Welcome to

Professional Assignment Techniques (PAT)

PAT offers experienced advice on how to construct, write, proofread and language treat amongst other, a written assignment, journal article, research proposal, dissertation, thesis or any formal piece of academic writing in English, as required at any tertiary institution in Southern Africa – online!

Personalised, professional, committed and great service to you in the shortest possible turn-around time.

about us

As practising, and retired senior academics from various universities across South Africa with advanced training skills and knowledge in various subject disciplines, for example, Public Administration, Public Management and Development, Public Finances and Accounting, Municipal Management, Public Sector Ethics and Project Management, PAT are at your service.

All PAT members and consultants hold Masters and PhD Degrees. Individually, PAT averages 20 year’s experience in proofreading and editing, assignment writing, article writing, research methodology, compiling of research Proposals, and lastly carrying conduit to completion of effective research and towards the final compilation of a Master’s dissertation and Doctorale thesis.

PAT is registered with SATI (South African Translators Institute), which is a professional association established over 50 years ago for language practitioners as proofreading and language treatment practitioners.

Capacitated with the aforementioned public sector knowledge, skills, and professional commitment we endeavour to provide effective service.

How can we help?

our services

Proofreading and English language treatment
PAT specializes in the proofreading and linguistic treatment of documents, for example, an Assignment, research proposals, draft journal articles, and postgraduate documents (dissertations and theses).

After you, the client, submitted a document electronically in Word format to us, one of our consultants will conduct a word count and furnish you with a quotation. After acceptance of the quotation and your payment of half of the agreed-upon fee, the consultant will proofread/edit ASAP your submission with track changes/comments. On agreeing with the changes, a cleaned document will be supplied by the consultant. A verification, as well as a Certificate of Professional proof-reading and language treatment affected, will be issued on receipt of the outstanding balance. Refer to the following example below:

16 June 2019

This Certificate serves to inform that the draft Mini-dissertation  

An analysis of the Procure… 

was submitted to PAT by Mr M …………for proofreading, linguistic editing and academic writing treatment. They, through the use of Track Changes in the Review Function on Word, inter alia, identified and indicated typing-, language- and linguistic shortcomings and through comments suggested changes and improvements to be considered and affected to the final Mini-dissertation.

Yours faithfully.

PAT Consultant

SATI registration NO: 1002488






Copying of texts from other fellow students learners or from other sources (for instance the example: a study guide, prescribed material or directly from the Internet) is not allowed – only brief quotations are allowed and then only if indicated and which must be acknowledged as such.

You are expected to paraphrase existing texts and your own words to explain in your own words what you have read. It is both unethical and unacceptable to retype a text and just acknowledge the source in a footnote – one is required to relate the idea or concept, without repeating the exact original words by the author’s words to the letter.

PAT can also assist you to submit some of your written work to the Turnitin software [anti-plagiarism software] on the Internet to try and identify possible plagiarism through calculating the Similarity Index percentage (SI%SI %). In cases of a too high SI % PAT can suggestions will be provided of how ways in which you will be able to lower the SI it to a more acceptable level before formal submission of your specific document for either review/examination.



The first important aspect to planning and writing an assignment answer is the assessment of the task at hand phase. During this phase it is important that you ask to pose and endeavour to  try and respond to the following questions:

  • What is the exact assignment question/topic or problem to be researched?
  • What type of information do I need for this research?
  • How much information do I need?
  • How wide and in-depth should I search?
  • How many pages should I write / type for the final assignment answer?
  • Which sources of information sources (books, news reports, legislation, internet sources, accredited journal articles, personal site visits, pictures taken and interviews recorded) should I utilise? 
  • How much time will the actual writing/typing of the draft assignment answer occupy?
  • How much time will the editing phase of the draft assignment answer take up?
  • How much time should I set aside for the writing / or typing of the final copy of the assignment answer?
  • How much time will I need for proofreading and editing my final copy of the assignment answer?
  • When is the deadline date on which I am required to submit to hand in my final assignment answer?

What are the differences between the concepts describe, discuss, compare, analyse, contrast and criticise?

Describe: When you describe a phenomenon, you objectively identify its most distinctive features.
Discuss: When you discuss something, you hold a conversation about it
Compare: When you compare two (or more) objects, facts, events, ideas, viewpoints or theories, you examine them in order to determine their similarities (what they have in common) and their differences (what one has but the other not).
Analyse: The analysis involves “taking apart” the whole to reveal (and examine) its component parts.
Contrast: When you contrast, you point out the differences between objects, facts, events, ideas and viewpoints.
Criticise: When you criticise, you consider objects, facts, events, ideas and viewpoints, point out their good and bad characteristics and give your own opinion after taking all information into account.



