What is the Difference Between Homework and Assignment

The main difference between homework and assignment is that homework is a task or a work assigned to a student generally by a teacher to be completed outside the classroom setting, most probably at home, while an assignment is a task assigned to a student to be completed within the course of a particular study.

Assignments and homework vary from one another due to a wide range of distinctive elements such as the objective or the purpose of the task, main functions, and the benefits received.

Key Areas Covered

1. What is Homework 
   – Definition, Features
2. What is Assignment
     – Definition, Features
3. Similarities Between Homework and Assignment
     – Outline of Common Characteristics
4. Difference Between Homework and Assignment
    – Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms

Assignment, HomeworkDifference Between Homework and Assignment - Comparison Summary

What is Homework

Homework refers to the tasks assigned to the students by the schoolteachers.  They expect students to carry out the task during non-school hours. Teachers often give homework to complete at home in order to make their students practice the learning material already taught. Their aim is to reinforce learning and facilitate the mastery of specific competencies and skills.

Sometimes, a student might get preparation assignments as homework. The purpose of such homework is to introduce the student to the study material that the teacher will present in future lessons. Furthermore, it would help students to obtain the maximum benefit once the new material is being taught in class.

What is Homework

On the other hand, homework sometimes facilitates the transfer of previously acquired skills to new situations. For example, the students might learn in class about factors that led to World war I. Then, as homework, the teacher would ask the students to find out the factors that led to World war II. Here, the teacher gives an integration homework, which requires the student to apply separately learned skills to create a single product, such as science projects, newspaper reports, or creative writing.

In addition, homework can be used to build up proper communication between parents and children, as a constructive method of punishment and also to make the parents aware of what is happening in school.

What is Assignment

If you are a student, you might think that it is not your responsibility to learn by yourself; rather, it is the job of the teacher to teach you. But, a teacher cannot teach every little thing in a particular unit or subject to the students.

Such a spoon-feeding method of imparting knowledge can negatively influence the learning capabilities and the academic career of a student. Especially in academic establishments such as colleges or universities, teachers expect the students do some research to grasp the untaught concepts and to explore the subject on their own instead of teaching everything to the students using a lecture method.

Homework vs Assignment

The actual purpose of giving assignments is to enhance the learning skills of the students.  This enables the students to occupy their brains more and more. Academic assignments improve the creativity of the students as they naturally acquire and learn a lot when they read or practice a subject or art on their own.  Therefore, the main reason for giving assignments is to provide the student with a platform to practice and explore knowledge about a subject on their own.

Similarities Between Homework and Assignment

  1. Both aim at enhancing the learning skills of the students.
  2. Teachers or professors assign them to the students.
  3. It is possible to grade both homework and assignments.

Difference Between Homework and Assignment


Homework is a work or a task assigned to a student by a teacher to be completed during a non-school hour, whereas an assignment is a task assigned to a student in the course of study. In contrast to homework, an assignment usually provides the student with a clue about the objectives of the assigned task.


The main purpose of an assignment is to help a student understand the studying process well. In contrast,  homework basically helps the student to improve his/her skills.

Main Function

An assignment can be used to figure out what should be taught, while homework is basically used to identify the challenges encountered by students on a particular topic. 


Some advantages of assignments include supporting students to revise a particular topic and boosting the students’ confidence, whereas homework becomes helpful in understanding a specific topic and when preparing for an exam.


In brief, the main difference between homework and assignment is that homework is assigned to be completed outside the classroom while assignments are assigned to be completed within the course of a particular study. Nonetheless, no matter how beneficial they can be, for most students, homework and assignments are a massive source of unhappiness and irritation.


1. Levy, Sandra. “Why Homework Is Bad: Stress and Consequences.” Healthline, Healthline Media.

Image Courtesy:

1. Pixabay

About the Author: Anuradha

Anuradha has a BA degree in English, French, and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Master's degree in Teaching English Literature in a Second Language Context. Her areas of interests include Arts and Literature, Language and Education, Nature and Animals, Cultures and Civilizations, Food, and Fashion.

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