An assignment cover sheet is an extra sheet or page attached to the front of a physical or electronic document which typically contains student or assignment related metadata that include: student name, ID, course number, unit or course name, program name, lecturer and grader, due date, word count, topic, and number. On top of this, cover sheets typically contain a signed declaration of authorship confirming that the included content was created by the student, was not plagiarized, and that all sources were appropriately acknowledged.
Educational institutions, faculties, or professors use standard assignment cover sheets that can be downloaded from their official websites. Other times, students need to create these cover sheets themselves, usually, by including information specifically required by their teachers and professors.
In this latter case, it is essential to follow guidelines strictly, namely, to list all required pieces of information. Failing to do so will prevent your assignment from being verified. Just imagine that a teacher assigns identical research paper topics to students from two different programs. Despite an identical topic, both expectations and grading schemes differ significantly, given that one program might teach more advanced concepts in this specific subject compared to the other. Hence, as long as the grader does not know which program you come from, this assignment will be left pending. Alternatively, teachers or professors might simply dislike that explicitly required identifying information is missing.
Reading instructions is very important for another reason. Statements of authorship may include various specific requirements apart from generally expected ones. For instance, cover sheets from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) require students to hold copies of submitted assignments in case the original ones are lost. Other requirements prohibit reusing assignments submitted for other courses/ units, or receiving any form of help apart from sanctioned types.
It is useful to review each time and be aware of the academic honesty rules expected but also of specific permissions you give the university to hold copies of your assignments for review and assessment by internal or external examiners, for testing them with anti-plagiarism software, etc. By signing such declarations, you confirm that you have read and accepted all mentioned rules.
There are a number of things you should be careful about when writing a cover sheet:
Below, we provide a cover sheet sample, or rather, an example of key information that can be required:
Making a cover sheet is likely to be the easiest part of your assignment but that does not mean that it is something that shouldn’t receive enough attention. Being careful to closely follow instructions and to mention all key information is essential to avoid creating confusion for graders and dealing with consequences. Examining the instructions carefully, also makes you keenly aware of the academic honesty requirements that apply in this case.