By using Key action words (e.g. describe, compare etc.) as tools, one must first have to ensure that one understands the question/assignment put to you. In other words: the locus (locality) of your research; as well as the focus (topic/challenge) on which your research will focus.


In order to start your research quest (hopefully a positive adventure!) on a good foot, PAT strongly recommends that you should construct a Schedule is compiled on a year planner format indicating what you want to accomplish by a specific date. The following phases should be kept in mind:

  • Identify all the relevant sources of information sources available out there. 
  • Determine what the order of information your tertiary institution and the municipal library has. 
  • Select and acquire the relevant material. 
  • Read the material with insight, take effective notes and make copies for your “personal library”. 
  • Construct a skeleton of the draft assignment answer. 
  • A Gantt chart will is extremely helpful in this planning phase. (Refer to the opposite page for an example of a Gantt chart).

Familiarise yourself with the nature and extent of your information resources (e.g. institutional annual reports, library books, accredited journals, and subject-related prescribed and recommended textbooks). Feel right at home in your local library and become Internet wise.

Remember to use all your senses during research, data collection, and sharing newly acquired knowledge. So, teamwork with two or three committed and effective fellow students (researchers par excellence) will pave the way to a synergised group-work feeling in an academic quest towards simunye. (Refer to  the opposite page for a lighter moment).

Often, during the research, you will be confronted most of the times will be confronted with the following two approaches:

  • Quantitative research – here primary data is collected from a number of people (respondents) or sites by means of inter alia, the filling out of a questionnaire.
  • Qualitative research – here primary data is collected by means of semi-structured and structured interviews to “tap into” people’ or sites’ knowledgeable insights and experience.

The two aforementioned research approaches in your data collection will determine the size of the research sample (number of respondents filling out completing data collection questionnaire or respondents which you interviewed).

For personal data collection and research site-inspection, the following tools are essential:

  • Thorough literature review and familiarisation with the place that must be investigated and the issue(s) that has must be researched.
  • A strong and handy notebook and clipboard. 
  • A good quality camera is imperative.
  • A GPS to determine the exact x- and y-coordinates of a location which needs to be plotted on, for example, a geographical map.
  • A good tape recorder / dicta-phone capable of recording hours of interviews for several hours and focus- group gatherings.
  • Spare batteries/power supply for the above equipment

One’s sub-conscience works in strange ways. When one, for example, suddenly gets an idea or solution to certain some of your research challenges during the early hours of at 3 o’clock in the morning, have a notebook or even a tape recorder handy to “dot down” your thoughts.

In this form of empirical data collection, you will also have to take into account acquiring ethical clearance from the intuition which you are representing. Issues such as guaranteeing of the respondents (interviewer) anonymity, confidentiality, and privilege to withdraw from a focus group or an interview now also is very important and should be addressed effectively before one starts data collection.” (Nealer et al., 2017:6 – 10).

Specialized one-to-one guidance and work-shopping


Welcome to this reading and learning journey!

Does this study/research environment look familiar?


Please do not despair but allow us to
show you how to write an assignment answer
effectively – the smart way!

PAT also wants to equip you with basic research and learning skills on becoming “an academic detective par excellence”!


I must invest more time and research, reading and learning skills and therefore highlight my strengths…


In order for you to know what you will be facing in the examination hall, you have to know yourself thoroughly.


Through honest continuous introspections by means of a handy tool such as a SWOT analysis approach, you can get to know yourself better and become better prepared for the “final showdown” (the examination). Rossouw et al. (2007:70) indicate that the acronym SWOT stands for the strengths and weaknesses of an institution’s internal position and the opportunities and threats that exist in the external environment. For purposes of our research and learning adventure, we can adopt this observation to the fact that the strengths and weaknesses are always part of, directed and oriented from our inner wellbeing. On the other side, the opportunities and threats are part of the external environment and are always directed and oriented on to our wellbeing and functioning from the outside.


Regarding WEAKNESSES, we, unfortunately, might be guilty of the following:

We do not like to plan ahead.

We do not wear a watch and do not diarise our daily – and weekly schedules.

We do not listen attentively to other students or lecturers and like to speak our mind. …

Our personal time management is poor.

We are occasionally lost in this study nightmare!





Can you see that the strengths and weaknesses are issues in your academic life which you at first did not identify and realise so clearly? But, please do not despair, because you can go from strength to strength by addressing your weaknesses one-by-one in a concerted attempt to improve the nature and extent of your research, effective assignment writing and examination writing.

So, for example, can you identify the following OPPORTUNITIES which will help you to address and manage your weaknesses in a more effective and success-seeking manner?

I like to mix with successful students in the small groups where I study.

I am incorporating planning tools in my day-to-day living (e.g. Year planner, Gantt chart and watch).

