Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Assignment and Study Help

Assignment and library skills

Writing, editing and proofreading

Your teacher/tutor will provide you with information about how to approach each assignment task and the referencing requirements for each of those tasks. Ask them any questions you have before the due date.

If you need help with academic writing, contact TAFE's learning support or upload your work to Studiosity to get feedback.  

Writing an assignment requires plenty of time. Preparing an assignment schedule can help decide on the timeline of the writing process. You should also allocate some time for writing drafts and making changes.

Use the assignment calculator in the writing resources tab to help allocate your time. There are other helpful resources for time management while studying. 

Before writing your assignment, consider the following points:

  • What are the arguments and/or issues for discussion? Map out the arguments or issues to be discussed in your assignment using a mind map (Link to mind map software is in the writing resources tab)
  • Consider the writing style of the assignment - is it persuasive or reporting facts and observations?
  • Order ideas to allow your argument/responses to develop logically.
  • Use one idea per paragraph. Each idea contributes to the overall point you are trying to make. 
  • Allow an approximate number of words for each idea as well as the introduction and conclusion.
  • Your conclusion will be a summary of the points made throughout the assignment.
  • A dictionary or thesaurus will help you to find academic words.
  • Keep checking your assignment against your mind map to ensure that you are answering the question.

 

Aim for 3 drafts of your writing.

First draft: Focus on getting your main ideas and information down.

Once you have sorted your ideas into a logical sequence, you can start on the first draft of your assignment. There are lots of resources in the writing tab that can help you with academic writing.

Editing your first draft: When you have finished writing, don't worry too much about spelling and punctuation at this point. Now's the time to take a good hard look at your first draft.

  • How well does the essay or report answer the assignment question, and does it make sense?
  •         Does it follow the conventions for academic essays or reports?
  •         Have you provided convincing evidence to support your main point?
  •          If it is an essay, have you acknowledged opposing views?
  • Are there any areas which need to be clarified or explained more clearly?
  • Is there a smooth transition between the introduction, body and conclusion?
  • Do I need to do more research?
  • Do I have the reference details of research sources used in the draft?

Second draft: Take a cold hard look at your first draft and edit it for content, structure, style, evidence and referencing. 

  • Check spelling and punctuation - remember spell checkers on computers can help but do not rely solely on them.
  • Check consistency, for example terms used, spelling, capitalisation and punctuation
  • Create a reference list of resources cited in your assignment.

Proofreading your second draft: Now check for misspellings, mistakes in grammar and punctuation

  • Read for only one error at a time, separating the text into individual sentences e.g., check for spelling first, then grammar, then punctuation. Find out the sort of errors you make and learn how to correct them.
  • Read every word slowly and out loud. This lets you hear how the words sound together.
  • Read the paper backwards, working from the end to the beginning. The focus then is entirely on spelling.

Third draft: This is the proof reading stage when you check carefully for errors in grammar, punctuation and spelling. This is the final refinement of your writing. 

  • Proofread aloud, this will help you to hear awkward sentence structures and mistakes in your writing that you do not notice when reading silently.
  • Proofread with a friend. Read it to a friend and get them to check the printed copy.
  • Allow some time between proofreading and submitting the assignment to allow for revising and reshaping.

Have you covered everything required for your assignment?

To help you work this out use this checklist as a guide:

Introduction

  • Does the introduction explain the assignment question?

Body (paragraphs)

  • Does each paragraph contribute to answering the question?
  • Does each paragraph have a clear topic sentence?
  • Does each paragraph concentrate on one idea only?
  • Is the argument supported by relevant sources / reasons / examples?
  • Do the number of paragraphs adequately address all aspects of the assignment question?

Conclusion

  • Does this section provide an overview of the main ideas of the essay?
  • Is any new evidence introduced in the conclusion?

Style

  • Are your sentences clear?
  • Are your word choices helpful in describing what you want to say?
  • Are there unnecessary sentences that don’t add value to the overall assessment?
  • Are the paragraphs more than two sentences in length?
  • Does each paragraph connect with those before and after?
  • Is there repetition of information?

Use of sources

  • Are sources current, relevant and authoritative?
  • Are in-text references included to avoid plagiarism?
  • Are references formatted in the required style?
  • Is there a variety of sources – books, reports, websites, articles etc?
Planning
Academic Writing 
© Copyright - TAFE Queensland 2020