It’s the end of the semester and there is one thing that I learned within these past 3 semesters is to not put your assignments on hold. I’ve heard from my lecturers and fellow seniors that the second year is never the same as the first year. Now I do believe them. 1st year is like a honeymoon year. Our assignments were given to us in the very first week of the semester and I’m so ashamed of myself that I started a month before the deadline. Bear in mind this is not tips in not procrastinating. It’s more to what I’ve done and what can be improved for the next semester.
- Planning. I’ve watched a lot of YouTube videos and one that caught my eye (forgot which video) is doing back-planning. That means planning from the deadline until the day you actually got your assignment from the lecturer. Laughing at myself now, I didn’t do this. I did something different ’cause I found the previous one a hassle.
- I would skim through the question(s) and highlight or underline the key points. These key points would tell you what you should do for your assignment. You can search through it online, in journals or in books. Most of my references come from journal articles.
- I consider my assignment papers as research papers. All of the claims made in the paper has to be based on how we research the topic. So, I would make the first draft with headings (abstract, introduction, body and summary).
- In between those headings, I would leave out spaces and make bullet points on what I want to write on them. This could be a print-out or just written notes. I prefer print-outs so it won’t look messy.
- At the side of the bullet points, I would write down the dates on when I should get that sub-topics done. This was helpful for me especially when there is a month before the deadline.
- Research. There’s no trick on how you would look for references for your paper. One main thing is that it should be reliable. Search within the pdf files for the things that you want to add into your paper. It’s fast and you’re able to grab the concept instantly.
- Meeting with Lecturers. After making several drafts, I would have only one trip to the lecturers’ office to make sure if I’m on the right track. Why only one time? I have this conscious mind that, if showed to the lecturer several times, he or she would know that it’s your paper, there would be a sense of bias no matter what. So, for me, just one time would do.
- Habit. I’m trying to make it a habit to start early. I know when starting early, you really don’t know what you should do. Try to learn from what was given during lectures and read up books every day. This information could be the ones that you can put on your paper. I realised that I could’ve done a paragraph or two if I did read my textbooks and learn something from the first week.
- Reward. It’s a 3-month assignment. Although I used a month to finish it, I would always reward myself after every assignment is done. With all the nervous breakdowns, everyone deserves to reward themselves. Psst… Just went to the amusement park to scream. Or, maybe for a calm, relaxing feel, I continued with my cross stitch.
Now, I’m not encouraging to do a last minute work on your assignment. It should be done as soon as possible. That’s the only problem I have and I understand that someone has been putting up with my nervous breakdowns.
Wishing everyone Happy Holidays!
– Ollie –