How do I get started on this assignment? Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone:

One huge question I am asked and students stress over is: how do I get started on this assignment?

The first  thing to figure out is: what is the assignment asking you to do? Do you have to write an informative speech? An essay on what you did over winter break? A narrative tale that talks about your life to date?

Let’s say that you are preparing an informative speech. What are you going to talk about? What do you know at least a little something about? One of the best informative speeches of all time that I heard in a freshman speech class was a talk on rims. (I always thought they were called hubcaps, but found out differently that day.)

The fellow who gave the talk was a very, very shy young man whose passion was rims. He did his research on his passionate love of rims and gave an incredible talk. Here are the keys to his success: he absolutely loved the topic AND he did research.

You can’t begin to write until you find out what others have said about your topic. You absolutely must do research, so that you have sources to cite.  My personal minimum on most undergraduate assignments is three outside sources. Impress your instructor and use five. Don’t do the minimum, if you expect to do well.

Sit down at your computer and begin to work. Plug your citations into the points you have decided to use (based on your research) and then build the speech around what your main points are. Add a conclusion and then go back and write the introduction. Do not copy and paste the conclusion into the introduction because they have different tasks. Please look at my blog on writing a speech for additional details.

Let me know if you have any questions or concerns. The main take-away here is you can do this, if you research your topic ahead of time!


Dr. Sheri


Sheri Dean Parmelee has a Ph.D. in Communication Studies from Regent University. She writes books on practical tips for people who become unexpectedly unmarried and is working on her second novel in a series of contemporary romance/suspense novels. She teaches at three colleges, working with students from freshmen to graduate students. Her hobbies include running 8 miles a day and reading biographies and fiction.

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