‘Lack of confidence is a common feeling’: Writing Mentor Asees shares how you can overcome assignment worries
As we head toward the final weeks of T2, it’s peak time for completing assignments. Are you tackling your assessments with confidence or are you feeling a little unsure of where to even begin?
We invited Deakin student and Writing Mentor Asees Kaur to share a little bit about herself and offer her advice on how to create outstanding assignments. Asees is currently in her fourth and final year of her Bachelor of Education (Primary) degree.
What are you hoping to do after university professionally?
I am hoping to start working as a full-time teacher in a primary school and have my own classroom.
Why did you want to become a Writing Mentor at Deakin?
When I started studying at Deakin, I found it quite difficult to wrap my head around referencing since being an international student, I was not only new to writing at the university level but also new to the Australian education system. I found the support that I received from the Writing Mentors very useful and when the job came up, I knew I wanted to guide other students who were feeling as lost as I once was.
In your experience, what are the most common writing problems that many students face?
Referencing is the most common query that mentees come to discuss at the drop-ins because not only is there no big focus on it in high school studies for younger students, it’s also not really required in most professional roles for those students who may already be in the workforce. Even if someone is familiar with referencing, there are different referencing styles, all different from each other which can get confusing.
Writing Mentors can provide a listening ear and hands-on help for your questions relating to research, understanding feedback, and even general study tips and strategies like time management.
What are your top three tips for students who may lack confidence in their writing and who want to improve their skills in this area?
- My very first tip would be to remember that you are not alone. Everyone who starts studying at university must make themselves familiar with the conventions of academic writing and there is no expectation of having it mastered at the beginning of your course. Having a lack of confidence is a common feeling and like developing any other skill, you get better with practice.
- Another tip is to make use of the academic skills guides. These guides range from study skills like reflective learning to assignment types like literature reviews, and also cover writing skills like proofreading. Personally, I find them very helpful and keep going back to these even in my fourth year!
- Finally, come see us! Writing Mentors are experienced students who have been in the same boat and sailed across successfully. If you are not sure if we might be able to help you, just drop in and we will either assist you directly or guide you in the direction of the right supports available based on your query.
Why should students attend a Writing Mentor drop-in, and what can a student expect during one of these sessions (whether they’re delivered on campus or online)? Is there anything they should do to prepare?
We are fellow students and understand what others might be going through. We can provide a listening ear and hands-on help for your questions relating to research, understanding feedback, and even general study tips and strategies like time management. It’s a good idea to know ahead of time what you want to discuss with Writing Mentor and come ready with questions you’d like to ask so that we can guide you. If you are not entirely sure what is confusing you, that is okay as well. The Writing Mentors will work with you in finding that out and support you through it.
What are your favourite things about being a Writing Mentor?
Meeting people from a range of different backgrounds. Students come from all walks of life. They could be mature-aged, just out of high school, in the middle of changing careers, international students, living in a different state, studying different courses – the list goes on. Everyone is unique and I find it fun to get to interact with different people with diverse intersectionalities.
Get in touch with a Writing Mentor today!
Sometimes when you’re having issues with an assignment, it’s just helpful to talk things through. The Writing Mentors drop-in service can also help you review any feedback you’ve received on your first assignments so you can think about the academic skills you’ll need to focus on in your next assessments. Additionally, they can offer you tips on researching, understanding assignment questions and how to plan and structure your work.
If you want to chat to someone about any aspect of your assignment, attend one of our drop-in sessions hosted by a Writing Mentor like Asees! You can opt to attend one of the daily online drop-in sessions or attend the weekly on-campus sessions at Burwood or Waurn Ponds. You don’t need an appointment, just bring your assignment and your questions. You can also get in touch via email for referencing questions and brief queries.