Beginners guide to Formatting and Presenting Assignments

An assignment is a piece of academic writing, assigned by teacher to his students for their evaluation and criticism.  Therefore, assignment should be written, formatted and presented correctly because they you will be marked for it. Before you start your assignment you should go through the following steps:

  1. Read carefully about what you are asked to do in the assignment. By doing so you will gain some insights into the topic that will make it easier for you to work on it.
  2. If you are still unclear about what you are asked to do, clear your doubt up. It is better to ask questions rather than wasting time in re-writing.
  3. Go through all the learning material you have, course page, emails from the lecturer, etc.
  4. Check out the criteria that includes how many words or pages you are supposed to write and in which format you should be citing it.
  5. Try looking for easy and clear solutions to complete your assignment because it is always simple things that are most productive.
  6. Plan your assignment in a way that that you break down a large assignment into smaller tasks.
  7. Brainstorm the idea through mind mapping. Mapping a problem in your head is a very simple and powerful technique that is proven method to help students surpass the initial chaos occurring in the mind.
  8. Research a lot before you start writing. This way you have higher chances to get good grades.

Some lecturer give the topic i.e the train from hate and some lecturer skip to provide the instructions to students, assuming that students know how to present it. If this is the case, and your lecturer didn’t provide you the general guidelines then they are the following:

Cover Page

The cover page of an assignment should be designed in such a way that:

  • It reflects a brief insight of the document.
  • It captures the attention of the person for whom it is written.


Title page

The title page of your assignment should clearly indicate that who made it. It should include the following elements:

  • a concise title
  • name of the author
  • Student’s ID or roll number
  • name of the lecturer whom it will be submitted to
  • name of the academic institute
  • date on which assignment is submitted


Set the margins at minimum 2.5 cm, maximum 3 cm all around.

File Format

Most assignments are made using MS word. In case you don’t have it, you can download it easily from the internet. Avoid submitting it in HTML or web format. The most preferred format for assignment is .doc, .docs, .xls, or .xlsx.


Fonts need to be clear and easy-to-read. Times New Roman does the perfect job at size 12. Use black text on white background and avoid using colors unless your teacher permits you to use them.

Paragraphs and spacing

  • Use 1.5 or double spacing for all the paragraphs. This leaves room for marker’s comments.
  • Leave 1 blank line between paragraphs or indent the first word
  • If the questions are short, leave a blank line between each question. If they are long, start each question on a new page.



Headings are signs that emphasis the reader on the most important content in assignment. Provided that they are well structured, headings make longer pieces of writing easier to write and easier to read. Use bold for headings and avoid underline or italics on them.


  • Number all pages except the title page.
  • Tables and figures must be numbered and clearly labelled. Table captions are placed above the table, while captions for a figures go below the figure.
  • Don’t number the items in a reference list.


Headers and Footers

Insert a header or footer on each page except the title and cover page. It should contain:

  • your full name
  • your student ID
  • the course number
  • the assignment number
  • The page number.

Word Count

Include a word count at the end of the assignment, before the references and appendices. Your assignment should not more than 10% under or over the prescribed word count. Remember that the title/title page, reference list and appendices are not included in the word count.

Reference list

Reference list includes all the information about the sources that helped you in writing your assignment. It comes at the end of the assignment, starting on a new page labelled as “References” or “Reference list”