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Essay and report writing skills
Essay and report writing skills

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4.4 Stages in assignment writing

Activity 5

Note down in your Learning Journal what you think the stages are that you have to go through in producing an assignment, from beginning to end.

Discussion

You may well have thought of some, if not all, of the following stages:

  • preparation

  • planning

  • drafting

  • polishing

  • letting go

  • reflecting on the feedback.

Let's break down these stages further.

Preparation

This stage consists of:

  • estimating the time available for the task

  • identifying what the question is asking of you

  • taking note of the guidance you have been given

  • researching or carrying out an experiment or collecting data

  • making notes

  • thinking over your ideas.

Planning

Planning your assignment involves:

  • working out an appropriate and logical structure

  • identifying what is relevant and what is not

  • taking account of the word limit

  • refining your ideas

  • selecting appropriate evidence or quotations.

Drafting

This stage comprises a single task:

  • writing the assignment, perhaps with one or more early drafts.

Polishing

Polishing your assignment means:

  • reviewing what you have written and making changes

  • checking your spelling and grammar

  • making sure your references are correct

  • checking the word count.

Letting go

This is more than just sending off your assignment. Letting go includes:

  • deciding when the assignment is finished

  • submitting the assignment

  • conducting a self-review.

Reflecting on tutor feedback

And finally:

  • comparing your self-review with your grade and tutor comments.

As you can see, the actual writing of the assignment is only one part of the process.