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Approaching writing assignments

Guest posts

Faculty: Health, Medicine and Social Care
Course: BA (Hons) Social Work
Category: Social sciences and social care

16 October 2014

When ARU Social Work student Bev had to miss a couple of lectures about writing assignments, she was worried it would affect her marks. Luckily, help was at hand from multiple sources.

Missing a lecture can be really detrimental when preparing to write your assignments. I missed two lectures due to unforeseen circumstances, and I always felt I was missing vital information. The lectures offered guidance on structuring your assignment and meeting the required learning outcomes.

A little help from my friends

I was very fortunate; as my study group formed and developed, they arranged discussions with me and gave me notes from the lectures I’d missed. That’s why it’s essential that you work together as a team and have confidence in your study group.

You do need to take responsibility for your own learning, and attending all lectures is recommended. However, by working together, the group can help you when you’re presented with circumstances beyond your control.

Take advantage of the support on offer

Study coaches and classes can be found through the Student Services Team. You may, for example, need to critically analyse a subject in your assignment. To help you create the best possible assignment, Student Services holds a class on critical analysis.

I would strongly recommend that you look at the classes on offer and take any that suit your needs, as they really make a difference to your overall success.

Talk to your tutor

Be warned: tutors can read only 20% of your assignment before it's officially submitted. If you send them your entire assignment, they will more than likely just read your introduction. I made this mistake! Decide which part you want the tutor to offer feedback on, and send that part over to them for consideration.

Hit the library

A couple of books I find useful, both when writing assignments or when revising after lectures, are:

  • Doing Essays & Assignments – Essential Tips for Students (Pete Greasley)
  • Dictionary of Social Work (Pierson and Thomas)

Initially I approached my Year 1 assignments with fear. My perspective, however, has totally changed. Heading into Year 2, I will welcome them, as I know I am gaining the knowledge I need to succeed in my chosen career.

By Beverley Courtney
BA (Hons) Social Work

Bev is studying BA (Hons) Social Work at ARU. Find out more about this and other degree courses at one of our Open Days.


The views expressed here are those of the individual and do not necessarily represent the views of Anglia Ruskin University. If you've got any concerns please contact us.