So you’ve got all your resources, and now you’re ready to attack.
3. Reference as you write, not after. Note down the URL ( and all the details if it is non Web material as you might not get a chance to refer back to it) next to your paraphrase or quote. It is an annoying waste of time to go source hunting after you are nearly done with the assignment! Usually I have a working file and an actual assignment file. In the working file, I paste all the information I pull off other places together with their sources, regardless of whether I use the info or not. Good essays are usually thought out multiple times: what you might not want to include today, you may need tomorrow after reworking the structure. So don’t do a double job, don’t throw unused sources away.
4. Know Your Lecturer. Grading can be very subjective at times, that’s why understanding your audience is of utmost importance. By knowing your lecturer, I don’t mean knowing her on a personal level if that’s not quite your cup of tea, and I definitely don’t mean sucking up to them. But you gotta know the lecturer’s preference when it comes to structure, writing style, format, and especially how she thinks. If you ask me, that is probably the most important reason why you should listen in class–it’s the only chance for you to get into your lecturer’s head. Is the lecturer conservative and unlikely to accept your radical views? Is she detailed and nitpicky and particular about 1.5 spacing and typo errors? What is her political inclination? What causes does she feel strongly about? Try to write about those causes, or avoid it completely if you feel you cannot pull it off.
All these clues must be picked up while you listen in class. You can then decide which assignments need the most effort after differentiating the lenient from the strict.
I guess that’s it for now. I’ll continue writing when Tip 5 & 6 strike me.
In the meantime, Kill Your Assignments and They Won’t Kill You! (I sound like a MLM motivational speaker =.=)