Weekly Assignment Instructions

by John Bandler

Many weekly assignments are contained within a Word document you can download and rename.

There are usually instructions within that weekly assignment Word document, and possibly a link to this page. I may gradually reduce the detail on the instructions within the Word document, and maintain a full set of instructions here.

(If you are looking for instructions regarding phases in the Final Paper Project, see those links below.)

In sum

In sum, remember the goals of these weekly assignments -- for you to put in effort and learn. So put in good effort, work on your own, do the reading, pay attention in class (or to the videos), spend a reasonable amount of time on the assignment.

You are in charge of your own learning in life. Use this assignment, course, and all other courses to build yourself. It would be a waste to graduate and gain a degree without the requisite learning. Do not just "google" the answer. Never ever use automated writing tools like ChatGPT.


The goal of these weekly assignments is your learning, and they are also a means of assessment and communication. Please ensure you have put substantial time and effort to do the assigned reading, pay attention in class or to the videos, and other course related learning. Read the questions carefully and respond thoughtfully. Of course, always do your own work and put in your own effort, because that is the only way to learn and gain confidence in yourself. Proofread and edit your writing, this is practice to improve how you write.

While multiple choice questions would be quicker for everyone, they have lower learning value and you do not practice your writing and editing skills.


The current, updated instructions are something like the following

-------------  Delete this line and below here  ---------------

Revised 1/18/2024 by John


  • The instructions are available at https://johnbandler.com/weekly-assignment-instructions
  • Download and save this document to your computer and use this document as a template to build your assignment.
  • Rename this document to give your submission document a helpful filename.
    e.g., STUDENTNAME Assignment XX ChXX 2024-xx-xx [see the template filename, use current chapter and current date]
  • Save and submit as a doc, docx, pdf, or text file.  (Do not submit as ".pages")
  • Do your own work. Don't collaborate or share with anyone in anyway.
  • Follow your personal ethics and honor code and the school honor code.
  • First, do the assigned reading and pay attention in class or to the videos.
  • Do not seek assistance from others, nor provide assistance to others.
  • Add a line break after the question before you start your answer.
  • Type your answer after each question. Do not copy and paste your answer from anywhere. Type each character yourself.
  • Do not use any automated tools (translation tools, chat tools, ChatGTP, etc)
  • Make sure you understand and can explain what you wrote.
  • Work alone, do not collaborate with others, do not share questions or answers.
  • This assignment usually calls for short answers, sometimes just a word or a list, sometimes a few full sentences. Look for clues in the question
    • "name", or "list" means list it, name it. Full sentences are not needed. Try to memorize the answer.
    • "Briefly summarize" or "explain" requires a few properly edited full sentences reflecting your thoughts. The sentences should "stand on their own" and not require the reader to refer back to the question.
  • If you are confused or unsure, do your best, and explain as needed.
  • This is open book, use your notes, the coursebook, or the course readings. Always start with course readings. Do not consult Google's magic result. Do not use ChatGPT or similar AI tools.
  • These assignments are a learning aid for you, writing practice, an evaluation aid, and a way for us to communicate regularly.
  • Delete these instructions before submission for a clean submission. Proofread.

-------------   Delete this line and above here   ---------------

First and last question

The first question is always something like this:

  1. I hereby state upon my personal honor and upon the school's honor code that I did not gave nor receive any assistance regarding this assignment, and nor will I do so in the future. I did not and will not collaborate in any way. I did not receive any answers from anyone or anywhere. I did not and will not share the questions with anyone, in anyway. Write "I do" if true, or explain if needed.

A main point of this is that your personal honor and personal learning and personal effort are more important than just trying to do a effortless submission, or trying to get a quick easy decent grade.

The last question is always something like this:

  • Ask me a question, make a comment, or respond to a prior question I had asked you. Or just share something with me, even if it is not related to this course. (Don’t leave this blank, because this is part of the assignment).

You can tell me whatever you want to tell me, give me positive encouragement, helpful feedback, answer a supplemental question or extra credit question, suggest an improvement to the reading, point out a typo or mistake, let me know about any life issues, or just say hi.

Another reason you should not copy from anywhere, including ChatGPT

Your life and future jobs will include lots of reading, thinking, and writing.

For some students, it is tempting to look for shortcuts. What if they can avoid doing the assigned reading or puzzling through something by obtaining the "answer" from another person or an automated tool?

The problem is those students who take those shortcuts (which violates school rules and may be cheating)

  • Will never build their reading skills
  • Will never build their thinking skills
  • Will never build their writing skills
  • Will never build their confidence in themselves. They will feel a need to continue to look for these types of shortcuts and cheats for the rest of their lives.
  • Cheating can be a hard habit to break.

So build good habits, build good skills, and do the work. Your future you will thank the present you.