My family members and sponsors want me to succeed with my studies and have promised me a bonus on successfully concluding my studies.

I have an ergonomically sound study corner in the place where I stay.

I can use my personal funds to buy a more suitable laptop computer, Internet access and scanner-printer.


Wow, the opportunities that I identify must be exploited to the fullest!

Unfortunately, in the real world out there, the following THREATS are realities in my study environment and I have to ascertain their existence and effects accurately so that I can manage around them:

  • I share a small flat with two other 20-year old students.
  • If I fail my semester studies again, my father/sponsor is going to terminate the financial support.
  • I use my money and savings for partying and cigarettes. 
  • I do not think that a private scheduled study corner can really help me. 
  • If I finish my studies I do not know where I will find a suitable and regular job to pay back for my studies. 
  • I am not willing to save some of my money or savings for a laptop computer and Internet access. 

I, therefore, must identify correctly and defend against threats with all my might!



What is effective reading skills?


Effective reading skill. … Scope of Study Reading is a complex and purposeful sociocultural, cognitive, and linguistic process in which readers simultaneously use their knowledge of the spoken and written language, their knowledge of the topic of the text, and their knowledge of their culture to construct meaning with text.

Effective Reading. … Academic reading should not be seen as a passive activity, but an active process that leads to the development of learning. Reading for learning requires a conscious effort to make links, understand opinions, research and apply what you learn to your studies.

The benefits of reading are not limited to entertainment. You can learn and improve skills that can add value to your life. Reading novels to pass the time is a great way to exercise the brain. Read every day and you will see changes in your vocabulary and writing skills.

To improve students’ reading comprehension, teachers should introduce the seven cognitive strategies of effective readers: activating, inferring, monitoring-clarifying, questioning, searching-selecting, summarizing, and visualizing-organizing.

What is the best way to effectively read a written text?

Follow these four easy steps to get on your way.

  1. Don’t read front to back (aka, READ BACKWARDS) Reading a textbook chapter front to back ensures that you will waste time. … 
  2. Read for Big Ideas. Textbooks are extremely thorough. … 
  3. Read for Key Details. Big Ideas need support. … 
  4. Read the book once but your notes multiple times.

10 Benefits of Reading: Why You Should Read Every Day

  • Mental Stimulation. … 
  • Stress Reduction. … 
  • Knowledge. … 
  • Vocabulary Expansion. … 
  • Memory Improvement. … 
  • Stronger Analytical Thinking Skills. … 
  • Improved Focus and Concentration. … 
  • Better Writing Skills.


Assignment Writing: The Smart Way!

A user-friendly book on assignment answer compilation as well as Preparation for a venue-based examination: (Assignment Writing: The Smart Way!) is available in hard copy format at Protea and Van Schaiks bookshops in Potchefstroom or from us at PAT (info@patsa.co.za) directly. 

The book contains a complete and very user-friendly template of a complete assignment answer, the typical manner in which information sources should be acknowledged in the text as well as a section on some handy “tips” that should be remembered when one has to prepare and sit for an examination.



Why Choose us?

We have the following Strenghts

Years Experience

Cent per word

days turnaround

We have the following Strenghts

Years Experience

Cent per word

days turnaround


Proofreading of documents and language treatment @ 25 cents per word. At an average of 350 words per page in, for example, Times New Roman font, 12 Point and 1.5 Line spacing it calculates out to approximately R87.50 per /page.


Basic research-, in-text source referencing- and writing guidance for undergraduate students @ a rate of R150/hour.


Specialized one-to-one Work-shopping with and guidance to postgraduate students at a rate of R200 per hour for Honours students, R250 per hour for Course work Masters students (leading to a mini-dissertation), R300 per hour for Masters students (leading up to a full dissertation), and R350 per hour for Doctorate students (leading up to a thesis).


Assistance with the identification and prevention of Plagiarism by submission to Turnitin and the improvement of submitted text to lower the Similarity Index to an acceptable level @ R200 per hour.


Examination preparation guidance @ R150 per hour.

What we do


Submitted to us by you (the client)

Compiled by us with Track changes

The accepted and cleaned version that we furnish you with together with the certificate of language treatment affected


Secretariat: Ms Antoinette Enslin

PO Box 4936
Cornwall View Mall, Rietvalleirand
Pretoria, 0174
Mobile: 082 524 8250 / 076425 1093
Email: info@patsa.co.za

Prof Kishore Raga [Prof Emeritus]

Research Associate

Fax: +274 150 49711
Mobile: +27 84 200 7711

Contact us

Get in touch

082 524 8250 / 076425 1093 / 084 200 7711


PO Box 4936 Cornwall View Mall, Rietvalleirand, Pretoria 0174