WORK ASSIGNMENTS? HOW DO I WRITE?
At times many students might find it difficult to write a good work assignment. Often students are unsure of what the expectancy of the lecturers are with regard to research and whilst it is true that lecturers may differ regarding their expectations and the fact that the nature of the subject may affect the writing of work assignments, there are still general principles that are applicable. The purpose of this information is to give all students guidelines that will help them to produce good quality work assignments.
Characteristics of a Good Work Assignment
It is vitally important, especially from an ethical point of view, that your work must be originally yours. The Internet has made “cut and paste” practices so easy, which is totally unacceptable. When you use sources for your own work assignments, it is very important to give recognition by applying the correct reference methodology. This applies not only for direct quotations, but also when you apply an idea that you have taken from another source and interpret it in your own words. If you do not do this, you are busy committing plagiarism, which is not permissible. It is very important to make use of sources, but make it your own and place your own stamp of originality on it.
A good work assignment will always contain the elements of originality, innovation and creativity. God has made each one of us unique with our own talents, gifts and personalities. This uniqueness should also be reflected in your work assignments. Keep in mind that your lecturer has to mark numerous work assignments and it can become very boring if all work assignments reflect the same old story over and over again. Be creative and write something different. It will immediately catch your lecturer’s eye and will score you points.
A good work assignment will always show a logical thought pattern and structure. This means that it will contain a natural flow of ideas from paragraph to paragraph. There are few things that will be viewed by your lecturer so negatively, as a work assignment that is disorderly with no logical structuring of ideas. Therefore, ensure that you continually ask yourself whether what you are writing fits in with your subject matter. Also ensure that you do not jump from idea to idea, but that there is a logical flow in what you are writing. Every paragraph and idea must logically build on the preceding idea.
- Academic Excellence
4.1 Maintaining of Standards
Academic work assignments must comply with specific standards. It is not the same as preparing a sermon or a speech or something similar. Certain rules and regulations need to be adhered to when writing academic papers. Jansie Killian’s book, Form and Style in Theological Texts, is the standard work piece that sets out these procedures.
4.2 Reference Methodology
The Harvard-reference methodology, as set out in Jansie Killian’s book, is the compulsory reference methodology that the Mosaïek Academi follows.
4.3 Analysis and Synthesis
After having read as much as possible about the subject of your work assignment (books, articles), you should make a thorough analyses of all the information that you have gathered with the focus on the specific subject matter which you are writing about. Thereafter, a process of synthesis must follow, of ideas in a coherent whole so that your work assignment will contain sense and meaning for anyone who reads it. This means that your work assignment must display unity, your arguments must be clear and distinctly formulated and it must be presented persuasively and precisely.
- Form and Structure
This is similar to your table of contents. It is necessary to draw up the framework of your work assignment before you proceed. This serves as your “road map” so that you know where you are heading. Spend sufficient time to thoroughly think this step through, because once you have the “skeleton” of your work assignment, it becomes a lot easier to add the “meat”.
A well considered introduction to your work piece is important. It must logically lead the reader into the rest of your work. It must be precise, relatively short and must make the reader eager to read the rest of your work. In the introduction you must specify what the central focus of your assignment is and what you wish to convey. What is the problem that you wish to address? Why is it a problem? How are you going to solve this problem?
An academic paper / work work assignment must have titles (headings) and sub-titles (sub-headings). Divide your assignment into smaller units and provide the various subdivisions with suitable titles. These titles and sub-titles must give an indication of what will be discussed.
The end of your assignment should contain conclusions in respect of that which you have written about. Here you need to give a very short summary of what you have written and indicate what the conclusions of your research are, for example, "Are the problems solved? What are the results of your research? Are there still unsolved problems which might justify further research"?
The Bibliography contains a list of all the books, articles and any other sources that you refer to in your assignment.