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Structuring Your Assignment: Succeed@Tees Workshops

Forthcoming workshops

The workshop is on the following dates:

  • Succeed@tees workshops are not scheduled to run during the summer vacation, they will resume in the autumn.
  • All workshops, unless stated differently,  are in room L2.02 in the Library

There's no need to book - just come along

If you need any adjustments to fully access this session, please contact libraryhelp@tees.ac.uk in advance.

Next steps

If you thought this workshop was useful you may like to try:

  • Academic writing: an introduction
  • Critical writing
  • How to use references
  • Reflective writing
  • Report writing
  • Writing a literature review

Tutorials for structuring your writing

You can book one-to-one tutorials with a learning advisor for help with structuring your writing. 

For more information, and to book online, go to Book a Tutorial

 

Introduction

Structuring your assignment

Do you need help planning your essays and structuring your arguments?
This workshop will cover:
• Answering the question
• Creating an argument
• Planning the structure

This session is aimed at undergraduates but is suitable for any level of study.

               

Guidance on academic writing

  • Writing an assignment takes time, more time than you may expect.  Just because you find yourself spending many weeks on an assignment doesn’t mean that you’re approaching it in the wrong way.
  • It also takes time to develop the skills to write well, so don’t be discouraged if your early marks aren’t what you’d hoped for.  Use the feedback from your previous assignments to improve.
  • Different types of assignments require different styles, so be prepared for the need to continue to develop your skills.

We’ve broken down TIME into 4 key elements of academic writing: Targeted, In-depth, Measured and Evidence-based.

time togos

Targeted

Your assignment needs to be targeted.  It should:

  • Be focused on the questions and criteria
  • Make a decision
  • Follow an argument

 

in-depth

Your assignment needs to be in-depth.  You should consider your questions and criteria thoroughly, thinking about all possible aspects, and including the argument both for and against different viewpoints.

You should:

  • Identify topic areas
  • Research
  • Plan your assignment
    • Think about your introduction and conclusion

measured

An academic writing style is measured. By this, we mean that it’s:

  • Cautious
  • Emotionally neutral
  • Formal – written in the third person and in full sentences

evidence-based

Your assignment needs to be evidence-based. You should:

  • Reference all the ideas in your work
  • Paraphrase your evidence
  • Apply critical thinking to your evidence

Once you’ve found all your evidence, and have decided what to say in each section, you need to write it up as paragraphs.  Each paragraph should be on a single topic, making a single point.  A paragraph is usually around a third of a page. 

We find Godwin’s (2014) WEED model very helpful for constructing paragraphs.

 

W is for What

You should begin your paragraph with the topic or point that you’re making, so that it’s clear to your lecturer.  Everything in the paragraph should fit in with this opening sentence.

 

E is for Evidence 

The middle of your paragraph should be full of evidence – this is where all your references should be incorporated.  Make sure that your evidence fits in with your topic.

 

E is for Examples

Sometimes it’s useful to expand on your evidence.  If you’re talking about a case study, the example might be how your point relates to the particular scenario being discussed.

 

D is for Do

You should conclude your paragraph with the implications of your discussion.  This gives you the opportunity to add your commentary, which is very important in assignments which require you to use critical analysis. 

So, in effect, each paragraph is like a mini-essay, with an introduction, main body and conclusion.

Allow yourself some TIME to proofread your assignment.  You’ll probably want to proofread it several times. 

You should read it through at least once for sense and structure, to see if your paragraphs flow.  Check that your introduction matches the content of your assignment.  You’ll also want to make sure that you’ve been concise in your writing style. 

You’ll then need to read it again to check for grammatical errors, typos and that your references are correct.

It’s best if you can create some distance from your assignment by coming back to it after a few days. It’s also often easier to pick out mistakes if you read your work aloud.

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The Perfect Paragraph

What students said about this workshop

 "clear and concise"

"The mind mapping idea was the best I think as it allows you to organise ideas"

"A great experience in going through all the important aspects of writing essays"