prompt n.

Charles Doyle cdoyle at UGA.EDU
Mon Mar 15 16:35:32 UTC 2010

Typically, when I assign a paper to a class, I will write out and distribute several sentences of instructions and advice.  All of a sudden (it seems to me), my students are referring to such a document as "the prompt." (I would call it simply "the assignment"--or maybe, if I wanted to sound informal, "the specs").

When asked about the term, some of my students associate it with their AP classes in high school. Is it a (behaviorist?) term that emanates from colleges of education? The use doesn't match any of the entries for _prompt_ n.2 in the OED.


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