Getting the assignment into shape

In this chapter we will be discussing the structure or shape of your assignment - how it is organized. We are assuming that you have already done a lot of work for your assignment. You have worked on the title and have begun to get a sense of where you will be going, and of your argument. You have gathered together a good deal of information from books, lectures and other relevant sources. You have done various kinds of preparatory writing. You may have made some kind of plan and have done pieces of various kinds of writing towards the assignment. But now, probably with the deadline looming, you wonder how you are going to get it into shape as a finished product to hand in to your tutor.

It is true that this can be a very difficult point for the writer. However, we think that if you go through the work we have suggested in other chapters, this part, getting it into shape, will be easier for you because you will have done a good deal of the ordering already. As we proceed in this chapter, we will consider in more detail what we mean by 'well-shaped' writing, when a lot of different pieces have been put together to make a complete piece.

It is important to realize that planning and shaping your writing happen at different phases in the writing process and in different ways. You continually move back and forth between planning and thinking, as you think new thoughts and write down 'old' ones. As you think and gather information you are also planning and writing bits as you go. Similarly, you can find that even as you are working on a piece that you thought was nearly finished, you realize that you need a bit more information. Sometimes, you may find that you have gone in a slightly different direction from the one you had planned so that now you need to revisit material you have already looked at, or even find some new information. Beware though, this can just be a delaying tactic for not getting on to the next hard phase of completing the assignment, on the grounds that it could always be better. At some point you simply need to make the best of what you have got and just finish this particular piece of work.

0 0

Post a comment