when assignments are due meaning

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What is the difference between assignments due and assignments ?Feel free to just provide example sentences.

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@sa_ra_ “due this week” means they have to be handed in this week. If they don’t say ‘due’ it means they are doing some assignments, and we don’t know when they might be due. So this ‘due’ is like “The bus is due in half an hour.” It means that is the scheduled time. ‘Due’ has other meanings, like “There was flooding due to the rain.” That ‘due’ means ‘because of’.

when assignments are due meaning

Due means you have to submit the assignment. If the sentence says "you have assignments due" it means you haven't submitted your assignments yet, or that you are "due" assignments (as if it's like a debt of some sort that you have to pay). If it says "assignment due this friday" it means you have to submit it until friday.

@sa_ra_ where did you see this "due" has several meanings..

when assignments are due meaning

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What Assignment Due 11:59 PM means: What Comes After

What Assignment Due 11:59 PM means: What Comes After

Assignment Due 1159 PM

Assignment Due 1159 PM

Assignment due dates are part of the assignment itself. The instructor/teacher/professor wants to determine whether their students can adhere to simple instructions.

This is the reason why assignments that are delivered late attract fines in terms of deduction in marks or even rejection.

when assignments are due meaning

Yes, some of the instructors are very strict when it comes to assignment due dates and they can reject your assignment even when it is a few minutes late!

Now, instructors can give students various due dates that determine the date, hour, and minute in which they are required to submit their completed work.

They may decide to set those due dates or let the plagiarism-checking platforms such as Turnitin or Blackboard set default deadlines. 

Note that some institutions only allow their students to submit their work through such platforms so that the assignments can be automatically checked for plagiarism. 

That being said, let us explore what the most common due dates and times mean for students and the submission of assignments. 

What does Due 11:59 PM Mean

11:59 PM is one of the most common assignments’ due time (deadline) given to students. I know you may be wondering why this is the case. Why not any other time of the day?

Well, the reason is that in the contemporary world, institutions of learning may have students from different time zones who may be attending online classes or are required to submit their homework at the same time. 

In assignment submission, 11:59 PM means that the paper or essay is due at the very last minute of that day and not even a second or a minute late. If as a student you upload a file one minute after 11:59 PM, will have submitted on the next day 00:00 AM, and not the previous day, which is a minute earlier.

For example, if the instructor states that the assignment is due, let’s say, on Friday the 16th, students should deliver their work by 11:59 PM on Friday the 16th. If you upload it on Saturday the 17th then you are late because the time will be 00:00 hours, a new day.

11.59 pm

To coordinate the due time, a specific due date has to be set in which the final day to submit the assignments is set.

A complete day is made up of 24 hours with the start of the day being at midnight.

Midnight is written in 24hrs clock as 00:00 hours.

What this means is that when the clock reads 00:00 hours, we have entered another day.

Therefore, if students were required to submit on the previous day, it means that they are late. 

Is 11:59 Pm Morning or Night?

am and pm

To some of us, determining whether 11:59 PM is morning or night can be confusing.

Some of the genuine reasons for this confusion are that the “PM” initials signify nighttime and most of the time zones in the world are within the dark side of the earth; meaning that they are experiencing night.

However, 00:00 hours or midnight is considered to be part of the morning because it is the start of a new day.

The problem is that 11:59 PM and 00:00 hours are separated by less than 1 minute (59 seconds) and the former is considered night while the latter is considered morning. Well, all the factors held constant, 11:59 PM should be considered night.

Don’t be confused by the aforementioned technicalities. What matters is the time of day. If it is 11:59 PM, the day has ended and a new day will begin at 00:00 hours midnight. 

What Comes After 11:59 PM?

As aforementioned, 11:59 PM signifies the end of a complete day. A complete day is made up of 24 hours and 11:59 PM in 24 hours style clock is written as 23:59 hours.

This indicates that only less than a minute is left for the 24 hour-day to end. Therefore, when 11:59 PM passes, a new day comes when the clock indicates 00:00 hours or midnight. 

What Does “Due Tomorrow At 11:59 PM” Mean?

As we have noted, a complete day is made up of 24 hours. What this means is that for us to experience a complete “today”, we must experience it from midnight (00:00 hours/midnight) to 23:59 hours/11:59 PM.

don't be late

Therefore, when someone tells you that they expect something tomorrow, it means that today must pass; or rather we must pass 11:59 PM and transition to 12 AM or 00:00 hours because that would be a new day (tomorrow). 

Now, if your instructor tells you that your assignment is due tomorrow at 11:59 PM, it means that they expect the assignment the next day one minute before midnight.

For example, if today is Friday the 16th and the instructor has told students that their assignment is due tomorrow at 11:59 PM, they will have to submit their work by Saturday the 17th at 11:59 PM. If students submit their work one minute after that, they will have delivered on a Sunday morning (12 AM or 00:00 hours). 

What Happens when you Submit an Assignment at 11:59 Pm?

If you submit your assignment at exactly 11:59 PM, you are okay because you have not breached the deadline.

An important thing you should note as students is that when your instructors ask you to submit your assignment, they tell you to do so via plagiarism-checking tools such as Turnitin or Blackboard. Such tools set their default deadlines at 11:59 PM because it is the end of a complete day.

They do not count the seconds between 11:59 PM and 12 AM. According to such tools, you only need to submit your work before the clock in your time zone reads 00:00 hours or midnight.

Tips on how to Submit an Assignment at 11:59 PM

1. upload one file.

upload one file

As noted, students should make sure that they upload their assignments before midnight because the assignments will be past due.

If you are submitting your assignment at 11:59 PM, it means that you only have less than 1 minute (60 seconds) to upload your assignment files.

To ensure that your assignment is successfully uploaded within a few seconds, it is best to upload it as one file to avoid wasting time. It takes more time to upload several files, meaning that you will be late. 

2. Use Fast Internet

Bearing in mind that you only have a few seconds to upload your assignment files, you should use fast internet. Fast internet will allow you to upload your files within a short time and beat the deadline.

Slow internet is not only annoying but it can make you submit your work past the deadline because by the time it uploads the complete file, the 59-second window will have passed. 

3. Ensure the Computer is Plugged

This should be an obvious thing to do. Your computer should be plugged in to ensure that there are no disruptions when uploading your assignment files. 

4. Upload a Small Size File

Small file sizes can be uploaded faster compared to larger files. Additionally, if your internet is slow, the process of uploading a small-size file will be faster.

Larger files will take more time even when there is moderate-speed internet. 

5. Do not Close the Window/tab

It is also very important to not close the window or tab of your browser as you are uploading your assignment. This is because if you close, the window or tab will take more time to reload the content and this will make you late. 

6. Wait until the Upload is Confirmed

successful upload

Finally, it is important to wait until the uploaded assignment has been confirmed.

Do not be in a hurry to close the browser window/tab before confirming that the file upload has been successful.

This is because it might not be successful at times and you may be required to retry uploading the file again. 

Therefore, to avoid submitting your assignments late and consequently being penalized, take note of the explanations and tips in this article. 

when assignments are due meaning

With over 10 years in academia and academic assistance, Alicia Smart is the epitome of excellence in the writing industry. She is our chief editor and in charge of the writing department at Grade Bees.

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How strict should you be? A guide to assignment due dates.

when assignments are due meaning

Colleges typically require instructors to include a calendar of assignment due dates in every course syllabus. But most syllabi also include a disclaimer that assignment deadlines are subject to change.  

So, how flexible should deadlines really be in a college course? 

Be Flexible, or be Rigid, but Always be Consistent 

Be consistent in your approach to deadline flexibility, whether you never accept late work or are always willing to make an exception. Nothing irritates strong students more than their instructor announcing, “Since so many of you asked for more time on the assignment that was due today, I’m extending its deadline to next week.”  

Syllabi should always include a clearly stated policy about the circumstances under which late work might be accepted, if at all.  

But should this policy be applied equally to low-stakes and high-stakes assignments? 

Low-Stakes Assessments  

If a course has many low-stakes assessments, like quizzes or homework problems, those assignments are usually due on the same day each week.  

For example, if class meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays, there might a reading quiz due every Monday, to ensure that students are prepared for the week’s in-class discussions, and a homework problem due every Friday, to verify understanding of the week’s concepts. 

Here are three solid approaches to deadline flexibility for low-stakes assessments: 

1. Not flexible: Late work is never accepted  

If a student misses a deadline, they receive zero points on that assignment. 

