Skip to Main Content

Operating Department

Help with writing assignments

You can improve your skills at writing assignments for your subject area in a number of ways: 

  • We have a wide range of self-service online resources that will help you develop your writing and study skills and support your assignment work: Learning Hub Skills Guides. 
  • We run workshops on academic writing, as well as on other types of writing (including critical writing and reflective writing).  See Succeed@Tees workshops for more information, including a list of dates and times.

Guidance on academic writing

clock logo

Time Model

  • 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

Target logo


Your assignment needs to be targeted.  It should:

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


in-depth logo


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 logo


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 logo


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.

Online support for academic writing

We have a skills guide dedicated to academic writing, with an online tutorial and an Adobe visual guide to support you.

Skills guide with tutorial

Link to academic writing LibGuide which includes online tuorial

Adobe visual guide

Link to visual guide in Adobe Spark

School Guidelines for Academic Writing and Presentation of Assessed Written Work

Tutorials for academic writing and study skills support

Academic Writing and Study Skills Tutorials are available to all students. They are a confidential one-to-one or small group appointment with a member of the Library Team lasting up to 30 minutes. They are available in person on campus, via Teams and email.

In order to ensure that the students who need them most have access to a tutorial, we will support you to engage with our online services and drop-ins before we make you a tutorial appointment.

Requesting a tutorial

  • Tutorials are booked for you by our Learning and Skills Development Team. To request skills support email:
  • Our Team will help you to define what support you need and will initially guide you through our online materials and encourage you to engage with our Study Skill Drop-ins
  • If after trying out this support for yourself, you would like further support you can email us again at and we will make a tutorial appointment for you
  • We will refer you for up to three appointments per semester (1 appointment per assignment)
  • Appointments could be with a range of library staff so be aware that you may not see the same adviser at each one-to-one
  • Depending on demand there may be a waiting list for one-to-one appointments


What can a tutorial help you with?

We can help you to develop your own independent study skills in many aspects of academic writing. This could be helping you to develop your own skills to:

- Understand your tutor’s feedback on a marked assignment and act upon that feedback for future assignments
- Understand your School’s Assessment Criteria for an assignment
- Improve your time management and plan for your assignment submission dates
- Structure your assignment
- Develop your critical thinking and writing
- Develop your independent proof-reading skills and the skills for you assess that your work is of a quality appropriate  for submission

You can bring your assignment plan or a piece of work with you as an example and we will use it to inform our advice on how to develop the independent skills that will improve your confidence and performance.

What tutorials are not able to help with and why

  • We cannot read your work ahead of a tutorial, however, you can bring a piece of work with you to your appointment for us to refer to in the session
  • As your work needs to be entirely your own, we will not check draft assignments for you in order to approve their quality before submission but we will support you to develop these skills for yourself
  • In order to protect your academic integrity we cannot proof-read your work for you i.e. check the content, structure, spelling or grammar, but we will help you to develop the valuable skills to successfully proof read your own work