As Trimester 2 begins, you may soon get your first assignment. Whether you’re a first-year student or continuing, it’s always good to review how to write, edit and correctly reference your assignments. 

Let’s get started! 

What is your type of assignment? Make sure to read over the assignment description, due date, selection criteria and task sheet. If you’re a bit confused, then check out the Griffith Gold Coast Student Guild’s example of how to understand your task sheet. The Library also recommends referring to the General Glossary of cognitive verbs that can explain exactly what your teacher will expect to see from words such as ‘analyse’, ‘contrast’, ‘examine’, ‘reflect on’ and more.  

Now that you know what the assignment is asking of you, it’s time to focus on the topic. Whether you have an assigned topic or have to decide on one  – it’s best to identify the major concepts of your task. This will be handy for when you are looking for resources. 

One way to find your major concepts is to ask questions. Breaking your task down into questions will help you focus your research and writing and develop a logical response to the topic.  

Next it’s time to find information for it. It’s best to search through the library catalogue or Google Scholar as the results will be more credible and you will be able to refine your search results by year, topic, format (e.g article, journal, eBook) and more. Have a look at our searching tips to help you identify key words and make the most out of your search. 

Gather all your research and start writing a draft. You can include your sources by quoting, paraphasing, summarising or synthesising.  

The Library offers online workshops to assist with writing your assignments as well as referencing. You can also have a look our Study and Assignment Skills webpages that explain the different types of assignments, academic writing and how to structure assignments. 

When referencing, check your assignment task sheet to see what style of referencing you should be using or ask your course convenor. You can click through our Reference Guides that give clear examples of referencing.  

Draft complete? Take a step away, rest your eyes, then come back to proofread your work. Utilising spelling and grammar checkers is perfectly fine but make sure not to rely on them. Asking for feedback is also a way to help you polish up your draft – our Peer-Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) start from week 2 of the trimester and encourage group work.  


Student Mentors are also available to support you during this time and if you’re having difficulty you can always contact the Library get help form for a session with a Learning Advisor or Librarian.  

For those who are here studying English as a second language, take advantage of the support services offered by EnglishHELP. 


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