Preparing to write 

Before you begin to write, you should plan your assignment carefully. This includes understanding the assignment type and assessment brief, gathering the right information, and organising your ideas.

The Royal Literary Fund’s toolbox of essay writing skills and resources can help you get started.

How to write 

Writing critically, understanding structure and style, and getting the basics like grammar and vocabulary right are all important academic writing skills.

Our guide to writing has more information about creating a first draft, writing critically and using tools to make writing easier.

Tools to help with writing 

Our resource list of tools to help with writing, gives you a range of ways to approach your written work, whether you want to look at discovery, organisation, drafting, language or editing.

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. 

Editing and language tools can help you with your grammar, style, and with the level of your writing.

If you need something to help with spelling, punctuation and grammar skills (SPG) you’ll find apps, podcasts, videos and books on the University’s SPG resource list.

Help with writing 

For help with developing your academic writing, style or structure, book an appointment with the Writers in Residence (term time only) or the Centre for Academic English and Skills.


Make use of feedback 

One of the best ways to learn is to look at the feedback and comments you receive for your assignments. Our guide to feedback shows you how to make the most of your tutors’ comments and explains what some common feedback means. 

Find feedback on your assignments through Turnitin (video 1:22). Check Blackboard for information about grade and feedback release dates.

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.  

Referencing tools 

Cite Them Right is a handy tool full of examples and help so you can format references correctly.

The Cite Them Right tutorial will help you understand how to reference both in-text citations and reference lists. 

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

Help with referencing

Contact askalibrarian or use Library Services live chat if you get stuck with referencing, or book an appointment with your Academic Liaison Librarian.


Submitting your assignment 

Final checks

Run through these final checks before you submit your assignment.

Submitting via Turnitin 

You will usually need to submit your completed assignment via Turnitin (video 2:06) 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).