This approach works best in courses that have many low-stakes assignments, such as reading quizzes on every textbook chapter, where missing one or two deadlines will not jeopardize a student’s understanding of the core concepts nor greatly impact their final letter grade. 

2. Somewhat flexible: Late work is accepted, at a penalty  

If a student misses a deadline, they can submit the assignment late, but their score will be penalized a specified amount (e.g. -5 points). 

This approach works best in courses where content acquisition is scaffolded such that missing one assignment will negatively impact a student’s understanding of core concepts and successful completion of future assignments. In this case, students who miss deadlines should be permitted to complete the missed assignments, but with a small scoring penalty to encourage on-time submissions in future weeks. 

3. Very flexible: Late work is made up, with instructor permission 

If a student misses a deadline, they must contact the instructor and arrange an alternate way to complete the assignment (e.g. by taking a make-up quiz during the instructor’s office hours). 

This approach works best in courses where low-stakes assessments are considered part of a student’s participation grade. In this case, missing a deadline is like missing a class meeting. Students should be encouraged to initiate contact with the instructor to arrange a way to verify their understanding of the missed assignment’s concepts.  

High-Stakes Assessments  

Every course has one or more high-stakes assessments, such as exams or research papers. These assessments are weighted more heavily (worth more of the overall course grade) than lower-stakes assessments because these are higher-level demonstrations of students’ proficiency in the course outcomes. Failure to successfully complete high-stakes assessments generally leads to failure of the entire course. 

What kind of flexibility is appropriate then for key, high-stakes course assessments? 

1. Not flexible: Deadlines do not change, under any circumstances  

If a student misses a deadline, they receive zero points on that assessment. 

This is the most common approach to deadlines for high-stakes assessments. It is rare for a college instructor to permit students to make up a missed midterm or final exam because students making up an exam would receive the unfair advantage of more time to prepare for the exam. Also, many final exams are scheduled for the very end of term, when there is no time remaining for make-up testing before instructors must report course grades to the college. 

2. Somewhat flexible: Deadlines are extended, at a penalty 

If a student misses a deadline, they can submit the assessment late, but their score will be penalized a specified amount (e.g. one letter grade per day). 

This approach is more common for midterm assessments, or for courses with single high-stakes assessments, such as a research paper that students work on throughout the term. If students who miss the deadline for a high-stakes assessment can still submit their work, but their score is heavily penalized, the course grades will accurately reflect the students’ term-long proficiency in the course outcomes. For example, a student who earned “A” scores all term but submitted their final paper one day late could still finish the course with a “B” grade. 

Remember, flexibility around assignments should be geared towards what makes sense in your course and for your students. While there are a lot of possible variations in regards to policy, the most critical element is to be clear and upfront with your students early in the term. This will help avoid confusion and complaints – and help you keep your sanity at the end of the term when students come looking for extra chances to make up missed work! 

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The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Understanding Assignments

What this handout is about.

The first step in any successful college writing venture is reading the assignment. While this sounds like a simple task, it can be a tough one. This handout will help you unravel your assignment and begin to craft an effective response. Much of the following advice will involve translating typical assignment terms and practices into meaningful clues to the type of writing your instructor expects. See our short video for more tips.

Basic beginnings

Regardless of the assignment, department, or instructor, adopting these two habits will serve you well :

  • Read the assignment carefully as soon as you receive it. Do not put this task off—reading the assignment at the beginning will save you time, stress, and problems later. An assignment can look pretty straightforward at first, particularly if the instructor has provided lots of information. That does not mean it will not take time and effort to complete; you may even have to learn a new skill to complete the assignment.
  • Ask the instructor about anything you do not understand. Do not hesitate to approach your instructor. Instructors would prefer to set you straight before you hand the paper in. That’s also when you will find their feedback most useful.

Assignment formats

Many assignments follow a basic format. Assignments often begin with an overview of the topic, include a central verb or verbs that describe the task, and offer some additional suggestions, questions, or prompts to get you started.

An Overview of Some Kind

The instructor might set the stage with some general discussion of the subject of the assignment, introduce the topic, or remind you of something pertinent that you have discussed in class. For example:

“Throughout history, gerbils have played a key role in politics,” or “In the last few weeks of class, we have focused on the evening wear of the housefly …”

The Task of the Assignment

Pay attention; this part tells you what to do when you write the paper. Look for the key verb or verbs in the sentence. Words like analyze, summarize, or compare direct you to think about your topic in a certain way. Also pay attention to words such as how, what, when, where, and why; these words guide your attention toward specific information. (See the section in this handout titled “Key Terms” for more information.)

“Analyze the effect that gerbils had on the Russian Revolution”, or “Suggest an interpretation of housefly undergarments that differs from Darwin’s.”

Additional Material to Think about

Here you will find some questions to use as springboards as you begin to think about the topic. Instructors usually include these questions as suggestions rather than requirements. Do not feel compelled to answer every question unless the instructor asks you to do so. Pay attention to the order of the questions. Sometimes they suggest the thinking process your instructor imagines you will need to follow to begin thinking about the topic.

“You may wish to consider the differing views held by Communist gerbils vs. Monarchist gerbils, or Can there be such a thing as ‘the housefly garment industry’ or is it just a home-based craft?”

These are the instructor’s comments about writing expectations:

“Be concise”, “Write effectively”, or “Argue furiously.”

Technical Details

These instructions usually indicate format rules or guidelines.

“Your paper must be typed in Palatino font on gray paper and must not exceed 600 pages. It is due on the anniversary of Mao Tse-tung’s death.”

The assignment’s parts may not appear in exactly this order, and each part may be very long or really short. Nonetheless, being aware of this standard pattern can help you understand what your instructor wants you to do.

Interpreting the assignment

Ask yourself a few basic questions as you read and jot down the answers on the assignment sheet:

Why did your instructor ask you to do this particular task?

Who is your audience.

  • What kind of evidence do you need to support your ideas?

What kind of writing style is acceptable?

  • What are the absolute rules of the paper?

Try to look at the question from the point of view of the instructor. Recognize that your instructor has a reason for giving you this assignment and for giving it to you at a particular point in the semester. In every assignment, the instructor has a challenge for you. This challenge could be anything from demonstrating an ability to think clearly to demonstrating an ability to use the library. See the assignment not as a vague suggestion of what to do but as an opportunity to show that you can handle the course material as directed. Paper assignments give you more than a topic to discuss—they ask you to do something with the topic. Keep reminding yourself of that. Be careful to avoid the other extreme as well: do not read more into the assignment than what is there.

Of course, your instructor has given you an assignment so that he or she will be able to assess your understanding of the course material and give you an appropriate grade. But there is more to it than that. Your instructor has tried to design a learning experience of some kind. Your instructor wants you to think about something in a particular way for a particular reason. If you read the course description at the beginning of your syllabus, review the assigned readings, and consider the assignment itself, you may begin to see the plan, purpose, or approach to the subject matter that your instructor has created for you. If you still aren’t sure of the assignment’s goals, try asking the instructor. For help with this, see our handout on getting feedback .

Given your instructor’s efforts, it helps to answer the question: What is my purpose in completing this assignment? Is it to gather research from a variety of outside sources and present a coherent picture? Is it to take material I have been learning in class and apply it to a new situation? Is it to prove a point one way or another? Key words from the assignment can help you figure this out. Look for key terms in the form of active verbs that tell you what to do.

Key Terms: Finding Those Active Verbs

Here are some common key words and definitions to help you think about assignment terms:

Information words Ask you to demonstrate what you know about the subject, such as who, what, when, where, how, and why.

  • define —give the subject’s meaning (according to someone or something). Sometimes you have to give more than one view on the subject’s meaning
  • describe —provide details about the subject by answering question words (such as who, what, when, where, how, and why); you might also give details related to the five senses (what you see, hear, feel, taste, and smell)
  • explain —give reasons why or examples of how something happened
  • illustrate —give descriptive examples of the subject and show how each is connected with the subject
  • summarize —briefly list the important ideas you learned about the subject
  • trace —outline how something has changed or developed from an earlier time to its current form
  • research —gather material from outside sources about the subject, often with the implication or requirement that you will analyze what you have found

Relation words Ask you to demonstrate how things are connected.

