College is all fun until students start getting assignments – a lot of complex assignments. Most students struggle with their homework and, sometimes, this costs them dearly in getting the overall grade for a term. Have the same state of matters? You are welcome to the academic world where you can say, “My name is …, and I’m an underachieving student too”. Since you can’t avoid assignments, the only option left is to learn the various stages of writing an assignment.
This article is to help you with all the essential stages of writing. Eventually, you’ll manage to write your own assignment quickly and easily.
How to Start a Writing Assignment: 3 Easy Pre-writing Steps
In the estimation of many students, the hardest part of writing any assignment is starting it. This is so largely true due to the fact that there are some basic steps that every student should take before starting to write an assignment. The problem with the majority of students is that they wait until the last minute to complete the assignment. After that, they write the first sentence, and then delete it because they don’t like how it sounds. Then, they sit staring at a blank piece of paper without knowing what should come first in an essay or research paper. A familiar situation to you?
The problem with that is that you focus more on completing the assignment within the set timeframe and pay no attention to the stages of your writing:
Let’s focus on the pre-writing steps. Before you start writing the introduction to your assignment, you should:
- Understand the question – know what you’re required to do;
- Have a plan – find out what you’re able and want to cover;
- Come up with your thesis statement – state what it is expected of a paper.
Understanding the Assignment Question
According to the Writing Assignment Framework and Overview by the National Writing Project, a writing assignment is a writing task for students that can involve:
Before you can even write anything, you must understand the topic question. If you understand the assignment question, then you can’t go off the topic. Ask yourself questions like:
- What is the assignment about – a narrative or reflective essay?
- What is required of you – to analyze or evaluate?
Check for some keywords such as compare, contrast, discuss… These words will give you a clear picture of what the examiner expects of you. If there is any word used that you don’t understand, take an initiative and find out what it means. If time is sufficient, consult your lecturer for further clarification. It might be so unfortunate to discover later that you didn’t understand the topic/assignment and, therefore, fail to perform that your educator requires. See if the assignment paper has words that limit you or if it is an open-ended question. Students who spend ample time understanding the assignment end up writing a good assignment and scoring high.
Have an Effective Plan for an Assignment
After you catch the question under discussion, you should plan your assignment. Look at it again and determine how to write assignment in the most efficient manner:
- Word count – the ability to write under the precise terms of an assignment is highly appreciated. So don’t write less or more than it is required in your assignment;
- Information sources – the ability to use appropriate sources of information in your academic paper shows its credibility. So, it is in your interests to find the reliable sources from which you could take some facts or data;
- Format peculiarities – the knowledge of formatting academic works based on the assignment steps influences their way of presentation to your readers (instructors, professors, young researchers, etc.) So, if you want to present your term paper, follow the style guide during the writing process. There is nothing complex to put the comma where it is required by one or another formatting style (APA, MLA, Harvard, etc.);
- Time is needed to come up with a brilliant paper – the strong time management skills influence your academic performance. So, if you budget your time effectively, there are more chances to get the great results.
Every college student can attest to the fact that when it comes to assignments, it is essential to know what and how to do them. Plan every step so that it helps you complete your assignments.
Come Up with a Thesis Statement
A thesis statement is undeniably the most important statement in an assignment, one of the core parts of assignment. The thesis statement declares your stand on the topic, and this is also the statement that guides your readers to your writing assignment. Take into consideration the writing tips on thesis statements from the center for writing studies.
Firstly, you should formulate a clear thesis statement even before you begin writing the assignment itself. Specify your opinion concerning the main essay idea. Secondly, avoid generic statements. Specific word choice sharpens and clarifies your thesis statement. Be careful when coming up with a thesis statement as a wrong thesis statement is a recipe for failure. You are likely in favor of another way – the way towards the academic success.
