Assignment Guide

Assignment Guide
Introduction for Students
During the course of their studies, students will be asked to submit assignments,
which may be in a variety of different formats. These include reports, short-answer
questions, case studies and presentations. The required format will be indicated in
the assignment document and can be clarified with the course tutor.
Different types of assignment are chosen to provide students with the opportunity to
demonstrate their knowledge of a wide range of skills and to provide evidence of
effective ability to communicate in a different ways.
Assignments should be challenging but students are able to seek support from their
tutors to reach the required standard. They should be reminded that there is often no
single correct response and that they will benefit from thinking creatively about the
content of their assignment. It is important for students to organise a brief schedule
for the completion of their work and allocate appropriate time. They will also need to
find out the following information:
What type of assignment response is needed
What flexibility there exists in relation to the assignment.
What is required to achieve a pass.
Students should be encouraged to pay attention to the following areas with which they often
have problems:
Planning and time management
Researching literature
Answering questions fully, with appropriate introductions and conclusions, and good
quality use of language and grammar
Critical analysis and effective argument
Avoiding plagiarism
Tips on Writing Assignments
Submission Format
Word Process, if possible.
ATHE expects that, unless previously agreed, students will submit assignments in
typewritten or word-processed format
Identify it
All pages must have the learner name, ID number and page number clearly shown.
Space it
ATHE advises that students submit word-processed work at least one-and-a-half
spaced, with wide margins. Similarly, hand-written material must be well spaced:
often writing on every other line greatly helps clarity.
Assignment Guidelines
1 Read the assignment questions thoroughly and identify key words and points of
2 Formulate a draft assignment plan featuring the main headings and subheadings of the assignment.
3 Ensure you have good paragraphs of introduction and conclusion with a
bibliography reflecting research sources.
4 Produce a contents list at the commencement of the assignment.
5 The assignment must be in English and preferably typed with each page
numbered. Appendices may be included to feature tabulations and other
specified relevant data.
6 The sequence of points discussed in the assignment should be logical.
7 The text should be a rational and analytical commentary. Assignments full of
assertions and opinions will receive poor (even failing) grades. Logical and
well-reasoned arguments will receive high grades. Avoid checklists and any
slang language. Summary lists should be fully explained in the text. Ideally use
shorter sentences rather than longer sentences. Overall the assignments
should have a strategic focus. It should be professionally presented and, where
appropriate, be illustrated by examples drawn from your own experiences.
8 All research data used should be referenced in the text and the bibliography.

9 The assignment must represent all your own work and not extracts without
acknowledgement from research sources or colleagues/students. Assignments,
which copy material from the module or textbooks without acknowledgement,
will be given a Fail grade. Do
NOT copy any material from a fellow students’
BOTH assignments will be given a Fail grade so don’t give your
assignment to another student.
10 Keep to the terms of the assignment and do not introduce irrelevant
information. Answer the question set not the one you wish had been set.
11 Ensure the assignment is completed by the date specified and has the required
number of words. Diagrams are not considered as part of the word count.
Student Obligations
Academic Honesty (plagiarism)
Plagiarism refers to students who cheat in examinations or present someone else’s
material as if it where their own
Very few students commit such offences, but we believe that it is important that all
students understand why academic honesty is a matter of such concern and why
such severe penalties are imposed.
What Constitutes Plagiarism?
Some examples of plagiarism are:
Reproducing or paraphrasing published material without acknowledging the
Presenting information from electronic sources without acknowledging the
Passing off ideas, designs, inventions or any other creative work as your own.
Copying the work of another student.
Undeclared collusion with another student.
Getting someone else to do the work for you.
There are degrees of plagiarism, particularly where published work is concerned.
Minor instances of plagiarism are at the discretion of the Assessor, for example;
A student fails to reference work properly.
A student fails to acknowledge the source of a short section of an assignment.
Where an instance of plagiarism has been treated as minor, a warning will be issued
about future conduct. The assignment may receive a lower mark than might
otherwise have been awarded. More serious infringements, which cannot be treated
as minor, will result in a report to the Programme Manager and a record placed on

the students’ file. Students who are found to have presented plagiarised work for
assessment will be penalised.
Writing in your own words
To produce a good assignment, students will need to construct a strong argument
with logical progression and providing supporting evidence, such as quotations from
other sources, paraphrased sections of others’ works, or references to published
works. Using such evidence sources demonstrates that the response is rigorous and
that relevant books and articles have been used to develop an argument.
It is essential to ensure that all evidence used is balanced, and not just a those facts
or comments that support an argument, whilst failing to acknowledge competing
Students must demonstrate an understanding of the differences between fact and
conjecture. This is a requirement in all academic disciplines.
Whilst using a variety of sources, students must avoid any form of plagiarism. They
must not use exactly the same wording or vocabulary as used by another author but
they may use certain essential words or phrases. Instead, they should use their own
words to develop an appropriate structure for their argument; change the structure of
existing sentences to reflect their own ideas; and always choose only sections of an
original argument that are relevant to their response needs.
Guide to Referencing
When you write your assignment, you will refer to statements and ideas of Authors you have
read. As such, you need to show the marker whose ideas they are. There are a number of
reasons why you need to reference:
To acknowledge and give credit to other peoples work, word and ideas
To allow the reader/marker to be able to locate references easily
To avoid plagiarism
To show evidence of the breadth and depth of your reading, research and evaluative
To avoid losing marks
To be as consistent as possible in your referencing
The most commonly used referencing system is the
Harvard system.
Referencing is a two-stage process: you need to reference in the text of the report or
assignment and at the end in a reference list.

Submission of Assignments
Students will be required to submit assignments electronically to the college. To safeguard
against academic malpractice, learners will be required to submit their assignments with a
Top Sheet that contains a signed declaration that it is the student’s own work. This will be
counter-signed by a Mentor, who is known to the student and preferably from their place of
All received assignments will be dated upon receipt and will be subject checks for
plagiarism. Any breaches of academic malpractice will be subject to the conditions and
procedures relating to the Malpractice Policy.
Assignment Grading
Unit assignments are assessed as Pass or Fail. A Pass grade is achieved by:
1. Learners must continue to achieve all learning outcomes at the standards specified
by the assessment criteria. Learners will need to achieve the appropriate level for the
qualification they are studying. They will need to deliver the requirements of the
command verbs stated in the assessment criteria and to support their achievement
learners should complete the ATHE assignments. This position is unchanged.
2. However in order to achieve the learning outcomes learners do not need to meet the
standards for each assessment criteria listed for a particular learning outcome. So if a
learner does not meet the standards in one criterion specified for a particular learning
outcome that learning outcome can still be achieved. Where there are a list of criteria for a
learning outcome more than one criterion may be marginal. This is a modification to the
present process.
3. This means that the assessor is still judging whether the evidence provided by the learner
shows that he/she has demonstrated understanding or is able to do what the learning
outcome asks. In order to be assured of achievement the level of the work must be the same
but there is no need to mechanistically check that each assessment criterion has been met.
Marking of Assignments
Assignments will be first marked by Study Centre staff and the feedback and grades
recorded. They will then be Internally Verified (IV) by a member of the college staff in line
with. Assessment decision will then be ratified by the Exam Board. External Verification (EV)
will be undertaken by ATHE in accordance with their Policies and Procedures.