It’s easy to procrastinate and put off writing that assignment for another day, especially when it’s Christmas! However, a time will come where you will have to start that assignment whether you like it or not. Therefore, here are some handy tips to help make writing and submitting an assignment easier.
1. Start the assignment early
Starting the assignment early is the most obvious way to make writing your assignment easier. This allows you plenty of time for reading and writing, to ask questions, to edit what you’ve written and to relax! Although students say “diamonds are created under pressure”, trust me that starting your assignment early will give you a better grade and make the experience a lot less stressful.
2. Check the module outline
Apart from starting early, the first thing you should do is check the module outline. This will give you all the details that you need to know for writing the assignment. This often includes answers to questions such as: What is it about? How long is the word count? When is the deadline? What percentage of the module is this assignment worth? Where is it submitted? What reading is recommended? Or where to find resources? If any of these questions are not answered, or you have any other queries, the module outline will contain the module co-ordinator’s email address and/or office number so that you can get them answered.
3. Compile a list of readings
Compiling a list of readings that are related to your assignment will help you know where to start when it comes to writing the assignment. Often the lecturer will have already made some recommendations during lecturers, in the module outline or on TALIS. This means that you can feel confident about beginning to write your assignment because you have been shown the right direction and will not feel left in the dark.
4. Plan the content and word count for each paragraph
Once you have completed at least some reading, you should be in a position to be able to plan what you’re main paragraphs are going to be about and how you are going to divide up the word count. Depending on the length of the assignment, I would recommend 250 words for both the introduction and conclusion. Then, divide the remaining word count by the number of main paragraphs/topics you are going to write about.
5. Reference as you go along
Nothing is worse than not referencing as you go along and forgetting where you got a reference from. Referencing as you go along prevents this problem. If you’re unsure how to reference then get in contact with the Ai Gooch, our Law Librarian. You can book an appointment with her through the Albert Sloman Library website. Also, don’t forget to remove any references if you end up removing that content from your assignment at a later point.
6. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
If you have any questions about anything to do with the assignment, whether that be to do with the content of the assignment, submitting the assignment, referencing in the assignment etc. There is no harm in asking for help! There will always be someone that can provide guidance, whether that be a lecturer, classmate, tutor, peer mentor or someone from the law general office. Additionally, if you need help regarding something personal that might be interfering with your assignment, help can be received from the first floor of the Silberrad Student Centre.
7. Read your feedback from previous assignments
If you have any feedback from previous assignments, use this feedback constructively to improve. Nobody wants to make the same mistake twice, especially when it comes to an assignment as making mistakes can affect your grade. If you don’t have any feedback, ask your lecturer whether there are any common mistakes that previous students have made.
8. Don’t upload to FASER less than an hour before the deadline
As a recent graduate, I am aware that most of the time it takes less than 5 minutes to upload your assignment to FASER. However, there can be occasions where FASER is down or where it takes much longer to upload an assignment due to traffic. Don’t upload your assignment last minute as it could be one of those few occasions where it doesn’t upload as fast as expected and you miss the deadline.
BONUS – Talk to Bev!
Bev Jackson supports students’ development. She can help you to improve your academic skills, such as helping you make sense of your feedback and how to apply it to your next essays, look at how you approach your studies and coursework, and advise you on how to improve your grades. She can provide you with one-to-one support that is personalised to your needs and help you explore how to get the best out of your university experience. Bev is also running a series of “How To …Workshops” from January that will focus on helping you with your coursework. You can either visit Bev in her office at 5S.5.21 between 9am and 5pm or email her on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Although these tips can help to make the process of writing and submitting an assignment easier, you must write the assignment yourself and I cannot provide any tips for that. If you think there’s any other ways that can make writing and submitting your assignment easier, leave a reply with your tips for other students to read!