Analysing your assignment

Analysing your assignment

You'll find it much easier to find useful material if you first spend a few minutes analysing your assignment task and breaking it down so that you know what you need to do in order to complete it.

Breaking down your assignment

  1. Make sure that you understand all the words/terms in your assignment question. If you're unclear about anything use a dictionary to help you e.g. Credo Reference
  2. Identify the key topics in your assignment question.
  3. Break down the question into stages.
  4. Decide on the best types of material to use.
  5. Find your materials, making sure to note down proper references.
  6. Read your materials and write your essay!


Example:

Assignment

“Current concerns about increases in teenage alcohol abuse are unfounded and totally unjustified”. Discuss

Guidelines

You will be expected to make use of scholarly journals for this essay and to provide examples from contemporary news sources.

Analysis:

  1. The key topic of this assignment is “teenage alcohol abuse.”
  2. The question puts forward a particular point of view. You will have to find evidence which both supports and disagrees with this point of view, weigh up the evidence presented and come to some sort of a conclusion.
  3. The guidelines make it clear some of the types of material you should use to help you: scholarly journals and contemporary news sources.

Action Plan

  1. Choose search terms for “teenage alcohol abuse”.
  2. Decide where to search to find relevant scholarly journal articles and contemporary news sources.
  3. Decide if there are additional sources that might help you
  4. Find materials!
  5. Note down full references for what you find.
  6. Read materials and write essay.


If you would like further help with analysing your assignment questions, constructing essays etc. why not contact PAD (Professional & Academic Development) for some more advice.




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