How to prepare for your assignment

Photo of notebook and pencil

The first step to getting your assignment done is to understand what you need to do. You need to pull your assignment question apart to figure out how to put an answer together that will score you top marks.

So how do you analyse an assignment question? Follow these 4 steps.

1. Get the bigger picture

Do you know what the learning outcomes of the course are? You need to know how your assignment fits in with the course learning outcomes and aims.

Head to the course profile in myGriffith to find out what they are. How do they relate to your assignment? Understanding the connection will help you find the focus of the assignment.

2. Gather all the assignment information

You should be able to find all the assignment details in the course profile in myGriffith.

Identify when the assignment is due, how much it’s worth (e.g. 50% of your overall course grade), how long it has to be (i.e. the word limit) and what format it should take.

3. Decipher the assignment task

You need to identify directive, topic and limiting words in the assignment question.

Look for directive words like ‘examine’, ‘analyse’ or ‘compare’. If you aren’t sure what these words mean, look it up in a dictionary or consult this handy Definition of Directive Words from California Polytechnic State University.

4. Ask lots of questions

Now that you understand what you are being asked to do, it’s time to break down the task into mini questions.

Having a series of question to answer will help you focus your research and writing. It also helps you develop a logical response to the topic.

— Extract from Study Smart – Preparing for your assignment —

Library borrowing: what you need to know

Image of bookshelves

Did you know that borrowing entitlements for students recently changed? And these changes are good news for you – because it means you can borrow more, for longer!

All undergraduate students, postgraduate students and staff are now entitled to unlimited standard loans. Yep, no limit. If you want to borrow 243 books on existential nihilism you totally could (though we’d be asking you why, and would have to check if we even had 243 books on existential nihilism…). Or, you know, you could do the usual and borrow books for assignments and stuff.

Undergraduate students get a 60 day loan period, while postgraduate students and staff members get six months. Though if someone else places a hold on an item you have out it can be recalled. So check your student or staff email for notifications – and for reminders when it’s close to the due date!

If the item you want is on loan or at another campus, you can place a hold on it. Once it’s returned or transported from the other campus, it will be available for you to collect from your chosen campus’s Express Holds Shelf. How good’s that?

Or, if you’re super keen to get hold of a book and Griffith doesn’t have it you can try using BONUS+. BONUS+ is an initiative formed by multiple universities around Australia and New Zealand to share books in order to give our students the best possible access to resources (want more info, check out this blog post).

You can check what you have borrowed out, due dates of items, and even renew your items online from your library account (just click on Griffith login).

For more information, take a look at what you can borrow and for how long.

Take care of business with new online resources

Are you studying business? You should check out the new business resources available online via the library catalogue. Whether you need an eBook on finance, accounting or banking, or an encyclopedia of economics, we’ve got you covered.

There are hundreds of new eBook titles available in Oxford Scholarship Online (OSO). Oxford Scholarship Online is an online library with over 13,000 academic books from Oxford University Press.

90 new titles have been added to the Business and Management collection in OSO. This includes books on industrial relations, accounting, knowledge management, marketing and more.

Or if economics and finance are more your thing, there are 126 new titles to browse, search and read in the Oxford Scholarship Online Economics and Finance collection.

From econometrics and financial economics to economic history and macroeconomics, the Economics and Finance collection provides a comprehensive coverage of the topic.

There’s also a brand new online encyclopedia available to you. The SAGE Encyclopedia of Economics & Society is a ‘non-technical resource for students and researchers within social science programs who seek to better understand economics through a contemporary lens’.

Emphasising the contemporary world, contemporary issues, and society, the encyclopedia features four volumes with approximately 800 articles ranging from 1,000 to 5,000 words.

For more online business resources, be sure to have a look at the business and government Library Guides.

It’s super easy to find your course readings

Did you know your course readings are available on Learning@Griffith

Your course readings are super easy to find, so there’s almost no excuse to not do your readings!

You can find a detailed list of all of your course’s readings by going to the Readings link in your Learning@Griffith course site, or simply typing in your course code here. Too easy, right?

