28/04/2017

Get Coursework Done Tips From a Postgraduate Student

Tips for student to get the coursework done

Finishing coursework in time has always been one of my top priorities. Quite simply I could never pull off an ‘all nighter’, and when I tried I ended up mentally exhausted. Altough I would like to say that writing coursework comes easy to me, that would only be part of the truth. It comes easy to me now after I have discovered what helps to make the whole experience better.

My tips below are with examples from my second semester during MSc International Marketing Management.

Firstly I set my own deadlines and stick to them as if my life depends on it, even if it means that for five days straight I am doing a single piece of coursework for 8 hours daily. Yes, it means that sometimes I force myself to do something while I would rather be outside in the sun. Thankfully that’s not often the case in Scotland so I have had this struggle only a few times a year.

This gives me time to proofread everything in time and work on the presentation.

Official deadlines vs My Deadlines 

19th March - 10th  March
21st April - 15th  April
1st May - 20th  April
 4th May - 28th  April
19th May - 10th  May

Add references straight away
Always, always insert references as soon as you have included text in your research. It has saved me so much time by doing the references as I go, rather than mentioning the author and then trying to find the journal at a later date. To make sure the references are in the required format I am using a free website that does it for me – Cite This For Me.

Coursework notes
I never count on my memory in regards to what someone has said about the coursework once during a 3 hour long class. I write it down with huge exclamation marks next to the information. That way when I am fliping through my notebook I know where and what are te notes about any coursework.

Do your research
The most time consuming for me is always the research stage due to there being so many different sources and data available. Before writing chapters I know what studies are going to be mentioned and I already have them ready in the correct order in a Word document.

Numbering tables made easier
This one I picked it up from a friend at University this year. Rather than numbering all of the figures and tables as I go, I use ‘@’ instead of a number. When the order change, as it always does, I can just search for the ‘@’ sign in Word and make sure that all of tables are labeled correcly in their captions and in the text body.

Working table title
I also properly name all of my tables and figures with the Insert Caption function after I have finished a report. However, because the process of writing can take up to a few weeks I always have a draft name for each figure used. That wasy instead of checking what the data is and where it is from, I simply have a quick look underneath the table.

Play around with work environment
As a child I used to have the TV on when I was doing my homework. I just had to have something making a speaking noise to help me focus. However, due to the higher complexity of my coursework right now, sometimes I find it a distraction. Hence I am playing around with sounds, movies, and TV shows that I have on in the background. Sometimes it works, sometimes it does not. Just because something worked for you ten years ago it does not indicate that it will work now. If you find it hard to study change the enviroment you are doing it in. It helped me.

What helps you to finish your coursework in time?
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