  • compare —show how two or more things are similar (and, sometimes, different)
  • contrast —show how two or more things are dissimilar
  • apply—use details that you’ve been given to demonstrate how an idea, theory, or concept works in a particular situation
  • cause —show how one event or series of events made something else happen
  • relate —show or describe the connections between things

Interpretation words Ask you to defend ideas of your own about the subject. Do not see these words as requesting opinion alone (unless the assignment specifically says so), but as requiring opinion that is supported by concrete evidence. Remember examples, principles, definitions, or concepts from class or research and use them in your interpretation.

  • assess —summarize your opinion of the subject and measure it against something
  • prove, justify —give reasons or examples to demonstrate how or why something is the truth
  • evaluate, respond —state your opinion of the subject as good, bad, or some combination of the two, with examples and reasons
  • support —give reasons or evidence for something you believe (be sure to state clearly what it is that you believe)
  • synthesize —put two or more things together that have not been put together in class or in your readings before; do not just summarize one and then the other and say that they are similar or different—you must provide a reason for putting them together that runs all the way through the paper
  • analyze —determine how individual parts create or relate to the whole, figure out how something works, what it might mean, or why it is important
  • argue —take a side and defend it with evidence against the other side

More Clues to Your Purpose As you read the assignment, think about what the teacher does in class:

  • What kinds of textbooks or coursepack did your instructor choose for the course—ones that provide background information, explain theories or perspectives, or argue a point of view?
  • In lecture, does your instructor ask your opinion, try to prove her point of view, or use keywords that show up again in the assignment?
  • What kinds of assignments are typical in this discipline? Social science classes often expect more research. Humanities classes thrive on interpretation and analysis.
  • How do the assignments, readings, and lectures work together in the course? Instructors spend time designing courses, sometimes even arguing with their peers about the most effective course materials. Figuring out the overall design to the course will help you understand what each assignment is meant to achieve.

Now, what about your reader? Most undergraduates think of their audience as the instructor. True, your instructor is a good person to keep in mind as you write. But for the purposes of a good paper, think of your audience as someone like your roommate: smart enough to understand a clear, logical argument, but not someone who already knows exactly what is going on in your particular paper. Remember, even if the instructor knows everything there is to know about your paper topic, he or she still has to read your paper and assess your understanding. In other words, teach the material to your reader.

Aiming a paper at your audience happens in two ways: you make decisions about the tone and the level of information you want to convey.

  • Tone means the “voice” of your paper. Should you be chatty, formal, or objective? Usually you will find some happy medium—you do not want to alienate your reader by sounding condescending or superior, but you do not want to, um, like, totally wig on the man, you know? Eschew ostentatious erudition: some students think the way to sound academic is to use big words. Be careful—you can sound ridiculous, especially if you use the wrong big words.
  • The level of information you use depends on who you think your audience is. If you imagine your audience as your instructor and she already knows everything you have to say, you may find yourself leaving out key information that can cause your argument to be unconvincing and illogical. But you do not have to explain every single word or issue. If you are telling your roommate what happened on your favorite science fiction TV show last night, you do not say, “First a dark-haired white man of average height, wearing a suit and carrying a flashlight, walked into the room. Then a purple alien with fifteen arms and at least three eyes turned around. Then the man smiled slightly. In the background, you could hear a clock ticking. The room was fairly dark and had at least two windows that I saw.” You also do not say, “This guy found some aliens. The end.” Find some balance of useful details that support your main point.

You’ll find a much more detailed discussion of these concepts in our handout on audience .

The Grim Truth

With a few exceptions (including some lab and ethnography reports), you are probably being asked to make an argument. You must convince your audience. It is easy to forget this aim when you are researching and writing; as you become involved in your subject matter, you may become enmeshed in the details and focus on learning or simply telling the information you have found. You need to do more than just repeat what you have read. Your writing should have a point, and you should be able to say it in a sentence. Sometimes instructors call this sentence a “thesis” or a “claim.”

So, if your instructor tells you to write about some aspect of oral hygiene, you do not want to just list: “First, you brush your teeth with a soft brush and some peanut butter. Then, you floss with unwaxed, bologna-flavored string. Finally, gargle with bourbon.” Instead, you could say, “Of all the oral cleaning methods, sandblasting removes the most plaque. Therefore it should be recommended by the American Dental Association.” Or, “From an aesthetic perspective, moldy teeth can be quite charming. However, their joys are short-lived.”

Convincing the reader of your argument is the goal of academic writing. It doesn’t have to say “argument” anywhere in the assignment for you to need one. Look at the assignment and think about what kind of argument you could make about it instead of just seeing it as a checklist of information you have to present. For help with understanding the role of argument in academic writing, see our handout on argument .

What kind of evidence do you need?

There are many kinds of evidence, and what type of evidence will work for your assignment can depend on several factors–the discipline, the parameters of the assignment, and your instructor’s preference. Should you use statistics? Historical examples? Do you need to conduct your own experiment? Can you rely on personal experience? See our handout on evidence for suggestions on how to use evidence appropriately.

Make sure you are clear about this part of the assignment, because your use of evidence will be crucial in writing a successful paper. You are not just learning how to argue; you are learning how to argue with specific types of materials and ideas. Ask your instructor what counts as acceptable evidence. You can also ask a librarian for help. No matter what kind of evidence you use, be sure to cite it correctly—see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial .

You cannot always tell from the assignment just what sort of writing style your instructor expects. The instructor may be really laid back in class but still expect you to sound formal in writing. Or the instructor may be fairly formal in class and ask you to write a reflection paper where you need to use “I” and speak from your own experience.

Try to avoid false associations of a particular field with a style (“art historians like wacky creativity,” or “political scientists are boring and just give facts”) and look instead to the types of readings you have been given in class. No one expects you to write like Plato—just use the readings as a guide for what is standard or preferable to your instructor. When in doubt, ask your instructor about the level of formality she or he expects.

No matter what field you are writing for or what facts you are including, if you do not write so that your reader can understand your main idea, you have wasted your time. So make clarity your main goal. For specific help with style, see our handout on style .

Technical details about the assignment

The technical information you are given in an assignment always seems like the easy part. This section can actually give you lots of little hints about approaching the task. Find out if elements such as page length and citation format (see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial ) are negotiable. Some professors do not have strong preferences as long as you are consistent and fully answer the assignment. Some professors are very specific and will deduct big points for deviations.

Usually, the page length tells you something important: The instructor thinks the size of the paper is appropriate to the assignment’s parameters. In plain English, your instructor is telling you how many pages it should take for you to answer the question as fully as you are expected to. So if an assignment is two pages long, you cannot pad your paper with examples or reword your main idea several times. Hit your one point early, defend it with the clearest example, and finish quickly. If an assignment is ten pages long, you can be more complex in your main points and examples—and if you can only produce five pages for that assignment, you need to see someone for help—as soon as possible.

Tricks that don’t work

Your instructors are not fooled when you:

  • spend more time on the cover page than the essay —graphics, cool binders, and cute titles are no replacement for a well-written paper.
  • use huge fonts, wide margins, or extra spacing to pad the page length —these tricks are immediately obvious to the eye. Most instructors use the same word processor you do. They know what’s possible. Such tactics are especially damning when the instructor has a stack of 60 papers to grade and yours is the only one that low-flying airplane pilots could read.
  • use a paper from another class that covered “sort of similar” material . Again, the instructor has a particular task for you to fulfill in the assignment that usually relates to course material and lectures. Your other paper may not cover this material, and turning in the same paper for more than one course may constitute an Honor Code violation . Ask the instructor—it can’t hurt.
  • get all wacky and “creative” before you answer the question . Showing that you are able to think beyond the boundaries of a simple assignment can be good, but you must do what the assignment calls for first. Again, check with your instructor. A humorous tone can be refreshing for someone grading a stack of papers, but it will not get you a good grade if you have not fulfilled the task.

Critical reading of assignments leads to skills in other types of reading and writing. If you get good at figuring out what the real goals of assignments are, you are going to be better at understanding the goals of all of your classes and fields of study.

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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Due On, Due By, Or Due For? Difference Explained (+18 Examples)

Prepositions come after many words in English, and it’s important to understand how the meaning of words changes based on which preposition follows it. Let’s look at whether we use due on, due by, or due for, and what each one means.

What Is The Difference Between Due On, Due By, And Due For?

Due on should be used when something must be submitted on a given date and no other time. Due by should be used when something can be submitted on a given date or before. Due for should be used when something is submitted to a person, rather than a time.

