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Finding time

Click on the highlighted text to see the comments.

In a survey of first-year Marketing students after completing Assignment 2, 65% said they should have started work on it sooner.

As you'll find out, one of the first skills for writing a good Marketing report is figuring out how much time you'll need to complete each task and subtask.

How long do you think it would take you to research the major assignment?

Examine the following time chart showing how three students spent their time in the four weeks before the assignment was due. How effectively do you think each one has used their time?

Amanda Briohny Troy
Week 8

Looked up product on Dow Jones database and skimmed articles found

Drafted Part 1

...waited... ...waited...
Week 9

Visited supermarket and looked on product web site for Part 2.

Drafted Part 2

Borrowed books from Library

Quickly looked on internet

Read books and searched internet further

Week 10

Reworked report (four drafts in total)

Waited a day, then finalised it


Wrote plan, and one third of report

Week 11 - Report due ...waited...

Did two thirds of report on PC

Did final third and proofread


Looked up books in library

Looked on internet for organisations

Did plan and Part 1 on PC

Did Part B

Reread research and instructions




While the three students used their time rather differently there seem to be four things they did in common:

Activities A. Looking up the product/organisation On database(s)
On www
On library catalogue
On site 1
B. Reading Hard copy 2
On screen
C. Writing Plan Two of the three students wrote a plan
Both wrote plan and Part 1 simultaneously
D. Drafting/writing report Students took 1-3 weeks to complete report
Only one student produced a number of separate drafts 3
  1. Looking up a product in the supermarket
  2. For this assignment, the three students did more highlighting text than notetaking (note that this is not the best method for every assignment)
  3. This student - who started drafting earliest and spent most time on the drafting - received the highest mark

So, while the activities (A-D) were common, and some of the methods were standard, there were still some variations in approach. The student who started first did the best.

In first year for most subjects you need to do more research than you did in Year 12. This takes more time than you might expect. There's no teacher at your side saying "You should have finished looking up books and articles by the end of this week!!"
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