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Answering Assignment Questions

In order to decide how to answer an essay question, you need to identify what the question requires in terms of content and genre. This guide outlines some methods to help you analyse essay questions.

Analyse the question using key words

Assignment questions can be broken down into parts so that you can better understand what you are being asked to do. It is important to identify key words and phrases in the topic.

What are key words?

Key words are the words in an assignment question that tell you the approaches to take when you answer.

Diagram of task words in assignment questions

Make sure you understand the meaning of key words in an essay question, especially t ask words . As Task words are verbs that direct you and tell you how to go about answering a question, understanding the meaning helps you know exactly what you to do.

Content words tell you what the topic area(s) of your assignment are and take you halfway towards narrowing down your material and selecting your answer. Content words help you to focus your research and reading on the correct area.

Limiting words make a broad topic workable. They focus the topic area further by indicating aspects you should narrowly concentrate on.

If you're not sure about any aspect of the question, ask your tutor/lecturer for clarification. Never start any assignment until you know and understand exactly what you are being asked to do.

How to use key words

  • Look for the keywords in your essay question.
  • Underline them.
  • Spend a little time working out what they mean. Use the Glossary of task words to help you.

Example Question

Computers have had a significant impact on education in the 20th century. Discuss the changes they have made.

DISCUSS. Look up the meaning in the glossary of task words to find out what it means.

(See Glossary of task words )

Content Words

EDUCATION, COMPUTERS. Content words help you to direct your research and reading towards the correct area(s), in this case on computers and on education.

Limiting Words

CHANGES, SIGNIFICANT IMPACT, 20TH CENTURY. Limiting words further define the topic area and indicate aspects you should narrowly concentrate on. For example, in this question, do not just write about computers in education, Discuss the SIGNIFICANT IMPACT they have had and the CHANGES computers have made to education during a certain time: the 20TH CENTURY.

 See next: Implied or complex questions

Essay and assignment writing guide.

  • Essay writing basics
  • Essay and assignment planning
  • Complex assignment questions
  • Glossary of task words
  • Editing checklist
  • Writing a critical review
  • Annotated bibliography
  • Reflective writing
  • ^ More support

Scholarly Resources 4 Students | scite.ai 21 May 2024

Discover your Library: Main Library 21 May 2024

The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Understanding Assignments

What this handout is about.

The first step in any successful college writing venture is reading the assignment. While this sounds like a simple task, it can be a tough one. This handout will help you unravel your assignment and begin to craft an effective response. Much of the following advice will involve translating typical assignment terms and practices into meaningful clues to the type of writing your instructor expects. See our short video for more tips.

Basic beginnings

Regardless of the assignment, department, or instructor, adopting these two habits will serve you well :

  • Read the assignment carefully as soon as you receive it. Do not put this task off—reading the assignment at the beginning will save you time, stress, and problems later. An assignment can look pretty straightforward at first, particularly if the instructor has provided lots of information. That does not mean it will not take time and effort to complete; you may even have to learn a new skill to complete the assignment.
  • Ask the instructor about anything you do not understand. Do not hesitate to approach your instructor. Instructors would prefer to set you straight before you hand the paper in. That’s also when you will find their feedback most useful.

Assignment formats

Many assignments follow a basic format. Assignments often begin with an overview of the topic, include a central verb or verbs that describe the task, and offer some additional suggestions, questions, or prompts to get you started.

An Overview of Some Kind

The instructor might set the stage with some general discussion of the subject of the assignment, introduce the topic, or remind you of something pertinent that you have discussed in class. For example:

“Throughout history, gerbils have played a key role in politics,” or “In the last few weeks of class, we have focused on the evening wear of the housefly …”

The Task of the Assignment

Pay attention; this part tells you what to do when you write the paper. Look for the key verb or verbs in the sentence. Words like analyze, summarize, or compare direct you to think about your topic in a certain way. Also pay attention to words such as how, what, when, where, and why; these words guide your attention toward specific information. (See the section in this handout titled “Key Terms” for more information.)

“Analyze the effect that gerbils had on the Russian Revolution”, or “Suggest an interpretation of housefly undergarments that differs from Darwin’s.”

Additional Material to Think about

Here you will find some questions to use as springboards as you begin to think about the topic. Instructors usually include these questions as suggestions rather than requirements. Do not feel compelled to answer every question unless the instructor asks you to do so. Pay attention to the order of the questions. Sometimes they suggest the thinking process your instructor imagines you will need to follow to begin thinking about the topic.

“You may wish to consider the differing views held by Communist gerbils vs. Monarchist gerbils, or Can there be such a thing as ‘the housefly garment industry’ or is it just a home-based craft?”

These are the instructor’s comments about writing expectations:

“Be concise”, “Write effectively”, or “Argue furiously.”

Technical Details

These instructions usually indicate format rules or guidelines.

“Your paper must be typed in Palatino font on gray paper and must not exceed 600 pages. It is due on the anniversary of Mao Tse-tung’s death.”

The assignment’s parts may not appear in exactly this order, and each part may be very long or really short. Nonetheless, being aware of this standard pattern can help you understand what your instructor wants you to do.

Interpreting the assignment

Ask yourself a few basic questions as you read and jot down the answers on the assignment sheet:

Why did your instructor ask you to do this particular task?

Who is your audience.

  • What kind of evidence do you need to support your ideas?

What kind of writing style is acceptable?

  • What are the absolute rules of the paper?

Try to look at the question from the point of view of the instructor. Recognize that your instructor has a reason for giving you this assignment and for giving it to you at a particular point in the semester. In every assignment, the instructor has a challenge for you. This challenge could be anything from demonstrating an ability to think clearly to demonstrating an ability to use the library. See the assignment not as a vague suggestion of what to do but as an opportunity to show that you can handle the course material as directed. Paper assignments give you more than a topic to discuss—they ask you to do something with the topic. Keep reminding yourself of that. Be careful to avoid the other extreme as well: do not read more into the assignment than what is there.

Of course, your instructor has given you an assignment so that they will be able to assess your understanding of the course material and give you an appropriate grade. But there is more to it than that. Your instructor has tried to design a learning experience of some kind. Your instructor wants you to think about something in a particular way for a particular reason. If you read the course description at the beginning of your syllabus, review the assigned readings, and consider the assignment itself, you may begin to see the plan, purpose, or approach to the subject matter that your instructor has created for you. If you still aren’t sure of the assignment’s goals, try asking the instructor. For help with this, see our handout on getting feedback .

Given your instructor’s efforts, it helps to answer the question: What is my purpose in completing this assignment? Is it to gather research from a variety of outside sources and present a coherent picture? Is it to take material I have been learning in class and apply it to a new situation? Is it to prove a point one way or another? Key words from the assignment can help you figure this out. Look for key terms in the form of active verbs that tell you what to do.

Key Terms: Finding Those Active Verbs

Here are some common key words and definitions to help you think about assignment terms:

Information words Ask you to demonstrate what you know about the subject, such as who, what, when, where, how, and why.

  • define —give the subject’s meaning (according to someone or something). Sometimes you have to give more than one view on the subject’s meaning
  • describe —provide details about the subject by answering question words (such as who, what, when, where, how, and why); you might also give details related to the five senses (what you see, hear, feel, taste, and smell)
  • explain —give reasons why or examples of how something happened
  • illustrate —give descriptive examples of the subject and show how each is connected with the subject
  • summarize —briefly list the important ideas you learned about the subject
  • trace —outline how something has changed or developed from an earlier time to its current form
  • research —gather material from outside sources about the subject, often with the implication or requirement that you will analyze what you have found

Relation words Ask you to demonstrate how things are connected.

  • compare —show how two or more things are similar (and, sometimes, different)
  • contrast —show how two or more things are dissimilar
  • apply—use details that you’ve been given to demonstrate how an idea, theory, or concept works in a particular situation
  • cause —show how one event or series of events made something else happen
  • relate —show or describe the connections between things

Interpretation words Ask you to defend ideas of your own about the subject. Do not see these words as requesting opinion alone (unless the assignment specifically says so), but as requiring opinion that is supported by concrete evidence. Remember examples, principles, definitions, or concepts from class or research and use them in your interpretation.

  • assess —summarize your opinion of the subject and measure it against something
  • prove, justify —give reasons or examples to demonstrate how or why something is the truth
  • evaluate, respond —state your opinion of the subject as good, bad, or some combination of the two, with examples and reasons
  • support —give reasons or evidence for something you believe (be sure to state clearly what it is that you believe)
  • synthesize —put two or more things together that have not been put together in class or in your readings before; do not just summarize one and then the other and say that they are similar or different—you must provide a reason for putting them together that runs all the way through the paper
  • analyze —determine how individual parts create or relate to the whole, figure out how something works, what it might mean, or why it is important
  • argue —take a side and defend it with evidence against the other side

More Clues to Your Purpose As you read the assignment, think about what the teacher does in class:

  • What kinds of textbooks or coursepack did your instructor choose for the course—ones that provide background information, explain theories or perspectives, or argue a point of view?
  • In lecture, does your instructor ask your opinion, try to prove their point of view, or use keywords that show up again in the assignment?
  • What kinds of assignments are typical in this discipline? Social science classes often expect more research. Humanities classes thrive on interpretation and analysis.
  • How do the assignments, readings, and lectures work together in the course? Instructors spend time designing courses, sometimes even arguing with their peers about the most effective course materials. Figuring out the overall design to the course will help you understand what each assignment is meant to achieve.

