Assessment Preparation Guidelines

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.

Please note that academic staff do not take responsibility for lost 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 the file on your home computer either. Always make a copy to cloud storage, an external CD or USB (‘memory stick’).  The hard drive in computers can fail, destroying all your hard work.


Nursing and Midwifery students are required to use the APA Style of referencing.The library has created a Referencing for Nursing and Midwifery Students Guide which contains an interactive workbook, videos and quizzes. 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 Student Academic Misconduct Requirements Policy.


In preparing your assignment the following criteria apply:

  • size A4 white document
  • 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
  • set page margins of 3cm (left, right, top & bottom)
  • word count (including in-text referencing but excluding reference list or any appendices) must be stated following the conclusion of your assignment
  • JCU Student ID number and surname should be included in the footer on each page (right hand side).

Finishing the assignment

  • Proofing: it is essential that an assignment is edited and proofread prior to submission.
  • Word limit: keep to the word limit - word counts 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 (English) 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 ACSQHC [2011] National abbreviations and terminology), 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.  In lieu of an assignment cover sheet, students will be required to include a title page as the first page of their submission that includes the same details that are required on the cover sheet. The title page must include:

  • Student name
  • Student number
  • Subject code
  • Assignment title
  • Assignment due date
  • Submission date (this will also appear on the electronic submission record in LearnJCU)
  • Campus and tutorial group
  • Tutorial leader name
  • Subject coordinator.


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, and this is accepted as being the equivalent to a date stamp on a hard copy submission.  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.

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 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 PLAGIARISM 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 Policy 5.1).
  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 Policy 5.9).
  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.

Key to categories of marking criteria

85-100% High Distinction

  • Contains all the information with either no or very few errors.
  • Shows evidence of having read extensive relevant literature and is able to use this effectively to develop an argument.
  • Discusses the issue within the contemporary practice in a vibrant and exciting manner; displays understanding of all its meanings; little or no irrelevant material.
  • Demonstrates full understanding of the topic within a wider context.
  • Shows an excellent critical and analytical ability; able to synthesise material to make discussion comprehensive.
  • Contains evidence of sound independent thinking.
  • Expresses ideas clearly and concisely; assignment is written logically and with the appropriate structure.

75-84% Distinction

  • Contains all of the information required with a few minor errors.
  • Shows evidence of having read most of the relevant literature and is able to use this to develop an argument.
  • Discusses contemporary issues well; little or no irrelevant material.
  • Demonstrates a substantial understanding of the topic within a wider context.
  • Shows a good critical and analytical ability.
  • Shows some independent thinking.
  • Expresses ideas coherently. An assignment is written logically and with the appropriate structure.

65-74% Credit

  • Contains the essential core of the information required with some minor errors.
  • Shows evidence of having read a lot of the relevant literature and uses it to substantiate an idea/theme.
  • Does not address all aspects of contemporary practice; may contain some irrelevant material.
  • Demonstrates an adequate understanding of a topic and its context; shows some critical and analytical abilities.
  • Shows some independent thinking.
  • Expresses ideas less coherently; faults in logic and structure of Assignment.

50-64% Pass

  • Contains the basic information required with some minor and/or major errors.
  • Evidence of having read some relevant literature and used it within the paper to a minor degree.
  • Addresses contemporary practice in a limited manner.
  • Demonstrates a basic understanding of the topic and its context; limited evidence of critical and/or analytical abilities.
  • Shows little independent thinking.
  • Faults in logic, coherence and/or structure of the assignment.

0-49% Fail

  • Contains very little of the information required and/or substantial factual errors.
  • Little or no evidence of having read the relevant literature.
  • Fails to address contemporary issues either because the material is largely irrelevant or because there is little or no information.
  • Demonstrates very little understanding of the topic and its context; no evidence of critical and analytical abilities.
  • Shows no independent thinking.
  • Ideas expressed incoherently; many faults in logic and structure of an essay.


  • The criteria are not regarded as absolute but as guidelines for classification.
  • The scale of standards is continuous rather than discontinuous.
  • A student’s performance may not be equal under all assessment headings.
  • Therefore, the exact mark given will be a matter of professional judgement of the marker(s).