Tips and Tricks on Writing Assignments
Aside from Mathematics, writing is one of the students’ most dreaded academic-related activities. Apart from the tedious process of researching and note taking, writing assignments must be done in a manner that will reflect a student’s understanding about certain topics and its ability to convey such understanding to the readers.
While not everyone may be a born writer or has the luxury of spending too much time on a writing task alone, here are some guidelines that will help when writing your assignment.
Gather all relevant data and information. It should constantly be stressed that research is very important before doing your assignment. Use all the tools and resources available in the library or online and highlight the information you’re going to need.
Make an Outline. As a blueprint of your assignment, an outline should include the main points of discussion. Having an outline will help organize your ideas and how to write it, conduct literature searches and helps divide the word count for every section.
Create an Introduction. An introduction should contain 1-2 paragraphs with a brief background about what will be discussed and the objectives of writing the assignment. The thesis statement may also be incorporated in the introduction.
Ensure continuity of ideas. When writing your assignment, make sure that the idea conveyed in your first paragraph will be related to your succeeding paragraphs to enable your readers to follow your train of thought. Use transition words wherein the last sentences or ideas written will act as a “bridge” as you move on the next paragraph conveying a different subject. And as a general rule, stick to one main idea per paragraph to avoid confusion among readers.
Use examples. Use examples to better explain your topic and to enable readers to have a clear understanding of what you are talking about. More so, your assignment should reflect on how well you are able to understand your topic based from multiple sources by applying the concepts learned in practical applications.
Maximize tables and figures. While it may not reduce the number of words you’re only allowed to use, tables, figures or any form of illustration can be useful and effective in conveying information and date to your readers. For instance, if you have to present the 2013 Obesity Rate in the United States, graphs or tables may be a better way of showing it, to be supplemented with 2-3 sentences describing the illustration. Keep in mind that every illustration used should also be labeled for reader’s reference.
Stick with the word count. 1,000-word assignment may be dragging to read while shorter ones may not be able to exemplify the idea you would want to convey to your readers. If the word count indicates 450-500 words, then your assignment should be within the limit prescribed.
Cite your sources. Plagiarism is prevalent these days, hence considered as a major offense in most schools and universities around the world. Make attributions when borrowing an idea or illustration or making a direct quotation from a person. All the information and materials you’ve used should be included in your bibliography list. And in making citations, there are numerous styles that can be used so use a specific referencing style according to what was prescribed by your instructor.
Make a Conclusion. Your conclusion should state again the aim of the assignment, a brief summary of the main points discussed and final sentence which can be a challenge or question or something to think about for your readers. Conclusion should be strong and compact in order to leave in impact to your readers.
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