Assignments are complex; they are designed to be that way. The idea is to challenge the knowledge you have gained as you work through your course. Now is your chance to showcase all the hard work you have put in; however, it doesn’t always feel that way. Finding the motivation to begin your assignment is often the hardest to overcome. Once you get through that, knowing where to start is overwhelming. Luckily, we have a few tips that can help you.
1. Read your workbooks and research material thoroughly
Make sure you know what you’re writing about. Research the topic of your assignment, reread your workbooks and begin your project as well-informed as you can. As you work through your workbooks, take notes, and highlight the important sections that relate most to what you are being asked. If you don’t have the information, your assignment won’t make sense – which will, unfortunately, be reflected in your grade.
2. Plan your assignment out
Organise your notes and plan each section of your assignment to save yourself confusion and repetition. Keep a copy of the assignment brief and guidelines open while you write – this will allow you to keep on track with meeting all learning objectives. Remind yourself of what the assignment asks you to do and ensure you are ticking all the boxes.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!
Contact your tutor if you aren’t quite sure what you are being asked in your assignment. That’s part of their job – to offer you support. They may not be able to provide feedback on a complete draft, but they can certainly offer advice on how to begin and which topics to focus on.
4. Keep it simple
Using vocabulary you aren’t familiar with tends to be a go-to when writing an assignment. When tackling academia, the need to ‘smart’ it up is often felt. To put it simply, don’t. Simplicity is the way forward, over complicating your writing will only stunt the flow of your assignment and frustrate your tutors. Write your first draft as if you are speaking it, and then comb through it again to make sure it makes sense. Repeating ‘thus’ at the start of every sentence will quickly become redundant. If you find reading your work back difficult, so will your tutor. Keep it simple, and your grade will thank you for it.
5. Drafting is important
Ernest Hemmingway once said, ‘the first draft of anything is s**t.’ Unfortunately, this often rings true with assignments; your tutors can tell when written work is your first attempt. Take your time writing, and redraft as often as you can. With distance learning, you have the luxury of flexible deadlines, so please take your time. Smooth your writing, eliminate easy-to-make spelling mistakes, and make reading as effortless as possible.
6. Sourcing correctly
- If you use quotes and references (which you should) in your assignment, ensure you do it right. Harvard referencing isn’t as complicated as you think; take your time and get adjusted to it. Remember, Wikipedia is not a source! Don’t be afraid to dig deeper with your research. Google Scholar is your friend. Find something that relates to what you’re trying to say and back it up. Always give credit to whomever you are quoting, even if it’s paraphrasing. Anti-plagiarism checks will be made upon submission, and the marks and subsequent investigation are worth more hassle than ensuring you’ve referenced correctly.
We even have a video to help you with this. You can find it here.
7. Leave your introduction and conclusion until the end
The hardest part of an assignment is always the beginning. Once you’ve spat out the usual ‘In this assignment, I will…’ you’re often left stuck. Focus on the main body, ensure you meet all your learning objectives and answer the question you are being asked. When you’re done, your introduction and conclusion should be easy to write because the hard part has already been taken care of.
Each assignment will require a different approach, so these steps can be applied differently depending on what you are being asked. For example, a Pearson HNC Business Unit 1 assignment will require a different approach to Unit 4 from our HNC in Electrical and Electronic Engineering course. Always be sure to read your assignment brief and make sure you understand what you are being asked. Preparation is always crucial, whether it’s a written essay or a maths-based assignment. It will allow you to access the higher-grade boundaries and achieve a better overall grade, whether an ILM Level 3 course or a Pearson HNC.
"You are provided with all the resources you need and the support is fantastic. I would recommend UniCourse to anyone looking for distance learning at their own pace."
"I have enjoyed my course so far with UniCourse, I have found it a lot more flexible and can fit it around my hectic lifestyle a lot easier than attending college with assignment deadlines. Any problem I have had with the course have been answered very quickly. I would recommend UniCourse to others who are busy but want to carry on with education."
"From the start of the enrolment phase, UniCourse admin team made everything simple and clear how the course would be laid out with the program ‘Moodle’ I would be using. The course is a very convenient way to study even if you are already fully employed like myself and lecturers were easily contactable and friendly. Overall I had pleasant experience with UniCourse and would recommend them to anyone looking to improve on their education"
"My dream of finishing my studies has been possible only because of UniCourse, they have given me the opportunity to be flexible with my studies and hold a full time job all at the same time. I would highly recommend them for anyone looking to study and work at the same time. I have found them to be very helpful with all my queries and they are quick to help me solve my problems. This is so convenient for me - I can study in my own time and in my own home no need to travel to college at a certain time. After finishing my current HNC course I hope to start my HND with UniCourse. They are fantastic i am very pleased with them."
"With a full-time job and 2 very young kids, a normal 9-5 course was not an option. It was becoming increasingly difficult to better my career options. Finding UniCourse on the internet has really opened up my learning potential. Their professionalism, knowledge and flexibility are really first class. To sum them up in one word.... Awesome!"
"I have found UniCourse to not only be a very convenient way to study as I am a self employed full-time electrician, but also the course tutor to be very helpful. Whether I require help by phone, email or a live web session he is always available. The tutor also returns marked work very quickly allowing me plenty of time to make any adjustments. I have found UniCourse to afford me the best opportunity to progress my career whilst also continuing to work full time. "
"I have really enjoyed my experience so far with UniCourse.org even obtaining a Distinction on my first module. The staff and lecturers are quick and helpful with their responses to any and all enquiries and the video conferencing platform is very helpful when discussing intricate subject matter. I would highly recommend the course to anyone wishing to broaden their horizons whilst holding down a full time job."
"Great tutors, easy to follow workbooks, great support, would highly recommend."
"Time and place were severe obstacles to me achieving a HND in Electrical and Electronic Engineering. Thankfully, the flexible options offered by Unicourse have allowed me to undertake my HND from home with them while working full-time. They have personalised my HND, allowing me to choose from many optional units. The traditional colleges I looked up did not offer option choices at all. I have also managed to complete my HND with Unicourse in a fraction of the time that would have been necessary at other colleges. I am really pleased that I made the right choice. The support I got was fantastic."
"The flexibility of the courses and the professionalism of the staff make UniCourse a great way to improve your personal skills with a chance of a future career."
"If you want to succeed I personally suggest you apply to UniCourse. Why? After many years away from study I did my HNC. It was hard work but with superb help and guidance I obtained 8 Distinctions. This year I am doing my HND in Electrical & Electronic Engineering with UniCourse. Again, UniCourse are pulling out all the stops with high quality assignments, a one-to-one video conferencing platform, incredible feedback and comprehensive support when needed."