Exam and assignment tips

Start assignments as soon as you get them

A tip for when you are at nursing school is to start your assignments early. Get Exam and assignment tips

Now, I know it’s really easy to say and it’s a lot harder to do but it really helps.

I know a lot of people that start their assignments way too late and they end up asking me if I’ve done mine and I’ve usually done mine by the time we are actually submitting it.

Actually I’ve submitted an assignment today and I think I’ve had like two friends that in the past few days that have said to me that they’ve only just done it or are doing it at the last minute and usually people do get lower marks and they could do if they do it at the very last minute.

Also it’s great when you finish before and everyone’s still stressing about it and you’re just so free!

Exam and assignment tips from a student nurse

Modules are really really close together especially in nursing school. I know that I have a poster presentation to do in a few weeks time and then an exam in December so just to get like the assignment out of the way earlier in the year is just so much better so then I could focus on the upcoming things.

Revise the actual exam

A tip for an exam is to actually revise the exam itself and time yourself.

This is something I made the mistake of last year – I practiced the exam for so many hours every single day coming up to the exam I learnt so much, and because it was a scene exam I spent the two weeks writing out the question that I want to actually write on the day and I learned it off by heart and when I got into the exam I realized that I wrote way too much and I couldn’t fit in all of that in the exam.

I’d never actually sat down and timed myself and also like I’m sure it’s been proven that like if you actually practice doing the exam then that’s the best way to prepare for an exam other than learning loads and loads of information and keep learning and learning.

There’s only so much you can know but unless you know how to do the exam you’re not really gonna get very far. So this year when I’m in for this exam this December I’m going to practice this, doing the exam over and over again to make sure that I have enough time.


Don’t cram last minute!

Another thing that was proven is that cramming in last-minute revision – I’m talking like hours before – isn’t useful as you don’t actually remember it so don’t cram it in the last minute.

Perfect your referencing

In nursing school they are so hot on your references. For me they use the Harvard referencing system, I don’t know if it’s the same in any other degrees and everything but learn the referencing system off by heart because in the first year that is how a lot of people, including me, lost that a lot of marks because we were focusing on the referencing was focusing more on the exam and that’s what they picked up on the most.

In second year there’s no excuse for referencing mistakes and they will just fail you, it’s not good enough so basically learn the referencing list at the very beginning of the course so maybe in like first year and know it off by heart by second year and you won’t lose marks anymore.

I also recommend using refworks – I have access to it through my University’s website and they’ve got a link to it on the library links and everything so if you can also sign them if your institution is on refworks and that is really good it actually generates the reference for you so you just put in all the details and it generates the links for you and then you can actually create a bibliography or reference list or whatever on the website and copy and paste it into word that’s really good.

Plan assignments before doing them

When you’re doing an assignment plan them before you do it.

Back in first year I usually would sit there and start writing the introduction even when I didn’t really have like a whole idea of what I would be writing.

Write the introduction last because then you know exactly what is in the assignment you’ve just wrote.

So we do these introduction to conclusion, conclusion first, plan it out so you know when you’re doing what section, what section requires what, what’s gonna take the longest, what’s gonna take the shortest because when you’ve planned it you feel so much more organised it’s gonna flow more it’s gonna make sense more you’re less likely to repeat yourself.

Make note of all your exam dates

Another tip is at the beginning of the year again to write down all of the times and the dates for exams and assignments so just know even like the rough time that they’re going to be coming out so say like June or whatever.

I knew my exam was in December, I didn’t know the date until recently and and that is to basically know how to manage your year, knowing you’re going to be receiving lectures for exams and lectures for assignments because there’s nothing worse than getting a lecture and then you realised later on in the week that it was actually a lecture for an assignment and you didn’t really listen to it and then you’ve got to revisit the lecture because you didn’t know what the lecture was for.

When you are at nursing school another thing is to remember is at the beginning of the year is to learn your modules.

I personally have I think four or five modules a year one of the modules is an exam module, one of them is an assignment module, I think another one is an assignment module, one of them for me is a poster and then one of them is just like a random module that you have to do and it’s got like other bits of working it out and I find that learning what module is when and what it’s for/ what you need to learn for it is so much better because when you go to that lecture you know what you’re being taught and why you’re being taught it.

So now when I go to an exam module lecture it will say the exam, it will say that module and I’ll think wow I need to write this down because if this comes up on the exam I’m gonna be stuffed because I didn’t listen in the lecture, and I’m only gonna be sat there later on in the year looking at this lecture wishing that I had paid attention.

Another thing that’s proven is that revising in small blocks every day is a lot better than cramming in a lot of information into a single day and doing that every so often.

