A student dealing with his course work

Dealing with course work

Managing your course work

I like to try to pick a similar topic for presentations as for written assignments so that I can use some of the reading I have done for both. - Ghada

One of the biggest challenges that international students face involves the production of their course assignments. Writing a long academic assignment is quite a complex task and it is often easier if you break such writing tasks down into smaller manageable stages. It is also important to consider how much time you need to allocate for each stage so that you do not have too much to do at the last minute.

In this activity you will consider how best to manage the task of producing a 2000-word assignment that an international student has been set to write for her course.

ActivityHow to write an essay in a week

Imelda is an international student who has been set a 2000-word written assignment to do for her course. She has exactly one week in which to do all the preparation and writing involved in producing the assignment. Can you solve the puzzle and organise her week for her so that she can finish the assignment by the deadline set by the course tutor?

Imelda, an international student

Instruction icon


Look at all of the different stages that are needed for Imelda to produce her 2000-word assignment and decide on the order in which the stages should be done. Move each stage into an appropriate time slot during the week so that she has completed all of the stages of the assignment and can submit it in time. When you have checked your solution to the puzzle, read the feedback.

A week in the life of Imelda
Mon am
Received assignment to do from my tutor - a 2000 word essay by next week!!
Mon pm
Tue am
Tue pm
Wed am
Wed pm
Thu am
Thu pm
Fri am
Fri pm
Sat am
Shopping, and domestic chores at home.
Sat pm
My day off from study - rest and relaxation!
Mon am
Brainstorm for initial ideas and make a rough plan of the structure.
Finish writing the first draft with additions - 2000 words are now on paper!
First visit to the library in search of relevant reading material.
Look again at essay - proof read for language and typing errors; print to check presentation.
More revision and second drafting of essay to make sure I'm answering the essay question.
Print out final version of the essay and hand it in to the office before the 11 o'clock deadline!
Read and make notes in the library, then read some more and amend my initial plan.
Sit down and analyse the question first of all to make sure I've really understood it.
Spend the morning in the library again, to find the missing information that the essay needs.
Time to edit the first full draft - and improve it!
Time to put pen to paper! Start writing first essay draft, and review what more is needed.

Would you like to review the main points?