How to stay organised with your coursework

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Coursework. Almost any student, at some point in their course, has been stressed about this word and what it means. Research, writing, presenting, deadlines, grades… but if you know how to organise your time, there’s almost nothing to worry about. Almost.  

4 steps for coursework: 

Research 

This is probably one of the steps that should take the longest. A long and extensive reference list does not only look good in any coursework, but it also helps build the body and content of the assessment. Databases, books and journals relating to many areas of study are available at the RGU library, both on campus and online.  

Planning 

One of the most important stages of the coursework. Many people will override it, or do pseudo-planning, because “they don’t have time to plan”. This mentality is often wrong and leads to failure. Structuring your coursework and distributing the points to focus on is the key to success. If you don’t plan, your work will show that you are really disorganised and that you probably haven’t learned much.  

Writing/Crafting 

Once you have all the data gathered from the research, and you have planned how you are going to deliver it, it’s time to craft the coursework (whether that’s an essay, report, presentation, media…). Take your time in this stage, any hurries might mess up all the effort you put into planning. 

Revising 

Revise your work before handing it in! It is understandable that many of you will submit it very close to the deadline, so make sure you leave at least 2 or 3 days before the deadline to revise your work. This will help you detect any mistakes, any repetitions or misspellings. Often times, it’s in the revising stage itself when we notice a lot of errors that we hadn’t noticed before, and that we can avoid! 

It is very important that, if you follow the stages listed above, you allocate enough time to each of the steps. Do not rush any of them, all are necessary and need their time. 

Also, do not compare yourself to others! We often find ourselves asking our friends if they have already studied or if they have already started writing the report due in one month. If you think this only contributes to your stress, don’t do it! And if you have to talk about it, try not to make such a big deal out of it. People are different, and one person might need a month to write a report that another person writes in two weeks.  

Lastly, I would say that it is very recommendable to follow the guidelines. Especially when the lecturer is strict and repetitive about it. It is nice to think differently, outside the box, and to have outstanding ideas, but you mustn’t forget that lecturers crafted the guidelines for you to follow. I know sometimes they don’t give much space for imagination and creativity, but I’m sure there is a way everybody can be creative and still adjust to the guidelines! That’s how you thrive! 

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