Now, what about your reader? Most undergraduates think of their audience as the instructor. True, your instructor is a good person to keep in mind as you write. But for the purposes of a good paper, think of your audience as someone like your roommate: smart enough to understand a clear, logical argument, but not someone who already knows exactly what is going on in your particular paper. Remember, even if the instructor knows everything there is to know about your paper topic, they still have to read your paper and assess your understanding. In other words, teach the material to your reader.

Aiming a paper at your audience happens in two ways: you make decisions about the tone and the level of information you want to convey.

  • Tone means the “voice” of your paper. Should you be chatty, formal, or objective? Usually you will find some happy medium—you do not want to alienate your reader by sounding condescending or superior, but you do not want to, um, like, totally wig on the man, you know? Eschew ostentatious erudition: some students think the way to sound academic is to use big words. Be careful—you can sound ridiculous, especially if you use the wrong big words.
  • The level of information you use depends on who you think your audience is. If you imagine your audience as your instructor and they already know everything you have to say, you may find yourself leaving out key information that can cause your argument to be unconvincing and illogical. But you do not have to explain every single word or issue. If you are telling your roommate what happened on your favorite science fiction TV show last night, you do not say, “First a dark-haired white man of average height, wearing a suit and carrying a flashlight, walked into the room. Then a purple alien with fifteen arms and at least three eyes turned around. Then the man smiled slightly. In the background, you could hear a clock ticking. The room was fairly dark and had at least two windows that I saw.” You also do not say, “This guy found some aliens. The end.” Find some balance of useful details that support your main point.

You’ll find a much more detailed discussion of these concepts in our handout on audience .

The Grim Truth

With a few exceptions (including some lab and ethnography reports), you are probably being asked to make an argument. You must convince your audience. It is easy to forget this aim when you are researching and writing; as you become involved in your subject matter, you may become enmeshed in the details and focus on learning or simply telling the information you have found. You need to do more than just repeat what you have read. Your writing should have a point, and you should be able to say it in a sentence. Sometimes instructors call this sentence a “thesis” or a “claim.”

So, if your instructor tells you to write about some aspect of oral hygiene, you do not want to just list: “First, you brush your teeth with a soft brush and some peanut butter. Then, you floss with unwaxed, bologna-flavored string. Finally, gargle with bourbon.” Instead, you could say, “Of all the oral cleaning methods, sandblasting removes the most plaque. Therefore it should be recommended by the American Dental Association.” Or, “From an aesthetic perspective, moldy teeth can be quite charming. However, their joys are short-lived.”

Convincing the reader of your argument is the goal of academic writing. It doesn’t have to say “argument” anywhere in the assignment for you to need one. Look at the assignment and think about what kind of argument you could make about it instead of just seeing it as a checklist of information you have to present. For help with understanding the role of argument in academic writing, see our handout on argument .

What kind of evidence do you need?

There are many kinds of evidence, and what type of evidence will work for your assignment can depend on several factors–the discipline, the parameters of the assignment, and your instructor’s preference. Should you use statistics? Historical examples? Do you need to conduct your own experiment? Can you rely on personal experience? See our handout on evidence for suggestions on how to use evidence appropriately.

Make sure you are clear about this part of the assignment, because your use of evidence will be crucial in writing a successful paper. You are not just learning how to argue; you are learning how to argue with specific types of materials and ideas. Ask your instructor what counts as acceptable evidence. You can also ask a librarian for help. No matter what kind of evidence you use, be sure to cite it correctly—see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial .

You cannot always tell from the assignment just what sort of writing style your instructor expects. The instructor may be really laid back in class but still expect you to sound formal in writing. Or the instructor may be fairly formal in class and ask you to write a reflection paper where you need to use “I” and speak from your own experience.

Try to avoid false associations of a particular field with a style (“art historians like wacky creativity,” or “political scientists are boring and just give facts”) and look instead to the types of readings you have been given in class. No one expects you to write like Plato—just use the readings as a guide for what is standard or preferable to your instructor. When in doubt, ask your instructor about the level of formality they expect.

No matter what field you are writing for or what facts you are including, if you do not write so that your reader can understand your main idea, you have wasted your time. So make clarity your main goal. For specific help with style, see our handout on style .

Technical details about the assignment

The technical information you are given in an assignment always seems like the easy part. This section can actually give you lots of little hints about approaching the task. Find out if elements such as page length and citation format (see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial ) are negotiable. Some professors do not have strong preferences as long as you are consistent and fully answer the assignment. Some professors are very specific and will deduct big points for deviations.

Usually, the page length tells you something important: The instructor thinks the size of the paper is appropriate to the assignment’s parameters. In plain English, your instructor is telling you how many pages it should take for you to answer the question as fully as you are expected to. So if an assignment is two pages long, you cannot pad your paper with examples or reword your main idea several times. Hit your one point early, defend it with the clearest example, and finish quickly. If an assignment is ten pages long, you can be more complex in your main points and examples—and if you can only produce five pages for that assignment, you need to see someone for help—as soon as possible.

Tricks that don’t work

Your instructors are not fooled when you:

  • spend more time on the cover page than the essay —graphics, cool binders, and cute titles are no replacement for a well-written paper.
  • use huge fonts, wide margins, or extra spacing to pad the page length —these tricks are immediately obvious to the eye. Most instructors use the same word processor you do. They know what’s possible. Such tactics are especially damning when the instructor has a stack of 60 papers to grade and yours is the only one that low-flying airplane pilots could read.
  • use a paper from another class that covered “sort of similar” material . Again, the instructor has a particular task for you to fulfill in the assignment that usually relates to course material and lectures. Your other paper may not cover this material, and turning in the same paper for more than one course may constitute an Honor Code violation . Ask the instructor—it can’t hurt.
  • get all wacky and “creative” before you answer the question . Showing that you are able to think beyond the boundaries of a simple assignment can be good, but you must do what the assignment calls for first. Again, check with your instructor. A humorous tone can be refreshing for someone grading a stack of papers, but it will not get you a good grade if you have not fulfilled the task.

Critical reading of assignments leads to skills in other types of reading and writing. If you get good at figuring out what the real goals of assignments are, you are going to be better at understanding the goals of all of your classes and fields of study.

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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Understanding your assignment questions: A short guide

  • Introduction
  • Breaking down the question

Directive or task words

Task works for science based essays.

  • Further reading and references

It is really important to understand the directive or task word used in your assignment.

This will indicate how you should write and what the purpose of the assignment in. The following examples show some task words and their definitions.

However, it is important to note that none of these words has a fixed meaning. The definitions given are a general guide, and interpretation of the words may vary according to the context and the discipline.

If you are unsure as the exactly what a lecturer means by a particular task word, you should ask for clarification. 

Analyse : Break up into parts; investigate

Comment on : Identify and write about the main issues; give your reactions based on what you've read/ heard in lectures. Avoid just personal opinion. 

Compare : Look for the similarities between two things. Show the relevance or consequences of these similarities concluding which is preferable. 

Contrast : Identify the differences between two items or arguments. Show whether the differences are significant. Perhaps give reasons why one is preferable. 

Criticise : Requires an answer that points out mistakes or weaknesses, and which also indicates any favourable aspects of the subject of the question. It requires a balanced answer. 

Critically evaluate : Weigh arguments for and against something, assessing the strength of the evidence on both sides. Use criteria to guide your assessment of which opinions, theories, models or items are preferable. 

Define : Give the exact meaning of. Where relevant, show you understand how the definition may be problematic. 

Describe : To describe is to give an observational account of something and would deal with what happened, where it happened, when it happened and who was involved. Spell out the main aspects of an idea or topic or the sequence in which a series of things happened. 

Discuss : Investigate or examine by argument; sift and  debate; give reasons for and against; examine the implications. 

Evaluate : Assess and give your judgement about the merit, importance or usefulness of something using evidence to support your argument. 

Examine : Look closely into something

Explain : Offer a detailed and exact rationale behind an idea or principle, or a set of reasons for a situation or attitude. Make clear how and why something happens. 

Explore : Examine thoroughly; consider from a variety of viewpoints

Illustrate : Make something clear and explicit, give examples of evidence

Justify : Give evidence that supports and argument or idea; show why a decision or conclusions were made

Outline : Give the main points/features/general principles; show the main structure and interrelations; omit details and examples

State : Give the main features briefly and clearly

Summarise : Draw out the main points only; omit details and examples

To what extent... : Consider how far something is true, or contributes to a final outcome. Consider also ways in which it is not true.

