Assignment writing is an important part of student life at any educational level. Written assignments help you exercise and develop your skills at researching and assessing evidence, expressing your opinions, developing and supporting arguments, and much more. However useful, such tasks can be quite daunting, though, and students often find themselves overwhelmed and unable to even start working on the task. This is why proper planning is essential a good plan will help you focus, figure out what you are supposed to do step by step, and keep on track.
So how do you plan your assignment writing?
Start with the Question
Before anything else, make sure you fully understand what the assignment requests of you. Knowing what the question entails will frame your planning and your overall approach. Break down your question or topic into its separate parts, so that you can determine the direction you need to head to.
- What might the answer be?
- What type of information would you need to answer the question?
- What evidence might you require to back your arguments?
- Work out some initial ideas or thoughts
If you already have some knowledge on the topic and ideas you wish to include, write everything down to help you focus and get a general idea of the steps you will need to take. Use lists, mind maps, drawings anything you feel more comfortable with.
Plan Your Time
Now that you have a general idea of your task, ask yourself how much time you should devote to completing your assignment successfully. Do not underestimate how long it will take to work on it, and make sure to break everything down into smaller tasks. This will not only help you put together a step-by-step schedule, but also prevent you from getting overwhelmed by the magnitude of the project. Reaching smaller objectives one by one will help you stay motivated and organised.
Keep in mind that you most probably have multiple assignments you need to handle at once, so prioritise and spread out the time accordingly.
Pro tip: Set aside time for thinking. Many overlook that they will spend quite a while only thinking about their subject and refining their thoughts.
Plan Your Research
One way or another, most writing assignments require some research as well. Make an action plan for this process as well, assessing from the start what information you might need, what type of resources are required, and where you may be able to find them.
Plan Your Writing
No matter how inspired you believe you are or how much you know about your topic, it is strongly recommended to create a good plan of what you will be writing before getting to the actual work. It won’t take you too much time and it will help you to:
- Stay focused on the question or topic given
- See how much you must develop each section of your composition and stick to the main points you wish to make
- Craft a coherent, well-structured and clear assignment.
Once you’ve done some preliminary research, gather all your ideas and think about what else you may need to include or what evidence you may still be lacking. When you have this covered, try to organize the material in a logical manner. You can use various planning techniques for this sections, such as linear/list plans, mind maps, or index cards.
After your writing plan is done, don’t forget to develop it into a strong, well-structured outline and revise it carefully to ensure everything you want to include in the paper is relevant and answers the question properly. Only once you cover these steps should you start working on your first draft.
All these steps may seem like a lot of unnecessary work, but you’ll see they will be of tremendous help and lead to better quality, less stress and improved grades in the end.