English: skills for learning
English: skills for learning

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3.2 A step-by-step process

The next activity introduces you to a method that exploits all the strategies described by the three students.

Activity 6

Timing: Allow approximately 10 minutes

In this activity you are introduced to the different stages of the essay-writing process. This process starts with activities that include reading (understanding the ideas of others), brainstorming (thinking of all you know about the topic) and note making, and proceeds through one or more cycles until you feel you have produced a full and correct answer.

The boxes show the eight stages in the process of completing an assignment. Drag each stage into the relevant blank box in the diagram.

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Assignment development process (Source: adapted from Lillis, T. and North, S. 2006)
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).


Writing a university assignment involves going through a series of stages. It is quite normal for all writers to want to go through the cycle more than once. This may happen for many reasons. For example they may feel that they haven’t quite answered the question or they may want to go back to their readings and notes to find additional relevant material.

Many students find that the habit of breaking their writing process into manageable steps helps them not only to write university assignments but also other pieces of writing such as workplace documents.

In the next two sections you will learn how to plan an essay and a report.

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