Essay and report writing skills
Essay and report writing skills

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Essay and report writing skills

5 Preparation

5.1 Estimating the time for the task

First you need to know how much time you have available for your assignment. The pacing of your studies comes outside the scope of this course, but it can be very de-motivating when you no longer feel in control of your studies because – for whatever reason – you have fallen behind. So it is extremely important to meet the deadlines set by the course team in your course calendar whenever possible.

Activity 6

Look ahead to the submission date of your next assignment. How much time can you allow yourself to go through all the stages? Take account of your known personal commitments and how much time you think that they will involve. Do you know much about the topic or will it require a great deal of extra work? How long does it usually take you to write down your thoughts? Try to set aside blocks of time in your study calendar or diary.


You need to be both realistic and flexible. Almost certainly you won't have the amount of time you would ideally like, and it's also possible that something will happen at work or home which will affect your timetable. However, having blocked out the time in your study calendar or diary, see how far you can stick to it. If you find that you need more time for certain stages, then have another go for the next assignment, allowing the extra time in order to make it more workable.


Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus