Published: 1 October 2021
University students write assignments. It’s one of the things most people know to expect when they apply to study.
But despite that knowledge, it can be a big jump to go from whatever you were doing before, whether that’s school, working for thirty years or raising a family, straight into writing 1,500-word academic essays.
To help make that transition a little easier, we’ve searched high and low for the most useful tools out there.
Take a look for some ideas and make your next assignment the best it can be.
The University of Sunderland in London Library website
Ok, we’re biased, but we think the absolute best tool you can use for writing any essay is our very own Library website.
Not only will you be able to find thousands of digital resources, from journal articles to textbooks, the site also includes the highly useful Study Skills section.
Check out the Academic Writing Skills guide for information on style and proofreading.
When it comes to actually writing your assignment, you don’t want to be held back by spelling and grammar mistakes that could lose you marks.
It would also be nice to have someone check the way you’re writing and let you know if a sentence could be a bit smoother.
That’s where Grammarly comes in. It’s like the spell checker you get on Microsoft Word, but much more accurate.
Plus, it comes with explanations so you can learn and improve your writing over time.
Cite this for me
Citations are not the simplest thing to do, but they are extremely important to get right.
The best academics source information from all over the place, whether that’s books, journals, websites, conference papers or anywhere else.
Knowing how to cite them correctly in the body of your text as well as in your bibliography is something you’ll need to learn.
Cite this for me helps by letting you search for the thing you’re referencing and providing you with the correct citation in whichever style you are using.
You might already be familiar with JStor. It’s one of the world’s most popular online academic resources for journals and book chapters.
As a University of Sunderland in London student, you have access through your normal login.
Once in, you’ll find digital copies of thousands of written academic pieces that you can use to support your work.
One of the biggest challenges to any student studying in 2021 is the easy access to distraction the internet provides.
That can be particularly difficult if you need to spend your time online reading articles and researching your assignments.
Stay on track by downloading a focus app. There are loads of them available, but one of the best is the free StayFocused Chrome plugin which is easy to install and starts working straight away.
It will block any sites you tell it to for as long as you want.
That means if you know you need to spend the next hour working on your assignment, you can block all the social media and news sites you normally spend your time on and just stick with your essay.
There are loads of other programmes, tools and websites to help you plan, research, write and edit your assignments.
For now, try out a few of our suggestions and see how much difference they can make to your student experience.
Do you use any tools to help with your assignments? We’d love to hear about them.