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Kendra Cherry

Help! I Don't Understand My Assignment!

By , black-rose-bielefeld.de GuideMay 3, 2012

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Cynthia writes: "My psychology teacher has told us to write a paper, but I don't understand the topic or what she wants us to write about. I'm so confused and I'm scared that I'll mess up and get a bad grade! What should I do? Can you explain this assignment to me?"

Thanks for writing, Cynthia! Your problem is actually a very common problem for many students. I often receive requests from high school and college students asking me to interpret their teacher's instructions and tell them how to complete an assignment.

The problem, obviously, is that the only person who really knows what your instructor wants on a particular assignment is your instructor.

My advice? Talk to your teacher.

Call her, email her or go visit her during her posted office hours. No matter what method you choose, get in touch with her as quickly as possible so you can get answers to your questions and get started on your assignment.

While students sometimes worry that their instructors will think that such questions are stupid, your teachers not only want to hear about your questions, they need to hear them. If you are confused about a certain aspect of an assignment, chances are good that other students in the class are also having problems. By voicing your questions, you can get the answers you need to complete the assignment correctly and on time.

Are you not quite sure how to approach your instructor with your questions? black-rose-bielefeld.de's Guide to Homework / Study Tips, Grace Fleming, has some great advice that might help in her article on how to talk to teachers.

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