How to Write a Coursework Paper: Guide and Tips to Write a Good Paper
How to Write a Coursework Paper: Definition
A coursework paper is an academic paper written during or after a course. The aim of this paper is to show your writing abilities and how well have you understood the course program. A coursework paper is an independent study that involves active reading and thinking. This paper allows you to communicate your ideas within a certain discipline and track your progress in a particular field of knowledge.
How to Do a Coursework Paper: What’s So Special
A coursework paper is usually assigned to students with the aim to test their knowledge in a particular theme or course. Typically coursework papers are written in the form of extended essays at the end of the year. Depending on your course, you will be completing normal coursework as homework which will be controlled by your teacher.
This paper may take the form of an extended essay, a record of field works, a report, a case study, a book review, a presentation of received information, and more. For example, during math classes your coursework may take the form of answers to a list of questions.
The coursework assignment is usually accompanied by a list of requirements that the student needs to consider while writing. Activities involved in coursework writing may differ from one course to another. The topic for coursework may be assigned by the teacher or of your choice.
If you need to write a coursework paper for the first time, or you just want to improve your writing skills – this guide is for you. In the following paragraphs we will tell you how to write a coursework paper step by step, as well as give helpful tips and an example paper.
How to Write a Coursework Paper Step by Step
1. Come up with the topic. It is necessary to pick a good topic for the coursework paper, as it should be interesting enough to motivate you to make the research and write a great paper. Don’t pick a topic too wide, as you won’t be able to write about everything in the limited word count. You can look through already completed coursework on your course to see what good topics look like. On this there is no need to come up with the full title – you need to find the right direction. If you were assigned a particular topic, then you should check attentively what you are asked to do.
Note: Arrange a meeting with your supervisor for advice. Make a list of interesting topics and ask him or her what topic is better to choose. The teacher will point out what topic is from the right perspective and good to discuss, and what topic is better to put away. If you are lucky enough, you may be advised on a list of books and other sources that contain necessary information related to the topic.
Also, consider the fact that in the future you can mention your coursework in your resume. Think about your future career ahead of time and how to write relevant coursework on resume.
2. Conduct a preliminary reading. Conduct research to find out more information about the topic and narrow it down. Choose only reliable and relevant sources of information. Mention the most useful information that you can use as a source for citation and basis for your research.
Try to store all information, links, and documents in one place. Such a habit will be helpful when writing more voluminous works like theses and dissertations. Ask your tutor to help you choose the right topic for your project if you experience troubles with choosing the right one.
Take notes along the research. You can create a document on your desktop and save the most powerful quotes (with links to the source) or just make a bullet list of ideas and main points that came into your mind while reading sources. Always mention the resource for proper referencing.
3. Create a plan. When you have an informational basis, it will be time to create a plan that will help you organize your ideas and time. Don’t strive for perfection, as you can change the plan during the writing process – it may become clear that some chapters are odd or you need to add a chapter to make everything clear about the topic. You can use any creative techniques and brainstorm to come up with the list of points.
The typical structure of a coursework paper looks like this:
- Title page
- Table of contents
- Body paragraph
- References list
Select your own paragraphs according to the information available, and ask your tutor for help if necessary. Remember, proper planning is a good way to be sure that your thoughts move in the right way, so that your coursework will have unity and coherence.
4. Conduct research. Choose the most appropriate type of research and choose the needed tools. If you need to conduct a field study or an experiment, keep in mind that you will need to plan them ahead and consider the peculiarities of conducting the particular type of research (resources, people, admissions, etc.). Take notes while conducting the research and analyze the results.
5. Start writing body paragraph(s). Following the paper plan, start creating body paragraphs. Make sure that you highlight one particular idea for one paragraph. It is important to consider requirements and principles of academic conventions while preparing your paper.
Write this paragraph with the idea that your reader is intelligent, but doesn’t know much about your topic. Don’t state well-known information or repeat something that you have already described. Each paragraph should give an answer to a certain question, so make sure that you have created transitions between paragraphs and how it all refers to the main topic.
Use diagrams, tables, and charts to illustrate the received data. Make a short interpretation of the data below the illustration. Use only the data that is directly connected to the paragraph. Add headings and descriptions if necessary. Support materials that don’t relate directly to the paragraph can be attached in the appendix.
6. End your paper with a conclusion. In the conclusion, it is necessary to sum up the work done and draw conclusions. Repeat the main points in brief form and express your opinion on the current state of the problem. If the assignment asks you to answer a certain question, state the final answer in the conclusion.
7. When all parts mentioned above will be written, it will be time to write the introduction. Why have we left this part for last? It is quite simple. The best time to write an introduction is when you have the full text of your paper and you can say that you know everything about your work. This will help you make your introduction engaging and full of needed information. Don’t forget to write a thesis statement that will cover the main goal of your paper.
