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Ten top tips for the perfect assignment!

Leeds Beckett Academic Librarian Ellie Clement gives us her top ten tips for writing the perfect assignment.

Ten top tips for the perfect assignment

1. Understand the question

What are you being asked to do? How are you being asked to present it? Assignments come in all shapes and sizes. The understanding assignment questions section of the Skills for Learning website explains further. If you don’t understand anything ask your lecturer for clarification now, rather than two days before the deadline.

2. Plan your time

How much time have you got? What else do you have to do? Use the assignment calculator to plan your study Think about the amount of time you'll need at the hand-in deadline. If you need to meet an online submission deadline, check that you understand how to do it via Turnitin.

3. Think about what do you already know about the topic

Review the content from your lecture slides on MyBeckett. Get to know the vocabulary. Start to think about what else you need to know. Search for information on Discover and take a look at the online guides put together by your Academic Librarian.

4. Don't avoid essential reading

Make sure you've completed the readings for the topic. You can find your reading lists alongside your modules in MyBeckett and filter for Essential and Recommended texts. Learn when to skim and scan for key points and read deeply for content.

5. Take effective notes

Learn how to take effective notes from your lectures and reading. Include full details of where you found each piece of information to make citing and referencing easy. There's guidance on the Skills for Learning website.

6. Plan your structure

Use the introduction to explain your structure, and the conclusion to draw the threads of your argument together. Use the LIttle Book of Essay writing to help you or if your assignment requires you to write a report, deliver a presentation or write reflectively you'll find help for that too.

7. Reference correctly

Include citations in the text and a reference list at the end of your work using the Harvard style (or the style required by your School). Use Quote Unquote - our guide to Harvard Referencing; available online.

8. Have a break

As you gave yourself enough time to complete your work you can walk away from it, reflect on what is good and what you may need to improve.

9. Review and reflect

Make sure you edit and proofread your work before you hand it in. And return to it after you get your marks. Use your feedback to see what you can learn for your next assignment.

10. Ask for help if you need it

And of course, if you need help please ask for it. Library IT support is available 24/7 if you are having any technical issues and you can also use the information on the Library and Skills for Learning websites or contact an Academic Librarian or Academic Skills Advisor for more in depth help.

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Distance Learners can join the Leeds Beckett Distance Learning Community on Google+ to ask questions and find information and guidance from peers and the Distance Learning Unit.

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