Study Help: Writing Assignments at Uni

Doing an assignment isn’t a linear process. You might backtrack, take different paths or go round in circles. You start by reading the task in detail to make sure you understand all the parts. There are different ways of doing this, so choose one that works best for you. You might revise your plan after more reading and thinking. This might happen a few times before your final draft, so don’t get frustrated. As you read and learn more, your argument should evolve and might look different to what you originally thought. What type of assignment are you heading to?

Your task instructions and feedback form might explain the structure, formatting or type of assignment. An essay usually has an introduction, body paragraphs, a conclusion and a reference list. So does a report, but there are usually some extra parts. Reflective papers will vary in structure. Always check your task instructions. You are not just writing your assignment for your tutor. The language you use should reflect your profession. It should also be formal and objective, but the formality may vary depending on the task. An essay should convince your reader. A report provides information or solutions. A reflective paper shows connections between your learning, experiences and the subject you are studying. Use reliable and academic evidence to support your ideas in all your academic assignments.

Make sure you check the assignment feedback form before you start. If you can’t find this information, ask your tutor. Let’s analyse an example task. Identify the content words and phrases. These show what you have to focus on. The instruction words tell you how to approach the content. For example, describing something is different to comparing or contrasting. Also identify the limits. Here, the focus should be on contemporary business, so you need to think about what this might mean. Look at the due date, word length and weighting, to identify how much time to spend on the assignment and the detail to include.

Doing assignments at Uni involves many twists and turns. So know where you’re heading and know how to get there. Start the process early to get ahead.