Putting Your Assignment Together
A key element of distance learning with ADL is the undertaking of assignments. Our courses are split into lesson; smaller units that deliver the information of a course and are focussed around a smaller and more manageable part of the subject matter. After every lesson comes an assignment based upon the subject matter of the lesson just given, which will often be some form of essay based task. Here’s a short guide of things to consider when it's time to write your Essay.
Pick a Topic
Often you will be told specifically what to write about, however sometimes you will receive more freedom to decide what specifically you want to address. In the later case, always take care to ensure that it is obviously connected with the lesson just completed and provides plenty of opportunity for you to demonstrate your recently acquired knowledge and understanding.
Remember – your tutor is looking to assess you based on your learning and the assignment is your opportunity to display how far you’ve come.
The next stage is to pull together the information you have found, both from your course material provided to you and from any further sources you are using, that will form the basis of the argument you are going to make in your essay. Take these concepts and ideas as you find them and rewrite them into your own words to ensure that you understand them.
You may also want to highlight particular excerpts of facts or opinions from your study to use to emphasise a point of your own – be sure to record the exact source of any such quote you use to avoid any accusations of plagiarism.
Once you have your facts and ideas put together, you should put together a draft or a framework for how your final assignment will look. Consider linking one paragraph to each key idea you identified in the research stage and put together some sort of order for how you will explore each concept in parts.
Now that you have your ideas together and in order, it’s time to get down to the real work of writing your essay. Don’t worry about making mistakes or making it perfect at this point – the real challenge at this step is simply to get something down on paper. Think of it like making a meal – you’ve got the ingredients but if you don’t prepare them and put them together you’ll never get around to eating it – seasoning to taste can happen later! In the same way refining your writing should happen later…
… Which would be the next stage. Once you have your text completed, take a break. This is to ensure that when you come back to your document, you are able to read it with fresh eyes. Take the time to go through your text from top to bottom. Check that you have appropriate titles and subtitles where needed and that you have a suitable introduction and conclusion for your discussion. Read your work aloud and ensure it sounds correct when you do so. Make any changes to the body of your text that is necessary.
Having finalized the content of your text the final thing is to check for spelling, punctuation and grammar. These things are essential to ensuring that your assignment reads well and is understood when marked by your Tutor. Not taking the time to check for these things can make it harder for your points to be understood, which can mean you are not credited correctly for your learning.
And a Quick Conclusion:
Remember that the entire purpose of your assignments is to demonstrate your understanding of the topic to your tutor. This is why it is essential for you to take the time to ensure your work is both properly written, correctly researched and as easy to read as possible. Not doing this can result in your progress not being properly recognized by the tutor and you receiving lower marks than you should otherwise.