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Linguistics: Assignment writing

This guide will introduce you to the systematic study of language in general

Help with assignment and research writing

Tony has to write a major assignment about sociolinguistics.  He has a strong interest in this area, and has thought that he may study Honours, so he needs to produce a well-written piece of work.

He has seen a few worthwhile references on his online reading list, but he wants to find more books and some recent journal articles. He has found some things on Google, but he’s not sure if they are suitable; besides, there are millions of hits on this topic and he doesn’t know how to hone in on the most appropriate academic and scholarly references.

His friend Caroline has encouraged him to go to the Library and ask for help, but Tony is keen first to do some searching himself using the Library. Tony decides to use the Libraryfirst to look for resources on the topic. He searches for 'grassroots political movements australia', and gets lost of results but can't see much about their history. He uses the date and topic limits on the left of the search results to narrow down his search to more relevant resources. He notices he can limit to type of material eg books or journal articles. Some of the books Tony would like to read are on loan already, while others are only available at another campus.  Tony's not sure how to obtain these, so he asks the very helpful librarian at the information desk, who helps him place a request for these items. He will be able to pick up the books from the Matheson library when he receives an email telling him that they're available, a few days after placing the request.

Tony has some websites that he's also interested in citing in his assignment, but doesn’t know if they are OK to use in an assignment at uni. Luckily, he discovers a tab in this guide with useful information about evaluating web resources, which helps him decide which ones are of good enough quality to use in his eassy. But now he wonders, 'How do I reference them, and make sure I don't plagiarise?' He consults the Library’s citing and referencing tutorial, which is very helpful, and he uses the suggested style guide from the School of Linguistics.

Tony now has lots of valuable references, but is feeling a bit overwhelmed about how he is going to summarise and synthesise the information into an interesting and relevant assignment. He finds out that he can make use of the Library's drop in sessions with a learning skills adviser to help him through this process. He can also attend classes or chat to someone about how to research and write essays at the Research and Learning point.


Free software for managing citations and associated files for Monash University students and staff. It integrates with common word processors. Available for both Windows and Mac computers.

Assignment writing resources

Writing an assignment takes time and requires specific skills. These resources outline strategies and information to help you develop your skills.

Online help

Personal assistance and advice

  • Learning skills advisers in the library provide workshops on a range of academic skills including writing, oral presentations, taking lecture notes and many others.
  • Classes  You can also sign up for classes that will teach you how to reference, how to write an academic paper, how to study for an exam, and much more.  Check this site regularly, as new classes are added throughout the semester
  • Attend a Drop-in session to discuss your individual study needs with a learning skills adviser, or your research and referencing needs with a librarian. Drop-ins are held in all campus libraries, and no appointment is necessary.