Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue

A man who does not think and plan long ahead will find trouble right at his door.
Confucius BC 551-479, Chinese Ethical Teacher, Philosopher

Essay Term-assignment Task Planning: Example

Step-by-Step Procedure

Principle: I determine the basic steps of my assignment and estimate the time required to complete each.

  • Exploratory reading and topic choice: 1-2 weeks
  • Documentary research (identifying sources and obtaining documents): 1-2 weeks
  • Documentation exploitation (reading, selecting, summarizing): 3-4 weeks
  • Assignment writing (basic ideas, planning, drafting, writing the introduction and conclusion): 2-3 weeks
  • Proofreading the text and making corrections: 1 week
  • Submitting the assignment (formatting, printing, making copies and final corrections): 1 week


Principle: I schedule time to complete each step of my assignment according to my other assignments and tasks.

I determine the final deadline (second Monday in December).

I determine a deadline for each intermediary step in the reverse order. For example, if I have to hand in my assignment on the second Monday in December and if I need one week to make sure that I am satisfied with its quality, I must finish writing it on the first Monday in December.  In order to meet that deadline, I must finish reading my reference material near the second week in November or, by the third week at the latest, and so on. This is how I determine when I need to start and complete every step so that I feel comfortable with the deadlines.

The creation of a synoptic overview allows me to spread out the deadlines for this specific assignment according to my other assignments, thus preventing work overload and bottlenecks.

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