The Art of Assignment Writing

Assignment writing is one crucial element when it comes to passing your semesters at college. They seem to make the college world rotate as swarms of students merge from their hiding holes and we all begin the mourning period for our social lives. The one thing I hear commonly when handing in an assignment and getting the marks back is: “I wish I’d had started my assignment earlier so my grade would have been better”.

With many students having poor time management and concept of what is required in the assignment, it leaves many students developing poor habits of writing. This in return causes research and structure that is poorly done, grammar, referencing and style errors. Or in some cases, has caused many a student to rush their assignment because they started late.theartofassignmentwriting

I’ve been one of those students who rushed her assignments and handed in it, only to pass with a complete fluke (don’t ask me how!). Three years later with my socks picked up, here are is a list that contains do’s and don’ts when it comes to writing assignments.

Mount Rushmore & Not Your Assignment

As we all know by now, Mount Rushmore is in America and therefore, should not be present in your assignment. One thing you need to keep in mind when it comes to writing assignments is: it will take you extra time with researching and brainstorming your thesis argumentative points. Each part of your assignment you’ll discover is time-consuming as you start to research, writing and then proofread.

Faylure 2 youse acadimic lingo (Failure to use academic language)

We’ve been guilty when it comes to writing as we deliberately misplace a few words or abbreviate everything. However when it comes to assignment writing, this is the one place you do not completely shorten words or using colloquialisms. For medical students, jargon is allowed (depending on the tutor/professor) as most of our assignments require medical jargon and definitions to be used. But only do so accordingly to what is being asked.

When it comes to writing this assignment, the tone of addressing the topic of choice and reader should be set in a professional formal and informative tone.

The Big No-No: Plagarism.

In the world of college and students mourning, plagiarism and wikipedia are considered to be the devils of this world. As much as we’re tempted to ‘borrow’ a sentence, paragraph or whole page, we are essentially committing a plagiarised act. Whether its intentional, a simple quote or not citing your sources correctly, your assignment is still plagiarised.

I recommended seeing what academic referencing (APA, MLA & Harvard) your college is using. Once finding out what the preference is, do a little research when it comes to referencing quotes or sources used so it cuts down the chance of plagiarism. At the end of the day, make sure to include your references or bibliography to your assignment for every assignment as you not only get marks for correct referencing (bonus!) but also allows the tutor/professor to have a clearer understanding of where you got your research from.

Edit Your Mouthful

Writing assignments informs your tutor/professor how you are grasping the idea as to what has been discussed so far this semester. When it comes to writing, tutors find it unforgiveable to receive an assignment filled to the brim with poor grammar and spelling errors. This is why you should always proofread and edit your mouthful of words. Additionally with editing, you should include going over some of your ideas to see if they relate to your thesis and improve them if there’s room.

Brain + Storm

When receiving your task sheet, you’ll do two things and they are: glance at the date/word limit and what the thesis (topic) is about.  After having a mini panic attack, you’ll sit down in your designated study area and start brainstorming ideas of what you’re going to write about. Your brain will start flooding with different ideas and it’s important to not take the first idea that pops up. I suggest writing down your ideas onto a piece of paper and cross off ones that don’t have a lot of research to them or don’t relate to the topic. Before you know it, you’ll be left with the right topic and this leads to my next tip.

Thorough Research

After eliminating those that didn’t appeal, you have now grasped an idea of what you wish to write about for your assignment. When it comes to the art of assignment writing, you will be required to find relevant, up-to-date and most on-point material available so you can get your point across. As I am a 90’s kid who loves her textbooks, I normally hit those slopes for a sentence before hitting journal articles that have been published within the last 5 years.

As medicine is changing on a daily or rather a yearly basis, there are medical journal articles that are being made accessible to students on a daily basis. All you need to do is type in the correct words or the main topic and see what is available.

Tip: Got a journal article that you’ve quoted from who has quoted someone’s work?  Google the author/s and see if they have other articles available.

Assignment Introduction 101

This section is broken up into two different subcategories and they are:

Presenting Assignment Statement in Introduction  

We have been told for most of our high school lives that the introduction is the area crucial to identifying what the topic is about. By introducing our topic within the first two sentences of the paragraph, we have informed the tutor/reader what we are discussing and how it correlates to our degree we’re studying.

Writing the introduction and conclusion last

I find this point to be one of relevance. As I’m an OCD weirdo who likes order; I find when it comes to writing assignments, I tend to work my best in chronological order. Depending on how you prefer writing, some say by writing the introduction and conclusion last; it allows you to summarise the body of the assignment more in detail. However at the end of the day when it comes time to handing in that assignment as long as you have an introduction, body and conclusion that is relevant; no one is really going to care how you wrote it.

Spell check: our frenemie

There have been a couple of times when I’ve been tempted to hit that spell check button. But the one thing that stops me from clicking that button is my assignment having been marked down for containing spelling mistakes. Although spell check is irresistible like a chocolate cupcake with icing and sprinkles, it’s not always perfect. Do your tutor a favour (and yourself) and take some time out with something to drink and read your paper. Out loud.

Reading out loud allows you to set the tone of the assignment while seeing if there are any spelling/grammar errors you mightn’t have noticed beforehand. If you’re pressed for time, you can always ask your friend or parent/s to read your assignment for editing and suggestion tips.

Tip: Try copying your assignment into Google Text and listen to the robotic voice read your assignment while editing.

Ladies and Gentlemen, students and Dearest Readers, this has been your tips and tricks on The Art of Assignment Writing and the final post for Back To School: College Edition. I wish to thank you for popping over and taking the time to read my post and hopefully gain some valid information, tips and tricks.

Until next time,

Cheers xo

Previous Back To School: College Edition posts:

A Letter To Future Nurses

10 Things Every College Student Needs To Know

7 Ways To Better Time Management

Parental Advice for Parents & College Students

How To Successfully Pass Group Assignments

How To Survive Getting Ill In College.

How To: Lower Stress During Exams.

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