Instructions for an assignment

Listen to a university teacher giving instructions for an assignment to practise and improve your listening skills.

Do the preparation task first. Then listen to the audio and do the exercises.


I want to explain a few things about your essay.

First of all, the deadline. The deadline for this essay is October the 18th. Not the 19th, not the 28th, not two days later because your dog was ill or your computer broke – the 18th. If it's late, I won't mark it. I won't even read it – you'll fail the assignment! So, please hand it in on time. You can even hand it in early, if you like!

You can email me the essays at That's H-A-R-T-S-H-O-R-N. I'll reply to say I've got it. If I don't reply within a day, it might mean I didn't get it, so please email me again to make sure. You can also bring a paper copy of the essay to my office, but let's be kind to the trees, OK? Email is better for the trees and for me.

Don't forget that you must reference every idea or quote you use that isn't your own idea. And the last page of your essay should be a list of all the books you used, in alphabetical order, not in the order you used them!

And lastly, make it easy for me to read! That means use a clear font. Arial is best, but Times New Roman is fine too. Not Comic Sans please! Size 12 font for the essay, and size 14 for the titles and subheadings. And use page numbers. Any questions?

Do you need to improve your English listening skills?
Join thousands of learners from around the world who are improving their English listening skills with our online courses.


Worksheet78.64 KB

Submitted by Rinaa on Thu, 13/08/2020 - 23:06

There are a lot of difficulties that you will be faced when you decide to write an essay, especially if you are writing in a foreign language. The essay should be well structured, with separated paragraphs, the vocabulary should be huge with sophisticated words and we should follow the grammar rules. Also, the paragraphs should be related to each other without losing the meaning of the essay.

Submitted by MARIANO_HB on Thu, 13/08/2020 - 00:36

In my point of view the most difficult thing when you should do an assay is when you have to give your own ideas and you don't have the enough expertise or knowledge about the topic.
I agree with you and when you have a lot of knowledge about the topic you run the risk of the missing the point.

Submitted by Phan Bao Dung on Thu, 30/07/2020 - 19:46

I found the preparation for a good essay outline is difficult. Because this is the step to collect all the best important ideas of the topic. In it, I will be able to give my essay a structure as well as detail any points which must be included in the final written piece of work.

Submitted by Min Htet Kaung on Tue, 28/07/2020 - 16:31

When I write an essay, the difficulty is to think what to write. Sometimes, when l finish writing all the sentences I think of, the number of words doesn't get enough to meet the recommended number.

Submitted by fahri on Fri, 24/07/2020 - 07:47

Dear team. From the lesson above: The deadline for this essay is October the 18th. Not the 19th, not the 28th, not two days later because your dog was ill or your computer broke. The question is: Why the university theacher use the 'past form' ?? (Your dog was ill....) . While he talk about 'the deadline' that refer to the future.

Hello fahri,

The speaker is thinking about an excuse that a student might give. The dog being ill would be before essay is handed in, so the speaker is imagining what the student might say: I'm sorry the essay is late but my dog was ill.


You can think of it as a form of implied reported speech:

The deadline for this essay is October the 18th. Not the 19th, not the 28th, not two days later because (you claim/say/tell me) your dog was ill or your computer broke.


The present form (because your dog is ill) would also be grammatically correct here.



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by fahri on Thu, 23/07/2020 - 15:44

Dear team. From the lesson above. If it's late, I won't mark it. I won't even read it – you'll fail the assignment!  'won't' it's mean 'will not'. But the foreign people like me, 'won't' and 'want' is similar in sound. So, sometime we confuse with 'I won't mark it' and 'I want mark it' . Similar in sound but very different meaning. Thank you for your explanation for me
Hi fahri, To help hear the difference, listen out for the word 'to' after 'want'. - I want to mark it. - I won't mark it. Only 'want' is followed by 'to'. There's no 'to' after 'won't'. Best wishes, Jonathan The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by fahri on Fri, 24/07/2020 - 07:49

In reply to by Jonathan R

Thank you very much sir. The answer is really help me. I am glad for it.

