Here are the tips that have helped me gain a first (70%+) in each of my first year assignments 😊
- As soon as the assignment is set, write the deadline in your diary. I always write in a reminder a month before the due date as well.
- Print the assignment brief/crib sheet off and read through the learning outcomes to ensure you know what the assignment is wanting. Also print out the marking guidance to check your final assignment against.
- Soon after the assignment is set, sit down and make a plan of when you would like to have sections completed by.
- If you have no idea how to make a plan for yourself, Kent University have a resource called ASK : Assignment Survival Kit. You input your start date and deadline date, it generates a plan for you with dates on to have different sections completed by.
- Begin by finding relevant sources of information that you may use within your assignment, create a reference list with these on as you find them. It’s much easier to compile your reference list as you go along, instead of leaving it until the end.
- Try to find references from a range of sources. Use reputable internet sites, journal articles and textbooks to give you a wide selection of resources. This also shows that you have taken the time to read around your subject instead of just using what a google search brings up.
- There is no limit on the amount of references, I aim to have at least one every 100 words.
- Print internet resources out so that you can highlight key points that you would like to paraphrase, this saves time returning to the website constantly. I write the reference on a sticky note and attach to the printed out resource.
- Write your assignment in note form. Use headers such as ‘Intro’, ‘paragraph 1’ etc and just bullet point what you think you will include in these sections.
- Write a draft and then leave it a few weeks before you look at it again. This helps to look at the assignment with ‘fresh eyes’ and spot any errors or information that is missing.
- I write my introduction first, others write the introduction once they have wrote the main body of the assignment. Either way is fine, whichever works for you!
- Aim to have the assignment finished around a month before the deadline, this allows time to edit and check all the references a couple of times before it is due.
- Before submitting, check your reference list matches your in-text references. I also check that any internet links are correct and link to the correct websites.
- This option on word will alphabetise your reference list if you highlight the full list and click it.
- If you are going to buy one book for university, make it the Cite Them Right book. It has many different referencing styles in and I find it better to use than the website.
- About 2 weeks before the deadline, I’ll submit my assignment into turnitin, minus my reference list, so I can see the similarity score and change anything that needs changing. I will then submit with my reference list attached.
- Around 2 days before deadline, I will read my assignment for the last time. I will make any last minute changes and then submit for the final time.
- If you have a couple of assignments due around the same time, try to complete one in at least draft form before you start another one. Some people can have a few assignments on the go at once, but I like to complete one in draft form before I start on another.
- Try to complete as much as you can whilst you’re on theory time at uni, as the last thing you want to do after a placement shift is work on assignments.
- Read your assignment out loud as this helps to pick up on any grammatical errors. Choose someone else to proofread it if you can (not the best idea to choose someone in your cohort however much you trust them!).
- An hour a day is better than nothing!
If you’re a last minute person, you may not feel these tips are useful for you. What I would say is even if you only gather your sources of information so you have a draft reference list, this will save you time whilst you’re writing your assignment. You may find that you need more but at least you’ll have a selection ready to be used.
Let me know if you have any other useful tips!