Assignment calculator - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Assignment calculator

The USC Assignment Calculator is a guide for written assessment tasks including reports and essays. Every assessment is different. You may move through some stages faster or slower depending on the assessment.

* These links require your USC username and password

Start date
Due date

You have {{vm.diffDays}} day{{vm.diffDays > 1 ? 's' : ''}} to finish

  • Time's up! Time to submit
  • Crunch time! Better make a plan and stay on track
  • You've got time if you start now
  • Good work planning ahead. Keep focussed and start early
  • You are so organised! You have plenty of time to plan well

Step 1

Get started

In Blackboard get your course outline, the assessment task information and the marking criteria. Things to note:

  • assessment due date
  • word limit
  • referencing style
  • formatting instructions
  • submission details

Step 2

Analyse the task

Read and understand the assessment task by:

  • identifying key words (direction, limiting and content words)
  • generating ideas
  • making a plan or concept map
  • formulating a research approach

Step 3

Search for quality information

The library is a great place to start looking for information. On the library homepage:

  • go to Library Guides and find your Subject Guide
  • search the Catalogue for text books
  • search Discover for peer-reviewed articles

While searching, evaluate each source and determine if it is relevant to your assessment task. Save the full citation for referencing. Need more help? Check out the How to Library Guides for tips and tricks.

Step 4

Note-taking and using sources

Start to take careful notes with reference details. Remember to:

  • paraphrase and summarise the most relevant information
  • look for patterns
  • organise your notes and link them to your plan

Step 5

Write and format your first draft

Make sure you keep on task when writing... don't get distracted or off topic.

  • Write paragraphs that respond to the task, using the information you found
  • Follow the structure and format required
  • Don't forget to reference each source
  • Demonstrate your critical thinking in your writing

Step 6

Edit, proofread, and edit again

Use a checklist to make sure you have:

  • answered the assessment task and stayed on topic
  • covered all parts and identified any gaps
  • used the correct referencing style
  • aligned to the marking criteria
  • formatted and referenced correctly
  • checked for grammatical and stylistic errors

Step 7

Submit your assessment - well done!

Make sure you include all parts of your assessment when you submit it. There are no second chances!

  • Do you need to upload the assessment to Blackboard?
  • Do you need an assessment cover sheet?
  • Have you checked your assessment through SafeAssign and made the necessary changes?
Review your assessment task feedback

When you get your assessment results, read your tutor's feedback. There may be valuable tips to help you improve your next assessment task. Use the links in this calculator to learn more about the areas you need to improve.