Step-By-Step Guide To Assignment Writing Follow story

Shakeel Ahmed

Step-By-Step Guide To Assignment Writing When you’re undertaking tertiary study there are often a lot of assignments and writing to do!

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Step-By-Step Guide To Assignment Writing


When you're undertaking tertiary study there are often a lot of assignments to help and to write, which can be daunting at first. The most important thing to remember is to start - and start early.

If you give yourself enough time to plan, do your research, write and revise your assignment. Once you've started, you'll have something down on paper or on screen that you can improve on.

Using the steps below will help make your assignments to become do-able, interesting and even enjoyable.

Step 1: Plan

Step 2: Analysis the question

Step 3: Draft an outline

Step 4: Find information

Step 5: Write

Step 6: Edit and proofread

Step 1: Plan

Planning your assignment will help you get focused and keep you on track.

  • Check how much your assignment is worth and what is the final mark it is. This will help you decide how much time to spend on it.
  • Check the marking schedule to see what your tutor wants to be. This will help you know what to focus on. If there is no marking schedule check the assignment to see if the information is there.
  • Think about what you need to do to complete your assignment (for example, what research, writing drafts, reference checking, reviewing and editing, etc). Break these up into a list of tasks to do.
  • Give each task a deadline, working backwards.

Step 2: Analyze the question

Before you can answer a question, you need to know what it means. Read it slowly and carefully, and try to understand what's expected of you. Ask yourself:

  • What's the question about? What's the topic?
  • What does the question mean?
  • What do I have to do?
  • To help you understand the question, try rewriting it using your own words using the format below:
  • 'This assignment is about ______________________ I have to___________________'
  • When you are analyzing the question:
  • Look for words that tell you what to do (instructional words). For example, analysis, compare, contrast, etc.
  • Check the meaning of the words used.
  • Look for topic words, which tell you what you have to write about.
  • Look for restricting words, which limit the topic and make it more specific.
  • You can also check for additional information about the assignment and what's expected of you in the course materials or on your course page or forums.

Tip:  When you find something about the assignment on a course page or in a forum save a copy of it. In one place you want to have all the information in one place when you start writing.

Step 3: Draft an outline

Drafting an outline will give you a structure to follow when it comes to writing your assignment. The topic to be structured, what to include, and which sections are worth the most marks.

From there you can create your outline, using headings and gaps for the information you have to fill in.

Types of Assignments

Essay outlines

Most of the assignments you want to do are essays, which generally follow the same basic structure:

  • Introduction (+ 10% of the assignment) - This is where you introduce the topic and the main points, and briefly explain the purpose of the assignment and your findings. It is a good idea to write the introduction, so that you know what to include.
  • Discussion (+ 80% of the assignment) - This section is divided into a number of paragraphs. Decide what points you want to discuss and include a new paragraph for each main point. A paragraph usually starts with a topic stating the main idea, followed by supporting evidence and examples. In your outline try and include topic sentences and a few ideas outlining what you want to include in each section.
  • Conclusion (+ 10% of the assignment) - Conclusions briefly your main argument, evaluate your ideas and summaries your conclusions. They do not introduce any new information.

Step 4: Find information

Before you start writing, you need to research your topic and find relevant and reliable information. You can find some in your course materials and recommended readings, but you can try:

  • Your local public library.
  • Talking to experts.
  • Online sources.

Once you have found the information that you are looking for, it is right for your assignment. For more on how to research and evaluate information go to:

  • How to research
  • Research using the internet
  • Thinking critically and evaluating information

Step 5: Write

Once you've found the information you need it's time to bring it all together and write your assignment .

Write your first draft

  • Use your outline and fill in the gaps, writing your main points for each section.
  • Write freely, getting as much as you can without worrying about the wording being 100% right.
  • You may find it easiest to start with the conclusion.
  • The introduction is often the hardest to write, so leave that till last.
  • Don’t spend too much time trying to make this draft perfect as it will change!

Fine tune

  • Revise your first draft, and check that it makes sense and includes everything it needs to.
  • Fine tune the wording, and make sure your writing flows well.
  • Make sure you keep different copies of your drafts as you may want to go back to them.
  • Leave the writing for a day, read it, and fine tune again.
  • Compile your bibliography or reference list.

Academic Writing Services

How to use APA referencing

Step 6: Edit and proofread

Once you’ve written your assignment, you can improve it by editing and proofreading, but before you do take a break. Even a short break helps you to get some distance from your work so that you can check your assignment with a fresh eye.

Look at the big picture

  • Have you answered the question you were set? Check your assignment against the marking schedule as well as the question.
  • Is the structure correct?
  • Have you included all the relevant parts? For example, the title page, introduction, conclusion, reference list?
  • Is the content logically arranged?
  • Does your assignment read well, with each section flowing smoothly on to the next? A good way to check this is to read it aloud.
  • Have you used your own words and acknowledged all your sources?
  • Is your assignment well presented?

Check the details

  • Have you used academic English (if required)?
  • Check the grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Don’t just use a spell checker (it won’t pick everything up).
  • Check your referencing – have you acknowledged all work that isn’t your own? Is your APA referencing correct?
  • Are your pages numbered?
  • Have you included your name, student ID, the assignment details and the date on each page?

Tip: If possible, ask a friend or family member to proofread your assignment, as it can be difficult to see mistakes in your own work.

More about editing and proofreading:

Editing and proofreading

Before you submit your assignment, print it out and check it one last time. It’s often easier to spot errors in print than on screen.

Once you’re happy, submit your assignment.

Feb. 28, 2019, 10:46 a.m. 0 Report Embed 0
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