What Is The Difference Between Due On, Due By, And Due For?

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When Is The Deadline Day Included?

When you want to announce the deadline day, it always comes after the preposition. That means you can say “due on Friday” or “due by Tuesday next week.”

You can only put the deadline day after the preposition to indicate the urgency of the submission to the people you’re talking to. “Due on Friday” shows the urgency of getting it completed by Friday, while “due by Friday” shows that you can do it by Friday or before.

Does Due By Friday Mean On Friday Or Before Friday?

“Due by Friday” means both on and before Friday. It’s up to you how you want to interpret the message. Usually, you will start to work on the submission early and see how long it takes you to complete.

When something is “due by Friday,” it means you have until Friday to complete it. If you work on it earlier than that and complete it before Friday, you can hand it in whenever it’s ready.

Usually, tasks that are “due by” aren’t as urgent as ones that are “due on,” and there’s no given time frame for how long that task might take somebody to complete. Some people like to leave “due by” tasks until the last minute and hand it in on the last day, but this isn’t always a wise decision.

Is Completing A Task On The Due Date Considered Overdue?

Depending on what was asked of you, completing a task on the due date may be considered overdue. Typically, you want to finish the task before the due date to make sure that you can hand it in on time, ready for the due date.

Due dates usually include a day and a time. If you decide to complete your task on the expected day, you may often be overdue, as many people choose to finish their tasks earlier in the week to make sure they have something to hand in.

Of course, the time you hand something in and the time you complete it depends on the task in question. Some school assignments might take less time than a data-entry assignment would at your workplace. It’s dependent on what someone asked you to do, just as much as it’s dependent on your own work ethic.

Generally, make sure you get your task completed before the due date. That way, you’ll never hand in work that’s overdue.

6 Examples Of How To Use “Due On” In A Sentence

Let’s look through some examples now of when “due on” is used. We use this when we’re setting a specific time to hand in work. There’s no leeway or wiggle room with this time either. We typically tell them that the day is final, meaning no submissions before or after.

  • This essay is due on Friday the 14th; otherwise, you will fail.
  • This assignment is due on Monday next week.
  • It’s due on Thursday, and I haven’t even started working on it yet!
  • We’re due on Wednesday to hand this in.
  • What day is the work assignment due on, sir?
  • This is due on Saturday, no earlier, no later.

6 Examples Of How To Use “Due By” In A Sentence

Let’s see how “due by” is used next. There’s a lot more wiggle room and leniency when someone uses “due by.” They don’t want you to hand in the assignment later than mentioned, but they’re more than happy to accept it earlier than that if you complete it. Often, they’ll reward you for completing it quicker.

  • The homework is due by Friday, okay?
  • I’ve set you an assignment that’s due by Sunday.
  • This piece is due by next weekend, right?
  • I’ve got to finish my essay that’s due by tomorrow morning.
  • The article is due by tomorrow evening.
  • You have to complete the document for me. It’s due by noon!

6 Examples Of How To Use “Due For” In A Sentence

Finally, “due for” is used when the intended thing is a person or place rather than a time frame. Also, if you use the word “when” to start a question, you will finish it with “due for.”

  • When is this due for again?
  • Is that due for Mr. Robinson’s class?
  • That’s due for Tom, isn’t it?
  • That’s due for the class at six, right?
  • When is our homework due for?
  • When is this due for?

Is It Ever Correct To Use “Due At”?

When we want to be even more specific with our due date, we can include “due at.”

If we’re already on the day that the work was due and want to specify a time, that’s when we use “due at.” It keeps things even more specific than previously mentioned.

  • This is due at six o’clock.
  • This is due at two.

Quiz: Have You Mastered The Due On Vs Due By Vs Due For Grammar?

Now we’ll run you through a quick quiz to see what you’ve learned from this article! We’ll include the answers at the end for you to compare with as well.

  • The homework is (A. due on / B. due by / C. due for) Friday and no earlier.
  • The sooner you get it done, the better. It’s (A. due on / B. due by / C. due for) Tuesday.
  • When is our essay (A. due on / B. due by / C. due for)?
  • Is that (A. due on / B. due by / C. due for) Tuesday or Wednesday?
  • This assignment is (A. due on / B. due by / C. due for) next week.

Quiz Answers

You might also like: “By Tomorrow” – Learn What It Actually Means! (Examples & Facts)

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Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here .

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Definition of assignment

task , duty , job , chore , stint , assignment mean a piece of work to be done.

task implies work imposed by a person in authority or an employer or by circumstance.

duty implies an obligation to perform or responsibility for performance.

job applies to a piece of work voluntarily performed; it may sometimes suggest difficulty or importance.

chore implies a minor routine activity necessary for maintaining a household or farm.

stint implies a carefully allotted or measured quantity of assigned work or service.

assignment implies a definite limited task assigned by one in authority.

Examples of assignment in a Sentence

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'assignment.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

see assign entry 1

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Phrases Containing assignment

  • self - assignment

Dictionary Entries Near assignment

Cite this entry.

“Assignment.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary , Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/assignment. Accessed 5 Mar. 2024.

Legal Definition

Legal definition of assignment, more from merriam-webster on assignment.

Nglish: Translation of assignment for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of assignment for Arabic Speakers

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How To Organize Assignments So You Never Miss A Due Date Again

If you aren’t a pro at organizing your assignments for school, I guarantee you will be after this! One of the first things a student should do before school starts is to make sure that they have a reliable way to organize their assignments. This is why I’m going to teach you how to organize assignments so you never miss a due date again!

Putting all of your assignments for the semester in at least ONE place will actively remind you of your due dates so you don’t ever forget them. I will go through some of the most popular methods to organize your assignments as well as let you know which method I prefer the best.

How To Organize Your Assignments As A Student

The three major ways you can organize your assignments include using a school planner app, using a physical planner, and using Google Calendar. All of these methods have their benefits and drawbacks, but they all have been proven to work and I know you will find the perfect method for you.

myHomework App

One of my favorite apps for college students is myHomework ! It is the ultimate app for organizing your assignments. You all do not understand how life-changing this one app was when I discovered it during my freshman year! Because of myHomework, I never missed an assignment due date. The best part is that it’s extremely easy to use! Check out the tutorial video below.

how to organize with myhomework:

  • Download the app from your app store
  • Create a free account
  • Color code each class
  • Put in what times you will take that class
  • What type of assignment it is
  • Priority level (how important/urgent it is to get it done)
  • Reminders (so you don’t forget to actually do it)
  • Attach any additional files (instructions, deadline timeline, etc.)
  • And completing an assignment is as easy as swiping to the left and poof💨 it’s gone!

This is by far my favorite method because after you set everything, you’re done! Unlike a physical planner where you have to constantly refer to what you wrote, with this app, you can get automated notifications and reminders for each assignment. Spend a day before the semester begins to take a couple of hours to import all of your assignments. Seriously focus on customizing exactly how you want (reminders, priority level, etc). Once you’re done, you will have a complete look at every single assignment you will need to complete and any additional information right at your fingertips. It’s simple, straightforward, and reliable.

Why it works:

  • Built-in structure for organizing classes and assignments
  • See monthly, weekly, and daily views of assignments that you need to complete
  • Your data can sync across multiple platforms
  • Supports time-block and period-based schedules
  • It’s 100% free

Related Article ⇾ The Best Essential iPhone Apps For Students

Planner Method

Another way to make sure you keep track of your assignments is to have a physical planner. This is the old-school way that still gets the job done. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there are new planners with different and cool features popping up constantly. There’s a reason why… Planners work when you make them work! The steps for this method are very similar to the steps you would use with the myHomework app.

  • Go through each syllabus and write the classes you will be taking (in the notes section of your planner)
  • I would also highlight them in a particular color and write the days and times that you will take these classes
  • Write down every single assignment that you will have to turn in throughout the semester on its due date
  • Add in every quiz and test day as well as the day you will have to take them

how to organize assignments

Now the next thing you need to do is create reminders. As far as reminding you when things are due, there are many options:

  • You can write reminders in your planner. If you have all of your due dates in your monthly view (as I instructed and recommended above), you can then use the daily or weekly view to insert reminders weekly of assignments/quizzes/projects/tests coming up.
  • If you have all of your due dates in your planner, you can couple this method with using your phone for reminders. Using apps such as Google Calendar or the regular Calendar app can help you get instant reminders to work on assignments and study for tests.

