One of the biggest jumps from A levels to university is that of law assignments and how different those you present for college are to those that you will be expected to submit at the University. Writing law assignments at university is something you will have to do, and it can be tough when you first start out, however, hopefully, these few tips will help make it that little bit easier.
1. Begin your assignment straight away- It sounds obvious and slightly geeky, but it is one of the best things to do. Starting your assignments as soon as you get them will help to alleviate this pressure- even if it's just researched into the topic area of the assignment or gathering notes and journals, you think may be useful.
2. What if you don’t understand the assignment? - Speak to your professor or, failing that, talk to your friends and classmates. There is nothing critical than staring at a blank screen being unable to write as you simply don’t know what it is you need to write about.
3. Answer the question asked by your assignment- You don’t want to make a mistake and write something off topic. Remember, answering the question is fundamental to getting a good grade.
4. Plan before you write- Make sure you build this time into your plan of how you are going to get your assignment done.
5. Keep your legal writing simple- Most of the effective legal writing is very clear and to the point and only uses legal terms when appropriate.
6. Don’t just use one source- The majority of law scholars will have access to a variety of books and online resources. Study as many of them as you can. There are a number of books on all aspects of law, and the same applies to case and journals. So why not use them to your ample advantage. Researching and reading articles, books and cases will only help to enhance your knowledge and will ultimately improve your assignment grade.
7. Referencing- When writing an assignment, this can be one of the most difficult tasks. First checking which referencing system you have been asked to use for the assignment. Most legal assignments will demand the OSCOLA system of referencing; however, it is a personal preference for your lecturer university as to which system they use.
8. Re-drafting and proofreading- Through re-drafting, you cut out unnecessary words, even full sentence, and paragraphs from your homework assignments. In doing so, you are creating it just that little bit better every time. Never submit your first draft of an assignment; it will rarely be your best work.
9. Word count- Check your word count and what it includes. The penalties for going over the word limit can be severe at some universities, and it’s far better to be safe than sorry.
10. Don’t submit it too late- Whether you are making an online or paper submission, do not quit it until the last minute to submit it. Finish and submit your assignment early.
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