Details and specific requirements of each assignment will be given in the lectures, practicals and posted on the ENVS301 website.
ASSIGNMENT DEADLINES, RULES AND ADVICE
Assignments must be completed and submitted, on time and in full, in order to receive credit. Penalties for late assignments will be a minimum of 10% per day or part thereof, beginning at 0900, not at some time later in the day.
These are real deadlines and penalties will be imposed for late submission. Allowing some students to hand in assignments late is unfair to those who met the deadline.
The deadlines for assignments are not negotiable. Only a medical certificate or a letter with appropriate supporting documents outlining other serious, extenuating circumstances can be used to submit an assignment after the due date without penalty. Vague medical certificates are unconvincing – they must indicate how the illness impacted your ability to perform the assignment on time. Such permission must be sought before the due date unless this is absolutely impossible. Let us know of problems in advance or as soon as possible, not after the event: we are likely to be much more sympathetic and flexible in our requirements if you follow this advice.
All applications for extensions of deadlines for Assignments must be submitted to A/Prof Ian Goodwin.
Please note the policy on word limits for these assignments
- Penalties apply for excessive length (10% for every 200 words exceeding the limit).
- Diagrams, figures, reference lists and footnotes don’t count in the word tally.
- Inclusion of the chart used by the lecturer in setting the question doesn't count in the word tally.
While not as important as content, the stylistics and presentation of your written work are still significant. You must express your ideas clearly and succinctly. Word limits will be enforced (see policy above), so you must take care to stick to the point. Leave plenty of space for comments: wide margins all round (3 cm is fine), and 1.5 line-space your work.
If you experience difficulty achieving a good standard in your written presentations, please talk with your course convenor directly. The University offers excellent writing courses and resources designed to help you deal with what could potentially become a career-limiting problem if you lapse into denial about it.
Assessment of assignments will be based on the Macquarie University scale as set out in the Handbook of Undergraduate Studies (the “Calendar”): High Distinction (HD), Distinction (D), Credit (Cr), Pass (P), Fail (Fail). The markers may choose to further refine these grades by appending “+” or “-” to indicate work towards the top or the bottom of each grade’s band of marks. Feedback will also come in the form of written comments on each student’s assignments, as well as general comments directed to the entire class after all marked assignments have been returned (typically in class or via the online Discussion Forum). Assignments are generally marked and returned with a two-week turnaround (except if they are submitted late).
Citing and Referencing
NB: References should ideally be restricted to peer-reviewed literature, government policies and official publications. The use of web sites MUST be restricted to government departments or peer-reviewed scientific information. The referencing of blogs, special interest groups, media is rarely suitable, nor is the use of popular books. If in doubt, please check with the academic staff.
There are several systems of acknowledging your sources and other relevant work. The main requirements are clarity, consistency and the provision of all relevant bibliographic information so that someone else can easily find the source you are citing. Select a style and be consist with your usage of it. A good system widely adopted in the physical and environmental sciences is the “Harvard” or “author-date” method, where a brief reference to the source is given in the main text. Four examples of within-text referencing are;
- The sun is hot (Smith, 1978, pp. 4-5).
- According to Smith (1978, pp. 4-5), the sun is hot.
- Others have contested that the sun was hot, citing a lack of detailed information (Jones & Bloggs 1979).
Where there are more than two authors, you can abbreviate their names with a handy bit of Latin, "et alia" or "et al." (literally meaning "and others"). And being Latin, we should italicize the font;
- Smith et al. (1981), in their reply to Jones and Bloggs (1979), presented additional data confirming that the sun is indeed hot.
Notice that I used an ampersand (“&”) within brackets only (c.f. Jones & Bloggs) but not in the running text.
Full bibliographic details of all sources cited must be listed in a “Reference List”, in alphabetic order of authors, at the end of the report. There, you should include details of the author(s), year of publication and specific pages (if required). Examples of how to construct a Reference List include;
For a book give: author(s), year of publication, title, publisher, and place of publication.
- Smith, K. 1994. The Geography of Environment. Jones Books, London.
For a journal article give: author(s), article title, journal name, volume number, issue number (in parentheses) and pages.
- Smith, K. and Jones, I. 1995. The Australian environment. Geographical Review 68(5), 99-111.
For a chapter in an edited book, give the following details:
- Smith, K. 1996. Seeing the Australian environment. In Jones, E. (editor) Global Environment. University Publishers, Melbourne, pp. 100-112.
Don’t use “et al.” in a reference list; spell out all authors. Our preference is also to include full journal names, not abbreviations.
To reference a lecture (which is not generally encouraged because ENVE301 assignments are supposed to stretch you beyond the lectures), you might use the following format:
- Flannery, T., ENVS301 lecture, 6th November, 2008, Macquarie University.
For a web source we have to ensure that - (a) authors get credit where it is due, and (b) sufficient detail is given for readers to be able to visit the site. For example, a reference to a Department of Environment and Conservation website in the text would be “DEC (2006)”, and in the reference list this would expand to;
- DECC (NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change) 2008. NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change, incorporating Environment Protection Authority.
http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/home.htm (accessed 05 August 2008).
This gives the author (in this case a corporate entity) credit for their web page, the date of their most recent update to their site, the name/title of the web site, the full URL location of their web site, and finally, the date on which you accessed their web site.
Submission of Assignments
Assignments must be submitted electronically to the Turnitin Link for your unit. All assignments are to be submitted by 5.00pm on the date specified.
If you need to hand in your work after the date in which the rest of the assignments have been returned to students, you may be set a different assignment, even if you have completed the original one. If you know that you are going to hand in an assignment late, you must contact the course convenor beforehand to obtain an extension. Unless there is the appropriate documentation, late assignments will be penalised or not marked.
Obtaining Your Marked Assignment
Assignments will be returned within two teaching weeks of the submission date in the normally scheduled practical classes.