I will have a post all about the best college planners soon! I have tried countless planners. So, I can’t wait to share what has worked a lot for me and how it can help you as well. So stay tuned by signing up for my email list to know when that post will be live!

  • You’re more likely to remember things when you write them down
  • Complete freedom in organizing and being creative with your planning
  • You don’t have to worry about not having wifi

Google Calendar

Google Calendar is a God-send. I prefer this method right now in my daily life because it helps me stay organized and informed of my schedule at ALL times!! I have a complete tutorial on how I set up and organize my Google Calendar so I will have that linked below. But I want to give some great tips in this article as well for organizing your classes and assignments!

Related Article ⇾ How To Time-Block Your Life For Success

Google Calendar has an incredible feature that allows you to create different calendars. For example, I have a calendar that’s strictly for work-related things, I have one for getting random things done, which is appropriately named “Getting Sh*t Done”, and even a calendar strictly for family things. I can also subscribe family members to the “family” one so we all know what is going on.

Color coding helps keep everything more organized as well. Different colors mean different calendars. Choosing brighter colors can be for the more important calendars such as work and appointments and dimmer colors can be for more routine things.

How to apply this method to your classes:

  • This allows you to color-code your classes to differentiate every class and their assignments
  • This blends every class together, but you will be able to determine what’s school-related and what is not related to school in your schedule
  • This helps you see a clear difference between when you have classes when things are due, and when you will work on the things that are due (study time)
  • Complete organization of classes and assignments

Final Things To Consider

Choose what works for you. I like to give different options because I know everyone is different. What works for me might not work for you. So try one way of organizing your assignments. If it doesn’t work out, no biggie, just move on to a new method. The goal is to keep trying until you find that magic formula that helps you stay on top of your school life.

Don’t wait to import your assignments. This is a major pro tip. There was a time one of my professors added a random assignment that we had to complete that semester and I forgot to put it in the myHomework app, so I missed it 🥴 lol… This is why I encourage you to always put things in your planner when your teacher announces any extra assignments or extra credit opportunities that may not have been on the syllabus – right when it’s announced . Otherwise, you will most likely forget. Also, check out my post about how you can get every assignment, even new/random ones automatically imported into your Google Calendar if your school uses Canvas.

Related Article ⇾ How To Sync Your Canvas Calendar To Your Google Calendar

Lastly, make sure you insert reminders for every assignment. In the case that you do forget about a due date, you have enough time to complete it because you placed a reminder for that assignment. Whether you’re super busy or not, we constantly forget things throughout the day and it’s important to have that sort of virtual “personal assistant” to remind us of things. So use your phone to your advantage and make sure you keep track of your due dates.

Many classes, especially in college, won’t allow you to turn in anything late. Which makes organizing your assignments and due dates that much more important!

If you have any other ways that you organize your assignments and due dates, please leave them in the comments below. I’d love to hear how you organize your class dates. I hope you’ve found some awesome ways how to organize assignments in a way that works for you!

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  • Course Design

Six Approaches for Sharing Assignment Due Dates 

  • September 13, 2023
  • Laura Schisler, PhD, and Melissa Locher, EdD

Gather a group of faculty and mention the perennial problem of students turning in assigned work late, and you will often encounter a range of emotional responses, recitations of policies and, perhaps, even blame-placing.  Yet, some faculty experience the late work phenomenon to a lesser extent. While there is nothing that we can do to mitigate the significant life events that happen to students each semester (e.g. death in the family, significant illness, car accidents), we can take steps to ensure that students stay on track with assigned course work and progress through the development of our content in a meaningful manner by taking actions to be a student success-supporting instructor (Kumar & Skrocki, 2016). 

Learning to manage course expectations and juggle deadlines at the university level is a developmental skill that successful students continuously work on to strengthen and refine.  Students are entering the post-secondary environment with mixed experiences managing independent work. While most faculty are accustomed to managing projects and meeting deadlines, our current students may be developmentally emerging in their related abilities. Students often benefit from direct instruction on managing deadlines and instructional supports to ensure that they are successful with assignments completed on their own.  

One such instructional support is a clear, accurate, and predictable course schedule of assignment due dates. Often shared with students at the beginning of the semester, a course schedule provides a table or list of assignment information such as the name of the assignment, the assignment due date/time, and where the assignment should be submitted. This tool can be shared with a student electronically, posted in an LMS, provided in a printable document, or handed out in class.  Students often request that schedules be available in multiple formats for ease of access in varied situations. In the authors’ experience, many students value having a physical copy of the schedule as a tangible reminder of upcoming work.  

In online courses, instructors can provide multiple ways for students to interact with class information, such as course schedules. One fundamental way to set students up for success is to ensure students know when assignments are due in multiple, easily accessible formats. Below are six approaches for sharing due dates with students in online courses:  

  • Table : This approach can involve designing a table, made in any number of available document and spreadsheet programs, that provides multiple points of information in a single space. Tables might include week numbers in the first column and headings across the first row. Headings could include the week start date, topic(s) to be addressed that week, assignments to be submitted that week, possible points, and due dates for those assignments.   Alternatively, a table approach can be utilized to share information on a weekly or unit basis depending on the nature of assignments associated with the course.  For students in the early stages of developing their management skills, small units of information are often more easily managed than the whole-semester-at-once approach.  
  • Calendar : To share due dates in this format, create a calendar document in a program or website that has space to type assignment due dates on the calendar boxes for the corresponding date. The resulting calendar can be shared as a PDF or image file with other course documents such as syllabi.  
  • List : This approach includes weekly blocks of bulleted lists of assignment due dates in a text document. If the course does not involve many weekly assignments, the blocks of assignments could alternatively be grouped by topics or units. This list can be posted on its own or in conjunction with a more detailed course schedule, such as in the Table format. Smaller lists might be used in weekly modules as reminders of assignments due that week or upcoming weeks. A listed course schedule that spans the duration of the course and all the assignment due dates within it can also be used (Revak, 2020). 
  • LMS calendar : Many Learning Management Systems (LMS) will provide an in-site calendar for student use. Instructors can usually indicate a due date when creating an assignment within the LMS, and by including the due date with the assignment, the LMS will automatically populate those due dates in the LMS calendar feature. Dues dates posted on the LMS calendar can then be easily exported to the student’s preferred calendar program. 
  • Announcements : Share approaching due dates with students in the context of weekly announcements. Announcements may already be utilized in online courses, and adding a short list or table of approaching due dates at the end of the announcement provides a quick reminder to students of looming deadlines without needing to check the semester-long version of the course schedule. In addition, a specific announcement can be scheduled to launch 24 hours prior to an assignment due date to prompt students to complete the assignment.  
  • Send reminder feature : Most LMS offer a “send reminder” feature associated with individual assignments.  This is a targeted approach that can be utilized either prior to the assignment deadline or immediately after the assignment deadline passes. This student-specific reminder helps to focus and target information to students who are emerging in their date management skills.  

Whichever approach or approaches are used to share due dates with students, there are some considerations to keep in mind. First, ensure that the published due dates for all methods of sharing those due dates are aligned to avoid the confusion of one due date in the Table and another for the same assignment shared in a weekly announcement. Building the course schedule so assignments are due the same day of the week each week provides consistency and repetition for students (Shipp, 2020). Second, one method approach might work better with a particular course than another, or instructors might prefer one approach over another. It can often be beneficial to ask a class of students about their preferred method at the start of the semester. We can help students developmentally progress by initially meeting them where they are at. Whichever approach works for the instructor to share information and for the students to receive clear and accurate due dates might be the “best” approach. 

Laura Schisler, PhD, is an assistant professor and program coordinator for the master of arts in teaching program in the Teacher Education Department at Missouri Southern State University. Following a career teaching junior high and high school science, she now instructs science methods and general teacher education courses in a variety of instructional formats.   

Melissa Locher, EdD, is an associate professor in the Department of Teacher Education at Missouri Southern State University. She has over 15 years of experience in online instruction in both general education and Special Education course content.    


