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10 Tips for Success on Assignments January 24, 2010

Posted by Barbara Nixon in Assignment, success.

As we look forward to midterm time has arrived on campus, some freshmen (in many different classes) may be unpleasantly surprised when they see their Early Alert grades. Why aren’t they earning  Satisfactory grades? In my classes, typically it’s because they simply have failed to complete and submit the required assignments.

College expectations and assignments may be different than the ones you completed in high school. Here are several tips that may help you succeed in your assignments.

  1. Read the assignment thoroughly. Ensure that you understand what the instructor is looking for as a deliverable. Not sure? Ask.
  2. Use standard English grammar and spelling. Though abbreviations and lack of capitalization or punctuation may be fine in text messages or Twitter, they are definitely not acceptable in other written assignments. Need help with grammar? Check out Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing.
  3. Use spell check. Don’t rely on it exclusively, but do use it.
  4. If there’s a minimum or maximum word or page count, write enough, but not too much.
  5. Consider writing a draft of your assignment for your instructor to review prior to the deadline. (Yikes — check the second definition included in the deadline link.)
  6. Post or turn in your assignment by the deadline. Many instructors (including me) do not accept late work. (See some views on late work at the Chronicle of Higher Education’s website.)
  7. Thoroughly review your course syllabus. Many instructors include a weekly schedule of discussions and assignments. Don’t be surprised if when you ask when an assignment is due, your instructor replies, “You’ll find that in the syllabus.” Check GeorgiaVIEW for due dates if they are not specified on the syllabus.
  8. When taking a quiz or test in GeorgiaVIEW, make sure you are aware what the rules are for using materials to help you take the test, that you know how many tries you have, and how the final score is calculated. (In many of my classes, the quizzes are “open-everything,” at least two tries are allowed, and highest score counts. But that’s just me.)
  9. If your instructor specifies or indicates a preference for fonts and margins, use these when writing your assignment.

Hmmm . . . that’s only nine tips. What is one addition tip you could offer to complete this top ten list? Please comment with your suggestion.


(Adapted from a post I wrote last year for my FYE 1220 class.)



1. jessicad09 - January 26, 2010

For each class, make a list in advance of things that are due throughout the semester. When you have free time, go ahead and start working on these things. You never know what may turn up the week something is due, so getting it done early is a great advantage.

Jessica Durrence

2. lou4324 - January 26, 2010

I agree with Jessica. It’s best to get it done and out of the way.

3. burtonmaria - January 26, 2010

I agree with Jessica as well. The google calendar is very helpful source to keep you from missing deadlines when used properly. Waiting until the last minute leaves more room for you to make a mistake.

Maria Burton

4. jonadams9 - January 26, 2010

My number 10 rule would be to not procrastinate. I need to get better at that.

5. Caitlin Barth - January 28, 2010

#10 show up to class. you will be surprise at how much you acually pick up from just sitting and listening to what your professor has to say

6. fye1220 - February 2, 2010

The one thing that has help me throught college is the study as I go. It seems like all my test are around the same time, if I wait to start studying the week of I will not do well.

7. Early Alert Grades Available « Making Connections - February 6, 2010

[…] created your blog and sent me the address. You commented on my blog during Week One and Three as required. You attended at least two of the live sessions we did in WIMBA Live Classroom (and/or […]

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