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Skills for Learning

Assignment Calculator

Assignment calculator

How to use the Assignment Calculator

Use this assignment calculator to help plan your time. Just enter your deadline and answer a few questions about how much time you need. The calculator will produce a personalised schedule.

Assignment due date Section 1 / 4

Available study time Section 2 / 4

Allocating your time Section 3 / 4

How many hours would you like to spend on the different stages of the assignment (ignore the due date at this stage):

Stage 1: Planning the task
  • Decide what you are required to do. Examine the question or instructions carefully, and then break the task down into its component parts.
  • Consider your approach to the question or task and the possible lines of reasoning you might follow.
  • Organise your study space so you are ready to work.
  • Make a schedule.
Stage 2: Sourcing and evaluating information
  • Decide which sources you need to consult. For example, you might use: books, e-books, statistics, journal articles, websites.
  • Search for relevant material. If you need to, ask the staff in your university library to help you.
  • Evaluate the sources you have found and decide if they are relevant and useful.
Stage 3: Reading and note-making
  • Skim read material first, or scan through it to look for specific information. Select which sources you need to read thoroughly.
  • Read the material – keeping specific questions in mind.
  • Make notes on the material. There are different ways of doing this. Keep full details of sources, especially quotations, to avoid plagiarism.
Stage 4: Making a plan
  • Decide what you want to include.  
  • Work out the line(s) of argument you will take.
  • Write the plan.
Stage 5: Writing or preparing the assignment
  • This is usually the most time-consuming stage. Follow your plan and it should go smoothly.
  • Write (or design a presentation or other type of assignment).
  • Add your citations and references as you work.
  • Set yourself targets for each writing session.
Stage 6: Editing and proofreading
  • Copy-edit your work and bring it down to the word limit.
  • Check your spelling and grammar.
  • Check your citations and references.
Stage 7: Printing and/or binding (if required)
  • This might take longer than expected; allow for delays or problems at this stage.

Your assignment planner Section 4 / 4

Your study time summary

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There's plenty of time left to complete your assignment if you keep to this plan. Here's a suggested planner to help you stay on track.

Want to stick to the times you've suggested for each stage? Then you should aim to complete…

Stage 1 'Planning the task' by the end of
Stage 2 'Sourcing and evaluating information' by the end of
Stage 3 'Reading and note-making' by the end of
Stage 4 'Making a plan' by the end of
Stage 5 'Writing or preparing the assignment' by the end of
Stage 6 'Editing and proofreading' by the end of
Stage 7 'Printing and/or binding (if required)' by the end of

With this estimation you will complete your assignment with days to go. Why not use this time to improve the sections you feel least confident on, or to do further research at each stage?

See below for a suggestion of how to utilise the whole of your time.

Stage 1 'Planning the task' by the end of
Stage 2 'Sourcing and evaluating information' by the end of
Stage 3 'Reading and note-making' by the end of
Stage 4 'Making a plan' by the end of
Stage 5 'Writing or preparing the assignment' by the end of
Stage 6 'Editing and proofreading' by the end of
Stage 7 'Printing and/or binding (if required)' by the end of

Okay, so you haven't got as much time left as you like. However, you should still be able to make it with good time management and organisation. Judging by the amount of time you like to spend on each stage of your assignment, this is how much time you should spend on each stage:

Stage 1 'Planning the task' by the end of
Stage 2 'Sourcing and evaluating information' by the end of
Stage 3 'Reading and note-making' by the end of
Stage 4 'Making a plan' by the end of
Stage 5 'Writing or preparing the assignment' by the end of
Stage 6 'Editing and proofreading' by the end of
Stage 7 'Printing and/or binding (if required)' by the end of

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