Studying in Australia is an exciting opportunity that will set you up for a variety of different careers. As well as looking after your health, learning how to study effectively and preparing for exams, assignment writing is an essential part of succeeding in any course in Australia.
We’ve put together some super useful assignment tips to help you write clear, high-quality work and achieve the marks you want.
Tip 1: Choose an interesting topic
This tip aims to make writing assignments as enjoyable as possible.
If you have a choice, pick an assignment topic that interests you. If none of the topics really engage you, see if there is one that connects with something you are interested in, passionate about or that relates to your own life in some way.
Try to be open-minded! The more engaged you are with a topic, the more fun you will have and the more motivated you will be to complete the assignment.
Tip 2: Ensure you understand the assignment, and if not, ask for assignment help
The first step is to read through your assignment instructions carefully to ensure you understand what you need to do. If you don’t understand anything, need to clarify any points or simply want some assignment help, now is the time to contact your tutor or course coordinator – not the day before the assignment is due!
Tip 3: Plan your assignment
This is a crucial step to help your assignment writing! If you have a clear plan in place, you will know exactly where you are going and what to do for each part of the assignment.
Don’t be afraid of detail – the clearer your steps are, the easier and faster your work will be. Your plan will include steps such as research or data gathering, analysis, writing the assignment and editing your work before submitting it.
Tip 4: How to write an assignment (or essay)
One of the areas where students most need help in assignment writing is the structure. The below structure can be used for the majority of long-form or long-answer assignments, essays or even theses. A well-written essay will have five parts:
- Thesis statement
The introduction states the essay question and outlines your answer to it, including your main arguments. The most important part of the introduction is the thesis statement, which sits at the end of the introduction and outlines the overall argument of your essay in one sentence.
The body makes up most of the essay. It contains all the ideas, arguments, examples, quotations and references you are using to answer the essay question. The body should be written in paragraphs – each paragraph contains one argument or idea that forms part of your answer to the essay question.
Transitions are single sentences at the beginning and end of paragraphs. They help the flow between each paragraph and each idea, creating a narrative that is easy to follow and understand. The transitions also help to link your evidence back to the essay question.
The conclusion is the final paragraph of the essay. It brings together your evidence and restates the essay’s main arguments to summarise your overall argument. Don’t introduce any new ideas in the conclusion!
Tip 5: Learn how to reference correctly
Referencing is one of the key skills you need to succeed in study. Remember that the goal is to show where you have used someone else’s ideas, whether this is a direct quotation or paraphrased information. Paraphrasing is writing another person’s ideas in your own words. If you do not indicate where you have used someone else’s ideas, this is called plagiarism – and it has serious consequences!
There are two main styles of referencing: author-date and footnote. Some referencing guides are available online.
Your educational institution will probably provide its own referencing resources. Make sure to ask your tutor or course coordinator if you are unsure which referencing style to use or where to find information about it.
Tip 6: How to reference a website
Referencing websites can be difficult because the amount of publishing information provided on websites varies widely compared to a book or journal article. The most important piece of information to include is the URL.
For example, for APA, this is how you would reference a website:
In-text citation: (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2021)
Reference list: Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2021). Census media hub. Retrieved from https://www.abs.gov.au/census/census-media-hub
If there is no year listed for the website, use ‘n.d.’ (no date). Some referencing styles require extra information, such as the date you accessed the website.
Tip 7: How to insert a footnote
Footnotes are a useful tool for referencing or providing additional information. The best way to insert a footnote is to use Microsoft Word’s in-built footnote function rather than creating them manually. Every time you insert a footnote, Word will automatically renumber them – this helps you keep your footnotes consistent.
To insert a footnote in Word for Microsoft 365, go to the References pane and click ‘Insert Footnote’. If you click the little arrow at the bottom right of the Footnotes section of the toolbar, a dialog box will appear with options to format your footnotes or convert them to endnotes.
Other word processing programs such as Google Docs and OpenOffice have in-built footnote functions as well. If you have trouble inserting them, a quick Google search will point you in the right direction.
With these assignment tips in your toolbox, we know you will find assignment writing easier and more enjoyable – and your marks will improve, too!