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6 Steps You Should Take When Doing an Academic Assignment

Students are overwhelmed with written assignments. Just a few may manage their time effectively getting excellent marks for all papers. Most students find it difficult to develop high-quality works and submit them without delays. Is there any secret knowledge that will help you to transform the boring paper writing into the effective and less time-consuming process? Sure, it is! If you want to learn more about helpful tips, then let’s get started.

Following the step-by-step guidelines below, you will be able to change your attitude to written assignments as they will not look so horrible anymore. You will gain necessary skills to deal with challenging tasks successfully taking not more efforts than usually. The main secret of success is the proper organization of the work. You should be careful and take six steps, which will help to improve your writing.

Step 1: Plan your work

Any activity should be thoroughly planned if you want to achieve the goal. An academic assignment is not an exception. Perhaps, this type of work requires even more planning than anything else. There are several things you need to do when planning your assignment.

  • Estimate the task importance in terms of its impact on the final grade. Sure that it doesn’t mean that you can take it not seriously if it is just the standard essay writing. This means that those assignments, which results will have more weight for the final grade, should be taken with utmost seriousness.
  • Ask the teacher to provide you with the detailed instructions to have a clear picture of what you should do to prepare for the task submission in the best possible way.
  • Schedule everything you should do. For example, you may decide that till Monday you should find the research sources and analyze them. Plan every type of activity setting the deadlines by yourself. This will help you to be more disciplined and organize your work properly.

Step 2: Make a deep analysis of the assignment topic

Some teachers assign to write on certain topics while others allow choosing any topic you like. In any case, you should make an in-depth analysis making sure you understand the topic well. You won’t be able to reveal the main idea if the topic seems unclear.

  • Make sure you understand the meaning of the terms used in the topic.
  • Entrust that you know what you are expected to provide in the paper.
  • Search for the specific words that relate to the topic.

Every time you find some interesting idea, which can be used for your research, write it down somewhere not to forget.

Step 3: Don’t underestimate the importance of creating a detailed outline

Some students may think that it is a waste of time but it is a wrong point of view. The detailed outline can help to organize your thoughts and help to see how the final version should look like. As  the most frequent assignment is an essay, you can be sure that the structure looks the same. You will need to include the following parts:

  • introduction
  • main body
  • conclusion

By “introduction” and “conclusion” we can mean the first and the last paragraph. One should not treat these elements of the text formally. The first paragraph or the first part of the text introduces the reader to the course of the case, brings him or her to the problem, which is devoted to the essay. There is no need to have a long introduction – one or two paragraphs will be enough.

The main part requires the most attention.  It can have a different structure: Thesis-argumentation, thesis-argumentation, thesis-argumentation, etc. In this case, first, fix the thought, then prove it.

Reverse structure (facts-inference). We describe the situation or give facts, draw a conclusion. By “thesis” we mean a short finished thought, which the author wants to convey to the reader of the essay. Under argument – some proof of the thesis. It can be a situation from life, news, a scientist’s opinion, a scientific theory or a fact proven by science. The best variant is when one thesis is supported by two arguments. One may seem unconvincing while two will overload the text.

In the conclusion, as a rule, you should summarize everything that was said in the essay. The author sums up the results together with the reader. It is important that the conclusions are not contrived and do not arise “out of nowhere”. In the conclusion, there should be only what the reader should come to, having familiarized himself  or herself with the main part of your work.

Step 4: Look for the relevant information

The ability to find the necessary information is very useful not only for students. The process of information search can be defined as an identification of the specific pieces of information, which relate to a certain topic. You can find a lot of information on the Internet but your task is to understand what you need and what isn’t valuable for your topic.

The search of information supposes to include several stages:

  • the identification of the informational necessity;
  • the formulation of the request;
  • the identification of the sources containing the information on the request;
  • retrieval of the information from the sources;
  • the process of familiarization with the information and its analysis

It is very important to have a clear picture of what you are looking for. Use only the reliable sources of information. Keep in mind that it is not enough to use the Internet only, though it has become the most popular source of information today. It is a good idea to look for the sources in the library, read magazines, newspapers. You can find it anywhere, including media.

Step 5: Write your assignment

It is high time to start writing! Stick to the structure. If you are going to write an essay, remember that the optimal number of paragraphs is five or six. Let the flow of thoughts guide you. Don’t concentrate on anything else at this stage of crafting a paper as your attention will be distracted and you risk to forget what you were going to write about.

  • Look at the outline and try to stick to it.
  • Start from the main body if don’t know how to start an introduction. Doing so you will be able to make a deep research and then create an introductory part understanding what is the main idea of the research.
  • Try to be original and unique.

Step 6: Improve the quality of your paper by editing and proofreading

Your paper won’t be great without the editing and proofreading. This is the final step you should take to make sure you did a great job. The text will sound find if you reread it and edit those parts that don’t sound good. Also, you should pay special attention to the word order in sentences, make sure they sound logical and grammatically correct. When proofreading the text, you should correct all spelling and grammar mistakes. It is possible to do this with the help of online grammar checkers, however, you can’t rely on them 100% as these are machines. It is better to ask somebody to judge your paper. Make sure that the goal set in the very beginning has been successfully reached in the end. Things you need to pay special attention to when polishing your piece of writing:

  • Many complicated sentences will become easier and more understandable if they are broken down into several short sentences.
  •  Abstract words (most often adjectives) greatly complicate perception. It’s better to replace them with more specific things. Try to detail the abstraction, and your text will become more convincing.
  • Start editing at least in an hour. When you start to reread your work, you will certainly see in it a lot of inaccuracies, unreasonable repetitions, logical errors. Somewhere, you’ll notice that you missed part of the word. And sometimes it happens that a new interesting idea is attending, which will decorate the paper. Be prepared for this.
  • Do not forget about punctuation. If you doubt whether you need to put a comma, try to rewrite this sentence. Simplify it breaking into several small ones.
  • In conclusion, check the spelling.

The process of writing academic assignments is not as easy as ABC, however, everything depends on how you treat it. It is up to you to make it more productive. If you practice writing following the tips above you will definitely improve your writing skills and with time stop considering the essay writing a tiresome process. If you organize your work and do everything step by step without any hassle, you have great chances to pass your paper with flying colors. And don’t forget about the assignment presentation.

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