Every British student has experienced the joy and misfortune of getting homework. Some hate it, some see it as an option to prove themselves and show off their knowledge. The level of its difficulty might differ — for instance, Lancaster, Aston, and Buckinghamshire New are likely to offer different challenges to their undergraduates. The problem is, when students think about working on their assignments, the first and only thing that comes to their mind is content. They wonder what to write, how to do it correctly, which sources to pick, etc. Many of them forget about such element as assignment format, even though it alone could lead to a failing grade.
An importance of formatting cannot be overestimated because it determines whether a professor can even open your work in case you send it via email, how much plagiarism there is, and if an essay you’ve written stands out from the rest in a good or bad way. Layout is the first thing your examiner will see when they open a file, so the better your presentation is, the higher mark for it you are going to receive.
Basic Assignment Layout: What’s Inside?
An essential part of every homework is its structure. It may vary based on a specific type, so first, Google the task you were assigned to see what it must comprise. Let’s take two most common assignment types, a basic one and a research paper. This is what they tend to include.
1) Basic Assignment
Six core components form a central part of this kind of task. The first two might be skipped while the others are obligatory. In the end, everything depends on assignment format requirements of your uni and professor in particular, so better clarify it in advance.
- Title Page
- Table of Contents
- Main Body
2) Research Paper
This layout is more complex because the paper itself has a higher complexity degree. Despite having a simple name “research”, it actually includes basic forms of dissertations and theses. If you have to produce something like this, make sure you create the following sections.
- Unique Title of Research
- Table of Contents
- Research Methodology
- Findings and Discussions
- References and Citations
General Guidelines for Electronic Submissions
Imagine that your essay is done and you are about to send it for grading. What smaller but crucial technical details should you pay attention to? Check out the list below and never forget that each of these elements should be present. It’s not just about sticking to needed assignment layout, it concerns how you finalise it.
Being creative is good when you’re solving a complex problem but in academic formatting, this isn’t an option. Avoid using colours to highlight some words even if it seems fitting to you. Refrain from resorting to large fonts to deceive your teachers — they are aware of these tricks and won’t be amused. Tiny font isn’t acceptable either because no one wants to squint as they’re reading. Usually, 11–12 point Times New Roman, Ariel, or Calibri are used. Black is the only acceptable colour.
One-inch margins applied from all sides are a standard option. Double spacing is needed in most cases, though you could be asked making your text 1.5. Text should be flushed left, with no extra spaces between the paragraphs, not counting the headings.
Once again, the exact details often depend on a format such as MLA, APA, Chicago, Oxford, Harvard, etc., but for the most part, each main heading must be in bold, centred, as well as starting with capital letters. Don’t use italics and avoid underlining words no matter how tempting it appears. Note that each part of an essay may need its own heading for improved text readability. Some subsections will have to be left-aligned, their further divisions could be in italics or numbered. To know for sure, ask professor about your specific assignment format and stick to it.
- Reference List
Rule number 1 claims that each source mentioned in a paper text must be easily located in a works cited list. If you’ve cited an author as ‘Soyers’ within one of the paragraphs, your entry in references must start exactly the same way. If you were talking about some organisation like WHO, this is how it should be called everywhere, including the list. Whether you’re applying full or abbreviated form isn’t particularly important. Each list should start from a new page, with entries formatted in a similar way. For details, consult your format template.
- File Format
A final and seemingly the easiest step of submitting your essay could also be decisive. Only formats like .docx, .rtf, or .doc can be used for text files. Avoid .pdf because professors will be unable to make corrections or leave comments there. Check so that your file could be opened. Otherwise, you risk receiving a bad grade despite all your efforts.
Tips on Formatting Assignments Accurately
Knowing ways of dealing with assignment structure is helpful since it can assist in avoiding common mistakes and accordingly, frustrating revisions. Look at five tips we’ve collected to make your academic submissions easier. If you follow them, your chances of doing everything right from the first go increase.
- Ask for a template. You are likely going to be provided with it from the start but if not, ask away. It’s difficult to format the paper properly unless you see for yourself how it should be done. Fortunately, there are also many helpful sites that provide practical examples, so seek them out as well to double-check your format.
- Read instructions carefully. The formatting style you need is mentioned there along with smaller individual details. Note how many paragraphs are required, how many sentences they should have, what font your professor prefers, and so on. Don’t be hasty.
- Be attentive when sorting through formatting details online. For example, if Harvard style is required and you would like to locate a template on the Internet, ensure it’s the UK version, not the USA one. Without it, you might format your essay by using an entirely wrong layout.
- Use the comparison method. If there is time, compare your essay with that of a classmate. Markdown differences and check these places again by using a template. Who made a mistake, you or your classmate? It is a great opportunity to catch formatting errors.
- Practice with further assignments manually. The best chance to escape mistakes and get used to formatting is by training repeatedly. If you think you remember the general formatting nuances, test yourself. Format an essay without a template, then double-check it. In time, you’ll be able to do it flawlessly and quickly.
Format Your Papers and Collect Additional Points for Presentation
By knowing what assignment format is and how it should look, you move a step closer to your goal of earning a good mark. Follow guidelines and be meticulous. Presentation is among the largest sections that could bring you a great score, so learn what it entails and achieve excellent results effortlessly!