It is all too easy to worry about writing your assignment and sometimes just starting it can seem difficult. To take away some of that feeling of dread, here are some simple tips that will turn this into a positive and happy experience.
Make sure you have read the relevant course content carefully, making notes, doing any additional research needed, and also allowing some thinking time so that you understand the material. Ensure also that you are familiar with the ‘Student Guide’ that deals with the practicalities of your work.
Chose a time and place that is right for you. Every person is unique in their needs, but it is likely that you will prefer a calm and private space to yourself, where you will not be interrupted, and where you are warm and comfortable. Have a (non-alcoholic) drink at hand and a small amount of food if you need it. Try not to graze on unhealthy foods. They will not help you to feel well. Some people enjoy music in the background, but make sure this is not something that will distract you from your work.
Read the question very carefully. Not just once. Understand exactly what is being asked. If you are unsure, ask your tutor via the ‘message’ facility on the learning platform.
Make some draft notes to form the structure of your answer before writing up your final submission. Only answer exactly what is asked of you. It is tempting to see a word or phrase in the question and write all about it, hoping that the tutor will extract the relevant information from your work. On the contrary, this can indicate to the tutor that you have not fully understood the subject, and cannot use the information meaningfully.
Is there a word-count given in the question? If so, keep to it. This can be challenging.
Use good quality research. Always cite your sources of reference at the end of your work. This not only is good academic practice but adds great value to your work when you return to it in the future.
Never plagiarise! Tutors can tell if you copy and paste chunks of text from the internet, and we do use plagiarism software too. To show understanding, you will need to use your own words in an essay.
Show your passion for a subject, by using practical examples to support a theory if this is appropriate.
If you have an opinion about a subject, make sure you separate this from the more objective part of your answer, and state this is your view.
ENJOY YOUR LEARNING EXPERIENCES. Being curious about new things, and gaining skills and knowledge is a wonderful feeling. Furthermore, if you enjoy studying, you will get far more from it. If you feel reluctant about your subject then you will soon find an excuse not to do it – so take advantage of the great opportunities to learn. Your tutors and the staff at the Academy for Distance Learning are here to help you with any difficulties and to cheer you on.