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Assignment advice from staff

05:48

Writing an assignment can be a daunting process. In this video members of staff give advice on how to approach an assignment and where to look for additional help if you need it.

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  • SB: Sharon Brown - Principal Lecturer, University of East London
  • KB: Kevin Byrne - Senior Lecturer, University of East London
  • KT: Kelly Travers - Subject Librarian, University of East London
  • GF: Graham Fennell - Subject Librarian, University of East London

SB: The first thing you should do if you need some help with your assignment is speak to the module leader. If there’s something in the assignment you don’t understand, ask for help. It’s what we are here to do.

SB: Once you get your assignment title, read it carefully. Pull out the key words, have a look at the subject area it falls within and think about what search you’re going to do. From those key words, do a couple of Google searches, try changing the words around and see what information you get. From that information, once you’ve read it first, take out some more key words, just expand the area and also look at your lecture notes. It will help you work out exactly what it is you should be researching.

KB: When students receive an assignment title, what I would suggest is that the question is read and checks are made to see if students actually understand what they are being asked. There are a number of things that they can do once the question has been received which would include seeing if there’s anything in terms of instruction words -  ‘account for’,  ‘compare and contrast’, ‘discuss’ - what these instructions words actually mean, whether there are any limitations that are being set by the question. Are they being given any particular context to work in, any particular numbers?

KT: Well, your assignment title is the way into getting a good mark for your assignments. You need to look at the title, you need to pull it apart, find the key words in that title, really get to the heart of what it’s asking you to do. If it’s asking you about a success, what are those successes, how is that success measured, is it a success when you compare it to others? If it’s talking about failures in a business, perhaps you could look at a failure, an example of a failure and then compare it to others as well. Really get to the heart of the title and pull the key words and phrases out and you can use those as your search terms with the databases as well.

GF: The key thing to remember when you start at university is to try and read as widely as you can. It’s very easy to just stick with one core text book on your reading list and maybe just try and read a bit on the internet. In actual fact, you really need to have a good look through your reading list, try and read a range of materials from your reading list and also have a look in the library, see what other books we have, have a look at some journal articles as well. Just try and read as widely as you can and you will find that the more you look, the better sources you’ll find and in fact, the better marks you’ll start to

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