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Writing Skills Writing Assignment Essays

Using assignment essays for assessment supports student learning better than the traditional examination system. It is considered that course-work assignment essays can lessen the extreme stress experienced by some students over ‘sudden-death’ end of semester examinations:

If we insist that all students write about everything they have learned in their study courses at the same time and in the same place (e.g. in examinations), we are not giving all of our students equal opportunities. Some students are not daunted by the exam experience while others suffer ‘exam nerves’ and perform at the lowest level of their capabilities. (Wonderland University, 2006, p. 4)

Additionally, Jones et al. (2004, pp. 36-37) propose that assignment essays can be used to assess student learning mid-course and so provide them with helpful feedback before they are subjected to the exam experience. Exams only provide students with a mark rather than specific feedback on their progress. Therefore, setting assignment essays for a substantial part of student assessment is a much fairer approach than one-off examination testing.

Bloggs, J. (2003). Linking teaching, learning and succeeding in higher education. London: Bookworld.

Jinx, J.M. (2004). Student essay writing. Journal of Research in University Education, 9(2), 114-125.

Jones, J., Smith, P.L., Brown, K., Zong J., Thompson, K., & Fung, P.A. (2004). Helpline: Essays and the university student. Tokyo: Courtyard Printers.

Sankey, J.M., & Liger, T.U. (2003). Learning to write essays [CD-ROM]. Sydney: Wonderland University.

Taylor, G. (1989). The student’s writing guide for the arts and social sciences. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Wonderland University. (2006). Attributes of a university graduate. doi:10.1098/063-112

Yang, S., & Baker, O.E. (2005). Essay writing and the tertiary student. Melbourne: Diamond Press.

Zapper, Y. (2006). Learning essay writing. In F.T. Fax & Y. Phoney (Eds.), Learning Experiences at University (pp. 55-70). Calcutta: Academic Scholar Press.

Writing an essay can be challenging, especially when you have multiple assignments due at the same time. But there a few tricks that can make the whole process that much easier.

This section will help you figure out what your essay question is really asking, and then break the question down into easy tasks.

The essay question

Break the question into smaller parts so you can manage your work more easily.

Plan your essay

Develop your argument then write an essay plan, so you know exactly what you're going to write.

Using quotes

Choose the right quotes, and use them to make your argument more convincing.

The editing process

Edit your essay's structure and paragraphs, and proofread to make sure you're handing in your best work.

Bibliographies

Avoid plagiarism by learning how to write a bibliography and reference quotes.

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