You'd think I'd know this as I submit my first Tutor Marked Assignment of my fourth module towards a Masters in Open and Distance Education (MAODE), but when you think you have finished you haven't.
I would give NINE hours to the following:
a) Edit (to the parameters of the word count)
b) Referencing (everything)
c) Narrative flow, which can muck up (a) and (b)
Actually, my first edit had me bin the thing and start again, I'd written it like a letter to a Great Aunt, more of a blog post than the required report.
It has taken 12 or so of these, including EMAs, to feel comfortable with leaving things out, not simply writing succinctly, but dropping ideas that are weak or appear to be repetitive. My inclination is to leave nothing out.
An interesting exercise which will segue into the next two assignment and an exam in April. I feel I have a 'road map'.
Yes, a Christmas Break, but I'll use it first to catch up (I'm a week behind), then to get ahead.
On point c) it helps enormously to reference notes as you go along. Repeatedly I found I could search a quote or author in my own blog, which I use as an e-portfolio, and the correct reference was ready to be cut and pasted into the assignment.
On point a) I have been known to read the assignment out, record it, then listen to the play back. This can be painful as you find there are entire chunks of stuff in the wrong place, or an exercise you'd love to include is redundant. This pain slowly recedes as you feel convinced you have done the right thing by the assignment.
Mark prediction? New tutor, new topic? I never know, but somewhere between low 60s and high 70s.
Meanwhile, I've got bags to pack, a car to have a new battery fitted, then to load, then off.
I agree, redrafting can be very painful! I'm working on a creative writing assignment and have been cutting out snippets that I was extremely proud of when I wrote them!