Submitted by fahri on Wed, 22/07/2020 - 15:20

Dear team. From the audio above. You can also bring a paper copy of the essay to my office, but let's be kind to the trees, OK? Email is better for the trees and for me. 'trees' is it mean 'plants' or anything else??? Thank you very much for your attention and answer.

Submitted by Nguyen My on Sat, 18/07/2020 - 15:10

I think it hard to write out by word what you want to say so I don't know how to write a good essay
Profile picture for user Rafaela1

Submitted by Rafaela1 on Sun, 12/07/2020 - 12:32

Once I finish brain storming, I think I can start writing. ;)

Submitted by Dastenova Firuza on Sat, 11/07/2020 - 19:23

I find ordering and connecting sentences on writing essays. I also have problems with choosing stylistic words.
Profile picture for user Hennadii

Submitted by Hennadii on Wed, 08/07/2020 - 17:16

I think I always difficult to write an essay. You have to read lots of books or spend a lot of time searching on the Internet for needed information. Then you have to connect all these pieces of text in one plus add some thought of your own and don't forget about quotes and references. And check your essay a couple of times and recheck in again, format it and don't forget about the deadline. Telling the truth, I've never been good at essays in my school or university days. I often found this work quite boring.

Submitted by Anneke Putri on Wed, 08/07/2020 - 03:35

Writing an essay in Bahasa is easier than using English. because my grammar is bad and my writing skills still need more improvement. The idea is a lot easier when it's set by a teacher. we just have to read many journals to find references and paraphrase it to our work. but not just like that, after read some journals, we need to analyze that and match them with another theory.

Submitted by Suellen Esteves on Mon, 06/07/2020 - 18:51

Writing an essays is difficult for me because I hate grammar and technical standards.

Submitted by joshnamep on Wed, 01/07/2020 - 11:00

In the first times, I always got in trouble with formatting my essays. But days by days, I practised it by many projects, essays and assignments, I am better doing it now. In the present, my most difficulty is preparing the essay contents. In this part, we have to brainstorm and work hard, the other part we can learn it or reference it from some e-source.

Submitted by abudo93 on Fri, 26/06/2020 - 11:02

A difficulty was in my font and how to get reference and quotes

Submitted by Asni on Wed, 24/06/2020 - 22:42

The first difficulty is to concentrate well and think about ideas, then how to structure them the right way. Sometimes, it is a bit tricky to turn ideas into sentences especially if you have to write it in a foreign language that you don't master. Another thing is the time. Time is used to be my ennemy, I 'm slow in organizing my ideas and writing. Usually, I need to use a draft and copy it on the exam paper.

Submitted by Mona22 on Wed, 24/06/2020 - 22:20

I can write an essay by Arabic it seems easy, but in English, I think it's will be full of mistakes needs someone help me

Submitted by Teresa Chi on Fri, 12/06/2020 - 13:04

i have some difficulties in writing, because i don't have much vocabulary and i also don't know how to organize my ideas.

Submitted by LarisaAlp on Thu, 11/06/2020 - 18:58

If I write essays in the native language it's very easy for me. I need only some time to do it. But I'm not ready to write essays in English because I know English grammar not enough and my vocabulary isn' too rich. Unfortunately, I make pretty simple sentences and it isn't a very good style.

Submitted by iisrimadanti20 on Thu, 11/06/2020 - 12:13

I think writing essays it's so difficult for me, I must to have a vocabulary too much, grammar and references too. writing essays is need reserachs a lot.

Submitted by Sharif Tayyebi on Wed, 03/06/2020 - 10:46

In my view, writing an essay or assignment for college and school is not very difficult. When I was a student, I wrote many essays. But in an academic research, it will be hard to write. There are many important things or points to be noted. First of all, we should be free from all kinds of judgments and should use academic norms and terminologies which maintain many different types of methods and epistemologic approaches from one field to another. Secondly, we should study hard to find a good theory that can explain our subject. Thirdly, we must collect a lot of data and analyse them based on our theory which is accepted by our research. Finally, after all these things, time is to make a deduction. We should carefully compare our data with our presumptions and answer to questions/ problem adequately. Indeed, writing an essay is not very difficult, if we have enough sources and time. We should work hard, and it will not be easy, if we don't want to sustain any discomfort.