Kumar, Poonam and Marilyn Skrocki (2016). Ensuring Student Success in Online Courses.  Faculty Focus. https://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/online-education/online-course-design-and-preparation/ensuring-student-success-online-courses/   

Revak, Marie A (2020). When the Tide Goes Out: Identifying and Supporting Struggling Students in Online Courses. Faculty Focus. https://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/online-education/identifying-and-supporting-struggling-students-in-online-courses/   

Shipp, Jeremiah E (2020). Back to the Basics: Revisiting the ABCs of Teaching Online Courses. Faculty Focus. https://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/online-education/back-to-the-basics-revisiting-the-abcs-of-teaching-online-courses/  

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The student news site of Bellaire High School

Three Penny Press

Why do students procrastinate teachers confirm that 11:59 is the magic hour.

Ella Goodweather , Reporter Feb 21, 2021 3 Comments

Ella Goodweather

More stories from Ella Goodweather


Photo provided by Ella Goodweather

The timeline of students turning in assignments before class the next day.

You have definitely done it before. We all have. Your teachers did it. Your parents did it.

So, you turned in that assignment due at midnight at 11:59 pm. Do you think your teachers noticed that you and your friends do this? Well, they know. And we know too. 

A right-before-the-deadline student myself, I interviewed my teachers and peers to find out why so many of us do it. I found that it happens in every subject and grade. As junior Eden Barr quotes one of her teachers saying, “ungodly hours of the night.” 

So again, why did we do it? Procrastination, sleep schedules, work, clubs or extracurriculars. Maybe we work best at night, have home responsibilities or need time to relax from our busy schedule. Or maybe we prioritized other responsibilities or homework assignments and we do not always have the resources you need to complete your assignments. The fact is, at some point, we barely turned in that assignment before the deadline. 

I recently asked four Bellaire students if they do this and they gave me a variety of answers. However, the consensus was that it is easier to start with the assignments they want to do and leave the other ones off. 

Do our teachers notice?  

While many teachers are aware of their students’ habits of the late-night-assignment turn-ins and all-nighters, they are more cognizant of whether a student turns in an assignment in the first place.

AP English Language and Composition teacher Jeffrey Waller said it does not stick out to him when an assignment is turned in late at night on the HUB unless it has passed the deadline. 

However, teachers do notice when Remind messages are sent to them right before a deadline or in the middle of the night. 

AP US History teacher Patricia Edaburn said about 30 percent of the time, she will receive a Remind message late at night on a Sunday. 

Dr. Waller can relate. He also procrastinated in his high school days. 

“Students get in a bad pattern where they come home and crash,” Waller said. “I suspect that virtual school has messed up students’ sleep patterns even more. I see assignments are submitted at all hours of the night.” 

Edaburn senses that some of the students who turn in assignments late waited to the last minute, but at least they are getting their assignments in. 

Edaburn, along with many Bellaire teachers, understands that this is not a typical year, and understands the difficulty many students have with time management. Students at home struggle with a lack of structure or other responsibilities in the home, due to the pandemic. And teachers like Edaburn will accept assignments, even if they have passed the deadline.

“Better late than never,” Edaburn said. 

Has online school made students more likely to turn in their assignments late at night? Junior Crystal Tang and sophomore Anna Bronk said yes, as deadlines are now at midnight.

IB Astronomy and AP Physics C teacher James Newland said he used to make his assignments due at the end of the school day, but he learned that it is unreasonable for all his students to make this deadline, especially during virtual school. 

Also, home situations due to the pandemic may also affect students’ habits. While some students are prone to procrastination, waiting until the last minute, others are busy taking care of younger siblings or with a job. Newland, Edaburn and Waller each agree that flexibility is important for their students’ success. 

Each one of the teachers and students I interviewed agree that time management is key to success, yet so many students still struggle with it. Junior Sam Yifrach keeps an agenda and calendars his deadlines.

“I do my homework in the afternoon and then video games at night,” Yiffrach said. “I know a large group of students do it the opposite way, playing video games first then homework, but it is hard to gauge how much time you need for homework this way, and you will get too tired.” 

Barr also sees this among her friends. 

“Almost every single person I talk to has turned in something after the deadline,” Barr said. “Mostly, this is because of the time management struggle. During virtual school, it feels like I have more time than I actually do.” 

Newland, Edaburn and Waller all notice time management being a struggle for their students. 

“A lot of my students are spread too thin,” Waller said. “It’s hard to have self-discipline. The mentality is ‘oh, it’s not due until tomorrow, so I don’t need to do it right now’.”

Does procrastination work? Tang said, in some cases, it does. 

“It can make you more productive,” Tang said. “Sometimes, I will work faster since I am working close to a deadline.” 

In other cases, procrastination will not work. Barr said that procrastinating makes an assignment more stressful than it needs to be. 

Is there a pattern in which students procrastinate? Yiffrach said that while he almost never procrastinates, it is more likely for him to procrastinate on the assignments that take the longest. Bronk also said that she will procrastinate on the assignments that are not as easy or fun as the other assignments. Tang also relates to both Yiffrach and Bronk’s view. 

“A lot of procrastination is due to the sense of dread and not knowing how much time and energy it will require,” Tang said. 

Will the procrastination end? Edaburn is hopeful that her students will finally put it to rest. 

“When you have no other choice, you do it,” Edaburn said. “The motivation is there when you have to meet a deadline to get paid or not get fired.” 

Tang hopes to stay on top of things in the future due to the higher stakes. Barr said she will also be less of a procrastinator in the future. 

“Procrastinating is just part of life and growth,” Barr said. “It’s just human nature to sometimes do things at the last minute.”

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Cynthia C. • Oct 24, 2022 at 11:23 pm

I agree; I work full-time, am single, have one income, three kids, no joint custody, practices every day for them, homework, dinner, and baths. etc. so I do my work at night. Some nights I am more tired and get less accomplished. In my literature classes, writing takes an enormous amount of time. Reading is daunting as my eye sight is poor, and even if it weren’t research and writing takes a long time. So, I have been working on one of my classes assignments for about six days now, it was due tonight at 11:59. I got stuck on a page break that kept doing what it wanted. So after I gave up and went to submit, it was seconds past 11:59 so the entire week 9 folder was gone. I didn’t even realize it counted in seconds. 11:59 is 11:59 to me. This is not a reflection of, oh your going to have to meet deadlines at work and so on get over it, your fault. This is reality; this is not a robotic world. And no job that I can get into is ever going to say; you’re fired; you’re seconds late. This discounts all of the work that was put in. Professors don’t see what goes on behind closed doors to get this work done, and lastly, I am the one paying for these classes. That is commitment right there; I am choosing to sacrifice my money to better my future (goal), which shows a lot more responsibility in the workforce than a few seconds of delayed turn-in on deadlines.

Carol Gaylord • Mar 14, 2022 at 4:38 pm

I agree with the teacher especially this year and last year due to covid 19 if the student is getting the work in is a good thing That is like when kids shoe up a few minutes late to class I myself being a parent of 4 childrem my focus would not be on the minutes the student shows up late for class my focus would be on the student showing up to class. It’s the same thing as parents, teachers , role models need to focus on what the child, student, peers progress on their lives journey not their downfalls. Let us encourage one another to do better as an example not a dictator. Do as I say not as I do. Hypocrites are what they are called. The last thing a teacher, parent, etc. needs to be called is a hypocrite. We all need to be role models but most of all is we all need to be authentic Real to each other. ??

Confess your faults one to another and thou shall be healed. Amen

Carol Gaylord • Mar 14, 2022 at 4:36 pm

I agree with the teacher especially this year and last year due to covid 19 if the student is getting the work in is a good thing That is like when kids shoe up a few minutes late to class I myself being a parent of 4childrem my focus would not be on the minutes the student shows up late for class my focus would be on the student showing up to class. It’s the same thing as parents, teachers , role models need to focus on what the child, student, peers progress on their lives journey not their downfalls. Let us encourage one another to do better as an example not a dictator. Do as I say not as I do. Hypocrites are what they are called. The last thing a teacher, parent, etc. needs to be called is a hypocrite. We all need to be role models but most of all is we all need to be authentic Real to each other. ??

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Tax Time Guide: IRS enhances Where’s My Refund? tool for 2024 filing season

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The Where’s My Refund? tool provides taxpayers with three key pieces of information: IRS confirmation of receiving a federal tax return, approval of the tax refund and issuing date of the approved tax refund. Information for returns from tax years 2023, 2022 and 2021 is available.