Task Words:

How to write e.g., discuss, argue etc.

Subject Matter:

What you should be writing about.

Limiting Words:

May narrow or change the focus of your answer. (Important - they stop you from including irrelevant info)

Below are some examples of questions and tips on how you might think about answering them.

Compare acute and chronic pain in terms of pathophysiology and treatment

Compare  - Make sure you are comparing and not just describing the two things in isolation

Acute and chronic pain  - Subject matter

In terms of pathophysiology and treatment  - Important limiting phrase - focus ONLY on these things. Use them as a lens to highlight the differences between acute and chronic pain.

Tip : Assignments that ask you to compare two things can be structured in different ways. You may choose to alternate continually between the two things, making direct comparisons and organising your essay according to themes. Alternatively, you may choose to discuss one thing fully and then the next. If you choose the second approach, you must make the links and comparisons between the two things completely clear. 

With reference to any particular example enzyme, outline the key structural and functional properties of its active site

With reference to any particular example enzyme  - Important limiting phase - focus your answer on a specific example. Use this example to help demonstrate your understanding. 

Outline  - Factual description is needed. You must demonstrate your knowledge and understanding. 

The key structural and functional properties of its active site  - Subject matter

Tip : Assignments that ask you to outline or describe are assessing your understanding of the topic. You must express facts clearly and precisely, using examples to illuminate them. 

There is no convincing evidence for the existence of life outside our solar systems

There is  - Task words not so obvious this time. Try turning the title into a question: 'Is there any convincing evidence for...?'

Convincing  - Important limiting word- there may be evidence but you need to assess whether or not it is convincing. 

For the existence of life outside of our solar system  - Subject matter

Tip : Assignment titles that are on actually a question are often simply asking 'how true is this statement?' You must present reasons it could be true and reasons it might not be, supported by evidence and recognising the complexity of the statement. 

To what extent can nuclear power provide a solution to environmental issues?

Discuss  - Explore the topic from different angles, in a critical way (not purely descriptive)

Nuclear power  - Subject matter

Provide a solution to  - Limiting phrase: discuss ways it can and ways it can't- don't be afraid to take a position based on evidence.

Environmental issues  - Subject matter. Might be an idea to define/ discuss what could be meant by environmental issues? This might be important for your argument. 

Tip : If an assignment is asking a direct question, make sure your essay answers it. Address it directly in the introduction, make sure each paragraph contributes something towards your response to it, and reinforce your response in your conclusion. 

Discuss the issue of patient autonomy in relation to at least one case study 

The issue of patient autonomy  - Subject matter

In relation to at least one case study  - Important limiting phrase - don't just discuss the issue of patient autonomy in general; discuss it in the context of one or more case studies. You should use the case study to illustrate all of your points about patient autonomy. 

Tip : Assignments that ask you to discuss in relation to a case study, or to a placement or own experience, usually want to see a clear link between theory and practice (reality). 

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Academic Writing - Education & CCSC students: Assignment Question

  • Publication Style
  • Assignment Question
  • Assignment Genre
  • Literature Searches
  • Referencing
  • Anthropomorphism

The Assignment Question

Understanding the assignment question is a key skill in academic writing

It is important to invest time in analysing the assignment question. Do not start to write, or even draft a plan, until you are confident that you know what the question is asking, how you should respond, and that you have all the information you need. Students who consistently do well in their written assignments apply a version of the steps below.

See also  Assignment Writing and Editing Checklist

The Assignment Question (1)

Approaching a new assignment

Ensure you are up to date with the tutorial material and readings before starting the assignment: many assignments relate to the tutorial material covered in the course up to the time the assignment is due. If you have not covered all the material, you have no way of knowing the concepts, skills and application-to-context you are missing. Many people start by printing out the assignment question and assessment criteria, then make notes. 

  • Read the assignment question carefully a number of times, along with any marking criteria or supplementary information from your lecturer. 
  • Highlight the key points and any words or phrases whose meaning you are unsure of. 
  • Before proceeding, ascertain the definitions and meaning of those words and phrases.
  • Determine the genre of the assignment or the type of response the assignment calls for (See Assignment Genre ).
  • Sketch out a rough plan as a mindmap or series of dot points.
  • Gather the resources (sources, references, readings, etc.) that you will rely upon.
  • Compile the reference list (Yes! Do this at the start, not the end).

The Assignment Question (2)

While working on these 7 steps, ask yourself the following questions

  • What knowledge is the assignment question asking me to demonstrate? This will usually be from the set readings and learning activities in the online tutorials. Check the Learning Outcomes for the unit as these are an important clue to what is to be assessed.
  • What academic skills is the assignment question providing the opportunity for me to demonstrate? : skills such as critical understanding, application of theoretical content to your own context, and so on. The Learning Outcomes for the unit can also provide valuable information.
  • What argument, theme(s), or angle will I adopt in my response to the assignment question?

Now, check your interpretation of the question one more time before you draft a plan and commit yourself to writing the assignment.

The investment of time before beginning to write pays a big dividend in the efficient use of the time taken to write the assignment itself, and in the quality of your output.

Checklist for writing and editing assignments

For further help in analysing assignment questions, see the following checklist.

UTS:HELPS Higher Education Language and Presentation Support. (2017).  Checklist for writing and editing assignments.  Retrieved 13 September, 2018, from  https://www.uts.edu.au/sites/default/files/article/downloads/Writing%20and%20Editing%20Checklist_3.pdf

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Help Centre

Short answer questions types of assignment.

Some assignments have questions that are broken down into parts that each require a brief answer. These are called short answer questions.

Short answer questions require concise answers so it is essential to read the question carefully and to take account of the process words. It is all too easy to go off track and overshoot word limits by including irrelevant information.

Sample questions

Look at the following examples, adapted from SK277, Human Biology.

  • Define insoluble dietary fibre in one or two sentences. (2 marks)
  • Explain why insoluble dietary fibre is important in the human diet. (4 marks)
  • Insoluble dietary fibre consists of indigestible carbohydrates, mostly cellulose, which is a large structural carbohydrate that supports plant cell walls. Cellulose is a polysaccharide that consists of many glucose molecules strung together as long strands linked to each other, forming long insoluble and indigestible fibres.
  • Insoluble fibre helps to bulk up food and speed up transit times as it passes through the gut, and helps to prevent diverticular disease. By minimising transit times, fibre restricts contact time between any toxic substances in food (which might trigger cancer) and the cells lining the gut. Diets high in fibre are likely to be healthy, being generally low in fat and non-milk extrinsic sugars and high in vitamins and minerals.

The answer addresses the required factual content in the context established by the process words and to the length required. Dietary fibre is defined, and its role in the human diet is explained. Scientific terms such as 'carbohydrate', 'polysaccharide', 'glucose' and 'diverticular' are used appropriately and spelt correctly.

Last updated 6 months ago

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How to Write a Perfect Assignment: Step-By-Step Guide

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Table of contents

  • 1 How to Structure an Assignment?
  • 2.1 The research part
  • 2.2 Planning your text
  • 2.3 Writing major parts
  • 3 Expert Tips for your Writing Assignment
  • 4 Will I succeed with my assignments?
  • 5 Conclusion

How to Structure an Assignment?

To cope with assignments, you should familiarize yourself with the tips on formatting and presenting assignments or any written paper, which are given below. It is worth paying attention to the content of the paper, making it structured and understandable so that ideas are not lost and thoughts do not refute each other.

If the topic is free or you can choose from the given list — be sure to choose the one you understand best. Especially if that could affect your semester score or scholarship. It is important to select an  engaging title that is contextualized within your topic. A topic that should captivate you or at least give you a general sense of what is needed there. It’s easier to dwell upon what interests you, so the process goes faster.

To construct an assignment structure, use outlines. These are pieces of text that relate to your topic. It can be ideas, quotes, all your thoughts, or disparate arguments. Type in everything that you think about. Separate thoughts scattered across the sheets of Word will help in the next step.

Then it is time to form the text. At this stage, you have to form a coherent story from separate pieces, where each new thought reinforces the previous one, and one idea smoothly flows into another.

Main Steps of Assignment Writing

These are steps to take to get a worthy paper. If you complete these step-by-step, your text will be among the most exemplary ones.

The research part

If the topic is unique and no one has written about it yet, look at materials close to this topic to gain thoughts about it. You should feel that you are ready to express your thoughts. Also, while reading, get acquainted with the format of the articles, study the details, collect material for your thoughts, and accumulate different points of view for your article. Be careful at this stage, as the process can help you develop your ideas. If you are already struggling here, pay for assignment to be done , and it will be processed in a split second via special services. These services are especially helpful when the deadline is near as they guarantee fast delivery of high-quality papers on any subject.

