It doesn’t matter whether you are interested in the subject or have a passion for writing, assignments can easily be your worst enemy in college. Sometimes due to lack of time or simply due to life getting in the way, students struggle with keeping up with the writing tasks. So without further ado, let us see how you can tackle college assignments better.
1. Get Your Requirements Straight
Many a time, students rush through the assignment requirements and miss out on what the intent of the task is. Make sure you have all the facts straight, such as the required word count and the type of essay you are expected to write. For instance, the professor might need you to base the essay on what was covered in the lecture. But if you miss this part and use other resources, your writing will not serve the purpose. Also, checking in on these requirements early will help you plan the writing well before the deadline.
2. Do Not Hesitate to Get Help
Remember that you are still a student and not expected to have a full grasp of everything that is taught to you. Writing assignments are considered a way of self-learning so that students can explore the ideas themselves. However, to no fault of your own, you could do with a little help in this department. If you need clarifications, you can always reach out to your professors. If not, there are dozens of expert academic services offering homework help to college students. You will be able to find a professional writer or tutor who can assist you in outlining the assignment in no time.
3. Plan Your Time
You might have read about planning the assignments better numerous times. But the thing is, this plan might not always pan out as you expect. Instead, you would already be aware of how much time you typically take to write. For instance, let’s say it takes you 30 minutes to write 500 words, and your essay word count is 1500 words. This means that whether you have the research done or not, you will need at least one and a half hours to complete the essay. This is without adding the time you need for editing and citing your paper.
Now, if you need to do research, you will also need to account for the extra time. A complex topic will take days of literature review. This means that you will need at least two to three hours set aside for this particular essay, merely for writing and editing. Whether you split in two days, four days or even the previous night, is up to you.
4. Plan the Sections
Finishing an essay within two hours might seem easily doable. But not many among us can actually hold the focus for two or more hours. What you can do instead is to divide the essay into sections and allocate time for each. And this starts with outlining the essay. Essay samples can also help you in writing. If you have a better idea of what goes where, you can assess how much time you would need for each section.
Once you have got the research done, it is merely about arranging your arguments in the most logical manner.
5. Google Scholar and Google Books
Yes, Google is, indeed, your best friend in finding relevant resources. But if you want to make the literature review process more efficient, you have to fine-tune your searches. Google Scholar and Books can save you tons of time when you are nearing the deadline. You can save them as you go along, creating a library on your own. When you check in later, you can see abstracts summarising the papers. You can set up alerts for your searches and even get quick access to citations.
6. Use a Thesaurus
It might seem an obvious tool to use while writing, yet many fail to take advantage of this easy tip. While it might not be an approved trick by professional writers, it can surely help students find the right words that fit the context. Because let’s all agree; writing doesn’t come naturally to everyone. At the very least, it will prevent the repetition of words and break the monotony of the essay.
7. Write, Read, and Edit
Even a bad essay can be improved with editing. The first milestone while writing the assignment is to get the words on paper (or rather, the screen these days). While at the first draft, make sure that you write at least a couple hundred words more than the required word count. Editing will cut out a few sentences, which might leave you short of words.
Once you have the draft, that is when the real work starts. Editing is what makes the paper adequate, intriguing, and compelling for the reader. You can use an online editing tool to check spelling or grammatical errors. But it cannot replace the power of reading it yourself. Some sentences that sounded good while writing might not be that appealing when you read them.
8. Take Referencing Seriously
Though not essentially a part of writing, referencing is an integral part of college assignments. Not knowing how to do it is not an excuse anymore. To avoid mistakes, you can rely on the university’s library or online tools. Reference management software such as Mendeley allows you to store your sources, manage citations, and create references with a few clicks. When you have oodles of resources at your disposal, it would be a shame not to take advantage of them.
The more assignments that come your way, the better equipped you will be at handling them. You will have developed a system of finding resources, writing, and editing it more effortlessly. The key is to know where you are lagging so you can improve it the next time. If your grades do not reflect your hard work, do not hesitate to reach out to the professor and get input on where you need to improve.