10 Tips for Success on Assignments

College assignments may be different than the ones you completed in high school. Here are several tips that may help you succeed in your assignments.

  1. Read the assignment thoroughly. Ensure that you understand what the instructor is looking for as a deliverable.
  2. Use standard English grammar and spelling. Though abbreviations and lack of capitalization or punctuation may be fine in text messages or Twitter, they are definitely not acceptable in other written assignments. Need help with grammar? Check out Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing.
  3. Use spell check. Don’t rely on it exclusively, but do use it.
  4. If there’s a minimum or maximum word or page count, write enough, but not too much.
  5. Consider writing a draft of your assignment for your instructor to review prior to the deadline. (Yikes — check the second definition included in the deadline link.)
  6. Post or turn in your assignment by the deadline. Many instructors (including me) do not accept late work. (See some views on late work at the Chronicle of Higher Education’s website.)
  7. Thoroughly review your course syllabus. Many instructors include a weekly schedule of discussions and assignments. Don’t be surprised if when you ask when an assignment is due, your instructor replies, “You’ll find that in the syllabus.” Check WebCT Vista for due dates if they are not specified on the syllabus.
  8. When taking a quiz or test in WebCT Vista, make sure you are aware what the rules are for using materials to help you take the test, that you know how many tries you have, and how the final score is calculated. (In many of my classes, the quizzes are “open-everything,” at least two tries are allowed, and highest score counts. But that’s just me.)
  9. If your instructor specifies or indicates a preference for fonts and margins, use these when writing your assignment.

Hmmm . . . that’s only nine tips. What is one addition tip you could offer to complete this top ten list? Please comment with your suggestion.

Photo Credit: “Success,” originally uploaded to Flickr by kevinthoule.


8 Responses

  1. I would recommend making a set schedule to do your homework – classwork and sticking to it!

    When in school I would dedicate a few hours a night during the week for the easy assignments I knew I could knock out of the way. The weekend was for the larger assignments. Specifically, I would block a good chunk of time (4 hours minimum) on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

    Never would I wait until Sunday afternoon or evening – no motivation 🙂 Also I never did any homework on Fridays – needed one day off!

    I found that keeping to a set schedule got me into a rhythm and this made the assignments less of a chore for me.

  2. 10. Add the Online Writing Lab to your bookmarks

    This tool helped me more times than I can count during college. It can be found here: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/

    It’s a valuable resource for spelling, grammar, APA and MLA formatting, and samples of how to write various documents.

    Best of luck to your students!


  3. Dave — I like how you schedule time to work and time to relax. Both are important. Thanks for sharing your ideas.

  4. Meg — I’ve used the Online Writing Lab (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/ ), too. I agree — lots of great resources there. Thanks!

  5. […] 10 Tips for Success on Assignments […]

  6. […] (Adapted from a post I wrote last year for my FYE 1220 class.) […]

  7. cool tips, it’s actually against my religion to do college work (assignments, class tasks, other things) out of college (evenings/weekends/holidays) as I use that time to chill, it’s ok to have a religion and sometimes i feel the whole ” education ” system (with their silly deadlines ) is an insult against god and against the will of jesus christ (as god made us to be free, these assignments that education speaks of go against it all in my eyes )

    but it doesn’t mean im not interested in the assignments as when i’m actually AT college i have a lot of enthuisasm for the assignments, I also find the deadline dates VERY stupid as it is not a race and it’s not the olympics either, also i feel that if a student hasn’t done all the assignments by the end of the year, the teacher needs to learn to be appreciative of what the student HAS done (Optimistic) rather than being so pessimistic

  8. Additionally, the fact that I am Very Optimistic tends to annoy the teachers, oftentimes she will ask a student ” what task are you upto ” and the student will say ” Task X ” Teacher goes and says ” I can’t believe you still havent finished it “, I will then say to the teacher ” learn to be appreciative of what your student HAS done, ” and then i will say ” student’s name, are YOU proud of your work, the student says ” yeah ” so I say to the teacher ” Exactly! “

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