Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue

Whate’er is well conceived is clearly said, and the words to say it flow with ease.
Nicolas Boileau-Despreaux (1636 – 1711), The Art of Poetry

Written Assignments: Methodological Checklist

Generating ideas: the material
Organizing ideas: the structure
Putting ideas into words: the finishing
Conveying ideas according to the audience: the style

Understanding my assignment

Determining the type of work: goals, format, volume and limits. Writing style: report, minutes, resume, analysis, critique, investigative, experimental, dissertation, essay, thesis, etc.

  • Choosing my subject: personal interests, time, documentation and resources available.
  • Specifying my subject: choosing aspects to be covered, main idea to be communicated.
  • Having a clear idea of the reader’s expectations: specifying the desired effect. 

Planning my assignment

Choosing a work method.

  • Determining the stages and setting a deadline for each.

Documentary research

Identifying sources of information and writing down the complete references.

  • Reading and analyzing the most pertinent documentary material.
  • Taking notes and writing reading summaries: resumes and syntheses.

Elaborating a detailed plan (logical organization of ideas)

  • Choosing the type of plan that is most appropriate to my purpose: linear, oppositional, concentric, in sets, conventional (thesis, antithesis, synthesis); universal plan (facts, causes, remedies; purposes, powers, means; problem, solution, results).
  • Delineating major blocks (parts, sections). Writing titles and subtitles.
  • Formulating the guiding idea and main ideas.
  • Organizing and developing my argumentation.

Writing the assignment

  • Writing the first draft: links between ideas and paragraphs; introduction of guiding idea, secondary ideas, arguments, examples, transitions; writing the conclusion; writing the introduction.
  • Revising the text, correcting the style and language: accessible, impersonal, simple, specific, concise, clear, concrete and dynamic.
  • Proofreading, having it proofread and corrected: grammar and spelling; punctuation; style errors and awkwardness: repetitions, excuses, etc.


  • Choosing a presentation format (font, spacing, page set-up, etc.) respecting the presentation standards in effect at the university.
  • Adding the references.
  • Adding the appendix.

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