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Developing a plan for the assignment

After reading a range of sources relevant to the topic, Student 1 was able to plan the sections of her report in more detail. See the following plan and notice that:

  1. she has indicated on the plan where she will use certain items of evidence and supporting arguments from her reading
  2. she has numbered each section of the report

Body of the report

1. History of scanners

  • 1960 early 'reading machine' Jacob Rabinow (Blatner, D., Fleishman, G. and Roth, S. (1998), Real world scanning and halftones, 2nd ed., Peachpit Press, New York)
  • current scanners developed from this early invention
  • drum scanners - early technology using photomultiplier tubes (PMT), oldest scanner and still found in industry
  • domestic use of scanners

2. Use of scanners

  • range of images can be captured and digitised
  • images can be manipulated and enhanced ("Scanners, digital cameras and photo CDs", (1998, May 6), ( PrePress), Available: (Accessed: 2000, May 2))
  • invaluable tool in personal computer use
  • efficient professional output for business context
  • range available for different purposes

3. How scanners work

  • general definition (Englander, I. (2000), The Architecture of computer hardware and systems software, John Wiley, New York)
  • description of components and their function ("Scanner tips", (2000, February 20), ( Scan Soft), Available:, (Accessed: 2000, May 6))

4. Types of scanners

("Scanner tips", (2000, February 20), ( Scan Soft),

Available:, (Accessed: 2000, May 6))

  • Flatbed scanners
  • Sheet-fed scanners
  • Slide scanners
  • Hand held scanners
  • Drum scanners

5. Scanner Specifications

(Figeiredo, P., McIllree. J. and Thomas, N. (1996), Introducing information technology, 2nd ed., Jacaranda Press, Singapore) (Anderson, D. (1999), ( The PC Technology Guide),

Available:, (Accessed: 2000, April 6))

  • Resolution
  • Bit depth
  • Dynamic range
  • Software

6. Future Developments

(Grotta, D., and Wiener, S. (1998, April 10), "What's now, What's next," ( PC Magazine),

Available:, (Accessed: 2000, April 8))

  • further development of specifications
  • new sensor technology
  • specialized scanners incorporated into other technology

Click on the highlighted text to see the comments.

Do you think this plan adequately covers what is required in the assignment?


Look at the sources Student 1 has included in the plan. Do you think these sources are appropriate in terms of their range, number, and how recent they are? (This assignment was written in Semester 1, 2000.)


How could Student 1 improve the use of sources in this assignment?



The plan developed by Student 1 appears to cover most of the requirements of the assignment, considering that certain sections will be expanded as the student continues researching and redrafting the report.

A Possible improvement at this stage would be to rephrase some of the section headings to provide a more explicit description of the content.


The plan includes sources from books and several internet sites: an online journal, a commercial site, and several online guides. The student has not included sources from academic journals. The use of books for definitions and background material is appropriate; however, some sections of the plan seem to rely heavily on the views presented in a single source, for example 2. Use of scanners and 4. Types of scanners. The student has appropriately used articles from different journals and authors.


A reasonable number of sources are listed on the plan. For a report of this size, your lecturer would expect you to use 7 to 10 sources. You may use more, but it is suggested that you use not more than 20 sources. Fewer than 5 sources would be inadequate for the requirements of this assignment. The actual number of sources you use will depend on the quality of the sources; that is, their currency, reliability, and the amount of relevant information within the sources. Remember that the quality of the sources you use is more important than the actual number of sources in your reference list.

How recent

The majority of sources in the plan were published over the period 1998-2000. This is appropriate for an assignment written in 2000. You have been asked to primarily use current sources in your assignment but you can use earlier sources which are relevant to the assignment topic as Student 1 has done.


To improve the uses of sources in this assignment, Student 1 could:

  • include academic journal articles and possibly some more magazine articles relevant to the assignment topic
  • use more than one source for each section so that a range of opinions and ideas can be reflected in the assignment
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