This video uses a building analogy to illustrate the process of selecting and developing ideas to construct an assignment.
Selecting and developing ideas
As you explore, read and discuss your topic, you will have selected materials and ideas which you think are relevant to your assignment.
Selection happens at all stages of the process:
Deciding which question or problem to answer
Deciding where to look for information: Library Catalogue, Google Scholar, the internet.
Deciding which resources to open.
Deciding which sections of texts or videos to engage with.
Deciding which links to follow.
Deciding which information is interesting and worth recording.
As you develop a better picture of your topic and your ideas evolve, it is necessary to make some important and sometimes difficult selection decisions.
It can be tempting to try and pack your assignment with all the sources and content you have come across, to show your tutors how much work you have done. However, for most assignments you are expected to curate information. You should only bring together material which relates clearly to your task. With hindsight, you may realise that some material is not credible or reliable enough for the task, and that you have come across better, more relevant information since.
As you develop a better understanding of your task, start to look for patterns or themes in the information. This can give structure to your assignment and help you decide which information to include and how the information fits together. Inevitably there will be ideas and information you will have to leave out. Leaving out some information will make your assignment clearer, more coherent and give it a visible structure.
Click on the image to open a full-screen version of this infographic on keywords.