Assessment writing and little victories

This week I’m going to talk to you about an ongoing challenge that all students face. It’s a challenge that I personally find both frustrating and fulfilling. There’s something very satisfying about submitting a piece of work that you’re proud of. That pride often stems from simply making it across the finish line. Always celebrate the little victories.

Assessments are why we’re really here. Many will argue we’re here to learn, that goes without saying, but more than that we’re here at university to demonstrate learning. Believe me, you will need to demonstrate a lot of it before you finish your degree. So why not turn this challenge into an opportunity?

Read on for my How to Uni tips to tackling assessment writing.

Tip #1 – Don’t run


Don’t run at it and don’t run away from it. I can’t tell you how many times I did both during my first year. Assessments need to be carefully considered, deconstructed, put back together and then reviewed, in that order. So resist the urge to run. Don’t start writing straight away and don’t leave writing until the last minute.


Tip #2 – Before you write, read

Not just read, but understand. Moodle contains an Assessment Block. You need to read all of the information found there. You also need to read the information found in your Unit Profile. Both of these can be found from the Student Portal.

Your Unit Coordinator may also provide guidance in lectures, on an online forum, or in other documents on Moodle. Read all of this and then re-read it to make sure nothing goes over your head.


You don’t want to lose unnecessary marks because you didn’t fully understand the task.

Tip #3 – Break it into bits

When you’ve determined what needs to be done, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and procrastinate.


Break the assessment into smaller, more manageable bits and designate enough time to tackle each of them comfortably. Remember, no running.

The Academic Learning Centre has a range of resources to assist you with academic writing. Don’t be afraid to visit them online or on-campus.

Tip #4 – Don’t plagiarise

Plagiarism is a serious offense. Failing to cite an author is like attempting to steal someone else’s work. So keep a detailed record of all journal articles and resources used to create your assessment.  And don’t share your work with other students.

When you’re finished drafting each section, the Academic Learning Centre can also help with referencing. Referencing is important and your Unit Coordinator will let you know which referencing style you should use.


Tip #5 Polish

When you’ve completed all of the smaller bits, it’s time to put it all together and polish. Ideally, you should leave yourself a couple of days to do this. What makes sense one day can turn out to be total nonsense the next. Giving yourself a couple of days to review and polish will ensure the final draft does all of your hard work justice.


And there you have it, my top five How to Uni tips for writing an assessment piece. Assessments are a necessary evil that all students must face. Allowing enough time to prepare and polish will help you to demonstrate your learning and emerge victorious.

Now that I’m finished writing about assessments, I need to go start writing one…

Happy studying!


Mae Swarbrick (

Mae Swarbrick is a current student, studying part-time in the Bachelor of Business/Bachelor of Arts, and working full-time as Student Communications Officer. Mae's ongoing experience as a current student is invaluable in her role as leader of the Student Communications team. Combine this with practical experience in the call centre, Admissions and Student Communications teams, and she’s ready to share some first-rate uni hacks for new students. Follow Mae on #How2Uni.

4 thoughts on “Assessment writing and little victories

  1. Hi! Thanks for the post! I’d like to share a pretty useful Web app called Typeset ( I’m using to write a literature review. It really helps

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