Assignments: Sometimes the Hardest Part is Getting Started
Sometimes we put off starting an assignment straight away. This can be called procrastination, avoidance or writer’s block. However, it really helps if you do start working on a task from the beginning.
These four tips provide the why and the how you can start working on your assignment immediately:
GET YOUR BRAIN THINKING ABOUT THE TOPIC
Even if your assignment is not due for weeks, start thinking about it immediately. At the very least, ensure you review and understand the requirements the day you get your assignment. Even if you are not thinking about it directly, your subconscious will be hard at work.
FIND LIBRARY AND ONLINE RESOURCES
Although the school or local library may not be your main source of reference, you should drop in soon after receiving the assignment. Your teacher will probably have alerted the school librarian to the assignment, and reference books etc, may well be displayed. These will disappear quickly if the whole class has the same assignment. Reference books can sometimes be a useful general overview for an assignment and they help clarify a direction as you begin to immerse yourself into the assignment topic. Your librarian can also guide you to online journals or databases that may be useful.
STARTING EARLY MEANS MORE TIME TO EXPLORE & ASK FOR HELP IF NEEDED
If you do some initial research on the assignment, you could find yourself needing more direction in your next research. For example: Perhaps there isn’t enough information, or perhaps you find you don’t understand important concepts, or perhaps you need to speak to your teacher to get further clarity. If you find this out early, you will still have plenty of time to plan, research, write and present your assignment. Imagine if you didn’t start your assignment for a week or so, and then discovered you needed more guidance. You could easily run out of time. Starting early also gives you a longer time to think through and develop your ideas.
CREATE A SAFETY NET
Starting your assignment immediately will give you a safety net in case you get sick or something unexpected happens. Assignments are usually given over a period of time because they require more time; students must plan a strategy or schedule to ensure they are completed. You should always have a schedule that allows for the unexpected.