Frequently asked questions

Well, maybe not "frequently" for all of them, but here you go:

  • How much time should I spend?
    • Spend a reasonable amount of time, after having first done the assigned reading, watched videos, attended class, etc.
    • If you are ripping through it in 15 minutes or a half hour, you are probably not spending enough time on it. If you are explaining something or expressing your thoughts in a single sentence, that's probably not enough.
    • If you are writing a book each week and taking 6 hours on it, that's probably too much.
    • If you are skipping the assigned reading and just using Google or ChatGPT to try figure out the answer, you are not following the instructions and course requirements, nor are you getting any learning value.
    • The goals are effort, quality, and learning.
  • I don't know what you are looking for when you ask what I think about "X", or what my opinion is on "Y", What's the right answer to put down?
    • This is your place to develop some thoughts, even opinions, and express them in your own words, thoughtfully. I can't tell you what you think. That is for you to tell me.
  • I see your feedback on a full-sentence response said "Make sure your answer stands on it's own", what does that mean?
    • It means the reader should be able read and understand your answer without reading the question. Your answer stands on it's own, and doesn't require reference back to the question.
  • Some questions say just to "list" or "name", does that mean I can list it and the that answer doesn't have to be in a full sentence?
    • Yes. Makes that easy, right?
  • Some questions say to explain, summarize, or say what I think. Do I need to write in full proof-read sentences for those questions?
    • Yes
  • I didn't understand what you mean by this question so how do I answer it?
    • Do your best to answer it as best you can, and in your answer you can also explain any uncertainties or different interpretations of the question. Other students may be grappling with the same confusion. Remember you will face many circumstances in life when you are not sure what someone is exactly answering. So do your best to work through it, and in your answer explain any uncertainty.
  • Can't we just skip the homework assignments?
    • Sorry, it is something we need to do
  • Wouldn't it be easier if everyone got the same grade, for every submission, no matter the quality of the submission?
    • Maybe, but that would not be good for learning
  • How come I lost points? I submitted it on time.
    • On time submissions that are excellent get full points. I need to deduct points if it falls below that, and see these guidelines and my feedback. That should provide incentive for you to do your best work and put in effort.
  • Can I resubmit for a higher grade?
    • No, sorry. It wouldn't be fair other others and to me. We need your first submission to be your best submission. Reading and grading is hard work, please don't ask me to do it twice.
  • I lost a point [points], that's the end of the world, right?
    • Of course not. It's a long semester with lots of opportunities for you to show your effort and learning. Don't stress. My grading is holistic.
  • You deducted points, that seems kind of nitpicky
    • Well, I actually read your submissions. If it's great and the effort is there, you get full points. If some things are wrong or maybe the effort is not there or you can do better, you might have lost some points.
  • I copied without attribution on an assignment or discussion, and I got a grade of zero (or one), and here's the extenuating circumstances, and can I resubmit or get partial credit?
    • No, sorry. It wouldn't be fair other others and to me. We need your first submission to be your best work , and your own work.
    • Where consistent with fairness, course rules, and school rules, failing the assignment can be an appropriate sanction.
    • But also remember it need not be the only sanction. Please see course and school rules to see that consequences of plagiarism can include failing the assignment, failing the course, and academic discipline up to and including expulsion.
  • I can get the answer quickly and get it written quickly with Google or ChatGPT or other tools, that's OK, right?
    • Absolutely not. You must first do the assigned reading, your own thinking, your own typing, your own writing. There is no learning value for you in using AI tools to write for you. Please do your own work, that's the only way you can learn and improve yourself. And it's a course rule.
  • I like that you don't assign much work, and there's no busywork.
    • Great. Just make sure you are putting in sufficient effort. Doing the readings, etc.
  • Your class is easy, very little work.
    • OK. Just make sure you are putting in the effort, doing the reading, etc. It is possible you are not putting in enough effort nor doing enough.
  • There's too much work. It's taking too much time.
    • I have to have certain things in the course, like assigned reading, discussion and assignments. I don't see how anything could be reduced while still providing the appropriate level of learning value. I could add quizzes, mid-terms, and final exams, but then some students would not be happy about that. A certain number of hours of work are expected for your level of learning in this X credit course. The learning is in the time and effort you put into it.
  • I haven't submitted the assignment yet, can I submit it late?
    • Yes, all assignments must be submitted to pass the course. Better on time than late, but better late than never.
  • I haven't submitted the assignment yet, do I have to submit it?
    • Yes, all assignments must be submitted to pass the course. Better on time than late, but better late than never.
  • I like that you allow assignments to be submitted late.
    • I'm glad. It gives students the chance to put in the effort (even through it means more work for me).
  • I don't like that you allow assignments to be submitted late because I don't have enough incentive to get it in on time.
    • Timeliness is a course requirement, you will lose points and miss out on important course timelines if you are consistently late. Life is full of deadlines, so work on creating good habits to meet your deadlines (including in this course).

The footer notation

The document footer says something like this:

  • John Bandler’s weekly assignment is copyright John Bandler with all rights reserved.  https://johnbandler.com/
  • This is for individual student use only. Students should do their own work and not assist others.
  • In addition to copyright restrictions, disseminating questions or answers in any way is not allowed and would likely violate school rules and be unethical. Instructions are at https://johnbandler.com/weekly-assignment-instructions/

Discussion board

I have moved this to Weekly Discussion Instructions


Yes, it would save us all a ton of time if I didn't assign anything. But alas, I need to assign things, and they are an aid to your learning.

Having assigned it, it would save me a ton of time if I just gave everyone full credit for any submission. But I need to read them, grade them, hopefully encourage you to do better. As the saying goes, I teach for free but they pay me (not much) to grade.

And it's great to read those submissions that are thoughtful and collegial, that offer insight, new ways of thinking of something, or even when they point out something that makes my work better the next time (a typo, error, or potential improvement).

Most importantly, you are in charge of your own learning, so use the weekly readings, class, videos, discussion, and assignment to help improve yourself by learning the topic area and improving how you read, think, and write.


Posted 1/13/2023 based on years of teaching. Updated 2/13/2024