Writing great assignments


"Maze Starts Here" by Michael Coghlan (CC BY-SA 2.0)

“Maze Starts Here” by Michael Coghlan (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The secret to writing great assignments is all about how you begin and end the process. Take the time to plan and edit to make your writing clear, logical, relevant and … great!


  • Plan your time carefully so that you will have time to edit before the due date. Aim to write at least one draft. This will remove the pressure to write perfectly and you’ll build momentum.
  • Know what type of assignment you’re writing. Reports, essays, critiques, annotated bibliographies, etc. have different structures, tones and styles. Know the difference before you begin.


  • Break the assignment into chunks and divide the word count by the number of paragraphs you plan to write. Start writing whichever paragraph you like: there is no need to write the introduction first!
  • Check regularly to ensure that your writing responds to the task sheet, the marking criteria and any other resources available on QUT Blackboard.
  • Take short breaks every hour and reward yourself when you reach the end of each section.


Edit and proofread by asking  these five important questions:

  1. Am I answering the assignment question?
  2. Do I use clear examples and good evidence to support my ideas?
  3. Is my assignment organised and carefully structured so a reader can follow my logic?
  4. Am I referencing correctly and consistently?
  5. Is my writing formal and free of errors? Am I using the scholarly language of my discipline: the technical terms, words and theories that are used by my lecturers and are relevant to my subject area?

For any help with writing assignments, come and see us at Study Solutions!


QUT celebrates National Reconciliation Week, 2014


In May we commemorate National Sorry Day and National Reconciliation Week.

In recognition of these two important events, Kelvin Grove Library will be screening a curated collection of TEDx talks presented by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander speakers and performers. Everyone is welcome! Bring your lunch and settle into a comfy bean bag to watch this collection of inspiring talks. Some coffee and refreshments will be provided.

National Reconciliation Week TEDx Lounge

  • Tuesday, 27 May – Monday, 2 June
  • 12 – 1pm
  • Level 3 of KG Library

At the end of the week, join us for a yarn about the issues raised in the talks. We promise a thought-provoking discussion.

Journey for Recognition and Reconciliation’ Yarning Circle with Uncle Bill Buchanan (Co-Chair, Reconciliation Queensland)

  • Tuesday, 3 June
  • 12 pm
  • Level 3 of KG Library

QUT also has many more free activities planned during National Reconciliation Week including a Bush Tucker Walk in the Botanic Gardens. Find out more at the QUT Events Page.


Find Michael Dorman at QUT Library

Popular Australian actor and musician and former QUT acting student Michael Dorman has been a familiar face on Australian TV screens over the last year with his starring role as lovesick Tom Wilcox in Wonderland (currently on order for the library collection).

Perhaps less well known is his diverse acting past. Many will recognise him from The Secret Life of Us where he was nominated for a Most Popular New Male Talent Logie in 2001 for his role as Christian, but over the last decade he has also starred in several Australian and international films of the horror or thriller genres including Daybreakers, Triangle and Acolytes and had quirky roles in Prime Mover, Suburban Mayhem and Sleeping Beauty. Other TV credits include Wild Boys and the more recent Serangoon Road (coming soon to Kelvin Grove).

You can discover more of Michael Dorman in the QUT Library collection.

Summer in the games lab

Looking for some relaxation (or fierce competition) over the summer break?

Why not come up to the Games Lab on level 4 of Kelvin Grove library and play your favourite games.

You can collect Wii, PS3 and Xbox controllers from the KG Learning and Research Desk staff and away you go. There are lots of games to choose from in the collection: from Assassin’s Creed 4 to Alice Madness Returns. Why not try out some new dance moves with Just Dance 3? Or take on the role of Captain Shepherd in Mass Effect 3? You can even take on all Batman’s foes in Batman Arkham City or get tangled in a daring heist in Grand Theft Auto 5.

Find out more about games at QUT Library at the Gaming subject guide.

Attention lecturers – would you like to use the Games Lab with your students next semester?  Contact the Learning and Research Desk to arrange details.

New database for the authorised UK Law Reports – ICLR Online

The Law Reports (a collection of reports of the English superior courts) has been published by the ICLR (Incorporated Council of Law Reporting) since 1865.  They are now available from the ICLR Online platform.

Connect via  http://libguides.library.qut.edu.au/databases/iclr?hs=a  or by searching for ICLR Online or a particular law report in the library catalogue.

