Approaching assignment: A recipe for reflection


  • Trish Ganly


Academic writing, Assessment, Reflective practice,


This paper is intended to share my voice with postgraduate learners, in particular, offering a structured approach to assignments after reflecting on my experience as both learner and educator.  Recognising the complexity of writing assignments was a lightbulb moment for me – describing what I read within the context of the brief was insufficient, immersing in critical thinking, I learned, is the sine qua non of assignment writing. Postgraduate learners returning to education after many years in the workplace can experience apprehension) when approaching academic assignments as they juggle career, family, coursework and the need to engage in assignment writing.  In essence, this paper is a catalyst for novice postgraduate learners, in particular, to experiment with a structured approach to writing assignments while encouraging the development of critical thinking, reading and writing skills. 

This paper endeavours to enlarge the aperture for approaching assignments by offering a ten-step process for consideration by learners.  In my experience as both learner and educator, developing the ability to demonstrate these skills is an ongoing journey of learning which takes time, patience and commitment to reflecting on feedback.  Adopting a structured approach, with some key steps and ingredients, as advocated in this paper, is one way to initiate and cultivate the process of assignment writing thus developing the writer’s voice.






Reflections, Journeys and Case Studies