Writing for assignments at university is a very different process to writing for work or school. Each type of assignment might require a different structure and key features according to the assignment task. There are often different structures, formats and many lecturers also have different expectations just to make it interesting. Well help is at hand! Here are some key tips you should take on board when writing assignments
1. Make sure you answer the assignment question. This sounds really obvious but you would be surprised how many students don’t actually specifically address the question. Once you’ve completed your assignment, do read it over again in the broader context of the question. You could also ask a friend to read it to see if it makes sense to someone that is not familiar with the material.
2. Make sure you have a clear understanding of what the question is actually asking. If need be go over it with your lecturer, they are here to help.
3. Be clear about what structure is required. This could be an essay, report, annotated bibliography, literature review, case study or short answer. Again, if you’re not sure, do check with your lecturer before you start.
4. Once you are clear about the nature of the question and the structure, conduct a plan for your argument and how you will address the key points.
5. Research. Good research techniques can be make or break for any assignment. Unless given specific instructions for research by your lecturer, you should cast your net wide. Access a broad range of sources but make sure they are credible and try and include a strong field of peer reviewed sources in there. Make sure you use proper referencing techniques too for your particular discipline. Use your research to support your analysis and key points
6. Once you have gathered sufficient knowledge and research material write your draft. This might be an iterative process and you may find once you start writing you will need further research to support your arguments. This is fine, just make sure you allow time to complete it.
7. Once you have completed your first draft, review, and edit as necessary, paying attention to grammar and spelling errors. Remember to also review it in the context of your assignment question. Ask yourself- Have I answered the question?
8. Review and double check referencing. Check both your in- text citations and Bibliography
9. Do a review for plagiarism using the plagiarism software.
10. Submit! If you’ve done the above, you should be well on your way to completing a well-structured, well thought through assignment.
Do remember that your lecturers, library staff and us, CDU Bookshop are here to help. We have a number of resources that can help you develop good assignment writing style. Now go forth and write!