Reading your assignment carefully can mean the difference between getting a good grade or a bad one. Here are components to look for in your instructor’s assignment instructions:
- Check for the due date. This will help you determine when you need to start finding sources, reading them, and actually writing your paper or creating your project. Some assignments have different parts due at different times. Make sure that you check all of the due dates!
- The length of the assignment, which could be listed in pages, word count, or even minutes (if it is a presentation). The length of the assignment will help you determine the scope of your topic. Some instructors define both minimum and maximum length, though most will only define a minimum.
- Style and formatting information, such as font size, spacing, and citation style. The King Library has a guide, Citing and Writing Help, that can help you.
- The number of and type(s) of outside sources your instructor wants you to use to support your research. Think about where you might need to look for the different types of sources defined; some will be available through the King Library and some will be freely available on the internet. Look at the guide, I am not sure where to search, for more information.
- Topic guidance and suggestions. Some instructors will offer specific suggestions while others will just provide basic guidelines to help you choose a topic yourself. Check for points and questions that the instructor wants you to address in your assignment. For help, visit I need help choosing a topic.
Highlight or underline the elements that are key to understanding your assignment. If you find that you can not describe what your assignment is about to someone else, you should re-read the assignment sheet or ask your instructor for clarification.
For more assignment tips, watch this video: