JAMES COOK UNIVERSITY BRISBANE STUDENT LEARNING and ASSESSMENT GUIDE

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JAMES COOK UNIVERSITY BRISBANE
STUDENT LEARNING and ASSESSMENT GUIDE
Congratulations on your decision to study a degree at James Cook University (JCU). Business degrees from JCU
are at the forefront of innovation in business education. With a focus on internationalisation, growth and innovation,
our courses combine discipline-based excellence with practical application including work integrated learning.
This manual for students at JCU Brisbane campus represents an important part of our teaching and learning
approach at James Cook University. The manual is a tool to assist students in their learning endeavours. It
contains information and links to information which will help you with your business-related studies.
The Brisbane campus of JCU is a genuine international community with Australian and overseas students studying
diploma and degree courses. Members of the campus community include academics with recent international and
industry experience, experienced administrative officers, and stakeholders from the community. Our teachers and
researchers are encouraged to build and foster links with members of the wider business community. In this
context, JCU Brisbane strives to foster a teaching and learning environment in which students are challenged and
inspired to perform at their best.
As Campus Dean and Academic Head of the Brisbane campus, I am delighted to welcome you to our community. I
anticipate your studies in Brisbane will be rewarding both personally and professionally.
Mr Noel Richards
Campus Dean
Brisbane Campus
Getting Started information can be found on your USB under the title “Getting Started JCUBrisbane”.
The information in this document relates to essential learning and study skills. You should refer to this
information throughout your studies. All of the blue text is linked to other places in this document and to the JCU
websites with hyperlinks and will take you to more detailed information for each topic.
What is expected from you as a Student?
Attendance and participation at lectures, tutorials and workshops- All classes are important to university life:
not only for gaining knowledge, but also to provide you with social interaction with your peers. You are expected to
attend all lectures, tutorials and workshops and to listen to and challenge what is said.
Self management - We believe that you are a highly motivated individual who has willingly chosen to do this
course. This means that you will be self-managing and understand your limits and potential. If you need help or
advice, you should ask for it when you need it and not wait to be approached regarding your progress or problems.
Workload and Time Management - The University has an expectation that you are able to manage and organise
your own time. This will be particularly challenging for those of you who are undertaking full-time employment as
well as study. You are expected to undertake private study and read beyond the material covered in lectures and
tutorials. You will also be required to complete a number of assignments and projects and submit these on due
dates. Many of you are enrolled on a Student Visa and there are certain expectations attached to that visa. If you
are not sure of these you can check out visa conditions here.
Learning Skills
►Study Skills - Studying is a skill that is gradually developed. The following tips will assist you to develop good
study habits:
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¾
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Be aware of your goals
Decide on a place for study.
Set aside some time (perhaps six days a week) for study.
Complete a semester assessment schedule with due dates for assignments, tests or exams. You
will find a semester assessment timetable in your Orientation Booklet.
Have a weekly study plan which sets out time to study and work on assignments.
Keep a daily diary which will help you stay organised.
Keep up-to-date with your study. Complete work required for tutorials or workshops, revise your
notes constantly, start work on assignments early.
¾ Do not confuse being ‘busy’ with studying. Study is a disciplined activity and it is hard work.
►Note Taking Skills - Note-taking starts by being alert physically and mentally. Listening to and evaluating
what is being said are also very important. But note-taking involves more than just what happens in lectures. It is a
process that requires you to do things before, during and after lectures. You can learn about note-taking
techniques by following the link to an on-line tutorial.
►Reading Skills - Due to the amount of reading required, you need to be familiar with different types of reading
skills. Reading at University requires that you quickly absorb a large number of ideas or the major points of articles
and books, not the details. You also need to be able to read critically which takes practice. There are a number of
techniques which you can use to improve your reading skills and read more effectively.
