National 5 assignment tips

Dinnae Ken?
OR as teachers say
What do I do?
• What is the assignment?
• The assignment is an essay written under exam
conditions and then sent to the SQA to be
• Why do I have to do an assignment?
• It’s a chance to show off what you can do! The
exam gives you the chance to write the best
essay you can.
• Why is the assignment so important?
• Its really important to do as well as you can in
the assignment, as the mark you get is part of
your final national 5 award total. In fact, the
assignment counts for 20 marks out of a total
of 80, so doing well in the assignment can
provide you with a very useful launching pad
for future success.
• How long does my essay have to be?
• As much as you can write in one hour – There are
no word limits in the assignment. Most people can
write about one page of A4 in ten minutes, so its
possible to write a six page essay. (bulk of essays
4/5 pages long)
• Are there types of questions to avoid?
• Make life easy and choose something you are
already studying. Pick a title which promotes
argument, it should start with words such as: To
what extent & How important…………………..?
• Don’t pick Q’s which ask two questions within the
same title – don’t make it more difficult.
• What is my A4 resource sheet?
• This is the piece of paper you can take in with you to
the write up. (basic plan & list of sources used) This
will be sent off to the SQA with your assignment.
• Will my resource sheet be marked?
• No, but its great to fill it in fully and it will act as a
great prompt. (no word count)
• How should I write my assignment?
• Its like a 8 mark essay but beefed up! You must have
a intro, at least 4 main factors in your main body
which are developed and backed up with research
answering the Q and a conclusion.
• Essay writing tips:
• It is important to write a balanced answer.
• After your introduction you should outline the
isolated factor in paragraphs one and two. You
should then go onto write about a number of other
factors which contributed in part to said issue.
• Remember you should use supporting evidence
throughout your essay, referring to the sources you
have used to back up your main factors throughout
e.g. ;-)
• Include mini conclusions linking each main factor back
to the question and effectively answer it.
• A strong conclusion is a must and should summarise
main arguments, and then explain what you think is
the most important factor.
• Taking a note of the source
• In presenting evidence from sources,
you should say where the information
comes from. This allows the reader to
judge how useful the sources you have
used really are.
• If you use a quote from a source, you
may simply put the author, the type of
source or title of the book, and the
date if you know it. For example:
• ‘Churchill was the greatest prime minister
that Britain ever had’. (J. Bloggs, Britain in
World War Two, 2011)
• According to the Times newspaper in June
1915, …
• You could also summarise a viewpoint from
a longer source by saying: J. Bloggs
suggests that Churchill was the best Prime
Minister Britain has ever had.
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