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The leap year is February 29, not December 32 due to a Roman calendar quirk – and fastidious medieval monks

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Associate Professor of Old English, University College Dublin

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Illustration of St. Benedict delivering his rule to the monks of his order

Have you ever wondered why the extra day of the leap year falls on February 29, an odd date in the middle of the year, and not at the end of the year on December 32? There is a simple answer, and a slightly more complex one.

Let’s start with the simple answer. Several ancient cultures (including early Christians) believed the world was created in the spring and therefore March was the beginning of the year. This means that when the Roman calendar added an extra day in February, they were in fact adding a day at the end of their year. So the simple answer is that we put the leap day at the end of February because the Romans did.

Except that isn’t exactly true. The Romans did not add an extra day on February 29, but on February 24, which is where the more complicated answer begins. The Romans kept a calendar by counting backwards from specific set times of the month, the kalends (March 1), the nones (March 7) and the ides (March 15) . Julius Caesar was famously told in Shakespeare’s play to: “Beware the ides of March,” also known as March 15, the day of his murder.

If the Romans started counting on the first day of March, which they called the kalends and moved backwards, then their days would progress retrospectively like this: the kalends is March 1, second kalends is February 28, third kalends is February 27 and so on until February 24 is the sixth kalends of March. On a leap day, they added a second sixth kalends of March, which they called the “bissextile day”, that is the second sixth day. In older writings of various kinds, you will still see people call the leap day, February 29, the bissextile day.

Monks and the leap day

This practice of adding a leap day in February continued into the middle ages and was taught in monastic classrooms. Writing in the 11th century, the Anglo-Saxon scholar Byrhtferth of Ramsey explained to his students : “[The bissextile day] is so called because bis is ‘twice’ and sextus is ‘sixth,’ and because in that year we say ‘sixth kalends of March’ [February 24] today and the next day we say ‘sixth kalends of March’ [February 25] again.”

Byrhtferth’s students were monks and priests, and they needed to know about the leap day so that they could calculate religious feasts like Easter correctly. Easter is tricky to calculate because it is the first Sunday, after the first full moon, after the spring equinox (March 21 in medieval observance, March 20 in modern reckoning).

If you fail to include the leap day, you will also place the spring equinox on the wrong day, and suddenly your parish is celebrating a whole host of religious observances from Ash Wednesday, to Lent, to Holy Week, to Pentecost on the wrong day.

For Byrhtferth and his contemporaries celebrating these holy feasts on the wrong day was no small matter. They believed that the correct reckoning of time lies beneath the very fabric of the universe .

Byrthtferth's most famous diagram.

Byrthtferth was known for elaborate diagrams and this (left) is his most famous one. This diagram shows the cosmic correspondence between the times of the year (represented in the outside circuit by the astrological signs) with the equinoxes and the solstices positioned at the corners .

As you move to the interior diamond shape, you see the four elements (earth, wind, fire and water), the four stages of a man’s life (youth, adolescence, maturity and old age) and the four seasons.

The interior diamond has the four cardinal directions in Greek (north, south, east and west), positioned in such a way that they spell “Adam”, which refers to the first man, but also the human nature of Christ. Taken together, this diagram shows how elements on earth and heaven relate to each other and are held in balance with Christ at the centre and bound on the outside by time, which controls and orders the world.

For Byrhtferth and many medieval churchmen like him, calculating dates correctly is about more than the proper observance of religious feasts – it is about honouring God’s role in the creation of the universe.

Byrhtferth’s monastic classroom also shows why the simple answer “because the Romans did it” isn’t adequate to explain why we still insert this leap day in February, nearly 1,600 years after the fall of Rome.

At any point, the leap day could have been changed to something that made more sense in a modern calendar. However, the date needed to remain in February throughout the middle ages – and still does – so that the extra day is inserted before the spring equinox and Easter celebrations are kept on track.

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For Liv Lovelace, skating is more than a sport - 'It's life'

Paris 2024

After missing out on qualifying for Tokyo 2020 due to injury, the 20-year-old Australian is well-positioned to secure a spot for Paris 2024. And it would mean the world to someone who lives and breathes skateboarding.

Liv Lovelace of Australia

For some, skateboarding is about having fun, a hobby. For others, it’s a lot more serious - a competition or a job, a career or a way to make ends meet.

For Liv Lovelace , it’s life in itself.

“It's life,” Lovelace told Olympics.com ahead of WST Dubai Street 2024 this week, when asked what skating meant her. “Like, I don't know what my life would be like without it.

“All my friends are around skating and I just like being able to go skating by myself and put headphones in or listen to the world go by and be in my own world.

“It's my happy place.”

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Liv Lovelace: 'I just want to do people proud'

Lovelace took up skateboarding when she was eight or nine years old, hanging around with the boys on the streets of her hometown Sydney. She recalls being “instantly hooked”by the borderlessness of the sport.

Lovelace used to play football as well, but it didn’t take long for skateboarding to supplant it as the focal point of her life, serving as a lens for the introspection she needed during her formative years.

“Just the freedom,” she said. “Being able to be a little kid and kind of run away in my own little world and get lost, and I feel like it gave me an outlet to become the person that I am.

“I feel like if I didn't have skateboarding, it would have been a lot harder for me to become who I am and find my own sexuality and like, find my style and find the people that I want to be around.

“I used to play soccer. I was in a little rep soccer team and I would like, do soccer and then go straight from soccer to skating on like one of the days of the week. And every time I'd be like, ‘Oh, I don't want to go to soccer, I just want to go skating.’

“When I started to have that feeling, I was like, I just want to do this.”

Of all the kids Lovelace began skating with, she is the only one still at it - and then some.

The 20-year-old is ranked 18th in the world, third from Australia behind Chloe Covell and Haylie Powell . If Lovelace maintains her position through the Olympic Qualifier Series in June, she will have secured one of three quota allotted to her country in women’s street for Paris 2024 .

The qualifying campaign to Tokyo 2020 was far less smooth sailing for Lovelace, who broke her left humerus in two locations in the build-up to the Games while skating on the iconic Melbourne spot Gold Rails. The injury required three surgeries and 10 months for full recovery, seven of which kept her off a deck.

But Lovelace says she wouldn’t trade the painful experience for anything.

“I feel like that taught me a lot about myself. It gave me a lot of resilience and I wouldn't change it because I feel like now I'm in a much better place and I enjoy the contest skating way more this time around, trying to qualify for Paris than when I was kind of doing it trying to get to Tokyo.

“I, like, crave the feeling of eating concrete. It's really weird to say that. I don’t know, it keeps me humble, it brings me peace and brings me happiness. Like eating s--- actually is a good feeling.”

One of the things Lovelace likes most about skateboarding is that it takes her to different corners of the world where she gains invaluable life experience (see above Instagram post from Tokyo in December). She says she does not want to go to a country and be buried in a stadium for a week and fly home.

Paris would be no different. Although the life experience there would be felt not only by her but also by the people who helped Lovelace reach her first Olympic Games.

“It would mean a lot. I think it would be an achievement that is going to stay with me for the rest of my life. I think would be really cool,” she said.

“I want to do my country proud. But most importantly, it would be sick for my family and even for my grandparents as they're getting on in life. I really want them to hopefully come to Paris as that may be their last big international trip out of Australia.

“But I just want to do people proud. I want to have fun and do people proud and it would mean the world to me.”

Skateboarding | Olympic Qualifier | World Tour Street | Dubai

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University of Florida Eliminates All D.E.I.-Related Positions

The move complies with a state law that barred public universities from using government funds for initiatives that promote diversity, equity and inclusion.

Two people are walking through a gate to the University of Florida campus in Gainesville.

By Anna Betts

The University of Florida has terminated all positions associated with diversity, equity and inclusion at the school in compliance with new state regulations, according to a university memo released on Friday.

The move comes almost a year after Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida signed a bill that largely banned the state’s public universities and colleges from spending federal or state money on D.E.I. initiatives. In accordance with that law, Florida’s Board of Governors, which oversees the State University System of Florida, also voted to prohibit state spending on such programs at public universities.

The University of Florida’s terminations included closing the office of the chief diversity officer and halting all D.E.I. contracts with outside vendors, according to the announcement on Friday. Thirteen full-time positions were eliminated, along with administrative appointments for 15 faculty members, a spokeswoman for the university said in an email.

The university is just the latest school in the state to eliminate D.E.I. programs. Both the University of North Florida and Florida International University have already removed or started to phase out such programs.

