How to prepare for your assignment


Photo of notebook and pencil

The first step to getting your assignment done is to understand what you need to do. You need to pull your assignment question apart to figure out how to put an answer together that will score you top marks.

So how do you analyse an assignment question? Follow these 4 steps.

1. Get the bigger picture

Do you know what the learning outcomes of the course are? You need to know how your assignment fits in with the course learning outcomes and aims.

Head to the course profile in myGriffith to find out what they are. How do they relate to your assignment? Understanding the connection will help you find the focus of the assignment.

2. Gather all the assignment information

You should be able to find all the assignment details in the course profile in myGriffith.

Identify when the assignment is due, how much it’s worth (e.g. 50% of your overall course grade), how long it has to be (i.e. the word limit) and what format it should take.

3. Decipher the assignment task

You need to identify directive, topic and limiting words in the assignment question.

Look for directive words like ‘examine’, ‘analyse’ or ‘compare’. If you aren’t sure what these words mean, look it up in a dictionary or consult this handy Definition of Directive Words from California Polytechnic State University.

4. Ask lots of questions

Now that you understand what you are being asked to do, it’s time to break down the task into mini questions.

Having a series of question to answer will help you focus your research and writing. It also helps you develop a logical response to the topic.

— Extract from Study Smart – Preparing for your assignment —