4 Simple Steps to Finishing Your Homework Faster
It’s a common complaint that Singaporean students have too much homework. But how is it that some children seem to have a lot of free time, while others don’t? The real reason lies in the process. Some students just have a better system:
- 1. Get Approval on Essay Outlines BEFORE Starting
When you’re given an essay (or a lengthy assignment) your first step should be to create an outline. This outline must include the following details:
- The topic(s) you believe you are meant to write about
- The points and examples you are going to raise
- The specific lines in passages you will refer to, or the specific paragraphs in any books you will cite
- Your concluding statement
This outline does not have to be long; it just has to be summary of what you are going to write. Once you have the outline, show it to your teacher and confirm that this is what’s expected of you.
By getting early approval, you will ensure your work is not off-topic. Your teacher can also give you tips on additional points to raise, where to find more examples, or how to phrase your arguments.
You will find that doing this speeds up the writing process, and improves your grades.
- 2. Give Yourself a Time Limit
If you don’t allot time to your work, even the simplest task can take the whole day. This is why some people can seem to take hours to write a simple e-mail, or weeks to do an assignment that can be finished in a day.
The reason is that few people instinctively focus and finish work in one stretch. We are prone to constant distractions: in between writing, for example, we might stop for a few minutes to look at a message on our phone (and then only come back to work 20 minutes later).
For this reason, it’s important to set a time limit. This will help to cut out distractions, and develop a sense of urgency.
- 3. Whenever Possible, Ask Instead of Researching
Many students waste time on research when it would be faster to ask for help. This might be a “face saving” gesture (especially you want to appear competent), and the result of shyness.
If you can bring yourself to pick up a phone and ask, however, you will find a five minute conversation can save you hours of desktop research. This is especially true if you have the right tutor, who can give you the answer while also explaining the steps and concepts involved.
(If you need a tutor on call for specific subjects, consider the Lite Tutors database. We can put you in touch with a one-on-one tutor of any subject, so you don’t need to sit in a class and raise your hand. It’s perfect for shyer students!)
It is important to develop asking as a habit, as this is increasingly important at later levels of education (e.g. University lectures, in which the lecturer is best approached directly).
- 4. Don’t Work in a Linear Fashion
Skim through your homework first, and identify the topics you know well. Address these topics first, and move on to more difficult ones later.
Along with an allotted time limit (see point 2), this ensures you give more time to tougher subjects, which you should research and revise more. Remember that you are more likely to make mistakes in topics you don’t understand as well.
When writing essays or compositions, you should also consider writing the concluding paragraphs first. This gives you clear directions on where and how you want to end your piece.
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What is your greatest impediment to doing your homework? Comment and let us know; we’ll be glad to help out!