Plan your time
Expect to spend roughly 15 to 20 hours on a 1000 to 2000 word assignment. This time is usually best spent over a few weeks.
It is often wise to work on more than one assignment at a time.
It is common for students to spend all their time on the first assignment that is due, and as the semester goes on to find that there is less time available to spend on assignments that are due later. If later assignments are worth more marks or require more work than earlier ones, you may find that you do not have enough time to do justice to these assignments. Thus, your marks may be more of a reflection of your time management than your ability.
Manage your assignments
- Put aside some time each week to work on assignments for each subject.
- Assign yourself a small part of the assignment writing process each week.
- Use a semester planner
- Write in the weeks of the semester and the courses that you are doing.
- Assign parts of the writing task to each subject each week.
Think about all the steps that will be involved in completing the task. The steps in the assignment writing process will be sufficient for some assignments, but for tasks that involve group work or making a PowerPoint, for example, you will need to make time for meetings or making slides and rehearsing your presentation.
Here is an example of how you might manage your assignment load:
There are many different types of assignments set at university and each type has its own structure and features. It is not possible to cover them all here, but some examples include:
- research essay
- literature review
- annotated bibliography
- reflective journal
- critical review or analytical review
- case study
- lab/practical or experiment write up
- project report
It is always important to check with your lecturer or tutor as to what exactly they require you to do. This table outlines the purpose, real life audience, tone of writing and structural features of some assignments. It will give you a start when you are trying to work out what style of writing you should try to produce.
|Case study (report)|
|Review of an article|
Tables and Figures
Reports generally include tables and figures. To learn how to design, explain and integrate tables and figures effectively into your writing, download our notes on Incorporating Tables and Figures Effectively Into Your Writing and the Graphic Presentation Handbook.