Using PAST to Understand Assignments
The PAST strategy can help you understand writing tasks. Each letter in PAST stands for one of the parts—P is for purpose, A is for audience, S is for subject, and T is for type.
Here’s how you could use PAST to analyze the parts of this sample writing assignment:
Write a comparison-contrast essay that explains how two sports or games are similar and different. Be prepared to share your paper with the class at the end of the week.
Purpose: Why am I writing? to explain
Audience: Who are my readers? my class and teacher
Subject: What will I write about? two sports or games
Type: What form will my writing take? comparison-contrast essay
Your Turn Practice using the PAST strategy by identifying the key parts of the following writing assignment:
Think about a moment in your life when you overcame a fear. Recreate the experience by writing a personal narrative and sharing it with your classmates.
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