►Exam Skills and Techniques - Sitting for an exam can be a stressful experience. Many students could
improve their exam results by adopting a number of simple techniques when answering exam questions. The
exam tactics tutorial will guide you through these techniques and hopefully help to reduce your stress levels during
the exam period.
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Writing Skills
One thing that all students do is write. Whatever subject you're studying, whatever skills and knowledge you gain,
you will do a lot of writing while you're a student. So it's important that you develop a writing style that makes it
possible for you to say what you mean and that shows your tutors that you understand what you're doing.
When writing at university (and for business), you are required to go beyond merely describing a topic or issue.
Instead you must be a critical thinker. This involves analysing a topic, putting forward an argument and providing
concrete evidence to support your conclusions. Good academic writing also synthesises supporting points to
illustrate how the views of different authors interact. Keep in mind that when you present a particular argument or
point of view, you should also identify and analyse contrasting points to that view.
Poor language, grammar and expression may lead to poor results because your written message is not understood
by the marker. The language that you use to express your ideas in academic writing must suit your audience. At
university, the main audience (reader) is the marker who will assess your assignment.
Types of Written Assignments
Prior to attempting any assignment, it is essential to understand its nature. Below is an explanation for some of the
different types of assignments that you may be given.
►Essays and reports
Two main types of assignments that you may be asked to write are essays and reports. The differences between
essays and reports are illustrated below:
Purpose
Introduction
Structure
Headings & Figures
Essays
Presents an argument
Loosely stated purpose
Tells the reader what is to be covered in the
body of the essay.
Flexible structure.
Links ideas into cohesive paragraphs
Conclusion
May use headings
Seldom have figures.
Sums up the preceding arguments.
Reference List
All essays must have references at the end.
Content
Some digressions, such as stating a
personal opinion, can be tolerated in essays.
Written for the lecturer
Is meant to be read carefully
Audience
Reports
Presents information
The purpose of the report is stated in
specific terms.
Rigid structure that shows the logical
development of material in sections.
Uses short, concise paragraphs and dotpoints where applicable
Uses numbered headings and figures.
Specific conclusions and recommendations
or solutions.
Some reports may have references at the
end.
No digressions are tolerated in a report.
Should be concise and always to the point.
May be written for a ‘client’
Is meant to be scanned quickly
Source: English Centre, University of Hong Kong.
Guidelines for writing essays and reports are found at Appendix 4 and Appendix 5 respectively.
►Case studies
A case is a description of a managerial decision, scenario or problem. The use of case studies in business is a
widely accepted means of bringing theoretical concepts and practical situations together. It is often impossible to
take a group of students into an organisation to observe the subject matter of management or organisational
behaviour in real-life. Therefore, a written case study outlining a realistic situation is the best available alternative.
When reading and studying a case study, it is possible to take two different approaches. The first of these is the
analytical approach where a case structure is examined in order to try and understand what has happened and
why. In this approach, you do not identify problems or attempt to develop solutions. The second approach is the
problem-oriented method. In this approach, a case is analysed to identify the major problems that exist, the causes
of and possible solutions to the problems, and finally, a recommendation is made regarding the best solution to
implement. For more information about writing case study assignments, please see Appendix 6 in this manual.
►Summaries
A short version of a text which aims to give the reader a clear and concise idea of the most crucial information
contained within the text. A summary should always be written in your own words.
►Critique or Critical Review
Contrary to the name, this is not intended to be a criticism of the work of others. A critical review involves analysing
and evaluating a text. It is subjective as you must make judgements and comments about the text. It requires an
introduction, summary of the contents of the text and an analysis or discussion of the key issues raised in the text.
►Literature Review
A literature review is a discussion about literature which has been written on a particular topic. It requires that you
synthesise the information from the literature and present, in a logical way, an integrated discussion of what you
have read including: an overview of the field of inquiry, what has already been said on the topic, who the key
writers are, what the prevailing theories and hypotheses are, what questions are being asked, and what
methodologies and methods are appropriate and useful.
