5 tips to get better marks for your posts and make my life easier

I’ve had a look at the blog posts on your forums so far and I’ve got a few suggestions to help you improve your marks and make my marking life easier.

If you can’t be bothered reading this post, please read the assignment criteria, not just the assignment brief. I have to mark against the criteria so if you don’t read it you will miss easy marks.

You can edit your posts up until the two checkpoints so feel free to go back and fix any initial mistakes before the Week 8 deadline.

1. Add tags to your post

Why is this important? There are marks for tagging and categorising your posts. Also there are six activities you need to complete. At the moment I cannot tell what activity some posts are addressing. Is it a point of view, trends reflection or issues-based reflection? Tag it so I know that you have completed all six activities.

2. Support your writing with appropriate sources

Ok, so these are blog posts but they are still pieces of informed academic writing. The marking criteria makes multiple references to the use of a variety of sources which are attributed correctly. Your blogs should make use of the readings and literature to support your arguments. For example, if you are reviewing a virtual reference service, what are you basing your analysis on? How do you know if the service/program is any good? (Hint: it shouldn’t just be your experience. There are standards for reference services/programs out there they may help you evaluate the service.)

3. Attribute but don’t reference

We’ve specifically asked you to not have a reference list in your blog posts but rather use contextual hyperlinks. Do this! Be specific (not just “many of this weeks readings referred to this”) and link to the relevant article. If you use images, you should attribute these. (Another hint: I’d recommend if the image you are using is not your own, ensure you have the copyright owner’s permission or use Creative Commons’ licensed works from sources like Flickr Commons.) There’s info on how to site sources in blog posts and attributing images in this helpful referencing guide.

4. Comment on other students’ posts

There are 10 marks for participation. These are easy marks if you take the time to engage in the conversation. Don’t miss out on these!

5. Make my life easier

This is just a request from me. When you add your contextual hyperlinks, tick the box so they open in a new window/tab. This makes my life so much easier when I’m checking your references. Thanks!


  • Stacey Larner Reply

    Hi Clare,
    Normally I use contextual referencing only but this week I have listed one APA style reference ONLY because I’ve directly quoted the thing that prompted me to argue a point! All other references are contextual hyperlinks, I just didn’t want to use a direct quote and not reference it (I’d already hyperlinked the study).

    • Kate Davis Reply

      It’s okay to use a contextual hyperlink to reference even when quoting. Just put a reference in brackets after the quote and link from there. For example: (From: article name)

      If you use the blockquote formatting too, that’s even better.

      • Stacey Larner Reply

        Ok, will change it.

  • Caitlin . Reply

    Thanks this has been really useful. Just one query relating to referencing. Does the contextual hyperlink have to link to a freely available reading as in full text online. Our unit materials require QUT log in, however I also have access to libraries at other academic institutions so a hyperlink would not be useful. I could link to the actual journal however most require log in through a library or a fee is this a problem?


  • Caitlin . Reply

    in relation to the review criteria of our reference service this may be asking to much but how do you find the standards you mentioned. I tried ALIA and CAUL however neither seem to have an up to date industry standard relating specifically to reference services. Is it enough to use the research paradigm utilised in another academic resource reviewing similar services or am I missing something?.

    I apologise if its something I need to find for myself.

    Thanks Caitlin

    • Kate Davis Reply

      Try looking at the American Library Association (ALA) and also ALA’s Reference and User Services section. And you might find the International Federation of Library Associations has guidelines too. Last but not least, you could look for criteria for measuring service quality in the academic literature. Hope this helps!

  • Caitlin . Reply

    Thank you,

    They are both very useful. I did find something from ALA I was thinking it needed to be Australian so this is great.


  • Robynne Kilborne Blake Reply

    Thanks Clare for the tips, it’s great to have some help with this. Very happy to make your life easier 🙂

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