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The Dummies' Guide to Assignments

The Dummies’ Guide to Assignments

Each of us has experienced that situation: you are sitting in class, the professor walks up to the front of the room and hands out a sheet of paper, and you get that sinking feeling somewhere deep in your stomach when you see what he is doing. This is an assignment that you have to complete. You can not avoid writing an assignment if you do not want to fail. But what exactly does that mean? How does it work? What are the responsibilities involved with it? Is there even a way to begin an assignment when you have no idea what to do? A nook and cranny guide to assignment writing, here are some instructions on how to go about them.

The work

You will better understand how the assignment works and what you can expect from the assignment. You will also have a rough idea of what you want to do with it—But how do you know what makes sense?

Let’s ask big questions about assignments:

  • What is the assignment for? Why are we doing this?
  • What is the purpose of this assignment? How will this help me learn or develop as a person/student/individual etc.?
  • What is my learning outcome, i.e., what am I aiming for in doing this piece of work?
  • What assessment criteria will determine whether I have achieved my learning outcome (if applicable)?

The deadline

The deadline is the date and time by which your assignment must be turned in. Deadlines are important, but they’re not always flexible. If you miss a deadline, there may be consequences—but don’t freak out! It’s possible for a professor to change it or give you more time if you’ve had an emergency. But if your professor isn’t letting you get away with it, you should consult Research Prospect for all your academic worries.

The different types of deadlines include:

  • The due date is: when your assignments are due (and also what most people call a “deadline”).
  • The submission window: This tells how long after the due date you have to submit your work (usually 24 hours).
  • The last day of submission: This means that all extra-credit work must be handed in on this day so that professors can grade it before exams start.

The standard expected

  • Read the assignment and make sure you understand what the professor wants.
  • Write the assignment using the correct format, style, and tone; use proper grammar (including spelling).
  • Make sure that your paper is not plagiarized by checking online sources for original text or ideas before using them in your paper (and even then, do not use exact quotes!)
  • Ensure that all sources are cited properly when used in your paper; citations should include the author’s name, year of publication/publication date information when necessary (usually at the end of a sentence), and the source’s title.

The style guide

So now that you’ve got some writing, finding a style guide has never been easier. First, determine whether or not your instructor has included a style guide in the syllabus or other materials they sent out before classes started. The most common place to find them is on course websites, but they can also just be listed under “References” on Google Drive accounts and other academic resources. If that doesn’t work, try searching for [your school name] + “style guide.” If all else fails and there’s still no sign of it anywhere, don’t panic! Contact your professor immediately.

Ask questions if you’re uncertain.

Read the assignment sheet carefully and ask questions if you’re in doubt. If you don’t understand something, ask your teacher. If they don’t know the answer, they can probably point you in the right direction. If you still don’t understand something, ask your classmates. Most of them have had the same assignments as you—they might have some good advice on how to tackle it! If none of those options works for you, consult the assignment writing service UK.


When in doubt, ask for help if you are unsure about anything you are doing or how you should go about doing it. There is no point in waiting until the last minute and hoping that everyone else will come to your rescue. Ask your tutor or lecturer if there is anything unclear about the assignment before you start working on it – they will be able to tell you what the tutor or lecturer expects from the assignment. They will be able to offer advice if needed.


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