Submitted by Diemquynh9101 on Sat, 30/05/2020 - 12:58

Writing an esáy is diìcult for me , because i need have know grammar, know many vocabulary and must find ideas to explain to my main idea

Submitted by amal.araia on Sat, 30/05/2020 - 01:37

Writing an essays is difficult for me, because I worry a lot a bout the right way to write a sentences, spellings, grammar, forms and my idea itself.

Submitted by mouna99 on Mon, 18/05/2020 - 15:12

Writing is quite hard for me, I've a lack of vocabulary and I don't know how to organize the ideas

Submitted by Fatemeh.Najafzadeh on Sun, 17/05/2020 - 01:32

In my opinion, the most difficult thing about writing assays is finding good phrases and making sentences with right grammatical rules.
Profile picture for user Bignon

Submitted by Bignon on Thu, 07/05/2020 - 16:08

The thing I think more difficult in writing of essay is writing a content. You have to make a lot of research to find ideas to explain your main idea.

Submitted by nguyenthihoanb0510 on Thu, 23/04/2020 - 03:53

because of corona virus, I must study Online by Zoom. so I have an online exam, I have to write an essay to end lesson. I always use a Times New Roman and size 14 for the essay. finally, i design a table of content for it and sent a email for my teacher. Make it easy for her to read.

Submitted by S.S on Mon, 20/04/2020 - 16:35

I think it is difficult to use what wording to write essays.
Profile picture for user OlaIELTS

Submitted by OlaIELTS on Mon, 06/04/2020 - 23:28

Nothing for now. But, still yet I need an updates and improvements on tips for writing an excellent essay.

Submitted by babul chandra shil on Sat, 04/04/2020 - 06:27

I think idea generating is the main difficulty. when know about a tropic well i can write an essay.

Submitted by Lauracastanos on Fri, 03/04/2020 - 01:16

of course i find new vocabulary for me and i didn´t understand.

Submitted by Mayra Alexandra on Thu, 02/04/2020 - 18:25

For me it's difficult to organize all ideas before writing.

Submitted by Daudau0601 on Wed, 01/04/2020 - 05:20

i find its quite hard for me. Especially, grammar and vocabulary are the most big problem to me.

Submitted by Eswar on Wed, 18/03/2020 - 15:00

if you know the story to write essay you can easily write it.but difficulty to find the vocabulary and pharse and making sentence formation. while writing the essay

Submitted by jason2295 on Thu, 12/03/2020 - 19:43

I find difficult to write a context with the main ideas we can postray in an eassay.

Submitted by Station on Tue, 03/03/2020 - 17:26

Hi everyone, The majority of my friends say that writing essays are difficult for some reason, but for me writing an essay isn't hard work. When I write essays in English occasionally I can't remember words that aren't common in our daily life but in essays are very important and without those words I think my essays will look worse. If an essay is in English, For me the most difficult thing is remembering words

Submitted by pintoju on Thu, 27/02/2020 - 20:37

Now I am practicing only the listening skill because It is my major weakness, I guess that this is what keeps me at the beginning of this level.

Submitted by shahhoseini on Sat, 25/01/2020 - 14:00

In my opinion, the most critical section of the writing of an essay is explaining and discuss its novel idea.

Submitted by Hevi.m on Tue, 21/01/2020 - 16:03

Hi everyone, I just started learning English two weeks ago my English level was very bad , but now I feel and see that's become so better then ever before . I'd like to thanks every one who work on this project and finance it , but also I 'd like to thank the gentleman who is talking in this lesson his pronunciation and expression are very clear and understandable .

Submitted by Dariusz on Mon, 20/01/2020 - 01:24

It depend what kind of essays we have to write. Some difficult bring create phrases and process of making reference,