► Annotated Bibliography
An annotated bibliography is like a reference list with notes. A bibliography is a list of references you have read but
which you may not have referred to in your assignment. The word ‘annotate’ means to make notes. Therefore an
annotated bibliography is a list of sources you have read that includes notes about each source.
►Thesis/dissertation
This document is prepared to meet the requirements for graduate degrees and usually describes completed
research. It is based on primary (first hand) and secondary (sources which examine what others have done)
research. It is usually divided into chapters and has a specific format.
Source: “The Endeavour: A Quality Learning Manual for Students”; University of Canberra, Academic Skills Centre.
Getting Help with Writing
There are many places you can get assistance with the skills and requirements of academic writing, both on-line
and in person. Writing Guides with information about referencing and plagiarism plus how to write different types
of assignments are in the Appendices at the end of this document. The Writing Guides are also available from the
Learning Resource Centre on Level 2.
The links below will take you to on-line materials prepared by the University which give additional information about:
Essay Writing
Academic Writing Style which includes information on answering the question, paragraphing, proof-reading,
research and referencing, and assignment presentation
APA Referencing Style
In addition you can find first year writing podcasts and material with discipline specific writing tips from lecturers and
postgraduate students.
Appendix 1: Plagiarism
WHAT IS PLAGIARISM?
Plagiarism is to take someone’s words or ideas and present them as your own (Marshall & Rowland, 1998). This means that when a person
presents ideas or words as if they are their own, they have plagiarised. This inappropriate use of ideas from books, articles, the internet, or
other student’s work is regarded as plagiarism.
Source: Marshall, L. & Rowland, F. 1998, A Guide to Learning Independently, 3rd Edition, Addison Wesley Longman, Melbourne
USING THE WORK OF OTHERS
Why do we use other people's work, and what do we use it for? There are lots of answers, including:
1.
2.
3.
4.
To get information. Published work contains useful facts and ideas.
To show that we have done the reading we're supposed to do. Very often, your subject outlines will have a list of readings that you
should do in order to write a particular assignment.
To show off how much we've read. To put that in a more dignified way, to display academic ability and credentials.
To set up an argument. We might use someone else's idea in order to disagree with it, or as a springboard for our own argument.
At university you are expected to provide evidence to support points you are making.
The evidence you use in academic writing will come from a range of sources that you must acknowledge by using an accepted referencing
system. Failing to acknowledge your sources results in the most common form of plagiarism.
AN EXAMPLE
This section provides an example to illustrate good ways of using someone else's work, and some bad ways, which amount to plagiarism.
Here's the original:
In fact, after 1870 the food and the eating habits of the British people began
to be transformed. They began, for instance, to eat fruit, previously a luxury.
To begin with working-class fruit consumption took the form of jam; later also
of the novel and imported banana, which supplemented or replaced apples as the
only fresh fruit eaten by the urban poor. Even so characteristic a landmark of
the British proletarian scene as the fish-and-chip shop first appears in this
period. It spread outwards from its original home in, probably, Oldham, after
1870. (Hobsbawm 1990 pp.162-3.
Student 1:
Even so characteristic a landmark of the British proletarian scene as the fishand-chip shop first appears in the period after 1870. Its original home was
probably Oldham.
Is it plagiarism? Yes. This student has mainly just copied Hobsbawm's words. Most importantly, there is no reference to the source.
Student 2:
There were many changes in the British diet in the period after 1870. Fruit
became more common, especially in the form of fruit jam. Even the fish-and-chip
shop dates from the same period (Hobsbawm 1990 pp.162-3)
Is it plagiarism? No. This student has paraphrased part of Hobsbawm's original accurately, and has included a reference to the source.
Student 3:
There were many changes in the British diet after 1870. Hobsbawm points out
that the British people 'began, for instance, to eat fruit, previously a
luxury', and goes on to describe other new developments as well. (Hobsbawm 1990
pp.162-3)
Is it plagiarism? No. It's quoting directly, rather than paraphrasing as Example 2 did, but it includes a reference. As long as there's a
reference, quoting and paraphrasing are both OK.
