Students who get assignment problems or are looking for inspiration to improve their grade, there are various procedures to ensure that their assignment is a success. An assignment is a collection of your own ideas about a particular topic. It must have a clear, organized structure which presents your ideas in such a way that the reader can understand them, follow them, and is convinced by your arguments, or at least can see your point of view because of the evidence you have presented. Below are various guidelines on how to write the best assignments.
How to start?
Start by reading the question. It may sound rather too obvious to mention but year after year, students just look at a word or phrase in the assignment title, without considering whether they are really answering what has been asked of them. You need to analyze the question and remember that certain focus words are clues as to what the tutor is asking of you.
How to Research?
To research a topic and find suitable source material, you need to plan a search strategy. This ensures that you know exactly what you are looking for. To plan your research, you need to decide on:
Deleting what is not required
- The focus of the essay question
- The key concepts - write down words related to the topic
- Alternative terms - write down other words that mean the same thing as the key concepts
- Your understanding of the issues - write down things you think will be important to answer the question
- Your sources - where will you find material?
More often than not, you'll find you have far too much material to put in your assignment and so you'll have to filter through it and choose the best. You should ask various questions to yourself whether this source will add value to my essay or so I have any better sources to support my arguments. Is the source a quality source? Is it reliable? Avoid using open-source encyclopedias like Wikipedia - you don't know how reliable the information is. Therefore it is important to ensure you have sufficient sources to support your writing if you are aiming for a good grade.
Sources That Impress
As perfect as your essay may be, it is difficult to impress without showing an element of originality. Using a good selection of quality sources adds strength to your arguments and the quality of your paper. If you refer to the work of more vague and controversial writers, you may well spark the interest of the lecturer, provided that such material is well presented and used appropriately. Strong well supported arguments against an established point of view are also a means of showing originality and thus gaining extra marks.
Things to keep in mind before writing an assignment
Before you start writing your assignment, it is helpful to keep in mind the qualities that your final piece of work should have.
Planning the assignment Structure
- To attain a 1st, you need to demonstrate an exceptional level of clarity. You must also show special signs of excellence or originality.
- Your presentation should be impeccable and your arguments should be supported so the reader is left in no doubt as to the accuracy of the information.
- Not only will your assignment show that you have a comprehensive knowledge of the topic and an excellent understanding of the issues and debates concerned, but it will also show you have excellent study skills, through your ability to select and interpret quality materials and authority to support your arguments.
- Your writing should be structured logically so that arguments are developed in a convincing way.
Many students think an assignment structure means introduction body and conclusion. This is the very basic structure but a more detailed plan will help you write well. A good structure for your assignment is below but you'll need to expand this and include details of what you intend to cover in each section.
The introduction is the place to grip your reader, sufficiently impress them and make them want to know more. It may include:
This is where you prove your case. Remember at all times that you are making an argument, not narrating a story. Use the keywords you identified in your search strategy to help you. Make sure that every paragraph in some way refers to those keywords - or it will be irrelevant.
- FIRST PARAGRAPH: Provide facts and evidence, evaluate evidence, and reach conclusions about evidence
- SECOND PARAGRAPH: Provide further evidence, evaluate and reach conclusions
- THIRD PARAGRAPH: Present the opposite view, present evidence to support it.
Avoid lengthy direct statements or quotes. If you are going to use a quote you need to support it with relevant facts or examples, or you will not gain any marks for the material utilized.
The conclusion is where you summarize the main findings of your research. Without a conclusion, you won’t get any marks. Draw together the components of your arguments and make sure you spell out how any weaknesses have been dealt with. The reader should be convinced of your conclusion but this is not the place to include new material. It should only draw on what you have already said. This structure will not, of course, fit every assignment essay project but it gives you an idea of how you can plan your assignment in advance for a good result. After finishing your assignment, make sure you read - reread and reread it again. Read it out loud to make sure it flows well. Check the spelling and grammar using various tools on your PC.
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