If you use Google to search for material for your assignment, you will, of course, find a lot of information very quickly. Still, the databases available on your library’s website will give you the clearest and most reliable facts that satisfy your teacher or professor. Be sure you copy the addresses of all the web pages you will use when composing your paper, so you don’t lose them. You can use them later in your bibliography if you add a bit of description! Select resources and extract quotes from them that you can use while working. At this stage, you may also create a  request for late assignment if you realize the paper requires a lot of effort and is time-consuming. This way, you’ll have a backup plan if something goes wrong.

Planning your text

Assemble a layout. It may be appropriate to use the structure of the paper of some outstanding scientists in your field and argue it in one of the parts. As the planning progresses, you can add suggestions that come to mind. If you use citations that require footnotes, and if you use single spacing throughout the paper and double spacing at the end, it will take you a very long time to make sure that all the citations are on the exact pages you specified! Add a reference list or bibliography. If you haven’t already done so, don’t put off writing an essay until the last day. It will be more difficult to do later as you will be stressed out because of time pressure.

Writing major parts

It happens that there is simply no mood or strength to get started and zero thoughts. In that case, postpone this process for 2-3 hours, and, perhaps, soon, you will be able to start with renewed vigor. Writing essays is a great (albeit controversial) way to improve your skills. This experience will not be forgotten. It will certainly come in handy and bring many benefits in the future. Do your best here because asking for an extension is not always possible, so you probably won’t have time to redo it later. And the quality of this part defines the success of the whole paper.

Writing the major part does not mean the matter is finished. To review the text, make sure that the ideas of the introduction and conclusion coincide because such a discrepancy is the first thing that will catch the reader’s eye and can spoil the impression. Add or remove anything from your intro to edit it to fit the entire paper. Also, check your spelling and grammar to ensure there are no typos or draft comments. Check the sources of your quotes so that your it is honest and does not violate any rules. And do not forget the formatting rules.

with the right tips and guidance, it can be easier than it looks. To make the process even more straightforward, students can also use an assignment service to get the job done. This way they can get professional assistance and make sure that their assignments are up to the mark. At PapersOwl, we provide a professional writing service where students can order custom-made assignments that meet their exact requirements.

Expert Tips for your Writing Assignment

Want to write like a pro? Here’s what you should consider:

  • Save the document! Send the finished document by email to yourself so you have a backup copy in case your computer crashes.
  • Don’t wait until the last minute to complete a list of citations or a bibliography after the paper is finished. It will be much longer and more difficult, so add to them as you go.
  • If you find a lot of information on the topic of your search, then arrange it in a separate paragraph.
  • If possible, choose a topic that you know and are interested in.
  • Believe in yourself! If you set yourself up well and use your limited time wisely, you will be able to deliver the paper on time.
  • Do not copy information directly from the Internet without citing them.

Writing assignments is a tedious and time-consuming process. It requires a lot of research and hard work to produce a quality paper. However, if you are feeling overwhelmed or having difficulty understanding the concept, you may want to consider getting accounting homework help online . Professional experts can assist you in understanding how to complete your assignment effectively. PapersOwl.com offers expert help from highly qualified and experienced writers who can provide you with the homework help you need.

Will I succeed with my assignments?

Anyone can learn how to be good at writing: follow simple rules of creating the structure and be creative where it is appropriate. At one moment, you will need some additional study tools, study support, or solid study tips. And you can easily get help in writing assignments or any other work. This is especially useful since the strategy of learning how to write an assignment can take more time than a student has.

Therefore all students are happy that there is an option to  order your paper at a professional service to pass all the courses perfectly and sleep still at night. You can also find the sample of the assignment there to check if you are on the same page and if not — focus on your papers more diligently.

So, in the times of studies online, the desire and skill to research and write may be lost. Planning your assignment carefully and presenting arguments step-by-step is necessary to succeed with your homework. When going through your references, note the questions that appear and answer them, building your text. Create a cover page, proofread the whole text, and take care of formatting. Feel free to use these rules for passing your next assignments.

When it comes to writing an assignment, it can be overwhelming and stressful, but Papersowl is here to make it easier for you. With a range of helpful resources available, Papersowl can assist you in creating high-quality written work, regardless of whether you’re starting from scratch or refining an existing draft. From conducting research to creating an outline, and from proofreading to formatting, the team at Papersowl has the expertise to guide you through the entire writing process and ensure that your assignment meets all the necessary requirements.

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Interpreting the assignment question

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There are usually three steps to analysing an assignment question. Some questions may involve more than one task.

Checking the meaning

Check the meaning of any words or terms within the assignment question by looking up your course notes, study guide, textbook, or dictionary.

If the assignment question includes a direct quote from a particular author, then you could try to locate a copy of the source (article or paper or text). This will enable you to identify the context of the writer's statement. This can lead you to supporting evidence for the author's position that you may need to consider when writing your assignment.

Identify the three main parts of the question

Normally, there are three main parts to assignment questions:

  • Command/s : These are command or directing words that tell you what to do, such as "Discuss", "Analyse", "Compare and contrast", "Critique", or "Evaluate". Sometimes there is more than one command in a question. For more on this see the section on assignment command words .
  • Topic/s : This is the general area(s) for your discussion. The topic/s can be determined by taking the command word/s and asking "what?" after each command word. For example, Discuss what? Compare and contrast what with what?
  • Focus : The specific area of the topic that you need to concentrate on. Sometimes there is more than one focus in a question. This can usually be identified by extending the strategy above: Discuss - what? - in relation to what?

Forming a thesis statement

Many types of assignment (such as essays ) require you to form a thesis statement - a single sentence outlining your answer to the question. See the section on thesis statements for more.

Complex questions

Some assignments are more complex and may require you to perform more than one task to complete the assignment. This is not always clear, as some tasks are implied rather than explicitly stated. It may be necessary to break the question into small chunks to find all the different sections that you will need to cover in order to answer a question fully.

For example:

Define Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Describe how they apply to an online marketing environment.

First Chunk: Define Maslow's hierarchy of needs

  • Understand the chunk: Define Maslow's Hierarchy.
  • Brainstorm about the topic; ask yourself questions about the topic.
  • Note down in your own words your next action.

Second Chunk: Describe online marketing

  • Understand the chunk: Describe online marketing
  • Brainstorm about the topic: What is online marketing?
  • Note down in your own words your next action: What research do you need to do?

Third Chunk: Describe how Maslow relates to the different facets of the online marketing environment

Page authorised by Director - Centre for Learner Success Last updated on 18 February, 2019

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Teaching excellence & educational innovation, creating assignments.

Here are some general suggestions and questions to consider when creating assignments. There are also many other resources in print and on the web that provide examples of interesting, discipline-specific assignment ideas.

Consider your learning objectives.

What do you want students to learn in your course? What could they do that would show you that they have learned it? To determine assignments that truly serve your course objectives, it is useful to write out your objectives in this form: I want my students to be able to ____. Use active, measurable verbs as you complete that sentence (e.g., compare theories, discuss ramifications, recommend strategies), and your learning objectives will point you towards suitable assignments.

Design assignments that are interesting and challenging.

This is the fun side of assignment design. Consider how to focus students’ thinking in ways that are creative, challenging, and motivating. Think beyond the conventional assignment type! For example, one American historian requires students to write diary entries for a hypothetical Nebraska farmwoman in the 1890s. By specifying that students’ diary entries must demonstrate the breadth of their historical knowledge (e.g., gender, economics, technology, diet, family structure), the instructor gets students to exercise their imaginations while also accomplishing the learning objectives of the course (Walvoord & Anderson, 1989, p. 25).

Double-check alignment.

After creating your assignments, go back to your learning objectives and make sure there is still a good match between what you want students to learn and what you are asking them to do. If you find a mismatch, you will need to adjust either the assignments or the learning objectives. For instance, if your goal is for students to be able to analyze and evaluate texts, but your assignments only ask them to summarize texts, you would need to add an analytical and evaluative dimension to some assignments or rethink your learning objectives.

Name assignments accurately.

Students can be misled by assignments that are named inappropriately. For example, if you want students to analyze a product’s strengths and weaknesses but you call the assignment a “product description,” students may focus all their energies on the descriptive, not the critical, elements of the task. Thus, it is important to ensure that the titles of your assignments communicate their intention accurately to students.

Consider sequencing.

Think about how to order your assignments so that they build skills in a logical sequence. Ideally, assignments that require the most synthesis of skills and knowledge should come later in the semester, preceded by smaller assignments that build these skills incrementally. For example, if an instructor’s final assignment is a research project that requires students to evaluate a technological solution to an environmental problem, earlier assignments should reinforce component skills, including the ability to identify and discuss key environmental issues, apply evaluative criteria, and find appropriate research sources.

Think about scheduling.

