Wednesday, 2 October 2013

mySupport's Top Ten Tips for getting assessments done!!

It's about this time in the semester that things are heating up - with the first five weeks gone it's getting close to the time that your assessments are going to be due. To get the best results you need to get on top of your work. Here at mySupport we have included our top ten tips to help you finish your assessments.

1.     Start Writing - even if you have done little research, write out the questions that you need to answer, this will help to direct your research.
2.     Avoid taking large amounts of notes, it is better to write summaries in your own words and then conclude with a line that shows how this information relates back to the question.
3.     Do your research with the question in front of you, as you are reading, think 'How does this relate to the question?'. If you cannot identify a relationship then STOP reading and revisit the question.
4.     You might need to break the question up into different parts, look for ‘instruction’ words like: Evaluate / Define / Examine – these words will direct the structure and layout of your answer.
5.     Treat the first copy as a draft for your eyes only, do not worry about spelling, punctuation or grammar; just write! Once you have something substantial down you can then use this first copy as the basis for your final version.
 6.     While researching, photocopy information and then highlight the key points, place similar points / highlights together in piles, then take one pile, reread all the information and try to summarise the key elements. With anything you find online you can also copy and paste any quotes or other useful information into a word document of research notes – just remember to reference where you found them!
7.     When you are doing research make note of the reference details such as the author of the book you are using, the book’s title, and the specific page number. Do this for any web based research as well by recording the web address. This way when it comes time to do your bibliography you will have no problem remembering where you found your information.
8.      If you feel daunted by the size of the written assignment break it down:
Introduction = (approximately 10% of the total word count)
Body = (Approximately 80% of the total word count)
Conclusion = (Approximately 10% of the total word count)
So in an average 1,500 assignment, try working with this in mind:
Introduction = one paragraph of approximately 150 words
Body = 5-6 paragraphs of approximately 200 - 300 words
Conclusion = one paragraph of approximately 150 words
9.    Start by writing one paragraph - only 300 words or approximately 30 lines! Make sure that you start with a statement that highlights what you are trying to argue, then present evidence that both supports and contests that idea and then explain why one side is stronger than the other. Finish the paragraph with a sentence that sums up what you have said and also provides a link to the next idea / paragraph.
10. Always conclude by summarising the main arguments in the essay and try to add a new thought but not a completely new point. In other words, do not introduce new material into the conclusion, try and build on an idea you have already mentioned.

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Good luck in your assignments!
mySupport team

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