After all the freshers’ hustle and bustle, things will slow down a bit and then coursework will slowly start piling up. One after the other deadlines fill up your calendar spaces, sometimes multiple a day. To avoid that caffeine overdose on the previous night of deadline day, here are some tips:
Rule #1 : Make sure you know when the deadline is! Add it to your calendar, leave a reminder on your phone, tell your mom – whatever you do make sure the deadline doesn’t surprise you! The deadline for most coursework submissions is 2 pm within the School of Geography. For students who do joint degree programmes like Environmental Science, this deadline timing varies with other schools, so make sure you check beforehand.
Rule #2 : Start as early as you can! If there is something that I regret most while submitting coursework is that I wish I started working on it earlier. Read as much you can and try to get all the relevant information and put it in concisely. No one wants to read an entire paragraph that could be written in a sentence – it’s all about the brevity! Saying that, you should expand on things that you think are key to your essay/ report.
Rule #3: Better early than late! There is a penalty if you submit your coursework late – 5% deduction with every day. So why not just do it earlier? I have friends who have managed to submit their coursework at exactly 1:59 pm (just 1 minute from the 2 pm deadline) but not everyone is that lucky. It could be that QMplus (the site where you submit all of your work) may freeze or Eduroam (the WiFi network) slows down. Plus, if you submit it early and would like to change your submission before the deadline, simply re-submit your coursework.You will also get an email once your submission has been successful.
Rule #4: Plagiarism (taking other’s ideas without crediting them) is taken very seriously at university. So when you want to mention something that you’ve read, don’t forget to paraphrase and reference! More guidance on referencing will be given in your tutorials so don’t worry! Here at the School of Geography, we follow the Harvard referencing style. Once you’ve submitted your coursework via QMplus, it is submitted to TurnItIn which is an online software to check for plagiarism. This software goes through your submission and assigns a percentage that they think has been plagiarised. Normally, you will get about 7-10% which is nothing to be worried about. You might want to speak to your tutor if it goes above 30-40%. In fact if it is found that you have plagiarised, the penalties can be either a re-submission of coursework or a fail. Repeated cases of plagiarism may even risk your place on the geography course.
I hope these tips were useful and please do get in touch if you’ve got any doubts or enquiries! I can assure you that you will find the whole coursework submission procedure a little tricky only the first few times, after which you’ll get used to it. Check out this video made by our school as part of the Succeed Project!