful way. You can increase the intensity of the activity by using longer reading assignments.

Your students can excel at writing summaries by reading and giving appropriate attention in the class while you are teaching the subject.

Creative Writing Prompt

If you want to make assignments more fun and engaging, you can try creative writing prompts for your students. This exercise calls for your imagination and creativity. You can also search the Internet for ideas.

Assign an out-of-the-ordinary topic that is related to the concept you are teaching. Ask the students to write a short response to the topic using their imagination. This activity is more advantageous in subjects like history, English literature, political sciences, etc.

The kind of topics you may choose are the following.

  1. If your brain were a tangible, physical place, what would it be like?
  2. Finish this statement: “My ideal day begins like this:”
  3. Borrow a character from some other form of media (or create your own). Write from that character’s perspective.

You can take some fictional characters to create scenarios and ask students to write a response.

Prompt Question

Another interesting exercise can be asking your students to prepare one question related to the chapter you are teaching. You can ask them to be as imaginative as they can get and come up with out-of-the-box questions. They have to write the prompt question and its answer in their notebook.

Students must know that they are themselves going to answer each other’s questions. Once the lesson is over, have them ask questions one by one while giving time to the class to answer each. You can also create pairs who will respond to each other’s prompts.

You will monitor the activity, review random questions and answers, and tailor questions to simplify or make them more intriguing. This short in-class assignment will improve your students’ perspective and critical thinking.

Blog Assignment

You cannot keep the tech-kids away from the Internet, and there’s no reason for you to do that. You can instead turn this into your favor by encouraging your students to create blogs. Have them journal their learning in the blog or assign topics to them.

These blog assignments are different from essay writing in many ways. One, they are not structure-bound. Two, the length of the blogs can be as short as 300-500 words. Besides, your students will be more excited to blog instead of completing some boring tasks.

With these kinds of assignments, you will help them explore the infinite horizon of the Internet and learn from other resources in addition to what they study in the class. You will also be able to assess the assignments quickly and provide feedback in comments.

Do Not Forget the Basics

While inducing short assignments in your classes, you should supervise that your students adhere to and learn the basics of writing. With brief writing projects, you can equally pay attention to each student and help them rectify their faults.

Grammar, punctuations, tone, style, flow, and structure are important aspects of writing skills. Do not forget to incorporate these factors into your assignments.


Replacing long-form writing assignments such as essays and research papers with short ones is a revolutionary decision that you will take in your favor. Giving your students an essay project should not be skipped completely, but loading them such homework every week can get overwhelming for them. With careful selection of tasks and effective execution, you can achieve similar goals with brief writing prompts.

More on this topic:

4 Proven Tactics to Overcome Writer’s Block

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