Good instructions

Every teacher has to think once in a while how he/she offers good instructions to the students. From my personal experience, these situations have usually been linked to academic writing tasks such as essays. Reflecting these experiences, I don’t hesitate to say that good instructions are first and foremost short. I have noted many times that if my instructions have been longer than few lines, the students get easily confused. Instructions should be also as clear as possible, which means that the teacher sets clear technical guidelines. These guidelines should include at least:

  • what students must read
  • how many pages they must write
  • how they should write
  • what should be added to the text
  • when the text should be returned

As a teacher, I give students quite a lot freedom to complete their writing tasks but it should be noted that certain academic requirements must be fulfilled. For instance, used references must be in place and in an orthodox manner.