Study Guide - Assignments
provide an alternate means of assessing the skills possessed by a student
as opposed to examinations. An assignment unlike an , is a form of active learning,
where a student will have to research and understand a topic and then be able to write
about the topic in a coherent fashion. An assignment also allows to determine
whether a student can access, handle, arrange, and critically assess information. Quite
often in the case of , the assignment will provide a means of
judging how well a student can interact with and work with other group members. It is
therefore vital for students to successfully complete assignments, as it will allow
them to demonstrate and exercise those tasks that they will need when they eventually
look for work. This section deals with assignments and how best to undertake them.
Managing Your Time
One of the most useful skills that you need to acquire is time management. You need to
be able to manage your time in such a way that you not only have sufficient time for
your , but also any other work that currently needs completing. One of the
best ways to effectively manage your time is to prioritise your work. To do this properly
you must take into consideration the deadline, size and difficulty of your assignments.
You will also need to take into consideration any other time that you need to spend
studying for other units ( often suggest six hours a week private study for each
) and upcoming . This is by no means an easy task. If you find it
difficult to work over a prolonged time, make work targets, whereby you must finish x
amount of work after one hour and so on. This enables you to work to your final target
of completing the assignment but alleviates the feeling that there is so much to be
done. By managing your time successfully you will be able to complete your work
efficiently and to the best of your abilities.
Leaving an to the last minute is a very popular activity. This affects your
study and will undoubtedly make an impact on your final grades. The reason being that
even though it may be possible to complete an assignment in a minimal amount of time
(i.e. The night before the deadline), many influencing factor will reduce the grade
that you will receive as:
- You will not have access to all the resources that you need.
- You have already lost the time needed to generate ideas.
- You are assuming that you will have a that works and a printer available to you.
- There is no time to thoroughly check your assignment for mistakes and make amendments.
- There is no time to add extras/finishing touches.
- You will be aiming to pass instead of gaining the mark that you can truly achieve.
- Your other study and will suffer as a result of lack of sleep and added stress.
There may be occasions when you do have to undertake an assignment with little time to
prepare. This may be to do with bad time management or just simply extenuating circumstances.
In this position, you must act fast and think about achieving what the assignment is
asking of you in the minimal amount of time but still to your best ability. The
following guide may help with the task ahead:
- Read through and try to understand the assignment's objectives twice.
- Look at the marking criteria to see what you have to achieve to pass the and to gain higher grades.
- Spend a few minutes thinking about the objectives and write down the structure that your assignment will follow.
- Do not waste time handwriting your actual assignment unless you do not plan to hand in a word-processed hardcopy.
- Plan to answer the basic requirements of the assignment first and then build on your work.
- Ensure that you save your work every five-to-ten minutes and use multiple as well as the computers hard-drive.
- Make a hardcopy of your assignment at key stages as a backup.
- When you have finished, take a break of up to 30 minutes (if time permits) and then ensure that you run a spell-check and read you work.
- If there is still time, attempt to make small final adjustments to the assignment ensuring that you check each one individually before making any further changes.
- Try to get 1-2 hours sleep before leaving to hand in your work.
Planning Your Assignment
Before setting out to gather information concerning the , make sure you
analyse the set question(s) carefully. You do not want to start researching ideas that
may not be applicable to the work being undertaken. When you feel that you have fully
understood what is being asked of you, you can then gather the necessary information.
There are many useful sources of information available for example the
library, your local library, and the . Also think about online newspaper
archives which will be available to you via the and talk to
your colleagues undertaking the same assignment. Ensure that you make the most of the
resources available to you, and decide which resources are most suitable for your
assignment. For further useful information look up the Resource Centre section of this
site. It has a wealth information that you will find extremely useful for carrying out
your assignment. or teachers can prove to be another useful source of information,
and can provide advice on how best to source your information.
When you have completed the task of gathering information for your , plan how
best to structure your assignment. One of the most effective ways to structure your
assignment is to use a paragraph plan, whereby you determine the paragraphs that you will
need to include (e.g. the introduction, main body, conclusion etc. You can then write a
small description for each one. Also you should decide what other additional parts that
you may need, typically a:
- Cover page
- Contents page and
Completing Your Assignment
One of the most important tasks that you will have to undertake prior to submitting your
, is that of reading it. When you are initially writing your assignment, your
main aim is to complete it. Once you have done this, you should proof read your assignment
for spelling mistakes and grammatical errors, as well as paragraph structure. You should
use a dictionary or the spell-checker on your computer if it has been typed. Check that
that your assignment contains everything that it should do, and that you have not forgotten
to include any main points or comments. Subsequent to double checking your work yourself,
you could submit your work to another student or even a and use the feedback to make
One final check that you should make is that you have supplied sufficient evidence of all the
information that you have used, in order to prove that you have not been involved in .
For more information concerning plagiarism, please view the Plagiarism section of this site.
If you are experiencing difficulty with your assignment, you should contact your or .
He/she will be able to give you help and advice concerning your assignment and should be
able to help resolve the problem. Depending upon circumstances you may be allowed extra time to
complete your . Ensure that you use this extra time only if you need it and that you
make the most of it.
Handing In Your Assignment
Make sure that you have retained a copy of your work before you hand it in. The copy will be very
useful in the event of any issues arising regarding you work. Make sure you place your assignment
in the allocated assignment area promptly as you may incur a deduction of marks for late
If you have any concerns, questions, or issues regarding your assignment please see your
as soon as possible. If the need for extra time to undertake your is required, you
will need to show that it is not because you have just left it too late starting it.