How to Improve the Quality of Your Coursework
Coursework is an assignment you have to write over the period of a term, and its grade plays an important part in determining your overall score for the course. The format and type of work you have to perform will vary from college to college and from discipline to discipline, but usually, it takes the form of an extended essay in which you have to investigate and analyze an issue to showcase your ability to work independently and find solutions to open-ended problems.
Many students believe that coursework is easier than an exam because you can do it independently, at your own pace, rather than in a high-pressure controlled environment, but in fact, it can be just as challenging, if not more so, just in a different way. Having more time means that you have to exercise self-discipline and self-control to complete the job on time, and exactly because you have more time, much higher standards are applied to the results than to exam work.
In this article, we will cover the most important tips that can help you deal with this important job.
Preparing for your Coursework
In writing coursework, preparation plays an excessively important role.
Choose your topic wisely. The best topic is the one you are genuinely interested in – when you write about something you feel passionately about, you tend to produce better results and enjoy the process of writing more.
Plan ahead – you should understand how long the writing is going to take, so do not leave it until the last minute. If you are given a timeline with deadlines, make sure you understand when each of them is, particularly the time when you are supposed to submit the first draft for comments.
Do not start writing right away, hoping to do the research as you go along. Do research first, as coursework is primarily a research assignment. Study the sources and evaluate their objectivity and reliability before using them.
Writing Your Coursework
Avoid superfluous information – your coursework should only contain what is necessary to get your point across. Eliminate every word that does not gets you closer to this goal.
Always plan ahead – before you start writing, you have to compile an outline of your future coursework, detailing what and where you are going to say and what evidence you will introduce.
Make sure your coursework answers the questions you have been asked, not the ones you want to answer, however tempting it may be.
Quote from relevant sources, but do not overdo it. You have to show that you are familiar with the existing body of research on the topic but are not overly reliant on it. Your coursework should show your ability to do research, but also express your opinion.
What to Do Before Submitting Your Coursework
Before you submit your coursework to your supervisor, you have to check carefully whether it fully meets the requirements and the standards of the assignment:
- Check for logic and consistency. Start with analyzing the overall structure and contents of the paper. Does it make sense as a whole? Does your logic have any gaps? Do your points follow each other in an orderly manner? Do you contradict yourself? Did you miss anything or repeat yourself? Are there any facts you meant to double-check while writing?
- Check for word count. Word count is not a recommendation – it is a requirement, and a crucial one. It is placed upon you to determine whether you can express yourself without excessive wordiness. Check if you fall within its limits and double-check if parts of the paper like the bibliography and title page are included in it. If you exceed the limit, get rid of the unnecessary elements of your writing – superfluous words, sentences, and, if necessary, even paragraphs;
- Check grammar, syntax, and spelling. Do not rely on Microsoft Word’s spellchecker or online spellchecking tools – they are suitable for spotting more blatant mistakes, but when it comes to nuances, they do more harm than good. Proofread on your own, manually, and whenever possible ask somebody else to go over your coursework for you;
- Check formatting. Consult a relevant style guide and make sure you meticulously followed it. It may seem like an empty formality, but formatting does influence your overall grade;
- Check bibliography. Again, see if you followed the requirements of the style guide. Check if you included all the sources and provided all the relevant information.
As you can see, there is nothing particularly complicated about writing college coursework. Of course, sometimes it is virtually impossible to perform all the work required of you on time. In such situations, it may be a good idea to use a coursework writing service to delegate some of this workload and get more time to deal with all your responsibilities.