Learning Skills Unit - Learning Lab

Structuring assignments - Siphiwe

Was the approach to assignments different in Australia compared to your country?

The teachers here have a particular way, there's a particular style of writing that they adhere to, that they subscribe to and that they expect.

For instance if you write an assignment in an essay form they much rather that you are direct. You say the point first and then you support it, state the point, support it and give examples.

For instance whereas I would given any assignments before I come to the main point I am more used to giving more of the background and saying everything else and then zeroing in on it at last. And I would just find that even with exactly the same information, depending on how you presented it, the grade that you would get for it would be very very different. It varies depending on how you have done it.

The structure is very important. You've got to do an introduction, you've got to do the body and you've go to do your conclusion or your summary.

And I've actually found that right here what they expect in the conclusion is a summary of whatever else was discovered. It's not a good idea to bring in new information in the conclusion. So it's small things like that.

You may have everything that's needed actually it may be all in there but it's just the way that you're putting it. At first it seems a little intimidating, I was a bit annoyed by it, especially because everything was in there. If you really took up my paper and you read all the points that were required were there, so I just was annoyed.

But then after thinking about it and listening and trying it a different way I actually realized it made reading the paper a whole lot easier actually. It made it a lot more clearer and it's easy to pick up. That way it's easy to distinguish from somebody who's not sure what's being asked and is giving all the information that they can come across or is it somebody that exactly knows what's being what they are being asked.

So you do learn even though sometimes it doesn't feel like, whilst you're going through it it's a little painful. But actually you do learn and it's not bad at all.

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