Consider your intended assignments in relation to the academic calendar and decide how they can be reasonably spaced throughout the semester, taking into account holidays and key campus events. Consider how long it will take students to complete all parts of the assignment (e.g., planning, library research, reading, coordinating groups, writing, integrating the contributions of team members, developing a presentation), and be sure to allow sufficient time between assignments.

Check feasibility.

Is the workload you have in mind reasonable for your students? Is the grading burden manageable for you? Sometimes there are ways to reduce workload (whether for you or for students) without compromising learning objectives. For example, if a primary objective in assigning a project is for students to identify an interesting engineering problem and do some preliminary research on it, it might be reasonable to require students to submit a project proposal and annotated bibliography rather than a fully developed report. If your learning objectives are clear, you will see where corners can be cut without sacrificing educational quality.

Articulate the task description clearly.

If an assignment is vague, students may interpret it any number of ways – and not necessarily how you intended. Thus, it is critical to clearly and unambiguously identify the task students are to do (e.g., design a website to help high school students locate environmental resources, create an annotated bibliography of readings on apartheid). It can be helpful to differentiate the central task (what students are supposed to produce) from other advice and information you provide in your assignment description.

Establish clear performance criteria.

Different instructors apply different criteria when grading student work, so it’s important that you clearly articulate to students what your criteria are. To do so, think about the best student work you have seen on similar tasks and try to identify the specific characteristics that made it excellent, such as clarity of thought, originality, logical organization, or use of a wide range of sources. Then identify the characteristics of the worst student work you have seen, such as shaky evidence, weak organizational structure, or lack of focus. Identifying these characteristics can help you consciously articulate the criteria you already apply. It is important to communicate these criteria to students, whether in your assignment description or as a separate rubric or scoring guide . Clearly articulated performance criteria can prevent unnecessary confusion about your expectations while also setting a high standard for students to meet.

Specify the intended audience.

Students make assumptions about the audience they are addressing in papers and presentations, which influences how they pitch their message. For example, students may assume that, since the instructor is their primary audience, they do not need to define discipline-specific terms or concepts. These assumptions may not match the instructor’s expectations. Thus, it is important on assignments to specify the intended audience http://wac.colostate.edu/intro/pop10e.cfm (e.g., undergraduates with no biology background, a potential funder who does not know engineering).

Specify the purpose of the assignment.

If students are unclear about the goals or purpose of the assignment, they may make unnecessary mistakes. For example, if students believe an assignment is focused on summarizing research as opposed to evaluating it, they may seriously miscalculate the task and put their energies in the wrong place. The same is true they think the goal of an economics problem set is to find the correct answer, rather than demonstrate a clear chain of economic reasoning. Consequently, it is important to make your objectives for the assignment clear to students.

Specify the parameters.

If you have specific parameters in mind for the assignment (e.g., length, size, formatting, citation conventions) you should be sure to specify them in your assignment description. Otherwise, students may misapply conventions and formats they learned in other courses that are not appropriate for yours.

A Checklist for Designing Assignments

Here is a set of questions you can ask yourself when creating an assignment.

  • Provided a written description of the assignment (in the syllabus or in a separate document)?
  • Specified the purpose of the assignment?
  • Indicated the intended audience?
  • Articulated the instructions in precise and unambiguous language?
  • Provided information about the appropriate format and presentation (e.g., page length, typed, cover sheet, bibliography)?  
  • Indicated special instructions, such as a particular citation style or headings?  
  • Specified the due date and the consequences for missing it?
  • Articulated performance criteria clearly?
  • Indicated the assignment’s point value or percentage of the course grade?
  • Provided students (where appropriate) with models or samples?

Adapted from the WAC Clearinghouse at http://wac.colostate.edu/intro/pop10e.cfm .

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Sample written assignments

Look at sample assignments to help you develop and enhance your academic writing skills. 

How to use this page

This page features authentic sample assignments that you can view or download to help you develop and enhance your academic writing skills. 

PLEASE NOTE: Comments included in these sample written assignments  are intended as an educational guide only.  Always check with academic staff which referencing convention you should follow. All sample assignments have been submitted using Turnitin® (anti-plagiarism software). Under no circumstances should you copy from these or any other texts.

Annotated bibliography

Annotated Bibliography: Traditional Chinese Medicine  (PDF, 103KB)

Essay: Business - "Culture is a Tool Used by Management"  (PDF, 496KB)

Essay: Business - "Integrating Business Perspectives - Wicked Problem"  (PDF, 660KB)

Essay: Business - "Overconsumption and Sustainability"  (PDF, 762KB)

Essay: Business - "Post bureaucracy vs Bureaucracy"  (PDF, 609KB)

Essay: Design, Architecture & Building - "Ideas in History - Postmodernism"  (PDF, 545KB)

Essay: Design, Architecture & Building - "The Context of Visual Communication Design Research Project"  (PDF, 798KB)

Essay: Design, Architecture & Building - "Ideas in History - The Nurses Walk and Postmodernism"  (PDF, 558KB)

Essay: Health (Childhood Obesity )  (PDF, 159KB)

Essay: Health  (Improving Quality and Safety in Healthcare)  (PDF, 277KB)

Essay: Health (Organisational Management in Healthcare)   (PDF, 229KB)

UTS HELPS annotated Law essay

 (PDF, 250KB)

Essay: Science (Traditional Chinese Medicine)  (PDF, 153KB)

Literature review

Literature Review: Education (Critical Pedagogy)   (PDF, 165KB)

Reflective writing

Reflective Essay: Business (Simulation Project)  (PDF, 119KB)

Reflective Essay: Nursing (Professionalism in Context)  (PDF, 134KB)

Report: Business (Management Decisions and Control)   (PDF, 244KB)

Report: Education (Digital Storytelling)  (PDF, 145KB)

Report: Education (Scholarly Practice)   (PDF, 261KB)

Report: Engineering Communication (Flood Mitigation & Water Storage)  (PDF, 1MB)

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assignment question example

A strong analytical question

  • speaks to a genuine dilemma presented by your sources . In other words, the question focuses on a real confusion, problem, ambiguity, or gray area, about which readers will conceivably have different reactions, opinions, or ideas.  
  • yields an answer that is not obvious . If you ask, "What did this author say about this topic?” there’s nothing to explore because any reader of that text would answer that question in the same way. But if you ask, “how can we reconcile point A and point B in this text,” readers will want to see how you solve that inconsistency in your essay.  
  • suggests an answer complex enough to require a whole essay's worth of discussion. If the question is too vague, it won't suggest a line of argument. The question should elicit reflection and argument rather than summary or description.  
  • can be explored using the sources you have available for the assignment , rather than by generalizations or by research beyond the scope of your assignment.  

How to come up with an analytical question  

One useful starting point when you’re trying to identify an analytical question is to look for points of tension in your sources, either within one source or among sources. It can be helpful to think of those points of tension as the moments where you need to stop and think before you can move forward. Here are some examples of where you may find points of tension:

  • You may read a published view that doesn’t seem convincing to you, and you may want to ask a question about what’s missing or about how the evidence might be reconsidered.  
  • You may notice an inconsistency, gap, or ambiguity in the evidence, and you may want to explore how that changes your understanding of something.  
  • You may identify an unexpected wrinkle that you think deserves more attention, and you may want to ask a question about it.  
  • You may notice an unexpected conclusion that you think doesn’t quite add up, and you may want to ask how the authors of a source reached that conclusion.  
  • You may identify a controversy that you think needs to be addressed, and you may want to ask a question about how it might be resolved.  
  • You may notice a problem that you think has been ignored, and you may want to try to solve it or consider why it has been ignored.  
  • You may encounter a piece of evidence that you think warrants a closer look, and you may raise questions about it.  

Once you’ve identified a point of tension and raised a question about it, you will try to answer that question in your essay. Your main idea or claim in answer to that question will be your thesis.

point of tension --> analytical question --> thesis

  • "How" and "why" questions generally require more analysis than "who/ what/when/where” questions.  
  • Good analytical questions can highlight patterns/connections, or contradictions/dilemmas/problems.  
  • Good analytical questions establish the scope of an argument, allowing you to focus on a manageable part of a broad topic or a collection of sources.  
  • Good analytical questions can also address implications or consequences of your analysis.
  • picture_as_pdf Asking Analytical Questions
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Assignment – Types, Examples and Writing Guide

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Assignment

Definition:

Assignment is a task given to students by a teacher or professor, usually as a means of assessing their understanding and application of course material. Assignments can take various forms, including essays, research papers, presentations, problem sets, lab reports, and more.

Assignments are typically designed to be completed outside of class time and may require independent research, critical thinking, and analysis. They are often graded and used as a significant component of a student’s overall course grade. The instructions for an assignment usually specify the goals, requirements, and deadlines for completion, and students are expected to meet these criteria to earn a good grade.