At night time when you sleep your mind goes over the stuff that you’ve learnt and your experiences in the day and it just kind of like memorizes it at night.

Go to sleep, do it again do some other stuff instead of cramming it all into one day – you’re less likely to like remember it all.

In nursing school I have one exam every year and I don’t know if that’s the same for the other units but I have one exam every year and currently I’m being taught a lot of lectures related to the exam so I’ll have like an exam on like cardiac failure and then I’ll have an exam on like catheterization all that stuff so I would highly recommend going home and revisiting those later on that day or even the next.

I definitely would recommend going over at least once because then when you come closer the exam you’re gonna plant it in the lecture you’re also gonna be gonna have learnt at home a little bit as well even if it’s just like 30 minutes to an hour which is what I did today and I found a lot more information on YouTube as well as the lectures.

So I’ve got the lecture information and the YouTube information which makes a whole lot more info and I just really recommend that because you’ll be so much more grateful when you actually come to the exam.


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Difference Between Research Paper and Essay Assignments

The purpose of this guide is to help you understand the difference between essay and research paper writing tasks as you encounter them. We shall study the features, see relevant academic definitions, and analyze the key elements that help set them apart. Learning Difference Between Research Paper and Essay Assignments, we shall identify the elements required for an essay or research paper.

Difference Between Research Paper and Essay Assignments

What is an Essay?

When you are a high school learner or a college student, the chances are high that you will encounter both essay writing and conducting your first research paper. The majority of essays that students encounter often have a creative element to them and require the presence of good writing skills. It’s a reason why these are often seen as an easier task since research papers require a synthesis of available information and, as the title implies, researching.

Starting with the small essays that you encounter in school to persuasive college writing to help your readers choose a certain point, an essay can be defined as a piece of academic writing where the writer’s opinion is presented with the use of at least three pieces of evidence to support these thoughts. They are not as complex as research writing and are usually only up to five paragraphs in length.

Speaking of the key research paper vs essay elements that help to set an essay apart from other types of writing, these are the rules to remember:

  • An essay is usually a piece of writing that is up to 1,000 words or shorter.
  • Writing an essay usually relates to a particular subject or so-called ‘essay prompt’.
  • In certain cases, essays are written as a response to a proposition or a question set by the college professor.
  • Essays are not complex in terms of headings and sub-headings, which are typical for research papers.
  • Essays, however, do require the use of quotes and references for anything that is not your personal opinion.
  • The use of a subjective tone is often met for this type of writing.
  • The purpose is to analyze and criticize the given topic.
  • The use of photographs and multimedia elements is not that frequent in essay writing.

In most cases, an essay’s structure will contain an introduction with a thesis statement, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion part where an author has a right to write one’s thoughts down as a reflection, analysis, or a part of the creative writing task. Unlike a typical research paper where a methodology and samples data must be used, essays do not require these elements.

What is a Research Paper?

Although it is technically an essay, it has a different purpose and structure when compared to classic essay writing. It’s necessary to include information and synthesis based on specific data by turning to external sources that may include books on the topic, scientific articles, interviews, web sources, and first-hand surveys. Exploring the difference between research paper and essay, remember that the main purpose here is to bring a selection of the different academic views on a subject by turning to facts and concepts as you also interpret information to create an accessible, readable framework.

The research paper should always contain the following elements that are not typical for general essay writing:

  • Every research paper contains a methodology, which can be either qualitative or quantitative. In certain cases, it can be a mixture of both, depending on your subject.
  • There is a conceptual framework with the implementation of a school of thought, theoretical, or model-based writing.
  • An introduction part will implement at least one research question.
  • A literature review must be included to explain what kind of information you have used.
  • Your methods and objectives must be set clear.
  • It’s necessary to include the results of your findings by talking about what aspects have been achieved and what has proved helpful for your take on things.
  • The conclusion part also contains the author’s discussion of the outcomes and a list of possible recommendations.
  • Unlike an essay, research papers talk about limitations that have been encountered during the process of writing and researching.
  • Research papers set the problem and provide certain solutions or assumptions that may be helpful as you address a particular issue or an event.
  • The presence of good sources is essential for a successful outcome of any academic research.

In addition, research papers also use references, endnotes and footnotes, appendices for those large chunks of information, acknowledgments, and the author’s short biography paragraph for some Master’s or Ph.D. works. As a rule, such research papers are quite lengthy and can take up to fifty pages or even more. Since almost every research paper these days is composed independently, it usually sounds challenging for college students when it only requires a different approach and more time to get things done right.

