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Learning Portal - Learning Online: Planning an Assignment

Planning an Assignment

This module will show you how to plan out the time you need to complete your assignments. If a task seems too difficult or you don’t know where to start, breaking it into smaller tasks can help make the process easier. An assignment tracker is a tool that you can use to break big assignments into smaller, more manageable steps.


Top Tips 

✓ Plan enough time. Be prepared to invest an average of 2 solid hours for every 5% an assignment is worth.

✓ Start planning your time early in the semester. The earlier you start managing your time, the easier it is. Get into good habits early so you don’t fall behind.

✓ Start assignments early. Start at least two weeks before the due date. Give yourself enough time to complete your assignment properly.

✓ Spread out the work. Break your assignment into smaller chunks. Spread your work out instead of doing it all at the last minute.

✓ Take advantage of the resources available for research help. If your assignment involves research, set aside time to check out your library’s resources. Take a look at the Research Hub for more info.

Break Down Tasks to Complete Assignments

Watch this video from The Learning Portal Ontario (2021) to learn why it’s useful to break large tasks into smaller steps.

Breaking Down Assignments


Step 1: Gather Information

  1. If possible, print off a hard copy of the assignment.

  2. Read the entire assignment out loud.

  3. Brainstorm ideas.


Step 2: Calculate the Assignment Time

Use the chart below to calculate how long you should spend on an assignment. For every 5% the assignment is worth, you should plan to work 2 hours.

5% = 2 hours

25% = 10 hours

10% = 4 hours 

30% = 12 hours

15% = 6 hours

35% = 14 hours

20% = 8 hours

40% = 16 hours



Step 3: Use the Assignment tracker

Fill out your assignment tracker:

Watch the video below (The Learning Portal Ontario, 2017) and use the steps below to learn how to fill out the template. Make sure to start work at least 2 weeks before your assignment is due.


Unless otherwise stated, the material in this guide is from the Learning Portal created by College Libraries Ontario. Content has been adapted for the NWP Learning Commons in May 2021. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons BY NC SA 4.0 International License.

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