Seven steps to work out an assignment

Think, read and pack the method pages of your manual

Step 1: analyze the terms of the subject.

Try to clearly define the subject, delimit it, consider all aspects and all the implications.

  • Questions to ask yourself after reading the subject: Who? When? Why? How? What consequences? => Delimit the subject.
  • Define the terms of the subject. Reflect on the meaning of words, chronological and spatial boundaries.
  • Reread again. The goal: to avoid the off-subjects and the serious omissions.
  • For a “homework” assignment, always leave the course, handouts and the handbook. List and prioritize the information to remember. Do you “run” possibly in additional readings after doing this work. Otherwise, you will be quickly overwhelmed, even “drowned”…

Step 2: Write your ideas in the draft.

Indicate the questions you need to answer to address the topic, the explanatory factors that respond to it. Work on the historical context, the essential elements to treat this subject.

Step 3: Clear a problem.

= All questions in one. A problematic is the guiding idea of duty, the “problem” raised by this subject, its main interest?

A question to ask yourself: WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DEMONSTRATE?

It must become the breadcrumb of your plan, your duty.


Subject: “France during the Second World War”

Possible problem: “How to explain that this country vanquished and occupied by the Germans from 1940 is counted in the camp of the victors in 1945? ”

Step 4: Develop a detailed plan.

Look after your titles which must express the problem of each part.

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– Make a rigorous plan for development. Four principles should guide you then.

  • few parties (most often three, sometimes two or three, never more …);
  • each party develops an idea;
  • each part ends, if possible, by a short conclusion serving as a transition with the following part;
  • the plan must articulate a demonstration.

Step 5: Write an introduction to the draft with obligatorily the following parts:

  • Sentence introducing the subject. Find a “primer”.
  • Analysis of the subject: main themes of the assignment, chronological and spatial limits of the subject.
  • General context.
  • Problem / interest of the subject.
  • Drafted announcement of the plan.


– The composition is an exercise that gives you a lot of freedom. These parts described above, or even these steps can be modified. Nothing is imposed if you finally succeed in building a logical, orderly assignment that allows you to deal with the subject. In all cases, explain your approach, guide the corrector.

Step 6: development writing.

Do not write over the pen, off-insured topics. Your plan and ideas should be on your draft.

Be careful to link your parts with transition phrases.

Step 7: Write the conclusion.

= assessment and opening of the subject (new problem).

The conclusion concludes, i.e. it should not be a summary of the above but a culmination (about 1/3 page). You can open perspectives on questions that are added to the subject. Be careful, however, not to extrapolate.

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