Assignment preparation: everything you need to know

Katie Sims gives you the perfect step-by-step guide to prepare for assignment deadlines

Katie Sims
9th November 2020

It’s no secret that assignment deadlines aren’t the most fun part of uni. If you’re a second or third year, you’re probably no stranger to the common stages of the assignment process: procrastination (mine usually consisted of Netflix binges and going to the pub); the panicky realisation of how much you have to do in how little time; a caffeine-fuelled night or two in the Robbo, followed by the eventual sweet submission of your assignment on Turnitin.

This routine is stressful, and probably isn’t going to end up producing your best work. So, below are my five top tips which I’ve found help me avoid falling into this trap around the assignment period.

  1. Break it up

Looking at your assignment for the first time can feel very overwhelming; the end goal of 3000 words feels a long way off, and at the minute, you can’t figure out how to start. Breaking the assignment up into mini tasks and setting deadlines for these will make it feel more manageable, and help get you through the initial brain-freeze phase

  1. Make a schedule (and stick to it)

Managing your time is the key to writing a good assignment. Look at how much time you have from now until your deadline, and plan your weeks and days accordingly. This ties in with Tip 1, because you can slot your mini tasks into your schedule with your submission date in mind

  1. Take breaks 

Meeting your deadline is important, but so is your mental and physical health. Your wellbeing should still be a priority during the assignment period, so take breaks and try to do something that will make you feel good - like exercising (forcing yourself to get outside or go to the gym sometimes really is worth it). Whatever you do, let it be away from your computer. The quality of your work will probably go up and your brain will thank you for it later.

  1. The library is your new best friend

Going to the library gets you out of the house and puts you into a study environment. Robinson Library is the most popular one on campus, but if you find it’s a bit big for you, Marjorie Robinson provides a smaller-scale alternative. Familiarise yourself with the new online booking system, and if you’re planning on going to the Robbo, take two bottles of water because the fountains are currently out of use. (F.Y.I: Marjorie still has a tap you can use on the ground floor!)

  1. Buddy up - but know when you’ve been chatting for too long

Studying with a friend is a lot more enjoyable - and can be more productive too, if you know when you're talking too much and working too little. Setting yourself breaks for chatting can be a good motivator, because you’re more likely to work hard for 30 minutes if you know you can vent to a friend after it.

The important thing when it comes to writing assignments is to find what works best for you. That could be working alone or with a friend, in the house or in the library, or in a random cafe in town. Whatever it is that helps you get into your groove, go do it and write that assignment.

Feature Image: Pixabay @khamkhor

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