The Key Differences Between Essay and Research Paper

Let’s sum up the key aspects as we explore the difference between essay and paper meant for research. The table below compares things and points out the major differences that will help you understand the purpose of each academic paper type:

It aims to represent your personal point of view. A good research paper focuses on researching and exploring various points of view, depending on what topic you set while adding a personal touch and the author’s voice regarding ideas and concepts mentioned.
Essays are mostly short in length and often contain five paragraphs (introduction, three body paragraphs, and the conclusion). Research papers are almost always lengthy and can reach up to eight pages on average.
The majority of essays do not ask for a deep understanding of a particular topic. For example, dealing with creative writing, you may use only your personal opinion. It’s necessary to study the subject in advance to gain a comprehensive understanding of a certain topic by exploring what is available.
The essays tend to help writers build their writing skills and address a particular topic individually.


The purpose is to help an author gain better knowledge of a particular topic.


An essay provides you with an opportunity to improve your writing skills as you have to present your thoughts by using style, academic formatting, logic, and other mechanics of writing. As a writer, you must compare various chunks of data or publications dealing with your problem as you present a clear, readable, and cumulative analysis of the findings.
Essay writing also includes various types of academic writing, yet it can also be narrative and philosophical, which is rarely met with research writing. Academic essay writing can be met among high school students and college learners in most subjects. For example, dealing with a literature review is often used as a type of evaluation as your writing skills are evaluated. Research papers usually include these types of writing: compare-and-contrast research, argumentation, analysis, cause-and-effect writing, and subject-based tasks. Dealing with a particular subject usually helps to tell a research paper apart. When you choose a subject or a certain topic, you must start with an exploration of what is already available.
An essay requires putting your thoughts into writing as you focus on the essay-type specifics and consider your target audience. Your writing skills and the use of examples are essential. When you research a particular subject, you have to compile information and evaluate it before writing things down. Your task is to restructure and present it through the lens of your methodology and research objectives.
The use of external sources is not always a requirement. The use of a literature review is an obligatory part.

What is the most important difference between a research paper and a simple essay?

Comparing research paper vs essay, the most important difference is the use of a strict methodology and research objectives that no research paper can get through without. An essay can be a personal reflection with no sources per se, yet every research paper should explain a problem and set the methods that help to address and, possibly, solve it efficiently.


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Components of a Research Process

Understanding the research process is an important step towards executing thorough research or study. Let us examine the different phases in research planning as well as the stages involved in a research process.

A deeper understanding of the process of research will help you identify the similar features that occur in the different fields, and the variety in the purpose and approaches to some studies.

Understanding the research process will help you understand the implication of deviating from a systematic approach to research, as well as the associating consequences of ineffective and ineffectual research.

Components of a Research Process

The following steps outline a simple and effective strategy for writing a research paper. Depending on your familiarity with the topic and the challenges you encounter along the way, you may need to rearrange these steps.

Step 1: Identify and develop your topic

Selecting a topic can be the most challenging part of a research assignment. Since this is the very first step in writing a paper, it is vital that it be done correctly. So you identify a research problem by first selecting a general topic that’s interesting to you and to the interests and specialties of your research advisor. Once identified, you’ll need to narrow it. For example, if teenage pregnancy is your general topic area, your specific topic could be a comparison of how teenage pregnancy affects young fathers and mothers differently. Here are some tips for selecting a topic:

Select a topic within the parameters set by the assignment. Many times your instructor will give you clear guidelines as to what you can and cannot write about. Failure to work within these guidelines may result in your proposed paper being deemed unacceptable by your instructor.

Select a topic of personal interest to you and learn more about it. The research for and writing of a paper will be more enjoyable if you are writing about something that you find interesting.

Select a topic for which you can find a manageable amount of information. Do a preliminary search of information sources to determine whether existing sources will meet your needs. If you find too much information, you may need to narrow your topic; if you find too little, you may need to broaden your topic.

Be original. Your instructor reads hundreds of research papers every year, and many of them are on the same topics (topics in the news at the time, controversial issues, subjects for which there is ample and easily accessed information). Stand out from your classmates by selecting an interesting and off-the-beaten-path topic.

Still can’t come up with a topic to write about? See your instructor for advice.

Once you have identified your topic, it may help to state it as a question. For example, if you are interested in finding out about the epidemic of obesity in the American population, you might pose the question “What are the causes of obesity in America ?” By posing your subject as a question you can more easily identify the main concepts or keywords to be used in your research.

Step 2 : Do a preliminary search for information

Before beginning your research in earnest, do a preliminary search to determine whether there is enough information out there for your needs and to set the context of your research. Look up your keywords in the appropriate titles in the library’s Reference collection (such as encyclopedias and dictionaries) and in other sources such as our catalog of books, periodical databases, and Internet search engines. Additional background information may be found in your lecture notes, textbooks, and reserve readings. You may find it necessary to adjust the focus of your topic in light of the resources available to you.

