College assignments may be different than the ones you completed in secondary school. Here are several tips that may help you succeed in your assignments.
- Read the assignment thoroughly. Make sure that you understand what the lecturer is looking for as a deliverable.
- 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.
- Use spell check. Don’t rely on it exclusively, but do use it.
- If there’s a minimum or maximum word or page count, write enough, but not too much.
- 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.)
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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.)
- If your instructor specifies or indicates a preference for fonts and margins, use these when writing your assignment.