If you are students from Asian countries, maybe doing assignment is not very familiar to you. We have met a lot of students from Asia who had struggles at their beginning time studying in Australia. Mainly, their problem is being not familiar with studying style here in most Australian Universities.
One of the most important assessments in University is doing assignment. This task sound easy, but it’s not and to pass the assessment or even get High Distinction on your assignment, we suggest you to follow our below TIPS.
The Strategy is to divided the process of doing assignment into different sub-tasks, and doing those step by step. It will help you avoid distraction and time management, as well as knowing clearly what to do.
There are total 7 steps to follows
- Topic analysis
- Beginning research
- Reading critically
- Taking notes for assignments
- Planning your writing
- Editing and proofreading
It is useful to analyse your topics or Assignment requirement into following elements:
- Task words (these are verbs or what you have to do)
- Circle the verbs
- Topic words(these are the ideas/concepts/issues you need to discuss – they are usually nouns)
- Underline the nouns
- Limiting words– these limit your focus and often involve:
- Period (of time)
- Population (or group)
- Bracket the limiting words
At this stage, we suggest you consider in more details about the assignment topic by Brainstorming ideas around your found task words, topic words.
It’s possible to use 5W’s and H’s question to do the brainstorm.
If you have not been clear about your assignment topics, it’s useful to do some research on Google. Google is very helpful for your to get a general ideas about all the concept, definition and requirements in your assignment.
However, you also needs to be careful, because your task is Academic assignment. So after getting general idea what to do, you are better stick with another more powerful tools for research. It’s is University Library.
Every university has Library systems that allow you to access great amount of material for your research. Spend time understand how your University Library system work, and do research with it.
Remember that whatever you do, you nearly always need to cite academic, peer reviewed articles and books in your assignments.
To understand what reading critically means, you’re better know what critical reader does when they read
- They question as they read.
- They do not necessarily accept what they read as 100% accurate or the only way of discussing an idea.
- They identify the positive (useful) and negative (less useful or weak) aspects of an argument.
- They analyse or identify the component parts of arguments so that they can fully understand the author’s ideas.
- They look for content (basic facts), themes (overall ideas or arguments or claims) and based on these they are able to raise issues about a text (how the ideas can be applied in practice or what the problems might be in practice).
- They find links between authors. They can identify which authors are talking about similar ideas even when they sound different.
- They form opinions about what they have read.
Taking notes for assignments
As we said above, whatever you put on your assignment, which is not from your original ideas, but from your research, then you’re better to mention as reference. So, the good way to avoid missing some reference is to take note of all useful ideas that you’re gonna use in your assignment.
You can use below sample to keep track on your notes and then it will help you with reference list later.
Planning your writing
Up to this stage, you are 60% done with your assignment, because you will soon realise that pre-writing is the most time consuming stage of your work.
Now, what you need to do is to collect and connect all of the notes that you took before together.
- Look at your research notes
- Decide how these notes will come together under a few main sections of the paper. Obviously there will be an introduction, body and conclusion, but what will you include in each part?
- It is often useful to decide on the sections or major ideas that you want to talk about in the body first and then plan the introduction and conclusion afterwards.
- Sometimes two or more questions from your research will come together under one heading in your plan.
As you write, remember to include links between ideas (between sentences, between paragraphs and between sections in your essay). This ensures that your writing flows and will make more sense to your reader, who is (nearly always) also your marker.
Editing and proofreading
This can be a neglected part of the assignment writing process, but we hope you will not neglect it. To make your assignment ready for submission, let’s follow below steps
- Allocate at least an hour (for an assignment of about 1 to 2,000 words). It is possible to improve your marks significantly if you take time to proofread.
- Before you proofread, put your assignment aside for at least half a day (don’t work on it at this time). When you come to read it again, you will most likely look at it differently. If at this point you notice a lack of clarity or you are unsure about what you have written, it is probably a good indication that you should make some changes.
- Read it to yourself to see if it flows, to see if the ideas are linked, and to see if it makes overall sense.
- Read it aloud, focussing on punctuation, grammar, and word processing errors. Where you pause for a breath, you will most likely need a comma; a big breath or the end of an idea will most likely need a full stop!
- Do use spell check, but be sure to choose the best option from the list of suggestions.