A recurring observation for me when reading undergraduate work is that there is often a lack of planning present. There may well be lots of information, some interesting and valuable comments and some treatment of literature, but I am convinced that by offering more time to the planning process, students would both produce higher quality work and would feel more in control of their learning. 

In the production of each assessment product I would hope that everyone has read the resources thoroughly, considered the meaning of the learning outcome (asking what do I really  need to demonstrate) and the assessment criteria (asking what features does my work need to hit the level that I am aiming for?). Then draw up a list or a table of a chart or some tool to help you map out what the key elements of your assessment activity will be, even before putting pen to paper. Sometimes the planning stage can be lengthy but it helps to provide the building blocks of assignments so that when t pen is put to paper, the focus can be on the standard of writing, cohesiveness and conciseness. Without research it is impossible to tell how much planning and what methods are used, but I suspect planning techniques are under-utilised.