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Get Organised

Get organised


Once you have found all the resources you wish to use as supporting evidence in your work the next thing is to get acquainted with those resources, make some notes and then make a plan so that you can write your assignment.

In order to do this efficiently and calmly the best thing is to work out the time you have available before the hand in date and then plan your time over the next few weeks so that you can work on your assignment and fit in your home commitments, job and social life. Make sure that you won’t be working on the essay in a panic the night before hand in date.

See our guide to time management 

Start reading

Once you have sorted out when and where you can do some study, you need to look at the resources you’ve collected and start reading them to make sense of the topic.

If your lecturer has given you a reading list that is great place to start but see Get searching for some more ideas. Use indexes and contents pages to find the crucial bits in the books you are using.

See our guide to academic reading 

You will probably want to take notes from reading. Reading can be a passive activity, most of us need to do something to help us remember information we have read. Try these approaches to keep your reading time lively.

  • Quickly read a section of the text – don’t make notes on every sentence or read the whole thing before starting to write notes.
  • Get an overview of the chapter, then go back and make notes about the relevant points. Use your own words. Using your own words shows you understand.
  • Notes should be brief and selective. Use capitals, abbreviations and underlining to make important words stand out.
  • Space your notes out so they can be seen at a glance. Use colours, pictures, diagrams, highlighting. Use arrows and lines to show relationships between ideas. Write key words and not complete sentence 

See our guide to note taking