College of Healthcare Sciences Student Resources NM Assessment Preparation Guidelines

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Nursing and Midwifery Assessment Preparation Guidelines

Assessment Criteria

Assessment of your assignments will take into account:

  • the relevance of your answer to the question or issues
  • clarity of expression
  • evidence of independent thinking
  • use of non-discriminatory language
  • use of supporting references
  • comprehensive coverage
  • the overall presentation, including correct grammar, spelling and punctuation.

In marking your assignments, key criteria as appropriate will be assessed, therefore read your assignment requirements and marking criteria carefully.

Backing up assignments

It is the students’ responsibility to retain a copy of assignments and SafeAssign reports for resubmission if needed. This applies to PEP assignments/paperwork as well.  Do not rely solely on your computer either. Always make a copy to cloud storage, an external hard drive or USB (‘memory stick’).  The hard drive in computers can fail, destroying all your hard work. If work is submitted late as a result of file loss or corruption, then late penalties will apply.


Nursing and Midwifery students are required to use the APA style of referencing. While students are required to comply with APA 7th Edition referencing style, Nursing and Midwifery students need only include the year of publication not the month or day, however volume and issue numbers must continue to be included for journal articles. Page numbers are not required for paraphrasing only for direct quotes.


Student assignments are not considered to be "published" as they are only available to staff and sometimes students and so are not considered "publicly" available. JCU Library has adapted the manual's advice to provide simplified instructions for students who are writing assignments that are not going to be made public. Check with your lecturer to see if they are happy for the simplified version, or if they want you to cite the picture as if you were going to publish it.

  • Using visual works in publications
    Use this page for guidelines on how to cite and reference images that are included in works for publication, such as theses, journal articles, books and public webpages.

Images found online are not "fair game" - they belong to someone, and all effort should be made to identify the creator or owner and cite the image correctly.

The formatting of assignments deviates from APA formatting. Please see formatting requirements below. The importance of accurate referencing within all assessments cannot be overstated and is treated very seriously by the university. Whether by ignorance, laziness or deliberate intent, plagiarism will not be tolerated in Nursing and Midwifery. Students who do not adhere to the APA referencing style, and subsequently fail to correctly acknowledge all sources utilised within a piece of assessment, may be at risk of plagiarism, and thus academic misconduct. All such incidents will be investigated as per the guidelines below. All students are strongly encouraged to familiarise themselves with the Academic Misconduct Procedure.


In preparing your assignment the following formatting criteria apply:

  • font face easily readable (for example Times New Roman or Arial)
  • font size should be 12
  • double-spaced line-spacing including reference list
  • page number on the bottom centre of each page
  • word count (including in-text referencing but excluding reference list or any appendices) must be stated following the conclusion of your assignment.

Support for assignment preparation

Note that Subject Coordinators are not expected to provide feedback on drafts of student work. In the preparation of your assignment please use the resources provided by the Learning Advisors on the subject site and Nursing and Midwifery LibGuide and utilise the student consultation times with your tute leader or Subject Coordinator, Learning Advisors and Peer Advisors.

Finishing the assignment

  • Proofing: it is essential that an assignment is edited and proofread prior to submission. It is also recommended to submit your assessment to Studiosity for individual feedback regarding the academic writing.
  • Word limit: keep to the word limit - word counts more than 10% above the required word limit will be penalised by 10% deduction of the marks available. The word count must be accurately stated at the end of the concluding paragraph. Every printed element between spaces is to be counted including quotations and in-text references (but not including Reference list or Appendices).
  • Spelling: many nursing and midwifery textbooks, journals, and nursing and midwifery dictionaries are published in North America and therefore, spelling differences will occur. Consult the Oxford (Australian) Dictionary and maintain consistency of spelling.
  • Abbreviations: it is acceptable to use an abbreviation, provided that the first time it is used, the complete words are spelt out followed by the abbreviation in brackets. Subsequently, only the abbreviation is used, e.g. diagnostic related groups (DRGs). Conventional medical abbreviations (See Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare), e.g. tds or mL may be used provided they are correct and acceptable.

