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Got Assignments? Get the Assignment Calculator!

Get the assignment calculator to help you with your next writing project. Image by Calculator by Maria Zamchy from the Noun Project
Published by Julia Lane

Here we are in week four of the summer semester! I can hardly believe that it's already almost June. 

With time flying by so quickly, and the sun shining so beautifully, academic deadlines can start to feel pretty daunting around this time. 

And so I wanted to let you in on the life hack of the assignment calculator, in case you haven't already heard of it! 

How does it work? 

Once you receive your assignment description, you can put in your deadline in the assignment due field. Then, put in the date you plan to begin working on the assignment.

Note: the calculator will default to using today's date in the "date you will begin" field. However, if you do not plan to begin working on the assignment today, you should adjust the date in that field. If you lie to the assignment calculator about when you will begin the work, the assignment calculator will lie to you about what your schedule should look like ;) 

The assignment calculator will create a schedule for you based on your dates. In creating this schedule, the calculator breaks down your work into the following steps: 

  • Understand the assignment 
  • Do your research 
  • Write your draft thesis statement 
  • Write your outline 
  • Write your draft 
  • Revise your draft 
  • Finalize your references 
  • Edit and format your final draft 

Of course, you may choose to do some of these steps in a slightly different order, based on the specific requirements of your assignment. 

Breaking down your assignment into these steps helps you to avoid feeling overwhelmed about everything you have to do to get your assignment done and simply start by making sure you understand the assignment! Another significant benefit here is that you can come into the Student Learning Commons at any of these stages to get additional support. 

Come visit us when you are working on drafting your thesis statement or working on creating your outline! No full draft required. 

Note: the Assignment Calculator suggests that you "edit and format" your final draft on the day the assignment is due. However, we in the Student Learning Commons suggest doing this at least a day before the assignment is due, in case you catch anything that requires any substantial changes.

No one needs that last minute stress! 

And, as a bonus, if you plan to do it the day before the assignment is due, you may well be able to hand it in early and buy yourself some time in the sun!

Screen capture of assignment calculator - text provided below in screen reader friendly format

Assignment Calculator (text version)

The Assignment Calculator 

The Assignment Calculator is a time management tool to help you break down your writing assignments into a series of steps. At each step in the process you are provided with resources to utilize to successful complete your assignment on time. Just type in your assignment due date and you are on your way. 

Disclaimer: These are general steps that will guide you through the process of writing most research-based essay assignments. However, each assignment is a little different, so please always refer to your specific assignment guidelines and use your best judgment about which steps are necessary for you! 

Date you will begin the assignment: fillable date fields 

Date the assignment is due: fillable date fields

Calculate assignment schedule! (button) 

Note: The assignment calculator links to a mix of SFU websites and external websites. External websites are indicated as such. 

Until next time, happy calculating :) 

- Julia Lane, Writing Services Associate