You thought you had to do a lot of projects and assignments in school didn’t you? And then you entered college, and the number of assignments you got to do on the first day itself came as a rude shock! Now you have already handed over those initial assignments and have been graded for them too. But what’s puzzling you is why your grades are so low? You did give it your best shot. After all, you employed all of those methods that your teachers taught you in school, so then why did this happen?
Well, our friend, that’s precisely why this happened. Employing the same tricks as you did in school for your college/university assignment is just not going to cut it. You need hacks that have been specifically tailor-made for assignments of this educational level so that you can do them better. We have curated a list of the essential tips that can help you write one stellar assignment after the other!
And yes, these tips are applicable for all the different kinds of assignments you will be given in college!
- Choose your place and time of day
Before you even think of kick-starting your assignment with a bang, you have to pick your place and time of the day. And trust us, this is very important. If you get these two things right, half the job is done. The reason why we are placing so much importance on this is because you will be spending a significant chunk of your college life sitting and doing assignments and you have to get comfortable for that. As for the place you should work in, you can choose any spot you want as it long as it helps you focus. From your room to the library, the world is your oyster! And for the time of the day, make sure you’re picking one when your focus levels are at their peak!
- Plan your way through it
Don’t you just miss school days? It was so easy to breeze through your assignment on the night before submission without giving a damn about planning. Alas, times have changed; and to write a college assignment, at least some amount of planning is required. You can start by making a list of all the assignments that are due with their deadlines right beside them. In the next step, you will have to rank them according to priority so that you know which ones need your attention first. Now assign each of them particular time slots and make sure that you stick to the timetable you have made!
- Know the difference between the types of assignments
Yes, we know we told you that this list applies to all types of assignments that you will get but you still have to know the difference between each type so that you can tweak the tips given here according to the assignment type. There are 6 broad types of assignments that you will be exposed to, which include an essay, research paper, report, case study, dissertation and practical projects. You can research them to know the difference; and if you are still confused, you can always ask your professors!
- Don’t be afraid to show your knowledge
Which roughly translates into do a lot of research! You’re in college now. Your professors expect a lot more than an assignment that has been ripped off from Wikipedia! Now is the time you need to enter into some serious research mode. Spending hours in your library looking for that one perfect book will turn into a norm, and you will have to keep your eyes peeled for that one important piece of information that can transform your assignment. Also, if you already know a lot about the topic you are writing on, don’t hesitate to display your know-how. As long as it’s relevant to the topic, your professors will appreciate the wealth of knowledge you have to share.
- Give your assignment a structure
You really do not want to give an aimless assignment in college and expect your professor to give you grace marks for the effort you have made like your teachers used to. If your assignment lacks structure, your professors will just trash it. This is why you need to structure your assignment before you write. Divide your assignment up into relevant portions such as –
- Table of contents (for long assignments only)
- Main body
This is more or less the structure almost every assignment follows. While dividing up your assignments into different sections though, make sure that you include little pointers against each so that you know what exactly you will be writing in the different sections. This way, you will never lose sight of the topic and neither will you face writer’s block while writing.
- Hook ‘em right from the start
Now we are at the writing stage of your assignment, so pay close attention. You must’ve heard this in school too, but this carries a lot more weight when it comes to college assignments. Your introduction has to be impressive, or your professor will not bother going through the rest of your assignment, even if the rest of it is pretty brilliant. The reason for this is that is that your professor will, in all likelihood, have to check more than a hundred copies and he naturally has no time for those that do not capture his attention. So when writing the introduction of your copy, make sure that you include a ‘wow factor’. This could be anything – from a stat to a shocking revelation.
- Keep your paper interesting with facts and figures
Nothing catches the eyes of a reader than numbers in the middle of the text. If your topic allows it, then make sure that you include lots of facts and figures into your assignment. However, a word of caution: never use statistical data that has been taken from unreliable or shady sources. Instead of having a positive impact, such stats can bring down your grades as your professor will know that they are not authentic. Hence, be careful of what you put in. The facts and figures should, of course, be relevant. If you can, try and present these facts in figures in a table, pie charts or picture formats as they are easier to understand and also instantly attention-grabbing.
- Link all of your paragraphs together
Mismatched paragraphs are just not going to cut it at the university level. You need to make sure that the paragraphs you compose flow seamlessly from one onto the next, without seeming jarring or forced. The topic sentence can help you with that. This is the sentence you mention at the start of each paragraph to mention the theme you are going to elaborate. Make sure you write the topic sentence of each paragraph before you write the paragraph itself so that you can be sure there’s congruity between them.
- Know the importance of the conclusion
A section of your assignment that you often ignore is the conclusion. But let us tell you that the conclusion can be a powerful weapon in trying to impress your professor one last time, call it a sort of a last chance if you will. This section if your paper should be inclusive of three things:
- A mention of the aim as well as the context of your assignment
- A brief summary of the central arguments of your paper
- A final commentary on the future of your topic i.e. what can be done to bring about positive changes etc.
If you get the conclusion right along with the rest of your assignment, you can be sure that you will get a good grade.
- Maintain a mature tone with politically correct language
When you are writing a college assignment, you cannot let your emotions on the topic take control and spill all over your paper. After all, the aim of giving you so many assignments is so that your professors get to know how good you are at critical thinking. So make you sure you analyze both sides of the coin in your paper in a mature way, but do not forget to choose a side as having a viewpoint is equally important. As for the language you use in your assignment, you need to be politically correct at all times. Steer clear of offensive terms as well as too much of industry jargon. However, don’t be that afraid to show off your vocabulary as refined language is always appreciated.
- Always reference your assignment
Take it as a rule of thumb. You have a lot to lose if you do not reference your essay anyway. Your professors will consider your paper to be plagiarized if this section is all but missing from your paper, and that is certainly something you do not want. Now you can choose between in-text and at the end of the assignment citation if your professor has not been specific; but if he has been, make sure you diligently stick to the rules. The accurate citation is a must, and your professor will not entertain any mistakes. So if you are not confident that you can do it accurately, you should try and make use of online citation generators.
- Get your paper reviewed
Opinions matter. Well, at least for your university assignment, they do. Before you even think of handing over your paper to your professor, you should get some feedback on it. This feedback can help you improve the overall quality of your paper so that you submit a nearly perfect paper in the end. As for who you should get feedback from, it can be your supervisor in college, a professional tutor or even your peers. However, do not take every suggestion you get and incorporate it into your paper. You need to decide which suggestions can actually help as no one else will know the spirit of your paper better than you.
- Give it a final whirl of editing and proofreading
Now that everything is said and done, there’s nothing left do but to edit and proofread your assignment. You must have often skipped this step in a rush when you were in school, but you cannot, at any cost, skip it now that you are in college. An assignment that consists of careless errors is going to cost you some dear grades, so you might want to be careful. Read your paper carefully, making sure you go through each and every word and remove all of the errors you find. At this stage, you should also double-check your citations and make sure it has been done correctly.
There are some other things too that you should do before submitting your assignment. These include checking that you meet the word count, that you have an appropriate title for your paper, that there’s no plagiarism and that you have mentioned your name, roll number, course code, department, etc. accurately and in the correct format. Sure, at this point writing a college assignment must seem like a very daunting task but you know that with practice you will get there, so hang in there.
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