Planning your assignment

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Completing an assessed assignment over several days or several weeks can be difficult to manage but following a few simple steps will make the task more manageable and the learning more enjoyable for you.

Analyze the learning outcomes

Read the learning outcomes for the assignment carefully because your work will be assessed against the learning outcomes. Look in particular at the first verb of each learning outcome and consider exactly what you have to do – what does “analyze” mean? What does “explore” mean? What does “evaluate” mean? What do I have to do exactly to demonstrate each verb? And so on. Ask your faculty for clarification in case of doubt.

Read the task methodology

Make sure you know the structure of what you have to produce – Is the work divided into different sections? Is there a word count for each section? What is the overall word count?

Group work

Assign specific tasks to group members with deadlines for completion. Decide how you will share your work. Set regular meetings and agree on action points. If your team is not functioning well, inform your faculty member.

Resources and research

What resources do you need to create your work, to support your ideas? Which library databases will be the most useful to you? Who are the experts in this field (whose work you should use)? What are the key theories, concepts you need to use? Ask your faculty member for guidance. Ask the librarians for help finding resources.

Outline your work

Make a plan (bullet point list, mind map etc.) of the main points you want to make. List the resource or evidence that will support each point.

Create your reference list…

… as you work through your project, do not wait until the end. Include the in text citations in your outline plan.

Written project or oral presentation

Once you have gathered your material, think about how you will communicate effectively. How will you convey your points with impact? How will you make your work memorable?

First draft

Write a first draft of your main points. Discuss your ideas with your faculty, with your colleagues (but do not share your work electronically with other students asking you for help). If possible, submit your first draft through turnitin to check for issues of similarity.

Write the conclusion

Restate out your main argument. Leave the reader or listener with a final point or question to think about. Create a short introduction.

Proofread and submit

Avoid submitting just before the deadline. This will reduce stress on you in case of last-minute problems.