Well imagine this is an infomercial, because wait – there’s more! Not only will it provide you a list of all your readings, it will also link you directly to them.

If it’s an online resource, you’ll see a link to the right which says Online Resource (makes sense, right?). Simply click on this link and it’ll take you straight to the resource. eBook, website, video – you’ll be ready to read or watch!

If it’s not an online resource, don’t fret, ‘cause it should be in our library! Simply click on the title, and you’ll be taken to a page which includes the availability and location of the book in our libraries.

You can even personalise your reading lists by assigning a read status to resources (will read, reading now, have read, and won’t read – ‘cause let’s be honest), and adding study notes.

It’s time to get your textbooks sorted

Photo of books

It’s the first day of week three, and we’re sure you’re well and truly getting into the swing of things. So if you haven’t sorted out your textbooks, it’s time you do!

You can find all of your course readings through the Readings link in your Learning@Griffith course site. Some textbooks are available as eBooks via the library catalogue (or the View Online link in your reading list). 

Griffith Libraries also hold copies of all required textbooks in the Reserve collections. Just check the link in your course reading list to see the location and availability of these books.

Now, in some instances, you may need to buy an actual, physical book. You know one with pages that you can turn and have that lovely book smell (we all sniff books right?).

You can purchase brand new textbooks at a campus bookshop; there are bookshops on every Griffith campus. Though we understand that this process may leave your bank account feeling a little sad.

There is a cheaper alternative. Did you know that Griffith also has a Textbook Exchange? Griffith students are able to list their pre-loved textbooks on the Textbook Exchange for sale.

You can search for the text you are after, and view information including the location, condition, and price (and hopefully save a bit of moolah too). And once you’re done with the book, you could even re-list it!

How to find available computers on campus

Photo of a computer lab

So, you’re at uni and have a ghastly four-hour break between lectures. What do you do? Some people may suggest catching up with friends, grabbing a bite to eat, or hitting one of our on-campus gyms.

But we’re the library, so of course we’re going to suggest you get a bit of study in! Plus, start studying early and your week 12 self will so thank you for it, we promise.

To help you study, you’ll find an array of common use computer labs across all campuses. Super keen? We even have dedicated 24-hour computer labs.

And don’t forget that Griffith students are welcome to use resources at any campus – enrolled at South Bank but want to study at Logan? No problems!

Find out all computer lab locations (including which ones are 24 hours) here. You can even check in advance how many computers are free in the lab you’re intending to go to.

All computers in common use computer labs will have standard software including Microsoft Office Suite, Adobe, and various internet browsers.

Sometimes you require specialised software or hardware for your course. In these instances, your School may provide access to this through school-based computer labs (for further info about these facilities, contact your school).

Software may vary between locations, and you can check out the full list of available software on computers here.  

Check out our student computing page for more information on using our computers.

How to print, scan, and copy

Photo of a printer

As a student, you can print, scan, and copy on campus.

If you’re brand new, you’ll need to set up a printing account. You can easily do this at any Red Kiosk (located in Griffith libraries and select computer labs), or by visiting the friendly staff at any library service desk.

You’ll just need your student number and some money to add to your account. Oh, and you’ll be asked to select a 4-digit PIN. Once that’s done, you’re all set to:


You can send jobs to print from any Griffith common-use computer, or wirelessly from your own device. And the good news is you can pick up your print job from any Multi-Function-Device (MFD) on campus. That’s right, any MFD on campus!

How much does it cost to print an A4 page? That’s a good question. Check out the Student Printing Costs page for a price list.


Scanning is free for all Griffith students and available on all MFDs. Scanned contents will automatically be sent to your student email in PDF form.


Do you need to photocopy anything? Whether it’s a couple of pages from a textbook or your friend’s awesome lecture notes, you can make a copy in the library. Our trusty MFDs not only print and scan, they can photocopy as well. Genius, right?

Find detailed instructions on how to print, scan, and copy here. You can also check your printing credit online.  And once you’ve finished your studies and no longer need your printing account, you can claim any remaining print credit back.