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Using PAST to Understand Assignments

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Using PAST to Understand Assignments

tennis racket, badminton racket, shuttlecock, tennis ball
Viktorija Reuta/

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.

From page 38 in Writers Express

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