Regardless of the assignment, department, or instructor, adopting these two habits will serve you well:
- Read the assignment carefully as soon as you receive it. Do not put this task off—reading the assignment at the beginning will save you time, stress, and problems later. An assignment can look pretty straightforward at first, particularly if the instructor has provided lots of information. That does not mean it will not take time and effort to complete; you may even have to learn a new skill to complete the assignment.
- Ask the instructor about anything you do not understand. Do not hesitate to approach your instructor. Instructors would prefer to set you straight before you hand the paper in. That’s also when you will find their feedback most useful.
- Clarify the style guide you are to use--MLA, APA, ASA, Chicago/Turabian. Review the style guide before you start writing your paper so your formatting will meet the assignment requirements.
From University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill - Writing Center