Assessment Writing & Essays

Assessment Writing

In order to complete assessments successfully:

  • Clarify the question and answer it. Assessments, which do not address the question, cannot be marked Competent. If you are having difficulties, seek clarification from either a peer, lecturer, trainer or access the Student Support team.
  • Research your topic carefully taking notes and recording the references you used.
  • Plan and draft your paper.
  • Keep to the word count. 10% above or below the stated word count is permissible. (Eg. 100 words range above or below a 1000 word assessment).
  • Proofread your work carefully for correct grammar and spelling before submitting. Students should ensure their work is thoroughly checked for correct English, especially if English is not his or her primary language.
  • Format assessments as outlined in this guide.
  • Submit your assessment by the due date.
  • Always keep a copy of your assessment.


Short essays are a regular feature of assessment in College courses, and it is important that students work to produce essays that are clear and well-structured. Essays should consist of the following:

Introduction: This section introduces the assessment, how you plan to approach it, clearly stating the main point of your essay and creating a lead into the body of your assessment. It should be approximately 100-150 words (one paragraph).

Body: This section represents the most important part of your assessment and is the largest section. It should be divided up evenly by paragraphs with one main point per paragraph.

  • Paragraphs should have more than one sentence. A well-constructed paragraph will generally include a topic sentence, which will be followed by the sentences developing and clarifying the topic, followed by a concluding sentence.
  • In an academic paper, using “bullet points” or using lists with numbers is inappropriate.  Rather, use several sentences starting with ‘First’, ‘Second’, and so on.
  • A paragraph should deal with only one topic or one aspect of one topic, and should not be too long. (As a rule of thumb if it is going on for over half a page, reread it to see if it can be broken down into two or more paragraphs).
  • Headings and divisions need only to be used for longer essays. To introduce a major division of your assessment, use a centred heading, written in capitals, not underlined or numbered. If you use bold print in a larger size, you may place flush left. To introduce a subdivision, use a free-standing flush left side heading, on a line by itself. This is underlined and may also be in bold print, with or without numbering or lettering. For further subdivisions, also use a freestanding flush left heading, not underlined. Numbering divisions aid your presentation, especially if you require a contents page.

Conclusion: Draw all your thoughts together in summary form, and create a sense of completion (approx. 100 -150 words).

Bibliography: This is a list of all books consulted for the assessment. It must be on a separate page and be formatted correctly. Refer to the “Referencing” section.