Framing your assignment

Any student will find tackling an assignment muddled and difficult if he has not taken some time to devise a plan of attack before starting...
Grab the assignment details and some blank paper and follow the tips below to prepare a methodical approach:
  • On the assignment sheet, underline or highlight the key points of any statements or elements that you are required to explore.
  • Also highlight any further requirements stated on the assignment outline, such as formatting, resource or word limits.
  • Establish the writing style required for your submission. You should know the difference between an essay, research report, business plan and all the other types of writing assignment approaches before getting started. 
  • Most students do poorly in assignments by not understanding what is required even though it is written in black and white. This can frustrate markers but it does make it easier to distinguish good papers from poor ones. Remember, think of the person marking you assignment, they have lots of marking to do and you can either make their job easier or harder by understanding the requirements. 
  • After establishing the written requirements, you must understand the components of the submission. Typically, business plans, essays and other styles of assignments have standard formats that should be used in your assignment, including headings, alignment, glossaries, indexing, referencing and so on. These must be executed in alignment with the academic expectations of your area of study.
Some universities are extremely strict on this point. Make sure you utilize writing guides set by your School or Faculty, or confirm with your course instructor if uncertain. Students often make the mistake of submitting an assignment that is acceptable to them or the standards of another subject, while it is incompatible to actual area of study for that assignment. For example, the layout for a Law Report may differ from a Marketing Report and the referencing style may also differ for the two areas of study.
  • Write down or map out a draft outline of how your written assignment will be structured and the components that you will be including, along with any subsections for topics you will be touching on - this will form the framework for your written assignment.
  • Conduct your research of supporting materials and extract your key findings to support your ideas that you will put forward in your arguments. Don’t forget that as you write your assignment, it is likely that you will need to do more research to back up any new concepts you decide to explore in your work.
  • Grab hold of other similar assignments from past students or from papers that are available online here at Pogojo. Having both good and bad examples of assignments can be a worthwhile in helping you structure your work. 
  • Lastly, DO NOT Plagiarize! Read Pogojo’s Plagiarism Policy here, but more importantly, make sure you understand your university’s policy before submitting any work for sale.
Go back to Writing an Assignment techniques.