Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Second Year Success

Advanced writing and research skills for 2nd year success

Reviewing 1st year

1st Year Assessment

Much of a first year student's assessment is about reproducing or recalling core concepts or facts. First year students also learn about essay research and writing basics:

  • Research
  • Essay: structure, formal language and being concise
  • Referencing.

2nd year and beyond

What Happens in 2nd Year?

Students move from the introductory stage of their learning into the more advanced curriculum and learning requirements. As a consequence, assessment tasks become more complex (increasing cognitive levels to Analysis and then onto Knowledge Utilisation) to ensure students are meeting this higher standard. You will need to devote time to your studies and make the most of the resources and support available at James Cook University. Good results demonstrate high-level competency in your field of study, excellent cognitive and organisation skills, and a strong work ethic – all highly valued by future employers.

Figure 1

Visual representation of the cognitive levels in Marzano’s taxonomy arranged hierarchically according to level of cognitive control (click image to enlarge)

Visual representation of the cognitive levels in Marzano's taxonomy


Note. Sourced from Dubas and Toledo (2016, p. 13).

This is also the time you start to think about where your degree will be taking you and “What you want from your life.” As you can see from the mind map there are many factors to consider.

Are you on the right track for the career you want in the future? Take a look at the JCU Career Snapshots page in your area of study to see graduate opportunities, the Australian government job outlook, work integrated learning options, and professional associations and industry bodies.

Figure 2

What I want from my life (click image to enlarge)

Visual of what I want out of my career mind map

Note. Sourced from James Cook University (n.d.)


Dubas, J. & Toledo, S. (2016). Taking higher-order thinking seriously: Using Marzano’s taxonomy in the economics classroom, International Review of Economics Education, 21, 12-20.

James Cook University. (n.d.). You and your career activity book.

Example: 2nd year marking rubric

This marking rubric from a past second year subject expects more of students. Note the highlighted words that reflect the need for critical thinking and high quality assignment output. Also note the black bold text in criteria S3(D) which illustrates raised expectations for assignment research sources and referencing.



Exemplary (75% - 100%)

K2(B) Synthesise underlying principles and concepts for making business decisions (20%)

Applies sound critical application drawing from multiple perspectives to demonstrate concepts

S3(A) Convey information clearly and fluently, in high quality written form appropriate for their audience (10%)

Demonstrates a sound understanding of context audience, focus, & purpose of the assigned task

S3(D) Sources and Evidence: Research evidence;  accurate, credible, relevant, current data sources referenced in appropriate style (10%)

Demonstrates a sound use of relevant research evidence from an array of related sources to support ideas that are appropriate for the style of writing with accurate referencing

S3(E) Control of Syntax and Mechanics: Sentence construction; grammar; punctuation & spelling (10%)

Uses appropriate language at a high level that conveys meaning to readers with clarity with minimal errors

SLO(2) Apply theory and practices of HRM to managing people in organisations (20%)

Demonstrates a sound knowledge of theory and can constructively apply HRM in managing people in organisations

SLO(3) Explain the major HRM functions and practices involved in managing people (15%)

Describes and demonstrates basic knowledge of the major HRM functions and practices involved in managing people

SLO(4) Critically evaluate HRM functions, practices and strategies (15%)

Constructively demonstrates sound knowledge and critically evaluates HRM functions, practices and strategies from relevant sources representing various points of view/approaches

We acknowledge the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first inhabitants of the nation and acknowledge Traditional Owners of the lands where our staff and students, live, learn and work.Acknowledgement of Country