Getting started with your assignment can be tough especially if you haven’t studied before or for a while. Here are some useful steps to help you to get going.
Watch our helpful PowerPoint presentation.
The ‘How to Write an Assignment’ PowerPoint presentation can be found on the Crescente website which will give you useful tips and hints to get you started. How To Write an Assignment
Read the assignment instructions
On the first page of every assignment you will see a set of instructions. These instructions contain essential information about your assignment, when to submit it and how to obtain support and help.
Download the assignment template
You will find an assignment template on the Crescente website which can be downloaded and saved – Assignment Template
TIP 1: Save your assignment every time you do any work on it – simple but heart breaking when you lose your work.
Understand the assessment criteria (shown as A.C. on the assignment brief)
Every assignment has tasks set and assessment criteria to meet. The assessors focus solely on the assessment criteria when marking so these must be met to pass. Assessment criteria will start with a command verb e.g. Discuss, evaluation, review etc. These words are very important as they describe how you should answer the question, for example if it says evaluate they are looking for pros, cons and conclusions. A full list of the command verbs is shown on the Crescente website – Assessment verbs and their meaning
Read the guidance notes
At the end of your assignment brief you will find the guidance notes. These notes are written by the assessors from the Chartered Management Institute and are an excellent guide to help you to know what to write in your assignment.
Undertake your research
Once you understand the assessment criteria you can then focus your research on the areas you need to write about in your assignment. Research is ESSENTIAL for all levels of qualification, at level 3 you will need to cite some references, at level 5 you will need to quote several sources of reference at level 7 you will be expected to have undertaken and demonstrated significant research.
Once you have identified which pieces of research you want to use you can quote these within your assignment. Typically you might consider:
- A quote
- A diagram
- A resume of the views of an author
All of these are acceptable use of referencing but you MUST reference your work. Ideally by quoting as a minimum, the name of the author, the year of publication, the title of the piece of work. The Crescente website shows how to reference a range of work – Guidance Documents
TIP 2: You MUST refer to research within your assignment and reference the work
Access support and help
If you are still unsure what to write or how to interpret the assessment criteria then contact us at Crescente, we are here to support you. You can reach us by emailing and we will then make contact either by email, phone or skype to suit your needs.
Take each task and undertake a brainstorm on all the issues you want to write about. This is a great way to see the big picture of your work and it will also help you to refine what you want to include and what needs to be omitted.
Check the word count
Each task is given a word count which is shown on the assessment criteria. Whilst the Chartered Management Institute will accept assignments which are up to 10% above or below the wordcount, it is important to try to stick to the set limit.
Writing in a focussed and concise manner is a key management skill and this is something you will develop as you progress through your qualification.
The word count will give you some idea of the amount of depth the assessor is looking for so it can help you to refine your brainstorm as well.
TIP 3: Using screenshots, powerpoint slides and diagrams can reduce your wordcount as these do not count in the wordcount, also use bullet points but remember you must give a full description when using bullets not just one liners.
Use the Assessment Criteria as a heading for each section.
By doing this you can keep your focus on the Assessment Criteria as this is what the assessors use for marking.
TIP 4: Remember the Assessment Criteria (AC) is what the assessors use to mark your work.
Use a business style of writing
Write your assignment in a business like fashion, you can write in the first (I, we etc) or third person (it, he, she etc) but avoid making personal statements such as ‘I think my employers are rubbish!!’ instead look at what the company does which is effective and ineffective e.g. ‘on balance my organisation is effective at meeting customers’ needs, however it lacks an understanding of staff needs’.
Check your work.
When you have completed your assignment make sure you carry out a spelling and grammar check. It can help to ask someone else to read it and comment.
We hope you have found this blog useful, please remember you can chat with us about any aspects of your assignment if you need help. Just email and we will email, phone or skype you.