A Student’s Handbook for Assignment Writing

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Although there are a lot of things that vary from assignment to assignment, there are similarly a lot of things that you have to do the same way every time.

What does that include?

For example, every time you write an assignment, you have to do research properly. You also have to take care of the structure of the assignment as well as the different formatting elements. The latter includes things like what the page has to look like, how big the margins have to be, what the text size has to be and so on.

You also have to do a lot of things the same way once you write the assignment i.e., in the post-writing phase. For example, you have to always check for grammar issues, plagiarism, spelling issues and the like.

These types of things i.e., the ones that you have to do the same way every time you write an assignment, are what we dub the student’s handbook. They are the things that a student, which could be you or anyone else, has to constantly do in all of their assignments without fail.

In other words, you can create a list of these activities and steps, and then follow it meticulously whenever you are tasked with writing an assignment. Get the idea?

So, that is pretty much what we are going to be looking at in this post. We are going to look at the stuff that you always have to take care of before writing an assignment, when writing an assignment and after writing an assignment.

A Students Handbook for Writing Assignments: Things to Always Do

Understand and clear up the instructions

Before you get started with writing anything, the first thing that you have to do is understand the instructions provided to you.

Now, there are different ways in which your teacher can give you these instructions. They can be, for example, just a single line like this:

Write a 1,000-word essay on environmental pollution

Or it can be somewhat lengthy and complicated like this:

Write an essay on environmental pollution with five sections. In the five sections, you have to discuss: a) the impact of technological advancements on pollution, b) the specific impact of automobiles on pollution, c) the lackadaisical attitude adopted by people when visiting or touring any place, d) the overwhelming nature of the pollution that renders countermeasures difficult and e) a proposed set of measures to end this ordeal.

So, depending on what sort of assignment you’re going to do, the style of the provided instructions can vary.

In whatever form they may be, you should take care to properly read them through and understand them before you start on the assignment itself. It’s common enough for students to assume they understand the instructions only to realize they don’t when there is just about an hour left for submission.

To avoid getting into this sort of crunch, you should first read the instructions and guidelines properly to ensure that you understand them. You should also take the help of your teachers or peers in understanding the same if you have trouble doing it on your own.

Work with a plan

Having a plan can make a task easier to do, and it can make that task feel easier to do…which can be a great help for procrastinators. Once you plan everything out, you can complete your assignment easily without diverging from any of the points and making the write-up unnecessarily long or irrelevant.

So, once you understand what the assignment is about, you have to get started with planning it out. You should highlight stuff like:

  1. The headings that you have to include in the assignment, i.e., the essay or paper, etc.
  2. The sub-headings that you have to include in each of the headings
  3. The number of words as well as a rough adumbration of the content you have to include in each heading

Do your research

After this follows the research step.

You have to find reliable information to back up the content that you will later write according to your plan.

Conducting proper research is conducive to writing authoritative assignments. Doing research helps you come across facts and figures that can lend reliability to your claims and arguments and make your write-up well-grounded.

Of course, in some situations, doing research can be, far from some sort of complementary and optional step, necessary to begin with. For example, if you are tasked with writing something about a technological concept or some other complicated topic, you will need to conduct proper research to familiarize yourself with it first.

In all types of situations, there are some things that you should always do when conducting research. For example, you should:

  • Take care to do your research from reliable sources
  • Take care to do research from sources sanctioned and recommended by your institute
  • Take care not to do research from sources proscribed by your institute
  • Take care to remember the citation details for each source so that you can use them to create citations/references later on
  • Take care to note down useful details about the research material rather than copying things verbatim

Make your writing impactful

The tip itself is a bit vague but don’t worry. We are going to explain it.

Whenever you write an assignment, whatever type it may be, you should work on making the content impactful. By “impactful,” we mean that the content should make an impact on the mind of the reader and make them remember the things that it contains.

Yes, it’s a bit of empty rhetoric, the stuff above.

Let’s actually just talk about the stuff that you have to do to make the assignments impactful.

Sentence and passage lengths: Firstly, you should take care to keep the sentence and passage lengths reasonable. Ideally, your sentences should contain less than 20 words, and your passages should consist of 3 to 5 lines each.

Word choice: Unless demanded by the circumstances, you should keep your language simple and easy to understand. For example, where you can say “seemingly harmless,” there is no need to say “innocuous.” Of course, there can be, and there are different situations where using hard words is the only recourse, i.e., when you’re talking about something technical.

Formatting elements: Bringing the reader’s attention to certain words or phrases can be a good way to make your writing impactful. For example, you can underline a particular word, bold a phrase, or italicize a sentence to make it emphasized.

Check for errors once you are done

The conclusionary elements/steps in your student’s handbook should pertain to the elimination of errors and imperfections in your assignment.

In non-Shakespearean words, that means you should find and remove errors and imperfections from your assignments once you are done writing them.

When we say “errors and imperfections,” we refer to a number of different ones.

  1. For one, grammar errors are pretty commonly committed by students when they write assignments. Finding and resolving these issues is easily done with the help of an online grammar checker.
  2. Readability issues also have to be fixed once an assignment is complete. These errors can be easily found with the help of a readability checker. After finding them, you can word the affected sentences differently and make them readable again.
  3. Plagiarism is a major issue that you have to be mindful of in every assignment that you write. Since plagiarism is severely punished by teachers and academic institutes, you necessarily have to remove it from your assignment. This is basically a two-step process.
    1. You first have to find the plagiarism by using an online plagiarism checker
    2. After finding the plagiarism, you have to do take any of these three steps:
      1. Deleting the plagiarized bits altogether
      2. Adding citations for them in order to attribute the actual source
      3. Paraphrasing the plagiarized parts to remove the replication


So there you have it.

If you follow the steps mentioned above, you will be able to go from the start of the assignment writing process till the end without a lot of trouble.

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