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Planning an assignment (Open Learning)

Writing assignments

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.

In order to pass, your assignment needs to be targeted.  It should:

  • be focused on the questions and criteria
  • make a decision
  • follow an argument

Unpick the assignment title

Look carefully at the assignment title or question. What are you being asked to do? Are there any words you don’t understand? If so, look them up. Define the subject of the assignment. Are there any limits on what you have been asked to do? If so, make a note of them. It could be that you only have to look at information related to the UK, so spending time searching for and writing about what happens in another country is wasting both your time and the word count and you won’t get marked for it.