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.

My Freshman Year: 25 Words of Wisdom

Thinking back to your college experience, what do you wish you would have known about your freshman year? What did you do just right? What do you wish you could get a “do-over” on? Topics could include:

  • Studying (or lack thereof)
  • Alcohol consumption (or lack thereof)
  • Reading textbooks
  • Reading syllabi
  • Time management
  • Involvement in campus activities
  • Making friends
  • Using library resources for research
  • Maintaining a personal budget

Using the model created by Liz Strauss at The Successful Blog, share 25 Words of Wisdom for first-year college students in my Making Connections class. Use exactly 25 words, no more, no less. Full sentences are not needed. Here’s a slight adaptation of Liz’s guidelines and a link to her completed project:

  1. Think about your freshman year in college.
  2. Write a sentence about it.
  3. Count the words you have written.
  4. Edit the sentence until you have 25 words exactly. Notice how your idea changes as you edit and how your feelings change with each rewrite.
  5. Post your 25 words as a comment to this blog posting OR on your blog by July 31st.
  6. Link back to this post (from your blog) or leave a link to your post in the comments section. (I don’t want to miss yours when I compile all of them.)

Oh yes, if you have some wonderful thoughts and can’t make it fit into 25 words, that’s okay, too. I’d still like to know what they are. Simply comment below. No worries.

 

Photo Credit: Photo “seat number 25” originally uploaded to Flickr by Leo Reynolds