What to Include in My Essay: 3 Parts of My Paper
Different parts are present in different types of academic papers (be it a lab report, literature review, research paper, and so on). Let’s consider 2 main types of assignment writing – an essay and research paper. If we speak about an essay assignment, you are supposed to include the introduction, main body, and the conclusion. If you need to write a coursework, it has more parts – abstract, introduction, methods, results and discussion sections.
Writing an Introduction is Half the Battle with Your Assignment
Every academic paper starts with the introduction. There is no escaping from it as the introductory paragraph determines if you are on the right writing track or simply don’t understand the topic question. There is no debate about the importance of the introduction. Every student has to know how to write an introduction to an assignment, be it is an essay or term paper. The introduction should communicate the following information:
- Contextual background of the topic. The first point that you should give in the introduction of your assignment is the background of the topic. Write down the topic in your own words to make sure that you understand it. One of the mistakes made by most students while writing the introductory paragraph is that they repeat the assignment question word for word. This should not be the case if you want to impress your reader from the beginning. You are also required to find supportive materials from the credible authors who have written on the topic previously to support your contextual background;
- Stand on the issue. You are expected to give an outline of the main ideas that you are going to discuss in the assignment. For example, if you cover the health care reform in your country, focus on the question “What’s your position on health care reform?” Write down some points concerning this issue. Usually, there should be two or more arguments that are opposite each other, then you should mention your own opinion backing up with strong evidence (research results in the form of statistics will come in handy);
- The thesis statement. We’ve already pointed out this important part of your essay. Remind you to work efficiently on it because it answers your topic question. Besides, remember the thesis statement’s position – it should be the last sentence in the introduction paragraph. Students must get the thesis statement right if they want to score high in that particular assignment.
In fact, there are many common mistakes among students while dealing with the introduction. Below, you’ll see some of them so that you could avoid them in your writing. Moreover, there are ways of writing a good introduction.
The Main Body Makes 80% of Your Assignment
The body of your essay is the main part where you present all your arguments, analyze them in a logical and orderly manner. In other words, this is the part that can allow you either to win or reduce your grades. The structure of the main part should be:
- Topic sentence. Every paragraph of the main body should start with a sentence that introduces the main idea in the sentence. Each paragraph gives a new idea. The topic sentence should communicate the intention of the paragraph to the reader.
- Evidence in the form of quotations and research studies. After presenting the topic sentence, you have to provide the strong evidence to support the main idea. The evidence should be in the form of citations, quotations or previous research studies.
- Concluding sentence. While talking about the specific topic idea in the paragraph, you should arrive at the conclusive sentence. If you check out any steps of assignment writing example, you will see that you should link all your ideas discussed in the paragraph(s) to your thesis statement.
The Conclusion Leaves Your Readers with the Final Impression
If you want to heave a sigh of relief when it comes to writing a conclusion, you will go wrong. Despite that this is the final paragraph of your assignment, it is not less important to formulate all of your essay’s main points once again. However, your task is to explain briefly the major ideas that you have discussed in the main body. The evidence you presented in the main body dictates what you will talk about in the conclusion. The last sentence of your conclusion paragraph should answer the topic question in a direct way. Avoid presenting new ideas in the conclusion paragraph.
After reading all this, the only thing standing between you and good grades is following all these tips. Start implementing what you have read today in our article, and assignments will no longer be a problem for you.
How to start writing an assignment?
Start by carefully reading and understanding the assignment prompt or guidelines in order to get a better understanding of the objectives/requirements of the project. Do the so-called preliminary research in order to get relevant info and create a basic outline that will help you keep your thoughts in order.
Begin with a hooking introduction to provide the tone for the paper and inform your readers of a clear overview of what to expect next.
How to write an assignment strictly on the given topic?
To craft your next work strictly on the chosen/given topic, ensure to do a thorough analysis of the assignment prompts in order to see the key aspects and specific areas that you will talk about in the paper. Stay focused and do not deviate from the topic by referring back to the project guidelines as you write. Include solid evidence to support your claims, and make sure every segment of information you include aligns with the central theme.