Preparing documents for an online submission

When preparing the final document for submission saved in Word format, students should pay particular attention to the filename. File names should not have any spaces or symbols (*&#_-+." etc.) as it can cause corruption of files during the upload and download process. The filename must include student name, subject code and assessment task number, e.g. SmithJohnNS7890AT1.docx. There is a file size limit of 10MB. If your submission is larger than 10MB, SafeAssign won't be able to process it.


Students must submit final assessment items (including the reference list) using the FINAL dropbox by the due date. Students are responsible to ensure the upload is successful and to save a copy of the SafeAssign report for their own records.  The date and time of online submission are recorded by LearnJCU.  If system-wide technical problems occur with SafeAssign or LearnJCU on the due date, your subject coordinator will advise you by email and/or via an announcement on LearnJCU of any necessary changes to the normal processes of assessment submission.  There is only one final submission for each assessment item. Resubmissions are not permitted, therefore students should ensure that the correct file is submitted, as this file will constitute a submission and will be the only document marked and graded. Incorrect submissions will not be removed, so please ensure the correct file is uploaded.

SafeAssign reports

SafeAssign is a plagiarism detection tool within LearnJCU that allows students to submit assignments as electronic documents and compares the content with assignments submitted by other students at JCU and over 2.5 billion other documents on the internet.  A report is generated identifying segments of matching text, and the quantity matched, and this allows both the student and the Subject Coordinator to check the submitted assignment against the original identified sources. This report is not considered uncontested evidence of plagiarism; rather, it is a means of providing students with feedback on matching text within their academic writing. Such feedback provides an opportunity for students to develop the knowledge and skills needed to approach assignments with academic integrity.

You should check your report from submission to the self-check dropbox, prior to submission to the FINAL dropbox, as this will help you to identify areas of plagiarism or areas that have not been accurately referenced within your assignment and rectify them prior to your final submission.

As part of the online submission process, the following Institution Release Statement is completed:

  1. This assignment is my original work and no part has been copied/reproduced from any other person’s work or from any other source, except where acknowledgement has been made (see Learning, Teaching and Assessment Procedures 3.4.1).
  2. This work has not been submitted previously for assessment and received a grade OR concurrently for assessment, either in whole or part, for this subject (unless part of integrated assessment design/approved by the Subject Coordinator), any other subject or any other course (see Learning, Teaching and Assessment Procedures 3.4.1).
  3. This assignment has not been written for me.
  4. I hold a copy of this assignment and can produce a copy if requested.
  5. This work may be used for the purposes of moderation and identifying plagiarism.
  6. I give permission for a copy of this marked assignment to be retained by the College for benchmarking and course review and accreditation purposes.

A student who submits work containing plagiarised material for assessment will be subject to the provisions of the Academic Misconduct Procedure

Note the definition of plagiarism and self plagiarism in the Learning, Teaching and Assessment Policy:

  • Plagiarism: reproduction without acknowledgement of another person’s words, work or expressed thoughts from any source. The definition of words, works and thoughts includes such representations as diagrams, drawings, sketches, pictures, objects, text, lecture hand-outs, artistic works and other such expressions of ideas, but hereafter the term ‘work’ is used to embrace all of these. Plagiarism comprises not only direct copying of aspects of another person’s work but also the reproduction, even if slightly rewritten or adapted, of someone else’s ideas. In both cases, someone else’s work is presented as the student’s own. Under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 a copyright owner can take legal action in the courts against a party who has infringed their copyright.
  • Self Plagiarism: the use of one’s own previously assessed material being resubmitted without acknowledgement or citing of the original.

Academic Integrity

Students are responsible for ensuring the integrity, authorship and authenticity of all assessment materials submitted, in accordance with the Academic Integrity Policy and the Student Code of Conduct. Instances of suspected academic misconduct are investigated in accordance with the student Academic Misconduct Procedure.