Last year, Florida became one of the first states to enact laws restricting or eliminating D.E.I. initiatives. That prompted other Republican-led states to follow suit , including Texas, where a ban on D.E.I. initiatives and offices at publicly funded universities and colleges took effect on Jan. 1 . In Utah, the governor last month signed a bill paring back D.E.I. programs at state universities and in state government. And the Alabama Legislature is considering similar legislation.

Universities across the country have vastly expanded diversity programs in recent decades amid concerns over underrepresentation on campus. Supporters of D.E.I. have said that the initiatives are a good way to foster inclusion and that they help students from all backgrounds succeed on campus.

But more recently, D.E.I. efforts have become the center of a culture war and part of a fight by conservatives against “wokeism.” Critics say that the programs are discriminatory to those who may be left out in an effort to boost representation of other groups and that they aim to advance left-wing ideas about gender and race.

Under Florida’s regulation , state universities are barred from using government funds to “advocate” D.E.I. initiatives, which is defined as “any program, campus activity or policy that classifies individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, gender identity or sexual orientation, and promotes differential or preferential treatment of individuals on the basis of such classification.”

On Friday, the University of Florida said that it would reallocate the approximately $5 million in funds previously reported for D.E.I. expenses into a faculty recruitment fund.

The university added that the terminated employees will receive 12 weeks’ worth of pay. It encouraged them to apply for different positions within the school, saying they would receive “expedited consideration.”

“The University of Florida is — and will always be — unwavering in our commitment to universal human dignity,” school officials said. “As we educate students by thoughtfully engaging a wide range of ideas and views, we will continue to foster a community of trust and respect for every member of the Gator Nation.”

Conservatives in the state praised the decision by the university.

“Florida is where DEI goes to die,” Mr. DeSantis wrote on social media . Senator Rick Scott also praised the school’s president, Ben Sasse, on social media. He said Mr. Sasse, a former U.S. senator of Nebraska, “continues to do all the right things” at the university. “Every university should follow his lead,” Mr. Scott said.

Those who support D.E.I. programs lamented the university’s move.

State Representative Yvonne Hayes Hinson, a Democrat who represents Gainesville, said in a statement that she was “stunned but not surprised” by the elimination of the D.E.I. staff at her alma mater.

And Nikki Fried, the chairwoman for the Democratic Party in Florida, warned that the impact of the decision “will be felt for generations.”

Anna Betts reports on national events, including politics, education, and natural or man-made disasters, among other things. More about Anna Betts

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Pharmacies making copycat Ozempic could face a ban — what does it mean for custom weight loss drugs?

A graphic showing a vial of the Mounjaro weight loss drug next to three Ozempic pens

Pharmacists that mass-produce their own versions of popular weight-loss drugs have been put on notice after Australia's medicines regulator warned of a crackdown. 

Late last year,  the ABC revealed several compounding pharmacists had been manufacturing unauthorised versions of Ozempic at scale and shipping them to customers across Australia , using a regulatory loophole.

Now, as revealed in an exclusive interview for a future Four Corners program, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), which regulates medicines in Australia, has proposed a change which would effectively ban compounded injectable weight loss drugs from being made or sold in Australia .

The change could affect thousands of patients — so here's a breakdown of what we know, and what it means for you.

What are compounding pharmacists, and what is compounded medicine?

A compounding pharmacy is a specialist pharmacy that is able to create medications on-site and essentially "customise" them for patients.

Doctors might prescribe compounded medication for their patients if what they need isn't commercially available, for example a liquid formulation for a child who can't swallow a tablet. 

Because pharmacists do this on a one-on-one basis, compounded medications are not tested for safety, quality or efficacy by the TGA.

Compounding is legal, but pharmacists need to follow strict regulatory guidelines that dictate when and why a medicine might be compounded.

It's due to a grey area in these guidelines — which says existing medicines may be replicated when there isn't a suitable commercial option — that some compounding pharmacies have been producing off-brand Ozempic and Mounjaro.

What are Ozempic and Mounjaro — and why are they used for weight loss?

The two drugs are approved for use in Australia for treating type 2 diabetes. Overseas they are available under different names and strengths for the treatment of obesity.

Ozempic (with the active ingredient semaglutide) and Mounjaro (tirzepatide) work by helping to control blood sugar levels in the body, in part, by mimicking a digestive hormone called GLP-1. They also slow the transit of food through the digestive tract, helping people feel fuller for longer.

This can help adults manage diabetes — and can also have the side effect of helping people lose weight.

Several large peer-reviewed studies have shown they can help people shed up to 15 per cent of their body weight, so doctors in Australia have started prescribing the medications "off-label", for use in weight loss.

The drugs have exploded in popularity, leading to today's global shortage.

Ozempic and Mounjaro are now facing rolling shortages and supply problems in Australia as a result of global demand and widespread off-label use for weight loss.

Why is the TGA proposing to stop compounding pharmacists making weight loss drugs if there's a shortage?

The regulator is concerned about the safety and efficacy of drugs it has no control over.

The fact these medicines are being produced in large numbers, when compounded medicines are meant to be provided for individuals only, is another area the regulator is worried about.

The concern about manufacturing in bulk quantities is that if something goes wrong, it could affect a lot of people.

"Public health and safety concerns have emerged around the complexity and commercial scale of some compounding of extemporaneously prepared GLP-1 RAs, which are sterile medicines containing high-risk active substances," the TGA said in a statement.

The TGA said it was also concerned about the unknown nature and safety of the ingredients used in manufacture.

Are compounded medications really that unsafe?

Short answer: we don't know, because compounded medications aren't individually tested for safety, quality and efficacy by the TGA.

Because they aren't listed on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) there's no requirement for side effects to be reported, so there's no good record of how many people are taking compounded medications for weight loss, or what side effects they are having.

Generic syringes of compounded replica Ozempic lying across a shadowy table.

There's another important thing the TGA is worried about: people on compounded weight loss medications may be less likely to report side effects at all.

This could be because they haven't told people they are taking them, or because they may have gotten a script from an online telehealth provider instead of their regular GP, and they are worried that without that relationship patients may be less likely to complain if something goes wrong.

Pharmacy Guild president Trent Twomey said while there was "zero evidence to prove there is a safety concern" over compounded weight loss drugs, there was also "zero evidence to say that it is safe".

He warned against punishing compounding pharmacists who were doing the right thing.

"They [the TGA] need to differentiate between the pharmacist that's making a single product off a single script because the doctor needs it, the patient needs it, and it's unavailable — and these few cowboys out there that are bulk manufacturing, because there's a very big difference."

Several compounding pharmacists the ABC has spoken to have argued producing off-brand weight loss drugs is helping patients access crucial medication they couldn't get otherwise.

What's the reaction been like from patients?

If the emails ABC has been receiving are anything to go by, people are very frustrated.

Those who have been using these medications have battled supply issues for more than a year. For many, compounding was the only option to continue treatment.

A grpahic showing four Ozempic pens, three of which have the brand name ripped out

Although these medications can be highly effective for weight loss, studies have also shown when patients cease taking the drugs, most of the weight lost will be regained .

Weight cycling (repeatedly gaining and losing weight) can also be bad for your health, so patients who start on these medications are keen to secure an ongoing supply.

Consumers Health Forum CEO Elizabeth Deveny said it was understandable patients were frustrated and is calling on the government to do more to get a better supply of the brandname medications into Australia.

"What we've been hearing for some time now … is people who need Ozempic for their health, such as people with diabetes, have had a very difficult time getting access to that medicine," Dr Deveny said.

What happens now, and what should patients taking compounded weight loss drugs do?

The TGA is consulting with stakeholders about the proposed amendments in the coming weeks.

The agency said it would consider all responses before a final decision is made by June 2024.

In the meantime, the TGA is encouraging patients to talk to their doctors to get more information.

Nicole wears green blazer and orange-rimmed glasses and smiles with her hands clasped together sitting in a boardroom.

The Royal Australian College for General Practitioners president Dr Nicole Higgins said it had been a challenging time for patients taking these medications.

"I urge them to speak with their local GP about the options that they have for supporting their weight change," she said.

"The risk, though, of having an unregulated medication that's being distributed throughout Australia that is not consistent with our national rules is of huge concern."

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Related Stories

'safety concerns us most': authorities move to stop australian pharmacies making copycat ozempic .

A graphic showing a vial of the Mounjaro weight loss drug next to three Ozempic pens

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