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Writing an Assignment: Best Tips and Tricks from UK Experts for Non-Native English Students

If you’re studying in English, you probably caught yourself thinking in that language. You can understand what your professors...

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If you’re studying in English, you probably caught yourself thinking in that language. You can understand what your professors say, and you’re able to have conversations with native speakers. In most people’s opinion, you’re already fluent in a second language. But if you ask a professor who just read an assignment of yours, you have a long way to go. 

Academic writing demands greater complexity than your usual communication. You have to write longer sentences without losing the logical flow. You can’t use only simple words; that would make you sound like a complete beginner. UK professors are known for demanding a more advanced style when compared to their American colleagues. 

How can non-native English speakers meet the same standards as everyone else in their class?

Tips and Tricks for Non-Native English Speakers: How to Complete a Great Academic Assignment

  • Accept that Your English Is Flawed

Self-confidence is a brilliant thing. You need a lot of it if you plan to become successful in any career. But you should also be aware of your flaws. The first step towards improvement is accepting that you’re not perfect. 

When non-native English speakers write assignments, they usually struggle with sentence structure and advanced grammar concepts. They have a natural tendency to follow the grammar rules of their own language. They know that English grammar is different, but they got used to making habitual mistakes. 

Start from the foundations. Take an online language course in your free time, or use an app that will freshen up your command of English syntax. That will improve your writing skills.  

  • Get Writing Help When You Need It

A native speaker will spend a lot of time working on the assignment. They will go through the stages of planning, research, writing, and editing. Non-native English students need to double that time. You’ll be slower at reading the resources, writing the content, and editing it. Somewhere along this process, you might realize that the deadline is too close and you’re not going to complete the paper on time. Assignment Bro is one of the best solutions in that case. Professional writers and editors will take a part of your workload, so you’ll have the content on time.

Don’t turn this into a habit! You need to work on your own papers if you want to improve this skill. Academic writing is not pointless; it helps you build valuable communication skills. But if there’s a problem with a deadline or an assignment that you cannot complete, it’s time to tame your ego and ask for assistance.  

  • Give Yourself Plenty of Time

This is the most frustrating tip that a student could ever get. They want to complete their projects with the speed of light, since they have too many other responsibilities to handle. Instead of spending the entire evening with an essay, they would rather watch Netflix or hang out with friends. 

But successful academic writing takes time. You mustn’t rush the stages, especially if you’re a non-native English speaker. Writing is different from speaking; you can’t do it by intuition and you cannot use hand gestures for the words you forget. Use study organization apps to fit all stages into your schedule, and follow the timeline. 

A simple 500-word essay can take an entire week to complete. More complex content, such as research papers, will take several weeks.  

  • Build Your Own Dictionary

Academic writing has to be versatile. You can’t keep using the same words over and over again, so you’ll explore synonyms. Using an online thesaurus tool is useful for that purpose. But you want to remember the new words that you include in your vocabulary!

Develop your personal dictionary! We recommend explaining the meaning of these words in English, so you’ll memorize their synonyms as well. However, you can also translate them into your own language if that’s what you prefer.    

Never Skip the Editing Stage

Proofreading and editing – those are the easiest stages to skip. You think that you’re done with the paper, but you’re not. It will take at least one more hour for you to check an essay and improve its flaws. Your professor will notice the imperfections if you don’t make this effort. 

Remember: although you’re a non-native English speaker, you can still write brilliant essays. You just need to try a bit harder.

 

Please be advised that the views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this blog are solely that of the author or his/her sources and do not necessarily reflect those of English Forward. This includes, but is not limited to, third-party content contained on or accessible through the English Forward websites and web pages or sites displayed as search results or contained within a directory of links on the English Forward network.

Written by James Collins
James Collins is a college tutor and polyglot. His favorite hobby is learning new languages and organizing speaking clubs. James believes that being fluent in a foreign language is impossible without constant conversational practice, so he helps hundreds of people to find speaking partners and master their skills. Profile
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