Types of assignments

Aims and objectives

This module will:

  • explore different assignment types
  • examine resources and tools to help you produce your assignments.

After completing this module, you will be able to:

  • use effective strategies to produce assignments in different mediums
  • evaluate and select different tools to create videos, presentations, websites, online portfolios or a model or prototype.  

2. Written assignments

There are many different types of written assignments, including essays, reports and reviews. Student Services has resources to help you understand different types of written assignments and how to structure your work:

  • Assignment types — outlines the purpose, audience, tone of writing and structural features of some written assignment types, including research essays, reports, annotated bibliographies and reflective journals
  • Steps for writing assignments — breaks the assignment writing process into a series of manageable tasks 
  • During semester Student Services offers workshops to help improve your study and assignment writing skills.

Writing and researching

Online tools and courses to improve your skills:

  • The Academic Phrasebank — provides examples of phrases to use in academic writing, including writing introductions, describing methods, reporting results, discussing findings and writing conclusions
  • Writing research papers (LinkedIn Learning course, 1h56m) — a UQ login is required. This course covers understanding different types of research papers, researching the topic, brainstorming your focus, developing a thesis statement, writing topic sentences, composing a title, using a style guide and formatting your paper
  • Improving writing through corpora (UQx free online course, 8h)  — this course aims to provide you with the tools, knowledge and skills to become a 'language detective', using special software to improve your academic writing. Boost your knowledge of academic words and phrases to improve your vocabulary and written fluency

Read about different types of research-based law assignments in Legal Research Essentials.

Do you know the difference between a literature review and a systematic review? See our Literature review guide or Systematic review guide for an explanation of the differences.

Writing tools and techniques

Editing and proofreading

Sometimes when we read aloud we say the words that should be there, even if they are not. A text-to-speech tool is a good way of checking the accuracy and flow of your assignment. The tool will only read what actually is written on the page. Study hacks lists text-to-speech tools.

Student Support has information on finding a proofreader.

Grammar and spelling

You can use the spelling and grammar features in your word processing tool (e.g. Microsoft Word and Google Docs) to check what you have written. Grammarly is a browser extension that you can install to check your spelling and grammar. 

Use the Macquarie Dictionary and Thesaurus if you are unsure about any words. It is regarded as the standard reference on Australian English.

Audience, tone and purpose

To write effectively, you should think carefully about the intended audience and purpose of your assignment. Adjust your tone to suit your audience and the medium you are using.

The Communication Learning in Practice for Scientists (CLIPS) website outlines how the audience, context and purpose affects how you should communicate. The website was developed to help undergraduate science students develop their communication skills but is relevant for students in all fields.

Duration:   Approximately 20 minutes


Graduate attributes

Knowledge and skills you can gain to contribute to your Graduate attributes:

 Effective communication Effective communication

  Independence and creativity


Check your knowledge

Check what you know about this topic:

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Support at UQ

Access UQ services to assist you with personal or study-related issues.