Student 4:
In fact, after 1870 the food and the eating habits of the British people began
to be transformed. They began, for instance, to eat fruit, previously a luxury.
To begin with, working-class fruit consumption took the form of jam; later also
of the novel and imported banana, which supplemented or replaced apples.
(Hobsbawm 1990 pp162)
Is it plagiarism? Yes, it is, though it isn't as bad as Example 1. There is a reference, but there is no attempt to do anything with the material
apart from copy it, and it isn't clear whether the words are quoted, paraphrased, or, as here, simply stolen.
Student 5:
The period around and after 1870 saw many changes in British life and culture.
Hobsbawm (1990 pp162-3) describes changes and improvements in diet, including
an increase in the consumption of fruit and the arrival on the scene of the
fish-and-chip shop. Far from being a timeless traditional part of British life,
the fish-and-chip shop was a product of these years of change at the end of the
nineteenth century. Many aspects of Britain which are sometimes thought to be
very old were similar innovations of this period (Colls & Dodd 1987).
Is it plagiarism? No. It has a reference, and provides an accurate paraphrase. More than that, it uses the Hobsbawm material to start an
argument of its own, about supposedly ancient things actually being quite recent. Better still, it has another reference, to show that this essay
is the product of wide reading. Example 5 is part of a good essay.
Source: Drop-in Student Skills Centre, University of Teesside
HOW TO AVOID PLAGIARISM
How can you use somebody else's work to get useful things from it, but without plagiarising it? You cannot avoid plagiarism simply by putting
in a reference here and there. To avoid plagiarism, you must give credit whenever you use
another person's idea, opinion, or theory;
any facts, statistics, graphs, drawings--any pieces of information--that are not common knowledge;
quotations of another person's actual spoken or written words; or
paraphrase of another person's spoken or written words.
From the above suitable and unsuitable examples, it is clear that you need to use references in a way that is based on your own thoughts
and interpretation of the other authors' work. By learning to summarise, you can avoid having to resort to paraphrasing and the overuse of
direct quotations. Summarising forces you to reduce the authors' work to its key points and to capture the essence of the work. You can then
include your own comments, demonstrating your interpretation of the work.
The following approach will assist you to summarise passages:
read and understand fully an original passage;
turn the original face down so you are not tempted to copy sentences word for word;
write out the main ideas in point form, without the details;
rewrite the main ideas in your own words, adding your own interpretation and integrating concepts from a number of authors.
If the original contains keywords that are specialised vocabulary for the subject or jargon, they do not need to be changed.
CONCLUSION
Finally, it is very important that your writing is not composed solely of material from texts and articles. Tutors want to see how you have
reviewed the literature on the topic and formed your own structure for your piece of writing, based on the body of knowledge or literature in
the field.
When information from texts or articles is used to support your response to the topic, it is most important that the sources of references used
are acknowledged. There are very serious consequences if this does not occur. A guiding principle is that if words or ideas are taken from a
source and used in writing, the source must be acknowledged. The penalties are too great to overlook this very important point.
Appendix 2: APA Referencing Style Guide
INTRODUCTION
Regardless of the nature of your assignments, it is essential that you read the literature on the topic and make reference to, challenge and/or
incorporate the views of researchers into your assignment. In so doing you must acknowledge the words and ideas of these researchers.
Many students believe that referencing is only necessary when copying (quoting) words directly from a text. This mistaken belief leads to
plagiarism. Referencing is required in the following situations:
1.
2.
Directly quoting (copying) the exact words of a writer.
Indirectly quoting (paraphrasing / summarising) the words/ideas of a writer.
A quotation is a word for word transcription of text originally published elsewhere. A paraphrase is a re-written extract from another source.
