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Assignments = Creative
There are three approaches people often take to completing assignments:
1) Do What You Can First - This is where you do as much of the assignment as you can, out of your head, as quickly as you can. For example, if you are writing an essay for Economics, try and write the essay in one go. Keep a note of the parts of your assignment you were not sure about. Go and research the parts you didn't know and fill fill in the gaps. This strategy is quick and effective.
2) Research First - Grab your textbook and/or get books from the library (or search for websites) on your assignment topic. Read and explore the topic so that you have a good understanding of the topic before you start doing your assignment.
3) Research As You Go - Grab your textbook and/or get books from the library (or search for websites) on your assignment topic. Start completing your assignment and when you hit something you don't know, research it.
How many times have you heard mum say "you have got to be organised"! Well you don't have to be organised but your study life will be very stressful and you will find it hard to do well if you aren't organised. Students that are organised have time for other things because it means that their time management is looking after them. The list below outlines great time management strategies for doing well in assignments.
1. When you are given an assignment immediately write the due date into your diary (see tips on effective use of your diary)
2. Read the assignment question(s) straight away and highlight and key words/issues that you think are important or that you don't understand. This will seed the topic in your mind and with out you even realising it your brain will set to work on finding the answers.
3. Listen very carefully to your teacher when they give out the assignment topic. Teachers will often give you excellent hints and tips immediately after giving you the topic. In addition, listen carefully over the coming classes because as students ask the teacher questions they will often give the answer to those questions to the whole class for the benefit of everyone and these are the things that you need to keep an ear out for as this information will keep you on topic.
4. Consider rewriting the question(s) in your own plain English and show the teacher to see if your plain English version makes sense. This will help if you become confused later on as the plain English explanation will help you to understand the topic again.
5. Start to work on the assignment ASAP! Try and start it that night. You don't have to finish it but the quicker you get it started the quicker you get it finished.
6. Hit the dictionary or the glossary section of your text book and find the meanings of all words and phrases you don't understand before you go any further.
7. Develop a plan on paper of how you are going to tackle each question.
8. Take this plan with a copy of the assignment question(s) to your teacher and ask them if they feel you are on the right track. Listen carefully to what the teacher says and if they make a suggestion listen to their advice. Remember, they are the one marking the paper so appeal to how they feel it is best to answer the questions.
Never go to a teacher empty handed or before you have done any work. They are likely to turn into some form of raging beast and chop your head off. They are not doing this to be nasty, they are actually helping you. If you go to the teacher for help before you have done any real work they won't help you because it means they are spoon feeding you like a baby and this doesn't teach you how to be a good student. It teaches you how to give up before you even try. Try to develop a plan yourself. It doesn't have to be right. In fact it is OK to be way off the mark but your teacher will appreciate that you have tried and will now be more than willing to help you understand how to tackle the assignment.
9. Go to the library and take out a few books on the topic.
10. Now, like Mr NIKE says, Just Do It! Sit down with your plan and try to complete the entire assignment as best you can with the knowledge that is already in your head. Don't muck around, just get it done. "What about research?" I hear you say. Don't worry, it's coming. My suggestion is that you complete the assignment on paper with a pen and that you start each question on a new page. What you will soon discover is that you can answer some or all of the questions perfectly from what you already know. On the other side you will discover that there are some major holes in your knowledge. Another advantage here is that you will probably have completed around 2/3 of your assignment in one sitting and so you only have to polish and refine from here. Think of how much time you will save.
11. Now we go for some research. Get your text book and the library books or get on the internet and research the answers to the questions you couldn't already answer. Answer the questions properly or finish the questions that need more work.
12. Now research the questions you could initially answer and enhance them or be satisfied that you had the right answer in the first place.
13. Fill in the blanks from your research then put the books and computer away.
14. Polish your answers, re word them and make the answers easy to read.
15. Add your introduction and conclusion as appropriate.
16. Type it up.
17. Put the assignment away on ice for a week and forget about it. The reason for this is that if you have made any mistakes you will not pick them up. Because your brain created the mistakes on the page in the first place, it views them as correct and puts the blinkers on when it sees them. After a week you will have forgotten exactly what you have written and now you will spot any errors of spelling, content etc. that you have made.
18. Circle these errors.
19. Give the assignment to your mum or dad to proof read for errors and circle them.
20. Correct the errors.
21. Print off the assignment a week or more before it is due and take it to the teacher. The idea here is to get the teacher to look over it. Some teachers won't and that is perfectly acceptable because this is a test of your ability to do an assignment but many teachers would be happy to look at it and make suggestions. Even if they don't look it over they will be so impressed that it was finished early that sub consciously they will be in a positive frame of mind about your assignment. True story! Don't believe me? Try it and see what happens.
22. If the teacher gives you any hints do not say to yourself "I have finished it and I can't be bothered changing it". Take their feedback and make the changes. Your grades will love you for it.
23. Hand the assignment in a week early and giggle when your friends are stressing out because they haven't even started theirs yet.
24. Eat a big block of chocolate and go to the movies as a reward!
- Study Skills
- How To Study
- Goal Setting
- Time Management For Study
- Study Space
- Learning Styles
- Memory and Recall
- Note Taking
- Stress Management