Type of written assignments at WOU
The following are some of the more common forms of written assignments at the university level.
1. Essay: One of the most commonly assigned forms of essay is the thesis support essay which addresses a central question or issue and supports a thesis, the answer to the question or your stand on the issue. You may need to explain or defend the thesis with reasons and evidence gained from your own personal experience or from reading and/or research. The method or form for this type of essay generally comprises an introduction, body and conclusion.
2. Summary: If your tutor requests you to write a summary of something you have read, the intention is to help you clarify and understand what you have read. It provides a brief description of the information or main points contained in an article or document. A summary may or may not require you to give your own opinions.
3. Report: It is a very formal document that is written for a variety of purposes in the sciences, social sciences and business disciplines. Generally, findings related to a given or specific task are written up into a report. A report is organised into separate sections according to the specific requirements of the given task. It is not a continuous piece of writing like an essay. Each type of report serves a very specific purpose and is aimed at a very particular audience.
4. Research paper: A research paper presents the results of your investigations on a selected topic. It is based on your own thoughts and the facts and ideas that you have gathered from a variety of sources, e.g., from the library, survey, experiment, etc.