Step 3: Review the Literature

Find out what’s being asked or what’s already been done in the area by doing some exploratory reading. Discuss the topic with your advisor to gain additional insights, explore novel approaches, and begin to develop your research question, purpose statement, and hypothesis, if applicable.

Step 4: Locate materials

With the direction of your research now clear to you, you can begin locating material on your topic. There are a number of places you can look for information:

If you are looking for books, do a subject search in the Alephcatalog. A Keyword search can be performed if the subject search doesn’t yield enough information. Print or write down the citation information (author, title, etc.) and the location (call number and collection) of the item(s). Note the circulation status. When you locate the book on the shelf, look at the books located nearby; similar items are always shelved in the same area. The Aleph catalog also indexes the library’s audio-visual holdings.

Use the library’s electronic periodical databases to find magazine and newspaper articles. Choose the databases and formats best suited to your particular topic; ask the librarian at the Reference Desk if you need help figuring out which database best meets your needs. Many of the articles in the databases are available in full-text format.

Use search engines (Google, Yahoo, etc.) and subject directories to locate materials on the Internet. Check the Internet Resources section of the NHCC Library website for helpful subject links.

Step 5: Determine Research Question

A good research question is a question worth asking; one that poses a problem worth solving. A good question should:

Be clear. It must be understandable to you and to others.

Be researchable. It should be capable of developing into a manageable research design, so data may be collected in relation to it. Extremely abstract terms are unlikely to be suitable.

Connect with established theory and research. There should be a literature on which you can draw to illuminate how your research question(s) should be approached.

Be neither too broad nor too narrow. See Appendix A for a brief explanation of the narrowing process and how your research question, purpose statement, and hypothesis(es) are interconnected.

Step 6: Develop Research Methods

Once you’ve finalized your research question, purpose statement, and hypothesis(es), you’ll need to write your research proposal—a detailed management plan for your research project. The proposal is as essential to successful research as an architect’s plans are to the construction of a building.

Step 7: Evaluate your sources

See the CARS Checklist for Information Quality for tips on evaluating the authority and quality of the information you have located. Your instructor expects that you will provide credible, truthful, and reliable information and you have every right to expect that the sources you use are providing the same. This step is especially important when using Internet resources, many of which are regarded as less than reliable.

Step 8: Make notes

Consult the resources you have chosen and note the information that will be useful in your paper. Be sure to document all the sources you consult, even if there is a chance you may not use that particular source. The author, title, publisher, URL, and other information will be needed later when creating a bibliography.

Step 9: Write your paper

Begin by organizing the information you have collected. The next step is the rough draft, wherein you get your ideas on paper in an unfinished fashion. This step will help you organize your ideas and determine the form your final paper will take. After this, you will revise the draft as many times as you think necessary to create a final product to turn in to your instructor.

Step 10: Cite your sources properly      

Give credit where credit is due; cite your sources.

Citing or documenting the sources used in your research serves two purposes: it gives proper credit to the authors of the materials used, and it allows those who are reading your work to duplicate your research and locate the sources that you have listed as references. The MLA and the APA Styles are two popular citation formats.

Failure to cite your sources properly is plagiarism. Plagiarism is avoidable!

Step 11: Proofread

The final step in the process is to proofread the paper you have created. Read through the text and check for any errors in spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Make sure the sources you used are cited properly. Make sure the message that you want to get across to the reader has been thoroughly stated.

Additional research tips:

Work from the general to the specific — find background information first, then use more specific sources.

Don’t forget print sources — many times print materials are more easily accessed and every bit as helpful as online resources.

The library has books on the topic of writing research papers at call number area.

If you have questions about the assignment, ask your instructor.

If you have any questions about finding information in the library, ask the librarian.



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Complete the XBRL tutorial developed by KPMG, which you’ll find at www.us.kpmg.com/ microsite/xbrl/train/86/86.htm .


Field work.

a. Interview a practicing accountant, in either a CPA firm or a corporate environment. Find

out what your interviewee knows about XBRL and its advantages for accounting firms and

their clients.

b. Refer to the list of XBRL tagging software referenced in the chapter. Choose two or three of

the software packages on the list; apply the software evaluation methodology discussed earlier

in the text. As your evaluation criteria, use cost (weight ⫽ 5), ease of use (weight ⫽ 3),

and support services (weight ⫽ 2).

c. Complete the XBRL tutorial developed by KPMG, which you’ll find at www.us.kpmg.com/

microsite/xbrl/train/86/86.htm . Prepare a summary of what you learned to discuss in class.

find the cost of your paper

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