One of the main types of assessment used at tertiary level is the written assignment. It is essential that students of any discipline be able to organise and express written ideas in a readable, grammatically correct format, using appropriate style, referencing and layout.
Where do you start?
Follow these seven steps to writing your assignment:
- the topic, the question/s. What specific questions are being asked? How might I structure my answer?
- the topic. Your lecturers are marking your work - what materials are they recommending? Search the library catalogue for additional relevant books and articles.
- Develop an outline.
- Summarise the material in point form as you read.
- Expand your notes into a bigger skeleton outline.
- Keep reading and listing. Add complete sentences.
- Reorder and add to your outline. Group similar issues together.
- Start with the main body. Write the introduction and conclusions last.
- Attribute quotes and ideas and create a reference list as you write.
- Keep an eye on word count.
- extensively and often. Stay focused and think critically. Keep asking yourself, 'Have I answered the question?'
- as you go, so you don't miss any out (tools like Refworks are useful - the UB Library offers classes in how to use it).
Be prepared to produce several drafts before reaching the final version.
- One paragraph or several, depending on essay length (approximately 15% of total essay length).
- State the topic and provide background information and any definitions.
- Divide into paragraphs with one point per paragraph (approximately 75% of total essay length).
- The number of paragraphs depends on the length of the essay.
- Include examples and references to support each statement.
- Usually one paragraph in length (approximately 10% of the total essay length).
- Sum up the main points and reconfirm the main argument or statement.
The presentation of academic work
When preparing your final draft, use General Guide for the Presentation of Academic Work as a guide.
To learn more about this topic, download the file below.