College life comes with its own fair share of challenges, of which one significant one is writing elaborative assignments requiring higher communication, information and critical thinking than what one has been using throughout high school. However, for all the newbies, or even the rest of you, academic expert have seven assignment writing tips to help you move ahead with it easily.
1. Using all the available information
Your instructor will have provided you a plethora of resources and information besides just the instructions and timelines, which are often overlooked by students. For instance, in order to understand the grading criteria of your assignment, the rubric is usually provided. It is a chart that indicated what is required in order to obtain a certain grade mark and the objectives of course, which are called learning outcomes.
Other resources like reading lists, discussion boards, lecture recordings and sample assignments are also present. This information is typically clubbed together in an online platform, often called the learning management system, like Moodle, iLearn, Blackboard, Canvas, etc. Research has also signified that students using LMS also tend to attain higher final grades than those who do not.
2. Consider the Importance of Referencing
Plagiarism is using the ideas or words without attributing to the contributor. It is considered as a serious offence, and in fact a form of cheating in assignment writing. Students are unware in many cases, as they may not be familiar with referencing and its styles like the Harvard, APA, Vancouver, IEEE, Chicago, etc. or the lack of skills to include information from any sources.
A referencing management software can also be used, where you can store and retrieve the sources and citations, create lists of references, all in just a few clicks. Using such software can help you save time and effort in formatting references. However, you might still need to be aware of citation style in the discipline and revise this formatting accordingly.
3. Plan your Essay
When you build a house, you don’t start laying ricks randomly, rather the first step is a blueprint. Similarly, when writing academic papers, careful planning is required. You must decide the organization of the essay, number of sections to be incorporated and the sourced and information to be incorporated in each.
Research also indicated that students preparing detailed outline produce texts of a much higher quality. Planning your essay will reduce the time spent and help you get better grades as well.
Programs like Outline on Mac or OneNote on Microsoft can help you in the planning stage, making the tasks easier as it will follow information in organized tabs. These information bits can easily be arranged later for a re-draft. Navigating across multiple tables is also easier than scrolling endlessly on a Word file.
4 Pick the Right Words
The written language used for college assignments has to be much more technical and formal than what is used normally while chatting with friends or on social media. Words used for assignment writing have more precise meanings, and are usually longer. For instance, the phrase climate change implies a lot more than just the temperature of planet increasing.
SkELL can be used to look for the right words, showing the words appearing more frequently according to the grammatical categorization of your search entry. For instance, when you enter paper it may preset you with the verb subjects like describe, discuss, present, examine, etc. the Writefull app is another great option that has a similar outcome, but without the use of an online browser.
5. Answer the Main Question
There is a certain purpose of every assignment, so try understanding the purpose of the assignment before going moving on to the writing part. Try formulating the main point attractively using strong and precise words. The first sentence of the introductory paragraph should talk about the purpose of the assignment and give a solid one-liner answer to the subject question, where applicable. Try to always follow this step because it will help you keep track of the project and also give a clear understanding about the project to the reader.
6. Outline Main Points
Besides just answering the one main topic relevant to the assignment topic, smaller parts of the text also need attention. Each assignment shall have a distinct introduction, body and conclusion – making three distinct parts of the paper. This will also help you take inspiration for further research, while also providing a prompt of the references needed to be gathered to evidence each section or sub-section.
7. Proofread and Edit
When typing the last paragraph of your assignment, keep a buffer of at least 10 minutes to proofread and edit your assignment for any changes identified in proofreading. Students who plan, draft and edit their essay in these steps. Another good idea for proofreading after assignment writing is peer checking that will help you identify any issues or mistakes that may have been overlooked by you initially, as they will review it with a fresh perspective.