History of Assignment

The use of assignments as a tool for teaching and learning has been a part of education for centuries. Following is a brief history of the Assignment.

  • Ancient Times: Assignments such as writing exercises, recitations, and memorization tasks were used to reinforce learning.
  • Medieval Period : Universities began to develop the concept of the assignment, with students completing essays, commentaries, and translations to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the subject matter.
  • 19th Century : With the growth of schools and universities, assignments became more widespread and were used to assess student progress and achievement.
  • 20th Century: The rise of distance education and online learning led to the further development of assignments as an integral part of the educational process.
  • Present Day: Assignments continue to be used in a variety of educational settings and are seen as an effective way to promote student learning and assess student achievement. The nature and format of assignments continue to evolve in response to changing educational needs and technological innovations.

Types of Assignment

Here are some of the most common types of assignments:

An essay is a piece of writing that presents an argument, analysis, or interpretation of a topic or question. It usually consists of an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

Essay structure:

  • Introduction : introduces the topic and thesis statement
  • Body paragraphs : each paragraph presents a different argument or idea, with evidence and analysis to support it
  • Conclusion : summarizes the key points and reiterates the thesis statement

Research paper

A research paper involves gathering and analyzing information on a particular topic, and presenting the findings in a well-structured, documented paper. It usually involves conducting original research, collecting data, and presenting it in a clear, organized manner.

Research paper structure:

  • Title page : includes the title of the paper, author’s name, date, and institution
  • Abstract : summarizes the paper’s main points and conclusions
  • Introduction : provides background information on the topic and research question
  • Literature review: summarizes previous research on the topic
  • Methodology : explains how the research was conducted
  • Results : presents the findings of the research
  • Discussion : interprets the results and draws conclusions
  • Conclusion : summarizes the key findings and implications

A case study involves analyzing a real-life situation, problem or issue, and presenting a solution or recommendations based on the analysis. It often involves extensive research, data analysis, and critical thinking.

Case study structure:

  • Introduction : introduces the case study and its purpose
  • Background : provides context and background information on the case
  • Analysis : examines the key issues and problems in the case
  • Solution/recommendations: proposes solutions or recommendations based on the analysis
  • Conclusion: Summarize the key points and implications

A lab report is a scientific document that summarizes the results of a laboratory experiment or research project. It typically includes an introduction, methodology, results, discussion, and conclusion.

Lab report structure:

  • Title page : includes the title of the experiment, author’s name, date, and institution
  • Abstract : summarizes the purpose, methodology, and results of the experiment
  • Methods : explains how the experiment was conducted
  • Results : presents the findings of the experiment

Presentation

A presentation involves delivering information, data or findings to an audience, often with the use of visual aids such as slides, charts, or diagrams. It requires clear communication skills, good organization, and effective use of technology.

Presentation structure:

  • Introduction : introduces the topic and purpose of the presentation
  • Body : presents the main points, findings, or data, with the help of visual aids
  • Conclusion : summarizes the key points and provides a closing statement

Creative Project

A creative project is an assignment that requires students to produce something original, such as a painting, sculpture, video, or creative writing piece. It allows students to demonstrate their creativity and artistic skills.

Creative project structure:

  • Introduction : introduces the project and its purpose
  • Body : presents the creative work, with explanations or descriptions as needed
  • Conclusion : summarizes the key elements and reflects on the creative process.

Examples of Assignments

Following are Examples of Assignment templates samples:

Essay template:

I. Introduction

  • Hook: Grab the reader’s attention with a catchy opening sentence.
  • Background: Provide some context or background information on the topic.
  • Thesis statement: State the main argument or point of your essay.

II. Body paragraphs

  • Topic sentence: Introduce the main idea or argument of the paragraph.
  • Evidence: Provide evidence or examples to support your point.
  • Analysis: Explain how the evidence supports your argument.
  • Transition: Use a transition sentence to lead into the next paragraph.

III. Conclusion

  • Restate thesis: Summarize your main argument or point.
  • Review key points: Summarize the main points you made in your essay.
  • Concluding thoughts: End with a final thought or call to action.

Research paper template:

I. Title page

  • Title: Give your paper a descriptive title.
  • Author: Include your name and institutional affiliation.
  • Date: Provide the date the paper was submitted.

II. Abstract

  • Background: Summarize the background and purpose of your research.
  • Methodology: Describe the methods you used to conduct your research.
  • Results: Summarize the main findings of your research.
  • Conclusion: Provide a brief summary of the implications and conclusions of your research.

III. Introduction

  • Background: Provide some background information on the topic.
  • Research question: State your research question or hypothesis.
  • Purpose: Explain the purpose of your research.

IV. Literature review

  • Background: Summarize previous research on the topic.
  • Gaps in research: Identify gaps or areas that need further research.

V. Methodology

  • Participants: Describe the participants in your study.
  • Procedure: Explain the procedure you used to conduct your research.
  • Measures: Describe the measures you used to collect data.

VI. Results

  • Quantitative results: Summarize the quantitative data you collected.
  • Qualitative results: Summarize the qualitative data you collected.

VII. Discussion

  • Interpretation: Interpret the results and explain what they mean.
  • Implications: Discuss the implications of your research.
  • Limitations: Identify any limitations or weaknesses of your research.

VIII. Conclusion

  • Review key points: Summarize the main points you made in your paper.

Case study template:

  • Background: Provide background information on the case.
  • Research question: State the research question or problem you are examining.
  • Purpose: Explain the purpose of the case study.

II. Analysis

  • Problem: Identify the main problem or issue in the case.
  • Factors: Describe the factors that contributed to the problem.
  • Alternative solutions: Describe potential solutions to the problem.

III. Solution/recommendations

  • Proposed solution: Describe the solution you are proposing.
  • Rationale: Explain why this solution is the best one.
  • Implementation: Describe how the solution can be implemented.

IV. Conclusion

  • Summary: Summarize the main points of your case study.

Lab report template:

  • Title: Give your report a descriptive title.
  • Date: Provide the date the report was submitted.
  • Background: Summarize the background and purpose of the experiment.
  • Methodology: Describe the methods you used to conduct the experiment.
  • Results: Summarize the main findings of the experiment.
  • Conclusion: Provide a brief summary of the implications and conclusions
  • Background: Provide some background information on the experiment.
  • Hypothesis: State your hypothesis or research question.
  • Purpose: Explain the purpose of the experiment.

IV. Materials and methods

  • Materials: List the materials and equipment used in the experiment.
  • Procedure: Describe the procedure you followed to conduct the experiment.
  • Data: Present the data you collected in tables or graphs.
  • Analysis: Analyze the data and describe the patterns or trends you observed.

VI. Discussion

  • Implications: Discuss the implications of your findings.
  • Limitations: Identify any limitations or weaknesses of the experiment.

VII. Conclusion

  • Restate hypothesis: Summarize your hypothesis or research question.
  • Review key points: Summarize the main points you made in your report.

Presentation template:

  • Attention grabber: Grab the audience’s attention with a catchy opening.
  • Purpose: Explain the purpose of your presentation.
  • Overview: Provide an overview of what you will cover in your presentation.

II. Main points

  • Main point 1: Present the first main point of your presentation.
  • Supporting details: Provide supporting details or evidence to support your point.
  • Main point 2: Present the second main point of your presentation.
  • Main point 3: Present the third main point of your presentation.
  • Summary: Summarize the main points of your presentation.
  • Call to action: End with a final thought or call to action.

Creative writing template:

  • Setting: Describe the setting of your story.
  • Characters: Introduce the main characters of your story.
  • Rising action: Introduce the conflict or problem in your story.
  • Climax: Present the most intense moment of the story.
  • Falling action: Resolve the conflict or problem in your story.
  • Resolution: Describe how the conflict or problem was resolved.
  • Final thoughts: End with a final thought or reflection on the story.

How to Write Assignment

Here is a general guide on how to write an assignment:

  • Understand the assignment prompt: Before you begin writing, make sure you understand what the assignment requires. Read the prompt carefully and make note of any specific requirements or guidelines.
  • Research and gather information: Depending on the type of assignment, you may need to do research to gather information to support your argument or points. Use credible sources such as academic journals, books, and reputable websites.
  • Organize your ideas : Once you have gathered all the necessary information, organize your ideas into a clear and logical structure. Consider creating an outline or diagram to help you visualize your ideas.
  • Write a draft: Begin writing your assignment using your organized ideas and research. Don’t worry too much about grammar or sentence structure at this point; the goal is to get your thoughts down on paper.
  • Revise and edit: After you have written a draft, revise and edit your work. Make sure your ideas are presented in a clear and concise manner, and that your sentences and paragraphs flow smoothly.
  • Proofread: Finally, proofread your work for spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors. It’s a good idea to have someone else read over your assignment as well to catch any mistakes you may have missed.
  • Submit your assignment : Once you are satisfied with your work, submit your assignment according to the instructions provided by your instructor or professor.

