Assignment planning calculator results
Starting on: 10/1/2018
According to the dates you have entered, you have 0 days to finish this assignment.
Negative Number of Days: You may have entered the dates wrongly.
This is a recommended timetable only. You may move through some stages faster or slower depending on the assignment.
This should take a few minutes.
What is the format of the assignment?
How long is the assignment?
- This gives you an idea of how complex, in-depth or concise the assignment is.
- Stick near the required word length: a rough guide is to write no more than plus or minus 10%
Is there a restriction on which sources of information you can use?
- Does the lecturer restrict sources to academic articles?
- Is there a indication of how old sources should be; are you restricted to current theory only?
What referencing style are you required to use?
What are the presentation guidelines?
Does this assignment have a marking guide? What are its requirements?
This may take an hour or so, depending on the complexity of the question.
- Command words
For more complex questions, look for the implied question
- Divide the question into chunks
- Look for keywords relating to the topic
For short-answer assignments (those with many brief questions, usually fact-based) link the questions to specific sections of the study guide, book of readings, or lecture notes.
Brainstorming may take a couple of hours.
- Look at your study guide or lecture notes for key concepts and study objectives to find starting points
- Which parts of the course does this assignment relate to?
- Ask yourself “what do I know about this already?”
- Make a mind map of the topic
- Make a list of the major points
Distance students should look at requesting recommended reading materials from the library now, as it will take time for them to be mailed out to you.
Making an initial plan may take a few hours.
- List major themes and points. Include areas that you will need to research
- If you are writing an essay, develop a draft thesis statement
This initial plan will probably change as a result of your research.
Use your plan as a guide to researching. Allow for around two days to gather books, journal articles, and other sources.
- Start writing down notes and summaries on each of the points within your plan
- Indicate evidence that supports the points made in the plan
- Record referencing information or use referencing software
Examine any material supplied by your lecturer. Take a few days to absorb these study materials.
- Begin with the study guide or lecture notes
- Read textbooks, articles, and any course readings
- Take notes while reading
Textbooks, recommended readings, or library books will provide a good overview of your subject. Allow for at least 3 days to review them.
- Begin by skimming and scanning for relevant information
- Read and evaluate relevant sections of the book
- Take notes while reading
Journal articles provide the most up-to-date academic information on most subjects. Allow for a few days to locate and read them.
- Conduct a search for articles in the library
- Read and evaluate the journal articles
Websites can contain technical or practical details, and can be more up-to-date than books or journals. Allow for a few days to review websites. Remember that the quality of online sources can vary considerably.
- Search the Internet for any relevant websites.
- Try Google Scholar (If you go to Google Scholar using this link you will be able to access any article that Massey has rights to.)
- Keep careful notes, with the source clearly indicated. Remember to correctly record the web address (URL).
- Examine the collected information.
- Compare it to your plan and modify if necessary.
- Continue researching to find any missing information.
Allow for a day or so to properly fit the pieces together.
Work out how you are going to organise your assignment. Allow for half a day to plan properly.
Start writing your first draft. This is the most time-consuming part of preparing an assignment - allow for at least four days, depending on the length and complexity of the assignment.
- Keep in mind the appropriate language and tone for your writing.
- Don't forget to reference.
- Keep in mind the factors that separate an A assignment from a B or C assignment.
If you identify further gaps in information when writing your draft, return to your sources or the library for additional research. Allow for half a day to search for additional information.
If you have conducted additional research, revise the assignment to incorporate it. This may take one day or several.
Is your assignment too long or too short? Edit for length.
Edit and proofread your assignment.
Put the paper into its final format (margins, fonts, line spacing, etc.).
- Does the assignment require a title page?
- Make sure you have correctly referenced all material.
Reviewing and revising
Get a writing consultant to review your draft assignment before it is completed. This may take 3-4 days.
- Distance students can use the online pre-reading service
- Internal students can make an appointment to talk with a consultant
This is highly recommended if this is your first assignment; the consultants are here to assist you. They will:
- Provide feedback and advice about any difficulties they identify within your draft
- Respond to your questions on focus, structure, style, and presentation with relevant information
They will not:
- Identify every mistake or error in your draft.
- Indicate a grade for your assignment
- Comment on matters directly relating to course or subject content
You may decide to make changes based on feedback from the writing consultants. Allow for at least a day to revise.
Submit a copy of your assignment, with a cover sheet. If you are an distance student, remember to allow for postage time.
Make sure you have backup copies:
- At least one extra paper copy of the assignment for your records
- At least one copy on your computer
- At least one backup copy on CD or a flashdrive
After the assignment
When your marked assignment is returned, be sure to read the assignment feedback carefully. It will give you invaluable pointers for future academic work.
Based on the original Assignment Calculator from the University of Minnesota Libraries.
Additional code and design: Allan Smee. Additional text: Allan Smee, Lois Wilkinson, and Damon Ellis, Centre for Teaching and Learning Manawatu