Preparing to write 

To do well in your assignments, it’s important to plan your assignment carefully, which includes thinking about structure, drafting and redrafting. 

You’ll need to relate your work back to the question.  

If you don’t know your formative from your summative or are confused by grade descriptors, then this jargon busting guide to assessment will help make sense of it all. 

Assessment criteria will tell you what you need to do to achieve a specific grade. Dawn Goodall, a lecturer at the University, explains how to use this information to get an A grade (video 46:14). 

This essay writing guide provides a checklist of how to approach writing, from structuring through to referencing. 

Making use of feedback 

If you’re previously submitted work, you should have feedback on it. Find feedback on your assignments through Turnitin (1:22). 

You need to understand exactly what feedback is and how you can use it to improve your next assignment. 

Check out these common feedback comments and what they mean to help you understand how to use them. 

How to write 

Types of assignment 

You might be asked to write different sorts of assignment, including essaysreports, and your independent study or dissertation. For all of these, you will need to learn how to think and write critically

Tools to help with writing 

Make the process of writing easier by learning how to use Microsoft Word effectively, including things like formatting headings to help structure your assignment, adding page numbers, or inserting a table of contents

If you find thinking out loud easier than writing, use tools like Dictate in Office 365. This lets you use your voice to create documents, notes, emails, or presentations. 

Help with writing 

Book an appointment with one of the Language Centre’s academic English tutors to improve your academic writing. They can help you to:

  • understand how to approach a task and write critically
  • boost your grades by getting advice on your draft assignments 
  • improve your use of academic vocabulary, grammar and style
  • write effectively for different assessment types, for example, essays, reports, or reflective writing
  • understand your grammatical and punctuation errors so that you don’t make them again
  • restructure your sentences and paragraphs to make them more effective
  • check that you are referencing correctly

Alternatively, book an appointment with one of the University’s Writers in Residence who can help you with all aspects of academic writing.


Referencing your assignments 


Referencing isn’t just about having full stops and commas in the right places, it helps you show where your ideas come from and make sure you can’t be accused of plagiarism.  

Referencing styles 

Different subjects use different referencing styles. Our referencing guide helps you work out which style you should be using and how you should use it.  


CiteThemRight online is a handy tool which helps you format references correctly. It also contains quick video tutorials to help you understand how to reference both in-text citations and reference lists. 

Mendeley and other tools 

More advanced tools like Mendeley store your references and help you insert citations into your work. Our guide to reference management tools can help you pick the right one for you. 

Submitting your assignment 

Submitting via Turnitin 

You will usually need to submit your completed assignment via Turnitin (video 2:04) in Blackboard.  

Using the originality report 

You should be able to submit draft versions of your assignment multiple times before the assignment deadline. The Turnitin originality report will help you check that you haven’t plagiarised and have referenced everything correctly. 

Submitting video assignments 

Video assignments are submitted via Blackboard using Panopto (video 2:51).