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Assignment help

(19 Posts)
skillsandtea Fri 07-Feb-14 18:14:44

I didn't know where to put this really as it's not higher or further education. I did a degree in something I really did not enjoy and was not very good at. This was over 20 years ago. Since then I did other work but have mainly been a SAHM for the last 10 years. Anyway, I've enrolled on a distance learning course in something that does interest me and I understood all the theory however as I have sat down to write my assignment I am falling to pieces. It only needs to be 4000 words but I can't seem to apply anything I've read into something real. It's been so long since I've done any assignment I feel lost. Starting to feel like I shouldn't have taken this on. I just want to prove to myself that I can do it though. I don't really know what I'm asking tbh just wanted to let it all out. Have to hand in the plan in a week's time and I feel crap. (Sad face)

InPursuitOfOblivion Fri 07-Feb-14 20:18:14

We've all been there! The first paragraph is always the hardest.
Is there any kind of assignment writing support worker? My uni had one, at first I was really skeptical but I followed her advice and got great marks.

4000 words is a lot if you haven't written anything academic for a long time. I second the advice to take up any help offered.

Have you tried a mind map? I find that can be a relatively painless way to build up an outline of a piece of work...

If you can give a bit away about the topic, there might be people here who could help.

Good luck!

WeeSleekit Fri 07-Feb-14 20:42:50

You CAN do it! It's a subject you're interested in and understand the theory behind it - that's half the battle already won!! It sounds like you're just panicking a bit and feeling overwhelmed - that is a surmountable problem. Look at the question and break it down - what is it asking, simplify the language and start jotting down ideas. Everything will look better when you break it down into manageable chunks.

napoleonsnose Fri 07-Feb-14 20:54:23

I felt like that when I had to write my lit review and proposal for my dissertation last year. I felt totally lost and helpless but once I got going it did start to flow, as I'm sure your assignment will too. Often getting going is the hardest bit. Maybe try writing a middle section first and come back to the intro later? I used to find that if I could get something down on paper I would start feeling like I was actually achieving something. Good luck!

booksandchoc Fri 07-Feb-14 20:58:21

Op, I have just been there and finally handed in 3500 words today. I've had 3 months to do it and only started last week. How long do you have for the assignment? Even just making notes about the subject will help you gather your thoughts. Is there anyone who can help just by listening to you talk about the subject? One tip I have is if you need to use references, note them down as you go, author, year, title, publication etc. I spent 4 hours today sorting out references because I didn't realise how much info was needed. Good luck

skillsandtea Sat 08-Feb-14 09:51:43

Thanks for the encouragement everyone. The course is in Digital Marketing and I have to write some sort of business plan on a new digital campaign. I still don't know what campaign to write about! And then there's the instructions which state Harvard writing style or something?? Any ideas?

Allalonenow Sat 08-Feb-14 09:58:23

Harvard writing style is a particular way of referencing, have a Google, there is plenty of info about it and how to do it.
Good luck.

ChazzerChaser Sat 08-Feb-14 10:08:43

Just write. Anything. Just get a pen and paper or open a word document and just write. Anything at all. Don't amend typos or anything, just write what comes into your head, even if it's 'what is this idiot on mn on about'. Do that got 15 mins. Keep writing that's the important bit. It absolutely doesn't matter what you write, the important thing is to write.

The I'd do some kind of brainstorm exercise to think about what you do know.

Think of writing as part of the thinking process. You don't think up the brilliant ideas, then write them, you develop the ideas through writing. You start from a very basic point and build up through your writing.

Another thing to think about is the zero draft. People are scared to put pen to paper for the first draft as they can't think what to say. So do a zero draft, just get some thoughts on paper, then you have something to edit. It's way easier to get going once you have something to edit rather than a blank page.

And the Harvard thing will be the Harvard referencing style, like this. (Chaser, 2014). So your citations in the text and list of references at the end . Google it, they'll be loads. Make sure you get the right format for you institution.

Chaser, C (2014) Really brilliant post London: Mumsnet

Ps that is the wrong format for a website but I didn't have the energy for a web reference. Imagine it's a book.

ChazzerChaser Sat 08-Feb-14 10:12:38

Ps you can do it and it's perfectly normal for it to feel hard. Now write!

MrsMeow Sat 08-Feb-14 10:22:02

Just bear in mind that an assignment of 4000 words is MUCH easier to write than one of say, 2000 words, despite how it may look! With 4000 words you're able to go into much more depth with it. I just had to write a 2000 word one after doing 3/4000 and it was the hardest so far!

I always find actually getting started the hardest. Open your word doc and write your introduction, even if that's all you write. Once thats done, you'll feel better for having made a start.

Then try mind mapping. I'm in my third year and have only just started to do this. I really wish I'd tried it before!

Word has a nifty tool where you can put book/journal/web details in and it changes it to Harvard referencing for you, then you can just tweak it to make sure its the same as your institution uses.

It's good that it's something that interests you. Once you get going you'll fly. Good luck smile

My Uni does Harvard referencing, so if you need help on that, give me a shout.

For your plan try mind mapping but if you're a list-maker like me then you need to work on 'triangles' to drill down through the different levels that you're covering. Again, happy to help, PM me if you need to.

Definitely easier to write a long, as opposed to a short essay.

MrsMeow Sat 08-Feb-14 10:27:02

Chazzer has already explained Harvard referencing, but just be sure of which type your institution uses as they do vary, even down to commas etc. mine, for example would be like this:

Meow, M. (2014), Good Luck With Your Assignment. London: Mumsnet Publishing.

napoleonsnose I'm at that stage now! Arggh, I'll be glad to finish!

Good point, MrsMeow - I have a tutor who is a demon for this. Wrong punctuation, or not using/using italics gets red pen treatment!

skillsandtea Sat 08-Feb-14 10:31:53

When you say mind mapping, is that the same as brainstorming?

toomanyoptions Sat 08-Feb-14 10:47:25

there are lots of examples of business plans online and the Times do a guide which is good, use a simpler version of one of those and start by putting down headings, then filling in as you find the information. You can do it it any order.

Mindmapping is like drawing a spider diagram AFAIK, skills. My brain doesn't work well with them (!)

You put the central theme/argument in the centre of the page, and around it all the things that link to it. Draw lines to connect them to the central theme, and where relevant, to each other. You can then branch out with connected themes/ideas from those.

If you use a lot of online journals download Mendeley plus the referencing plugin. You can organise your journals, make notes, theres a search function, then references can be done at end harvard style with a click of a button. Its amazing. and free!grin

skillsandtea Sun 09-Feb-14 18:44:15

Thank you so much everyone for your fabulous advice. I have finally made a start today and have a very basic structure in place with bullet points to be filled in over the next few days. I need to have about 30% of the final version complete for Friday which gives my tutor an idea of what the final version of my assignment will be like. This should hopefully provide him with enough information to give me feedback on what to add, changes to make etc. I'm sure I will be coming back you with more questions as the deadline looms.

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