Quotations are misused when overused. An assignment that consists of a series of direct quotations strung together, with only a few
sentences of your own, may indicate that you have not understood the material well enough to assimilate it and express it in your own
words.
TWO STEPS TO SUCCESSFUL REFERENCING
Step 1. The first step in referencing your sources is to acknowledge (or cite) them in the text of your assignment.
Step 2. You need to provide a detailed reference list of your sources alphabetically on a separate page at the end of the assignment.
This means that the author's last name and the year of publication for the source should appear in the text, E.g., (Jones, 2007), and a
complete reference should appear in the reference list at the end of the paper.
IN-TEXT REFERENCING
Document your sources throughout your text by citing the author and date of the works you used in your research. This style of citation
briefly identifies the source for readers and enables them to locate the source of information in the alphabetical reference list at the end of
your work.
Material directly quoted from another author's work should be reproduced word for word. Direct quotations must appear in quotation marks
and include a citation. If you are directly quoting from a work, you will need to include the author, year of publication, and the page number
for the reference (preceded by "p.").
Incorporate a short quotation (fewer than 40 words) into text, and enclose the quotation with double quotation marks. You can introduce the
quotation with a signal phrase that includes the author's last name followed by the date of publication in parentheses (see style 1), or place
the author's last name, the year of publication, and the page number in parentheses after the quotation (see style 2).
Style 1
According to Jones (1998), "Students often had difficulty
using APA style, especially when it was their first time" (p.
199).
Style 2
Research has reported that "students often had difficulty
using APA style," (Jones, 1998, p. 199), but the reasons for
this are not clearly understood.
Display a quotation of 40 or more words in a freestanding block of typewritten lines, and omit the quotation marks. Start the quotation on a
new line and indent the block about 1.3cm (or five spaces) from the left margin (in the same position as a new paragraph). If there are
additional paragraphs within the quotation, indent the first line of each an additional 1.3cm. The entire quotation should be double-spaced.
Jones's (1998) study found the following:
Students often had difficulty using APA style, especially when it was their
first time citing sources. This difficulty could be attributed to the fact
that many students failed to purchase a style manual or to ask their teacher
for help. (p. 199)
No quotation marks are used with paraphrases, but the citation is still necessary. If you are paraphrasing an idea from another work, you
only have to make reference to the author and year of publication in your in-text reference. The following examples illustrate how to handle
various situations when paraphrasing.
One work by one author:
Walker (2000) compared reaction times...
...was reported in a recent study of reaction times (Walker, 2000).
Within a paragraph, you need not include the year in subsequent references to a study as long as the study cannot be confused with other
studies cited in the article:
In a recent study of reaction times, Walker (2000) described the
method... Walker also found...
One work by multiple authors:
When a work has two authors, always cite both names every time the reference occurs in text. Join the names in a multiple-author citation
in running text by the word and. In parenthetical material, in tables and caption, and in the reference list, join the names by an ampersand
(&):
as Nightlinger and Littlewood (1993) demonstrated...
...was demonstrated (Nightlinger & Littlewood, 1993).
When a work has three, four or five authors, cite all authors the first time the reference occurs; in subsequent citations, include only the
surname of the first author followed by et al. (not italicised and with a period after "al") and the year if it is the first citation of the reference
within a paragraph.
Wasserstein, Zappulla, Rosen, Gerstman, and Rock (1994) found... [Use as first citation
in text.]
Wasserstein et al. (1994) also found...
[Use for subsequent citations]
When a work has six or more authors, cite only the surname of the first author followed by et al. and the year for the first and subsequent
citations.
Two or more works within the same parentheses:
List two or more works by different authors who are cited within the same parentheses in alphabetical order by the first author's
surname. Separate the citations with semicolons:
Several studies (Balda, 1980; Kamil, 1988; Pepperberg & Funk, 1990)...
