What is Packback Deep Dives?
Packback Deep Dives is a tool that exists to help you improve your written communication and independent research skills on long-form writing assignments and reflections.
Deep Dives will coach you through your growth as both a researcher and a writer! Here you get a “Digital Writing Coach” that gives real-time suggestions on:
- Structure & Flow: Your submission’s overall coherence, how well each sentence flows into the next, and appropriate paragraph length.
- Grammar & Mechanics: The density of grammatical errors in your submission, your use of active voice, consistent tense and voice, and more.
- Research & Citations: Insight about the credibility of your sources and the relevance of the sources to your submission.
- Formatting: The accuracy of your citation formatting, reference page formatting, and overall document formatting.
Along with that, Deep Dives provides you with a “Digital Research Assistant” that gives feedback on:
- Source credibility
- Recommended sources
- Citation formatting per your instructor’s selected style guide (MLA or APA)
Think of it like going to the writing lab without having to leave your home!
Finding your Deep Dives assignments
When it’s time to start writing your Deep Dives submissions, you’ll need to navigate to your Assignments page within your Packback course. Here’s how to do that:
- Access your course on Packback. On the left hand sidebar navigation, scroll and click Assignments under the “Packback Deep Dives” heading.
- Here is where you are able to view the prompt your instructor has set up for Deep Dives. Find the correct one and click Go to Assignment.
- Before beginning, you’ll want to read through all the necessary information provided to ensure you understand the goals, objectives, and expectations of your Deep Dives assignments. Click through these tabs:
- Prompt Overview: Here is where your instructor has written your prompt and instructions for your submission. There may also be some helpful resources that they’ve included to guide you through your writing!
- Rubric: See how you’ll be graded on this assignment by checking out your points breakdown (customized and selected by your instructor).
- Feedback: After you’ve submitted your Deep Dives assignment and your instructor has taken the time to grade it and provide feedback, you’ll return to this page to see how you did!
- Once you’re ready to begin writing, click the red Start My Deep Dive button at the top of the page.
Writing your Deep Dives submission
Writing your Deep Dives submission is meant to be easy! Prioritize organizing your thoughts and crafting them into an engaging piece of writing. Our Digital Assistants will help guide you through the rest.
Take Research Notes
Think of this as your notepad where you can take notes, organize your thoughts in an outline, whatever is going to help you get that writing muscle working.
- PRO TIP: Add a URL or a title of a book, academic journal, etc. You can highlight and right click it to mark it as a source which is then automatically included in your works cited!
Draft Your Submission
This is where the magic happens! As you begin researching and writing your Deep Dives submission, you’ll receive instant feedback from our Digital Writing Coach. Make sure to do all your planning, organizing and research here. You'll miss a lot of the value of the feedback and automation if you do your research and writing outside of Deep Dives.
- PRO TIP: Anything you write is automatically saved as a draft! You can submit your assignment when you’re ready and even then, keep editing until the deadline or until your instructor has started their evaluation, whichever comes first. You will also be able to restore previous versions of your drafts under in the "History" tab under the Writing Assistant.
Build a Works Cited
Take advantage of building your works cited either through your research notes via the pro tip above, or directly from the works cited page itself! Follow these steps to do so:
- On the Works Cited page, click the red Add Citation button
- A pop up will appear prompting you to select a Source Type (i.e. book, website, academic journal, etc.) and to include the URL, DOI, or ISBN
- ISBNs can be found on the lower portion of the back cover of a book above the bar code and on the copyright page.
- DOIs can be found on the first page of an academic journal either below the title or in the header or footer.
- Click Search next to the URL, DOI, or ISBN you’ve entered to verify the source. Then click Save and Close for it to be added to your works cited!
- If our Digital Research Assistant identifies any discrepancies, you’ll see a red Alert appear next to the source after it’s been added. Click this button to see the feedback the Research Assistant has for you!
If you need technical assistance or have questions about writing your Deep Dives assignment, please reach out to our Support Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.