Applications of Assignment

Assignments have many applications across different fields and industries. Here are a few examples:

  • Education : Assignments are a common tool used in education to help students learn and demonstrate their knowledge. They can be used to assess a student’s understanding of a particular topic, to develop critical thinking skills, and to improve writing and research abilities.
  • Business : Assignments can be used in the business world to assess employee skills, to evaluate job performance, and to provide training opportunities. They can also be used to develop business plans, marketing strategies, and financial projections.
  • Journalism : Assignments are often used in journalism to produce news articles, features, and investigative reports. Journalists may be assigned to cover a particular event or topic, or to research and write a story on a specific subject.
  • Research : Assignments can be used in research to collect and analyze data, to conduct experiments, and to present findings in written or oral form. Researchers may be assigned to conduct research on a specific topic, to write a research paper, or to present their findings at a conference or seminar.
  • Government : Assignments can be used in government to develop policy proposals, to conduct research, and to analyze data. Government officials may be assigned to work on a specific project or to conduct research on a particular topic.
  • Non-profit organizations: Assignments can be used in non-profit organizations to develop fundraising strategies, to plan events, and to conduct research. Volunteers may be assigned to work on a specific project or to help with a particular task.

Purpose of Assignment

The purpose of an assignment varies depending on the context in which it is given. However, some common purposes of assignments include:

  • Assessing learning: Assignments are often used to assess a student’s understanding of a particular topic or concept. This allows educators to determine if a student has mastered the material or if they need additional support.
  • Developing skills: Assignments can be used to develop a wide range of skills, such as critical thinking, problem-solving, research, and communication. Assignments that require students to analyze and synthesize information can help to build these skills.
  • Encouraging creativity: Assignments can be designed to encourage students to be creative and think outside the box. This can help to foster innovation and original thinking.
  • Providing feedback : Assignments provide an opportunity for teachers to provide feedback to students on their progress and performance. Feedback can help students to understand where they need to improve and to develop a growth mindset.
  • Meeting learning objectives : Assignments can be designed to help students meet specific learning objectives or outcomes. For example, a writing assignment may be designed to help students improve their writing skills, while a research assignment may be designed to help students develop their research skills.

When to write Assignment

Assignments are typically given by instructors or professors as part of a course or academic program. The timing of when to write an assignment will depend on the specific requirements of the course or program, but in general, assignments should be completed within the timeframe specified by the instructor or program guidelines.

It is important to begin working on assignments as soon as possible to ensure enough time for research, writing, and revisions. Waiting until the last minute can result in rushed work and lower quality output.

It is also important to prioritize assignments based on their due dates and the amount of work required. This will help to manage time effectively and ensure that all assignments are completed on time.

In addition to assignments given by instructors or professors, there may be other situations where writing an assignment is necessary. For example, in the workplace, assignments may be given to complete a specific project or task. In these situations, it is important to establish clear deadlines and expectations to ensure that the assignment is completed on time and to a high standard.

Characteristics of Assignment

Here are some common characteristics of assignments:

  • Purpose : Assignments have a specific purpose, such as assessing knowledge or developing skills. They are designed to help students learn and achieve specific learning objectives.
  • Requirements: Assignments have specific requirements that must be met, such as a word count, format, or specific content. These requirements are usually provided by the instructor or professor.
  • Deadline: Assignments have a specific deadline for completion, which is usually set by the instructor or professor. It is important to meet the deadline to avoid penalties or lower grades.
  • Individual or group work: Assignments can be completed individually or as part of a group. Group assignments may require collaboration and communication with other group members.
  • Feedback : Assignments provide an opportunity for feedback from the instructor or professor. This feedback can help students to identify areas of improvement and to develop their skills.
  • Academic integrity: Assignments require academic integrity, which means that students must submit original work and avoid plagiarism. This includes citing sources properly and following ethical guidelines.
  • Learning outcomes : Assignments are designed to help students achieve specific learning outcomes. These outcomes are usually related to the course objectives and may include developing critical thinking skills, writing abilities, or subject-specific knowledge.

Advantages of Assignment

There are several advantages of assignment, including:

  • Helps in learning: Assignments help students to reinforce their learning and understanding of a particular topic. By completing assignments, students get to apply the concepts learned in class, which helps them to better understand and retain the information.
  • Develops critical thinking skills: Assignments often require students to think critically and analyze information in order to come up with a solution or answer. This helps to develop their critical thinking skills, which are important for success in many areas of life.
  • Encourages creativity: Assignments that require students to create something, such as a piece of writing or a project, can encourage creativity and innovation. This can help students to develop new ideas and perspectives, which can be beneficial in many areas of life.
  • Builds time-management skills: Assignments often come with deadlines, which can help students to develop time-management skills. Learning how to manage time effectively is an important skill that can help students to succeed in many areas of life.
  • Provides feedback: Assignments provide an opportunity for students to receive feedback on their work. This feedback can help students to identify areas where they need to improve and can help them to grow and develop.

Limitations of Assignment

There are also some limitations of assignments that should be considered, including:

  • Limited scope: Assignments are often limited in scope, and may not provide a comprehensive understanding of a particular topic. They may only cover a specific aspect of a topic, and may not provide a full picture of the subject matter.
  • Lack of engagement: Some assignments may not engage students in the learning process, particularly if they are repetitive or not challenging enough. This can lead to a lack of motivation and interest in the subject matter.
  • Time-consuming: Assignments can be time-consuming, particularly if they require a lot of research or writing. This can be a disadvantage for students who have other commitments, such as work or extracurricular activities.
  • Unreliable assessment: The assessment of assignments can be subjective and may not always accurately reflect a student’s understanding or abilities. The grading may be influenced by factors such as the instructor’s personal biases or the student’s writing style.
  • Lack of feedback : Although assignments can provide feedback, this feedback may not always be detailed or useful. Instructors may not have the time or resources to provide detailed feedback on every assignment, which can limit the value of the feedback that students receive.

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Frequently Ask Questions?

How can these samples help you.

The assignment writing samples we provide help you by showing you versions of the finished item. It’s like having a picture of the cake you’re aiming to make when following a recipe.

Assignments that you undertake are a key part of your academic life; they are the usual way of assessing your knowledge on the subject you’re studying.

There are various types of assignments: essays, annotated bibliographies, stand-alone literature reviews, reflective writing essays, etc. There will be a specific structure to follow for each of these. Before focusing on the structure, it is best to plan your assignment first. Your school will have its own guidelines and instructions, you should align with those. Start by selecting the essential aspects that need to be included in your assignment.

Based on what you understand from the assignment in question, evaluate the critical points that should be made. If the task is research-based, discuss your aims and objectives, research method, and results. For an argumentative essay, you need to construct arguments relevant to the thesis statement.

Your assignment should be constructed according to the outline’s different sections. This is where you might find our samples so helpful; inspect them to understand how to write your assignment.

Adding headings to sections can enhance the clarity of your assignment. They are like signposts telling the reader what’s coming next.

Where structure is concerned, our samples can be of benefit. The basic structure is of three parts: introduction, discussion, and conclusion. It is, however, advisable to follow the structural guidelines from your tutor.

For example, our master’s sample assignment includes lots of headings and sub-headings. Undergraduate assignments are shorter and present a statistical analysis only.

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Should you give job applicants an assignment during the interview process? Be thoughtful about the ask

Employers have to ask themselves whether they are willing to turn off a strong candidate by asking them to do additional work.

Hiring is a time-consuming and expensive endeavor. Companies need candidates who offer the right skills and experience for a given role, and who align with their organization’s vision and mission.

To find the best fit, many companies still lean on a strategy that continues to generate debate : the assignment. Some candidates believe their experience and interviews should give prospective employers enough information to determine whether they will fit the role. Employers have to ask themselves whether they are willing to turn off a strong candidate by asking them to do additional work.

Is the assignment valuable enough to the evaluation process that they cannot move someone forward without it? Sometimes it is—sometimes they help an employer decide between two strong candidates. And if they are necessary, how can employers make assignments fair and equitable for the candidate or candidates?

When done right, assignments help assess practical skills and problem-solving abilities, giving a clearer picture of a candidate beyond what their resume or interview reveals. But employers should be thoughtful about the ask. While it may make sense for roles that require specific technical expertise or creative thinking, it isn’t appropriate for all roles—so assignments should always be given with a clear reason for why they are needed.

Plus, they don’t just benefit the employer. For job seekers, an assignment during the interview process might also help them stand out from the competition. It can also offer a window into what their day-to-day in the new role might entail. Remember that the candidate should be interviewing the company, too. Having a test run of the work they’d be asked to do is a great way to see whether they believe the role is a fit.

However, there is a rift in how people perceive the assignment as part of the interview process. Workers today span many generations, each with unique values and expectations. Whereas older workers often prioritize stability and loyalty, younger millennials and Gen Zers are more focused on flexibility and work well-being, Indeed data shows .