The Incorporated Council of Law Reporting for England and Wales is now hosting the Law Reports on its own database platform, to which the QUT Library has just subscribed.

Included are all the Law Reports published by the ICLR in each of its various series eg:

  • Law Reports Appeal Cases
  • Law Reports Queen’s Bench
  • Law Reports King’s Bench
  • Law Reports Chancery
  • Law Reports Family


  • Weekly Law Reports
  • Industrial Cases Reports
  • Business Law Reports
  • Public and Third Sector Law Reports

Also included is CitatorPlus – a database of information about the subject matter, history, judicial consideration and current status of cases, including not just cases reported by ICLR but also the All England Law Reports, Lloyd’s Law Reports, Criminal Appeal Reports, Local Government Reports, Road Traffic Reports and Tax Cases.

The Law Reports and Weekly Law Reports are also available via Westlaw International and Lexis.com.

The Sugar Industry collection

The Sugar Industry collection focuses on works dealing with sugar production and processing. The digitised books, journals and conference proceedings form a valuable specialist resource freely available to researchers both in Australia and other countries with sugar industries.

This material makes up the latest QUT Digital Collection and can be browsed along with the Cilento Gift and Asia Pacific Images here http://digitalcollections.qut.edu.au/

Shhhh! Silent zones in the library

It’s getting to the pointy end of semester where you might be looking for a quiet place to knuckle down and study. Look no further than the library, where there are dedicated quiet floors to escape loud phone conversations or the hubbub of group work.

KG – Levels 5 and 6
GP – Levels 6 and 7

Respect your peers and keep the noise down when working on these floors.

New digital collection of Asia-Pacific images

QUT Library has a new digital collection.  The Dr. Iraphne Childs’ Geographical image collection is the result of photographs taken across three decades of study and research, and span the globe in coverage. From Japan and Hawaii in the seventies to Australia and New Zealand throughout the eighties and nineties, this collection documents in images, Dr Childs’ early study years and later, her successful career as a Geography Lecturer.

The images cover a range of physical and urban landscapes, agriculture, seasonal climatic change, cultural festivals and everyday life, and will be of interest across many disciplines.  Every image has an Attribution-Non Commercial Creative Commons license, and as such are able to be used in accordance with the conditions of that license.

Along with the Diane Cilento Gift, this new collection will be available via the Digital Collections homepage http://digitalcollections.qut.edu.au/ from Thursday 10th October.

This week is International Open Access Week

In 2013, 21st to 27th October is International Open Access Week.  To celebrate OA Week, QUT Library’s Research Support Team will be running two events on Friday 25th October.

The first session, which will be held at the KG campus in the IHBI seminar room starting at 9.30am, will be of interest to anyone with an ARC or NHMRC grant (or thinking of applying for one) as it will focus on the open access policies recently introduced by the NHMRC and the ARC. We will hear the CEOs of these research funding bodies (via a video clip) explaining why these policies were introduced and then we will discuss the implications and practicalities involved in complying – plus how the Library can help. This session will be presented by Paula Callan, QUT’s Scholarly Communications Librarian.

The second session, which be held at the Gardens Point campus in V714 starting at 11.30am, will provide a more general look at the role of open access in the changing landscape in scholarly communication with a specific focus on new metrics for tracking impact. This session will be presented by QUT’s Research Support Coordinator, Stephanie Bradbury with special guest, Professor Tom Cochrane, DVC (TILS), who will talk about new initiatives in OA book publishing.

KG event:  Friday 25 October, 9.30am -11.00am, KG Q430 (IHBI seminar room)   RSVP here  

GP event: Friday 25 October, 11.30am – 1pm  GP V714 (GP Library)  RSVP here

International Open Access week 2013

Changes to Westlaw AU

For Law staff, Law students & legal research aficionados!

One of the library’s online legal research platforms, Westlaw AU, has recently been upgraded and there are some significant improvements – for example, a new interface, table of contents and browse mode. Here’s a summary of the new features.

Most changes are very intuitive & the introduction of a left side pane makes accessing advanced search templates, products and documents much easier.
For tips on the new look Westlaw AU look for the light bulb symbol on the Westlaw AU homepage centre screen.




Westlaw AU provides online access to Australian law titles subscribed to by QUT Library. It includes legal research titles as well as commentaries/ looseleaf services, full text journals published by Thomson Reuters, law reports and unreported judgments.

Links to Westlaw AU are available from the library catalogue or via the library database menu.