Starting assignments can be tough, especially if you’re not sure where to begin. We’re here to help with some tips on the five main stages for getting off to a good start:

  1. Define the assessment type

What type of assessment are you doing? Is it an essay, report, presentation?  Find out how to structure essays, literature reviews, reports and reflective writing on the Assignment Writing  webpage.

  1. Unpack the task

Get a better understanding of what is required for your assessment by unpacking the task. There are three types of words to look out for:

  • Directive words tell you how to approach the assignment.
  • Topic words identify the major concepts in your task as these are the keywords you will use to start searching for resources.
  • Limiting words like dates, locations or populations help narrow the scope of your assignment.
  1. Research the assignment topic

Create a search strategy by identifying the topic or limiting words in your assignment question or marking criteria. These will be the keywords you can use to search for information.  Get more Online search tips for your assignments.

  1. Organise the research
  • Keep track of relevant information, like citation details – author, year, title etc. so you can go back to the article if you want to check details, expand your notes or add it to your reference list.
  • Store articles and citation details together so you can track what research you have already located and identify common topics or keywords.
  1. Write the assignment

Most assignments are divided up into an Introduction, Body and Conclusion that present evidence toward a single academic argument (your topic sentence).  Always check you marking criteria to check what is required for you to complete writing your assignment successfully.

For more help on getting started with assignments check out the Assignment Preparation and Assignment Writing  webpages on the Library website

If you also need help with referencing, take a look at our handy Referencing Guides.