8. Edit and proofread the text. As you will finish the last sentence of your paper, put the text aside for some time. Reread your text several times with fresh eyes. Make a grammar and spelling check. Ask a friend or relative who is skillful in academic writing to proofread your text. Also, make sure that your text is readable and logically structured. Each paragraph should smoothly flow into the next. Answer the following questions to be sure that your text doesn’t need corrections:
- Have you identified the key issue in the thesis statement?
- Have you selected relevant primary and secondary sources?
- Have you clearly structured the text?
- Is the information presented in a logical manner?
- Have you demonstrated the relationships between paragraphs?
- Does your writing adhere to the requirements?
- Have you properly referenced sources in an appropriate manner?
- Have you analyzed sources properly? Have you used summarization?
- Does your research fully answer the main question?
- Are data and illustrations at the right place?
9. Prepare for the oral presentation (if required). Some coursework assignments ask students to make a presentation of their research and give an oral presentation. Ask your teacher how much time you will be given for the presentation. Your presentation should have the same structure as your paper. Include only the most interesting and important points in your paper.
Coursework Example Analyzed
We think that theory is good, but practice is better. We accompany this guide with an example you can use as a model essay and learn how a finished coursework paper should look. In the following sample the author discussed the ways of preventing age discrimination in the workplace. Look how the author approaches the topic and organizes ideas into a well-structured text. Please, note that this sample is not a full work – it is only an excerpt of a coursework paper. Check our blog for more coursework examples!
Click the images to see their full size.
Tips on How to Write a Coursework Paper
We have gathered a list of tips that you should consider while writing to produce a well-crafted text.
- If you encounter a problem with your coursework, don’t hesitate to ask your teacher for help.
- Make your introduction shine. Professors usually read the introduction with high attention, so don’t spoil the first impression from your work with weak words in the introduction.
- Start working on your coursework as soon as possible. Make a timetable to be sure that you will complete your work on time. This will help you to keep calm, because you won’t be writing in a rush.
- Divide the work into several parts. It is too hard to complete a paper just in one sitting.
- Ask for help if you don’t understand some points in your assignment. Ask the teacher who has assigned this coursework to assist you in your work.
- Always mention sources that you have used in your paper and properly cite this source according to the required formatting style.
- Pay attention to the research part of your paper. Your writing shouldn’t just be a summary of the sources. Gather as much information about the topic as you can.
- Save all versions of your coursework. It will be especially useful if you decide to cut a big part of the text, and then used it once again in another context.
- Strive to finish the final draft of your paper ahead of the deadline. This will allow you to leave more time for corrections and ask your supervisor to give feedback on your paper.
Mistakes to Avoid While Writing a Coursework Paper
Here we have gathered a list of mistakes students frequently make while writing coursework papers. It is important to know what points you need to consider to create a good paper. Read them all to be able to avoid them and improve your paper.
- Don’t exceed the word limit. Don’t think that more words will give you a better mark. One of the aims of academic writing is to present information in a correct and concise way.
- Avoid personal opinions in the body paragraph. Leave your thoughts to the conclusion.
- Don’t list references that you haven’t used in your paper just to increase the number.
- If you have found a completed coursework paper on similar topic, don’t copy it! You may be accused of plagiarism.
- Don’t skip formatting and editing the paper. Pay attention to this point, as organizing your text in the wrong way can lower your grade.
- Don’t include in your coursework information that doesn’t relate to your topic.
- Don’t fail to read instructions and demands attentively. Read the instructions provided by your professor and analyze them. Make sure that you have understood everything.
- Don’t concentrate on grammar and spelling while writing. This may distract you from important ideas and mistakes you will correct when you finish the text.
- Don’t forget to leave enough time for the research.
In this article we have gathered an extensive list of advice about how to do coursework papers. We hope that you will find our guide and tips on writing a coursework paper helpful. If you are still experiencing some troubles with your paper, for example, if you are uncertain what type of research you need to do, ask your teacher for advice.
How to Choose Coursework Topics
- Ask your supervising teacher for help. Don’t be afraid to ask your teacher for help. You are still studying and no one will judge you for this. If you already have some ideas, your instructor will help you to express them in the right words. Also, he or she can tell you if you have enough information for this or that topic or if you should refuse from writing about this theme. Also, your instructor can help you to find reliable sources thatare crucial for writing coursework.
- Define your area of interests. It would be easier to write on the topic that makes you feel enthusiastic. If you can’t find one, choose the least boring for you. Anyway, we sure you’ll find some interesting information no matter what topic you choose.
- Think over prospects. If you decide what college or university you would like to enter, find the information about the projects in this or that institution affiliation. Also, you should think about your future profession. Sometimes, when you don’t have working experience, your coursework can be taken into account. So, think of your future occupation now and take steps toward your goal.