Once you have a clear idea of what is required in your assignment, the next step is to create an assignment plan. The idea of completing a major project may seem overwhelming, but if you can divide the task into achievable steps you will be on your way to success.

Use a chart like the one below to break your assignment into smaller steps.  You will want to create steps that can be done easily in one day, and preferably in a single work period.  Consider the following example breakdown for a research paper.

Assignment TaskTarget Completion DateComplete?
Read assignment instructions and rubricOctober 2Y
Review course materials and choose topicOctober 3Y
Library research — find 3 peer reviewed articles and two booksOctober 5 
Read and take notes on two articlesOctober 7 
Read and takes notes on final article and booksOctober 8 
Organize notes; write thesis and outlineOctober 9 
Write body paragraph 1October 10 
Write body paragraph 2October 10 
Write body paragraph 3October 11 
Write body paragraph 4October 11 
Write conclusionOctober 12 
Write introductionOctober 12 
Self-edit content and organization (use the rubric)October 14 
Writing tutor appointmentOctober 15 
Edit and proofread assignmentOctober 16 
Submit final assignmentOctober 18 

In the above example, the assignment is divided into smaller pieces, with a manageable amount to complete each day. It is also clear when each task has been completed.  A daily work goal like “work on research paper” is not well-defined, and can seem overwhelming.  This can make it easy to procrastinate.  By choosing specific and achievable goals, you may become more motivated to get started, and you will be able to measure your progress each day.  Remember to reward yourself for meeting your goals along the way.

Download a printable assignment planner here.