Top tips for tackling your first assignment

There’s no avoiding assignments at university and completing your first one can be challenging if you’re not sure how to tackle it.

To help you get started, the Charles Sturt Academic Skills team has offered some useful tips.

Time management

Factor in enough time to complete the task. Understanding the assignment questions, research and reading, as well as writing and proof-reading, all require time. Ensuring these tasks are paid proper attention will mean that you stay on task and maximise your marks. Academic integrity issues sometimes arise when students don’t leave enough time for understanding and paraphrasing sources.

Planning your assignment

Spend time going over what’s expected in your subject outline for your tasks. If you don’t understand the content, ask your lecturer.

If you don’t understand how to analyse a task, or what’s expected for a particular assignment type, there are Academic Skills resources you can use and people to talk to. Use the assessment rubric too, so you understand the requirements and don’t miss out on valuable marks. This guide is what the markers will use to evaluate your work.

Reading and research require valuable time too. Be selective in what you read. The Library has resources on how best to evaluate information and the Academic Skills team has resources on how to write notes while you are reading.

You’ll need to reference the ideas of others when you include them in your assignments. Check out the referencing page for resources on how to do this.

Writing and reviewing

If you’ve planned your assignment effectively, the writing stage should mean you are able to focus on clearly communicating your ideas without having to come up with them at the same time.

Allowing time for reviewing your work means that you’re able to check over your expression to see it makes sense. This could involve reading it out loud, but programs like Grammarly could also help. Academic Skills also have an assignment review service (free!) that you can upload your work to and expect to receive feedback on the expression and academic writing conventions, usually up to 24 hours later.

Academic Skills, the Library, and other support services, together with your lecturer all want you to succeed, so reach out if you need support.