Writing assignment is undoubtedly a tedious task. However, the alarming rate at which students keep failing courses recently highlights the struggles of writing assignments. According to data released by the Department for Education, 35.6% of students failed to achieve a grade 4 in GCSE English and maths in 2019. In fact, 5.3% of UK students enrolled in courses in 2019-2020 failed to secure pass grades. While the COVID-19 pandemic played a significant role in students’ low performance, research suggests that the pandemic merely acted as a catalyst for the pre-existing writing difficulties students faced pre-2020. Common assignment writing obstacles students have faced for years include issues with vocabulary and diction, grammatical features, organisation, and idea generation.
Why is Assignment Writing a Significant Challenge for Students?
According to Primary Research Group’s 2018 survey results, approximately 30% of students have no experience writing assignments that exceed 10 double-spaced pages. Thus, it’s not surprising that most students are entirely under-prepared to tackle academic writing in college or university. Some of the recurring hurdles that students regularly face when working on their assignments include:
- Inability to manage time
- Failure to determine reliable reference sources
- Problems with plagiarism
- Inability to multi-task
- Struggles to meet the deadline
When these issues start affecting grades, most students wonder, “Can’t I pay someone to do my homework?” While the option seems the most desirable when you’re in a pinch, you mustn’t forget that hiring professional experts is an expensive affair. Thus, it’s not sustainable in the long run.
10 Tips to Beat Academic Writing Challenges to the Curb
Unless you have unlimited finances, you cannot hire professional experts to provide homework answers whenever you hit a low point in your assignments. Therefore, instead of relying on temporary solutions, it’s best to polish your writing skills and develop the habits you require to overcome any hurdle in your path. After consulting several professionals, I’ve compiled these 10 crucial tips to help you improve your writing skills.
Plan out a schedule
Planning a schedule is the best option for students overwhelmed by non-stop classes, part-time work, and assignments. Consider the goals you wish to achieve every day and customize your schedule according to your needs. However, don’t forget to leave some time for recreational activities and leisure. Otherwise, you’ll experience burnout, which can be detrimental to your final goal.
Arrange your tasks according to priority
When scheduling your assignments throughout the week, always keep the deadlines in mind. For example, if a task requires in-depth research, do not put it off till the last minute. Instead, start working on those assignments early to avoid making unnecessary mistakes in a hurry to complete the task on time.
Compose the assignment outline
An outline provides the skeletal structure of your assignment and allows you to flesh out ideas without the fear of straying off-topic. Unfortunately, I’ve encountered several students who end up with low grades despite writing great content due to improper structuring. So, think carefully about how you wish to approach your topic and structure your assignment accordingly.
Paraphrase carefully to avoid plagiarism
When working on any assignment, you’d need to consult several sources. However, you’d end up with plagiarised content if you’re not careful enough. To overcome this challenge, you must master the art of paraphrasing. It’s crucial to remember that changing a few words is not enough to avoid plagiarism. Instead, go through the source material thoroughly, understand what the author is trying to convey and rephrase the idea in your own words.
Do not procrastinate on writing
Your homework answers won’t write themselves no matter how long you procrastinate on them. Instead, if you put off the task for long, you won’t have enough time to research the topic properly. So, even if the blank page of your assignment seems too intimidating, push through the fear and start writing.
Choose reliable sources for consultation
The internet has made it easier for students to research various topics. Unfortunately, avoiding unreliable websites, blogs and articles full of incorrect data can be quite an overwhelming challenge for many. Therefore, if you wish to maintain the quality of your assignments, stick to published research articles and websites ending with .org and .edu.
Keep an eye on grammar and punctuation
When writing an assignment, you must maintain proper grammar and punctuation. Unfortunately, regardless of whether English is the first or second language, students tend to make mistakes in syntax, use of prepositions, punctuation, sentence structure and tenses. So, even if you spend hours writing an excellent paper, such errors can lower the quality of your assignment. To mitigate this issue, you can run your paper through free online proofreading tools.
Make time for reading every day
A voracious reader tends to absorb different writing styles and vocabularies more than someone who barely reads three sentences daily. Thus, increasing your reading habit is crucial to improving your writing skills naturally. Furthermore, don’t restrict yourself to one genre. Instead, expand your horizons to fictional and non-fictional work, newspapers, magazines, blogs and articles.
Proofread and edit your paper
Before submitting your assignment, do not forget to proofread and edit your work. Go through the entire paper multiple times to ensure you have answered the question correctly without going off-topic. Additionally, check every line for punctuation errors, spelling mistakes and sentence construction issues. As long as you thoroughly check your content, your chances for an A+ increase dramatically.
Sign up for professional courses
As a final resort, you can sign up for professional academic writing courses. Several reliable institutions have introduced short-term online sessions and workshops to assist students with their academic papers. These limited-time courses are incredibly affordable and provide valuable insights into improving your writing skills.
Summing it up,
Writing assignments has always been a challenging task for most students. However, as the academic pressure keeps rising, the number of challenges students face while composing their papers keeps increasing. Thankfully, if you follow the ten tips highlighted in this blog, you will significantly improve your writing skills. But keep in mind that progress doesn’t happen overnight. So, believe in yourself and follow the suggestions diligently.