How to Make Your Writing Plan for University Assignments

University Assignments
University life comes with its share of challenges. One of these is writing longer assignments that require higher information, communication and critical thinking skills than what you might are used to in high school. According to experts of an assignment writing service, it is necessary to plan your approach to an assignment. It will ensure that you understand the task, will manage your time, and present a structured and focused argument.

Step 1: Planning:
Planning your assignment can assist you to get focused and keep you on track. Check how much your assignment is worth and what percentage of the final mark it is. This will help you decide how much time to spend on it. Check the marking schedule to see what your tutor will be looking for when they mark your work and how the marks will be assigned. This will assist you to know what to focus on. If there is no marking schedule check the assignment question to see if the information is there. Think about what you need to do to complete your assignment (for example, what research, writing drafts, reference checking, reviewing and editing, etc). Break these up into a list of tasks to do. Give each task a deadline, working backwards from your assignment due date.

Step 2: Analyze the Question:
Before you can answer a question, you need to know what it means. Read it slowly and carefully, and try to understand what's expected of you. Ask yourself:
  • What's the question about? What's the topic?
  • What does the question mean?
  • What do I have to do?

Step 3: Draft an Outline:
Drafting an outline will give you a structure to follow when it comes to writing your assignment. The type of assignment you are doing will give you a broad structure, but you should also check the question and marking schedule, as they will assist you to understand how the lecturer expects the topic to be structured, what must be included, and which sections are worth the most marks. From there you can create your outline, using headings and gaps for the information you have to fill in.

Essay Outlines:
Most of the assignments you will have to do are essays, which generally follow the same basic structure:
  • Introduction (+ 100% of the assignment) – This is where you introduce the topic and the main points, and briefly explain the purpose of the assignment and your intended outcome or findings. It's a good idea to write down the introduction last so that you know what to include.
  • Discussion (+ 80th of the assignment) – This section is divided into a number of paragraphs. Decide what points you want to discuss and include a new paragraph for each main point. A paragraph usually starts with a topic sentence stating the main idea, followed by supporting evidence and examples. In your outline try and include draft topic sentences and a few ideas outlining what you wish to include in each section.
  • Conclusion (+ 100% of the assignment) – Conclusions briefly restate your main argument, evaluate your ideas and summarize your conclusions. They don’t introduce any new information.

Step 4: Find Information:
Before you start writing, you need to research your topic and find relevant and reliable information. You will find some in your course materials and recommended readings, but you can also try:
  • The open polytechnic library.
  • Your local public library.
  • Talking to experts.
  • Online sources.
Once you have found information, the next step will be to evaluate it to ensure it is right for your assignment.

Step 5: Write:
Once you've found the information you need it’s time to bring it altogether and write your assignment.

Write Your 1st Draft:
  • Use your outline and fill in the gaps, writing your main points for each section. - Write freely, getting as much down as you can without worrying about the wording being 100% right.
  • You may find it easiest to start with the conclusion so that you know which direction your writing is heading or the background.
  • The introduction is often the hardest to write down, so leave that till last.
  • Don’t spend too much time trying to make this draft perfect as it will change!

Step 6: Edit and Proofread:
Once you've written your assignment, you can improve it by editing and proofreading, but before you do take a break. Even a short break helps you to get some distance from your work so that you can check your assignment with a fresh eye.
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