Writing Mentor Claudia shares her tips on how you can improve your assignments
We’ve now reached the halfway mark for T3 which means assignments are rolling in! Are you ready to tackle these head-on, or are you still a little unsure of where to start?
We asked Deakin student and Writing Mentor Claudia Filipic, who is currently studying towards a Bachelor of Environmental Science (Environmental Management and Sustainability) at Burwood, to tell us more about what it’s like being a Writing Mentor and her top tips for creating outstanding assignments.
What are you hoping to do after university professionally?
I’d like to have a management role in the natural resources sector.
Why did you become a Writing Mentor?
I had a lot of friends at university that would struggle with their assignments and I just really enjoyed being able to help them. I really loved the welcoming and positive atmosphere at Burwood Deakin and decided I wanted to be a part of that by helping fellow students with their academic writing.
What are the most common problems that students bring to you?
Referencing is often a new concept to international students, and how to write references is usually new to first-year domestic students too, so it is by far the most common enquiry I encounter. Students often become confused as to why they have lost marks for referencing after having used a referencing generator – these can be unreliable and references should always be double-checked using Deakin’s guide to referencing before submitting an assignment.
It is also common to see students that just need a bit of encouragement or reassurance that they are on the right track with their assignment. Although we do not proofread or make corrections to your writing, we can certainly look over your work and give you some general advice about the flow and structure and how you appear to be meeting the requirements of your assignment rubric.
What are your go-to tips for students who want to improve their writing?
- Get confident with referencing. Once you’ve mastered that, you will gain easy marks on your assignments as rubrics usually include marks for referencing.
- Seek help when you are unsure. There are useful services throughout Deakin, some accessible both on and off campus. Check out the ‘Studying‘ tab on your DeakinSync for a snapshot of tools and services available. You’ll find things such as assignment types, preparing and planning, study skills, and the Students Helping Students hub – these are all great starting points.
- Get familiar with the Library, its services, and its website. Alongside developing good note taking skills, this will be your most valuable resource when conducting your research.
- Learn how to paraphrase. It is important to use your own words in your work to ensure academic integrity, but it also helps you improve your understanding of the topic you are studying, which tends to make your writing flow better too.
- Visit a Writing Mentor or Language and Learning Adviser. If you are unsure of which one you need for your difficulties, feel free to visit a Writing Mentor during their drop-in times, if they are unable to help with your enquiry, they can help you book an appointment with a Language and Learning Adviser or direct you to other appropriate Deakin services.
How can a student get the most out of their interactions with a Writing Mentor?
Writing Mentors help all students, from those who are failing assignments to those achieving high distinctions. Try and have some clear questions prepared before you see us and have any necessary documents with you such as your assignment outline, marking rubric, or your own notes. During peak times, we may only be able to spend 15 minutes with you, so getting straight to the point will help us help you.
What is your favourite thing about being a Writing Mentor?
It is a super rewarding job helping other students. As a student myself, I am super empathetic about the struggles and frustrations of assignments and uni life. I love it when an anxious, stressed-out student feels much calmer and has clear direction about what they should do next. I visibly see them turn from talking super fast in a panic, to thanking me with a smile, even having a giggle, and THAT is my favourite part of being a Writing Mentor.
Get in touch today!
If you want to chat to someone about any aspect of your assignment, drop-in and see a Writing Mentor! You don’t need an appointment, just bring your assignment and your questions. You can also get in touch via email or Facebook.