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Planning and task analysis

Task Sub-tasks

Plan how you will carry out the task

  • When is the assignment due? Write the date in your diary.
  • When will you complete the first draft and final draft? Write these dates in your diary.

Analyse the assignment task

  • Break the question or task into its parts. Ask yourself: how many parts or actions are involved?
  • Underline the question words (eg. discuss/describe/explain/compare etc.) and make sure you understand their specific meanings.
  • Analyse your audience. Think of your potential readers as intelligent non-experts on the topic. What information do you think they need to know?
  • Identify the materials you need to carry out the task - theory, factual information, statistics, case studies, interviews, etc.
  • Organise your thoughts by brainstorming ideas, and grouping them. Which ideas are more relevant to the topic and which can be cut out? What links are there between ideas? See: QuickRef 25: Brainstorming and mind mapping for assignments
  • Make a rough plan of the main headings

Gather information for the task

  • Start researching the literature early to get an idea of the dimensions of the topic.
  • Review the material covered in lectures, workshops and problems relevant to the task.
  • Collect any other information or data required.
  • Read the material you have collected and make careful notes.
  • Keep records of literature reviewed.
  • Make changes to your plan as you read the literature.

Seek advice from your tutor or lecturer or Language and Learning adviser if necessary. For contact details go to Language and Learning Support for undergraduate students Launch new window.

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