Skills Earth Sciences

How to tackle a writing assignment

Learning outcomes

At the end of this chapter you will:

  • Know how you can best approach a writing assignment
  • Be able to plan and design a research project (incl. research question)
  • Know different ways to start drafting your text
  • Be able to revise your text
  • Know how to incorporate information from literature


When writing a research report, keep in mind that the writing process already starts prior to data collection and analysis and continues throughout the complete research process3. Although each writer may have different preferences throughout the process, writing is often subdivided into three different stages that take place more or less subsequently: planning, drafting, and revising10. Inexperienced writers often skip the planning and revising steps because they feel this saves them time8. However, going through all stages of the writing process is essential for a focused text and a good readability3. In the next subchapters, you will find more in-depth information on the different stages, and how to tackle them.