Essay and report writing skills
Essay and report writing skills

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Essay and report writing skills

5.2 The question

5.2.1 When to look at the question

At what stage do you look at the title of your next assignment?

Activity 8

Note down in your Learning Journal what you think are the advantages and disadvantages of looking at the title before and after starting to work through the relevant section of your course.

Discussion

Your answer may contain some of the following points.

Looking at the title first Looking at the title later
Advantages
It can help you to use your time more productively because you are looking out for, and making a note of (either on paper or in your head) the most useful points. You are likely to gain more from the experience of reading the course materials because your mind is open to more than the assignment question. There is more to studying a course than submitting assignments.
It can help avoid ‘writers’ block’ because you are effectively preparing for the assignment before you have to get down to it in earnest.
It helps you to be questioning as a reader and to read actively.
It can help you focus more clearly, noting points and identifying useful quotations, which are relevant to the question.
Disadvantages
It can be daunting because, not having read the material, you may think ‘I shall never be able to answer that’. If you see the course only through the assignment questions, there is a danger that you will miss other important areas.

There is no right or wrong approach and again, much may depend on the amount of time you have available and your own preferred style of learning.

LDT_5

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