Coursework is an integral part of completing a course. Below are some general guidelines on how to write a coursework.
Spelling and Grammar
One of the most common problems of written assignments today is poor spelling and grammar. With quite a few grammar and spell checkers available for free, submitting your paper with such mistakes is unforgivable as it shows your disrespect for the person to read your work. What is more, sometimes missed words or letters can dramatically change the meaning and the message intended.
Following a few simple rules below will help you improve the quality of your writing:
- Re-read your entire paper at least one time after you have completed it before you submit it to your instructor. Most of the errors are made in a hurry and will be easily eliminated during the second reading.
- Set up the word processor that you use to always check and correct grammar and spelling.
Here is an overview of how to refer to sources that you use in your paper in a proper way:
- If this is common knowledge like, for instance, “The Moon orbits the Earth”, no reference is required.
- If this is common knowledge for a limited time, like who wins the elections or is in power in a particular state at a particular time, no reference is required while the statement is still true. However, when referring to the same statement years after the actual happening, you need to use a reference to the source you took the information from.
- Facts usually require referencing.
- All kinds of statements have to be supported by your own explanation or reference to your previous research, or backed by references to the authors who mention them in their studies or reports.
When writing an academic paper it is best to avoid unexplained generalized statements, as the purpose of an academic paper is primarily to provide a detailed and well-grounded understanding of a particular issue, to analyze a certain situation or problem from different angles.
Some other referencing nuances to keep in mind are:
- When you refer to secondary sources, i.e. to statements or ideas of authors referred to by other authors, you should mention the work you got the original reference from (for example, as cited in Nicholson, 2003) and indicate both sources in your references list. Yielding to the temptation of merely copying the reference made by someone else may get you into trouble as the other author may have used the reference you want to refer to in a different context or with a different understanding in mind.
- Citations should be used moderately and properly. Copying passages, statements or ideas without providing a proper reference to the original source is plagiarizing, which is severely punishable in universities.
- You can learn to use references properly and effectively only through practice. So, it is a good to make a habit of paying attention to how this is done in articles you read.
Making a List of References
Here are a few basic rules for you to follow to set up your reference list properly:
- Mention all the sources referred to in your paper in your list of references.
- Arrange the references alphabetically.
- Strictly follow the guidelines of the referencing system your instructor wants you to use in your paper.