Published on 14th June 2021

You’ve taken the first step to kick start your career and now you’re about to start your first assignment but not sure where to begin? Don’t worry, we have you covered with 8 helpful tips to help you plan and produce excellent work.

We know it can be overwhelming to get started on an assignment when you have so much new information to process but the coursework is there to support you throughout your learning.

Everyone studies and works differently, so find the way that works best for you. Are you a last-minute crammer or prefer to methodically revise? Either way, these 8 tips will help you produce excellent coursework and study smarter.

Study at the right time of day in the right place

Are you a morning or a night person? Find your perfect time to study and experiment with different times of day, to find out what works best for you. Some people find hitting the books first thing is the best way to stay motivated while other people prefer late afternoon into the evening.

You should also find a dedicated study space – avoid studying in your bed – and make sure your back is supported with your feet on the ground.

Look after yourself

While we all like to indulge in sweets and treats, it is important to give your brain healthy food and lots of water to function at its best. You should also try and get a good night’s sleep for maximum brain power while you’re studying and working on your assignments. Take regular breaks, stretch your legs and get some fresh air, this will help your brain reset and perform at its best.

It is just as important to look after your mental health too, so if you are feeling a bit stressed or overwhelmed please speak to your tutor and or our Welfare team who will be able to listen and support you with some helpful strategies.

Avoid distractions and stay off social media

We are living in a world where we are mostly glued to a screen at all times, be that your phone, tablet, or laptop. When you’re studying it’s a good idea to stay off social media and focus on your work.

This will help you stay on track and meet your deadlines and then we can reward yourself with a social media break. There are some great apps for Apple and Android devices that block you from accessing social media sites for a certain amount of time.

Understand the objective and establish what you want to achieve

Most importantly when producing excellent coursework to get the grades you want is understanding the task and objective you need to meet. What is the word count, purpose, aim and how can you showcase your learning?

Understanding what is being asked of you and planning the topics to cover will help you be clear and concise to the task at hand. If you’re unsure of the question then do not hesitate to speak to your tutor or study group for clarity.

Research, plan, research, and plan

Once you’ve understood what you need to do the next step is to research, plan and repeat. It is easy to get carried away with your first idea and whilst it might be the one you end up pursuing it is always a good idea to do your research on the topic.

Think about the different angles you could take – perhaps something to set you apart from your peers. During your research, it’s a good idea to document and save your sources but make sure they’re reputable for your final version.

Break down the task into manageable amounts

It might sound obvious but you don’t need to write 5,000 words in one go. Once you’ve finished your research and planning break down the assignment into manageable chunks you can take on at different points. Your work should have a clear structure with an introduction, middle and conclusion.

You might prefer to start with the introduction and work from there or begin in the middle. It is always a good idea to review your introduction once you have completed your work to ensure it sets the scene and outlines what is to come. Try and write in clear and concise sentences with each paragraph focussing on one idea.

Do not plagiarise

It goes without saying, but your work is your work and should not have sentences copied from someone else without properly accrediting their work. It’s easy to read something somewhere and later develop that idea from the original source, this is considered plagiarism, so do keep track of your references and always credit someone else’s idea or work if you use it to make a point.

Draft, review, and edit your work before submitting

Before you submit your final work, take the time to read over for any spelling or grammar mistakes and ensure each sentence and paragraph makes sense to you.

Try not to overcomplicate your work with long confusing sentences. You could try reading your work out loud to make sure it flows for your tutor or give it to a friend who could offer some feedback.

Lastly, check back at the assignment brief and make sure you’ve met the objective and your final version meets the presentation requirements including the font type, size, and paragraph spacing.