Assignments that require research tempt students to copy entries from Wikipedia or other online sources. Designed to defeat that urge, these prompts depend on personal information or perspective. Some involve parodies, which promote awareness of language by demanding that the student bring one kind of language into a new and jarring context (like, say, writing about a rifle through language typically used to advertise a new baby stroller).
To combat charges of irrelevant subject matter, I geared many prompts to involve popular culture, technology, and current trends and debates, but most importantly they demand the student to write persuasively—that is, engage in argument in order to persuade a specific person of some specific thing. - David Barringer