This mindset impacts the amount of time and energy a candidate is willing to devote to each application. After multiple rounds of interviews and prep, taking on an in-depth assignment may feel like a bridge too far—especially if the expectations for the assignment are not clearly communicated ahead of time.

Some candidates are wary of providing free labor to a company that may use their work and not hire them. Hiring managers should be clear about how the work will be used. They may also consider offering compensation if the assignment requires more than a couple hours of someone’s time, or if they plan to use the work without hiring the candidate.

The key for early career candidates in particular is to ensure their time and efforts are respected. This is a win-win for employers: By providing clarity and transparency, they not only elicit the additional information they want from candidates, but they demonstrate that the organization is transparent and fair.

Equity is also imperative: Which candidates are being asked to complete assignments? Is the hiring team consistent in giving out assignments across ages, experience levels, and roles? There should always be a process and clear evaluation criteria in place to ensure fairness.

As we adapt to the rapidly evolving world of work, we must continue to think critically about each step in the hiring process. Candidate assignments can be a valuable tool, but only with appropriate respect for job seekers’ time and contributions.

With the right strategy, we can bridge the gap between generations in the workplace and build a hiring culture that values efficiency, talent, and integrity.

Eoin Driver is the global vice president of talent at Indeed.

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COMMENTS

  1. Answering Assignment Questions

    Key words are the words in an assignment question that tell you the approaches to take when you answer. Make sure you understand the meaning of key words in an essay question, especially t ask words. As Task words are verbs that direct you and tell you how to go about answering a question, understanding the meaning helps you know exactly what ...

  2. Understanding Assignments

    Interpreting the assignment. Ask yourself a few basic questions as you read and jot down the answers on the assignment sheet: ... Hit your one point early, defend it with the clearest example, and finish quickly. If an assignment is ten pages long, you can be more complex in your main points and examples—and if you can only produce five pages ...

  3. PDF Unpacking an Assignment Question & Planning for an Assignment

    Analysing an assignment question For every assignment you need to : • Understand the question • Brainstorm ideas • Read enough relevant, reliable information to answer the question properly. • Structure your assignment • Present your main ideas or arguments and • Support your main ideas or arguments • Edit your writing for coherence and unity • Proofread for grammar ...

  4. Understanding your assignment questions: A short guide

    Academic skills short guide to assignments. Directive or task words: Tell you exactly what to do e.g., discuss, argue etc.. Subject matter: Specifically what you should be writing about.. Limiting words: Parts of the question that may narrow or alter the focus of your answer.. Example: To what extent can the novel White Teeth by Zadie Smith be read differently in the light of the 9/11 ...

  5. Understanding your assignment questions: A short guide

    Use this example to help demonstrate your understanding. Outline - Factual description is needed. You must demonstrate your knowledge and understanding. The key structural and functional properties of its active site - Subject matter. Tip: Assignments that ask you to outline or describe are assessing your understanding of the topic. You must ...

  6. PDF Understanding and Answering Assignment Questions

    Assignment questions can be broken down into parts so that you can better understand what you are being asked to do. It is important to identify key ... Example Question 1 - handout Cooking shows, such as Master Chef and My Kitchen Rules, have had a significant impact on the Australian food culture. Identify and discuss the more notable

  7. Assignment Question

    It is important to invest time in analysing the assignment question. Do not start to write, or even draft a plan, until you are confident that you know what the question is asking, how you should respond, and that you have all the information you need. Students who consistently do well in their written assignments apply a version of the steps ...

  8. PDF Unpacking an assignment question + Planning for an assignment

    The essay is very well structured, coherent, and easy to understand. No irrelevant material. Paragraph and sentences are cohesive and coherent throughout. 5. Usage (literacy) Writing difficult to follow. Errors in spelling, grammar, sentence structure and/or punctuation make the. Writing can be followed throughout.

  9. PDF Analysing the assignment question

    a comparison. Step 1: Identify the Task word and use the Common task words guide to understand what it means. Step 2: Identify the Topic word(s) and check the definition of any words you don't understand. Step 3: Identify the Focus word(s) and check the definition of any words you don't understand. Step 4: Think about how the Topic and ...

  10. Understanding the question Preparing assignments

    All assignment questions have key words or phrases that indicate how and what you should write. There are two types of key words to be aware of. ... For example, look at this assignment question. Compare your own education to date with that of one of your parents, one of your children (if you have any) or a friend from a different generation.

  11. PDF Writing Your Assignment

    answering the original question and stating why the evidence has led to that answer. You may need to refer back to some of the most important sources you have discussed in the assignment, so there will probably be a few references. Your conclusion could be up to 10% of the word count for the assignment (200 words for a 2000 word assignment).

  12. Resources for Teachers: Creating Writing Assignments

    Providing questions or needed data in the assignment helps students get started. For instance, some questions can suggest a mode of organization to the students. ... For example, a very effective role for student writers is that of a "professional in training" who uses the assumptions, the perspective, and the conceptual tools of the ...

  13. Short answer questions Types of assignment

    Short answer questions require concise answers so it is essential to read the question carefully and to take account of the process words. It is all too easy to go off track and overshoot word limits by including irrelevant information. Sample questions. Look at the following examples, adapted from SK277, Human Biology.

  14. How to Write a Perfect Assignment: Step-By-Step Guide

    Planning your assignment carefully and presenting arguments step-by-step is necessary to succeed with your homework. When going through your references, note the questions that appear and answer them, building your text. Create a cover page, proofread the whole text, and take care of formatting.

  15. Interpreting the assignment question

    If the assignment question includes a direct quote from a particular author, then you could try to locate a copy of the source (article or paper or text). ... the question into small chunks to find all the different sections that you will need to cover in order to answer a question fully. For example: Define Maslow's hierarchy of needs ...

  16. Analyse, Explain, Identify… 22 essay question words

    Words such as 'explain', 'evaluate' or 'analyse' - typical question words used in essay titles - provide a useful indication of how your essay should be structured. They often require varying degrees of critical responses. Sometimes, they may simply require a descriptive answer. No matter their nature, question words are key and ...

  17. Creating Assignments

    Here are some general suggestions and questions to consider when creating assignments. There are also many other resources in print and on the web that provide examples of interesting, discipline-specific assignment ideas. ... For example, if students believe an assignment is focused on summarizing research as opposed to evaluating it, they may ...

  18. Sample written assignments

    This page features authentic sample assignments that you can view or download to help you develop and enhance your academic writing skills. PLEASE NOTE: Comments included in these sample written assignments are intended as an educational guide only. Always check with academic staff which referencing convention you should follow. All sample ...

  19. Asking Analytical Questions

    For some assignments, you'll be given a specific question or problem to address that will guide your thought process. For other assignments, you'll be asked to identify your own topic and/or question. ... For example, your initial questions about a source may be answered by reading the source more closely. On the other hand, sometimes you ...

  20. The Beginner's Guide to Writing an Essay

    Essay writing process. The writing process of preparation, writing, and revisions applies to every essay or paper, but the time and effort spent on each stage depends on the type of essay.. For example, if you've been assigned a five-paragraph expository essay for a high school class, you'll probably spend the most time on the writing stage; for a college-level argumentative essay, on the ...

  21. Assignment

    Assignment is a task given to students by a teacher or professor, usually as a means of assessing their understanding and application of course material. Assignments can take various forms, including essays, research papers, presentations, problem sets, lab reports, and more. Assignments are typically designed to be completed outside of class ...

  22. PDF Structuring an assignment

    2.1 Plan Schedule your work on a particular assignment over a specific period, such a three weeks. Stick to the schedule. 2.2 Consult the prescribed study material- Tutorial letter 101, appropriate study guide and other relevant sources. 2.3 Study the instructions of the assignment and the guidelines- look at the type of an assignment.

  23. Welcome to the Purdue Online Writing Lab

    Mission. The Purdue On-Campus Writing Lab and Purdue Online Writing Lab assist clients in their development as writers—no matter what their skill level—with on-campus consultations, online participation, and community engagement. The Purdue Writing Lab serves the Purdue, West Lafayette, campus and coordinates with local literacy initiatives.

  24. Academic Assignment Samples and Examples

    For example, our master's sample assignment includes lots of headings and sub-headings. Undergraduate assignments are shorter and present a statistical analysis only. If you are still unsure about how to approach your assignment, we are here to help, and we really can help you. You can start by just asking us a question with no need to commit.

  25. Should you give job applicants assignment during interview process

    For job seekers, an assignment during the interview process might also help them stand out from the competition. It can also offer a window into what their day-to-day in the new role might entail ...

  26. GEN-Z ACCOUNTANTS: Redefining Traditional Accounting Practices

    Join us at 6 PM (WAT) this Thursday May 9, 2024, as our distinguish guest will be discussing the topic: GEN-Z ACCOUNTANTS: Redefining Traditional...