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Many students prefer coursework, because it’s a chance to showcase your academic abilities away from the high-pressured environment of the exam room, making it ideal for those who don’t perform to the best of their abilities in exams.However, the time you have available for coursework, in contrast with the time constraints of the exam room, can lull some students into a false sense of security.Use as many different resources as you can to gather data: books, journals, newspapers, television, radio, the internet and anything else you think might be relevant.
You wouldn’t want noise or distractions when you were in an exam room, so treat your coursework with the same reverence.
For some subjects, namely the sciences and Geography, it would be appropriate to include images, graphs, charts, tables and so on in your coursework.
Because actual deadlines are few and far between, you’ll need to take responsibility for the writing process and impose some deadlines on yourself to ensure it’s finished in time.
Write down your deadlines on a calendar, with the coursework broken into stages and dates assigned to each, by which time each task should be complete.
You can usually work on your coursework at home, though it’s sometimes completed under controlled conditions through sessions at school.
To give you a better idea of how coursework varies from one subject to another, here are some examples: Before you start work on your coursework, it’s essential that you have a thorough understanding of the rules.It’ll look slightly different from an essay plan for science subjects and others that revolve around project work, but the principle is the same: plan out what order you’re going to present your information in.For big projects, this is particularly important, because with a lot of information to convey, you risk being disorganised and waffling.Then schedule blocks of time for working on it, allowing plenty of time before the deadline to cater for any unexpected delays.Allow ample time for making corrections based on teacher feedback on your first draft, and keep some time aside before the deadline for final editing and proofreading.In the research stage, make notes about what you expect to happen, so that you can later compare your expectations with what actually did happen.The experiment itself also forms part of the research and data-gathering stage for your science coursework; in the write-up stage, which we come onto shortly, you analyse and write up the results.Once you’ve completed your research, the process of writing up begins.Before you get down to the actual writing, however, it’s advisable to write a plan for how you’re going to structure it – essentially an essay plan for English coursework and other subjects for which the coursework is based on an extended essay.Try not to pick a topic for which the scope is too vast, as you’ll struggle to research it properly and you’re unlikely to do it justice, and it’ll be hard to keep within the word limit.Ask your teachers for some guidance on choosing your topic if you’re not sure what to write about; they might even tell you a bit about what previous students have done to give you some inspiration.