Specific parts of a source:
To cite a specific part of a source, indicate the page, chapter, figure, table, or equation at the appropriate point in text. Always give page
numbers for quotations (see Direct quotations). Note that the words page and chapter are abbreviated in such text citations:
(Cheek & Buss, 1981, p. 332)
(Shimamura, 1989, chap. 3)
Groups as authors:
The names of groups that serve as authors (e.g., corporations, associations, government agencies) are usually spelled out each time they
appear in a text citation. The names of some group authors are spelled out in the first citation and abbreviated thereafter. In deciding
whether to abbreviate the name of a group author, use the general rule that you need to give enough information in the text citation for the
reader to locate the entry in the reference list without difficulty. If the name is long and if the abbreviation is familiar or readily
understandable, you may abbreviate the name in the second and subsequent citations, If the name is short or if the abbreviation would not
be readily understandable, write out the name each time it occurs.
First text citation:
(World Health Organization [WHO], 1999)
Subsequent text citations:
(WHO, 1999)
Works with no author:
When a work has no author, cite in text the first few words of the reference list entry (usually the title) and the year. Use double quotation
marks around the title of an article or chapter, and italicize the title of a journal, book, brochure, or report.
...on free care ("Study Finds," 1982)
...the book College Bound Seniors (1979)
When a work's author is designated as "Anonymous," cite in text the word Anonymous followed by a comma and the date:
(Anonymous, 1998)
Works with no date:
When a work has no date of publication, cite in text the author's name, followed by a comma and n.d. for "no date."
...had been suggested (Carruthers, n.d.) has suggested...
Authors with the same surname:
If a reference list includes publications by two or more primary authors with the same surname, include the first author's initials in all text
citations, even if the year of publication differs. Initials help the reader to avoid confusion within the text and to locate the entry in the list of
references.
R. D. Luce (1959) and P. A. Luce (1986) also found...
J. M. Goldberg and Neff (1961) and M. E. Goldberg and Wurtz (1972) studied...
Works by same author:
Arrange two or more works by the same authors (in the same order) by year of publication. Identify works by the same author with the same
publication date by the suffixes a, b, c, and so forth after the year.
Past research (Edeline & Weinberger, 1991, 1993)...
Several studies (Johnson, 1991a, 1991b, 1991c)...
Personal communications:
Personal communications may be letters, memos, some electronic communications (e.g., e-mail or messages from discussion groups or
electronic bulletin boards), personal interviews, telephone conversations, and the like. Because they do not provide recoverable data,
personal communications are not included in the reference list. Cite personal communications in text only. Give the initials as well as the
surname of the communicator, and provide as exact a date as possible.
T. K. Lutes (personal communication, April 18, 2001)...
(V. G. Nguyen, personal communication, September 28, 1998)
Secondary source:
In text, name the original work, and give a citation for the secondary source.
Seidenberg and McClelland's study (as cited in Coltheart, Curtis, Atkins, &
Haller, 1993)...
(Seidenberg & McClelland, cited in Coltheart, Curtis, Atkins, & Haller, 1993)
Give the secondary source (Coltheart et al.) in the reference list.
Electronic sources (e.g. web pages):
Electronic sources should follow the same rules as demonstrated above. When an electronic source lacks page numbers, you should try to
include information that will help readers find the passage being cited. When an electronic document has numbered paragraphs, use the ¶
symbol, or the abbreviation "para." followed by the paragraph number (Hall, 2001, ¶ 5) or (Hall, 2001, para. 5). If the paragraphs are not
numbered and the document includes headings, provide the appropriate heading and specify the paragraph under that heading. Note that in
some electronic sources, like Web pages, people can use the Find function in their browser to locate any passages you cite.
According to Smith (1997)... (Mind over Matter section, para. 6).
REFERENCE LIST
The reference list at the end of your work documents the research and provides the information necessary to identify and retrieve each
source. You should choose references judiciously and must include only the sources that were used in the research and preparation of the
work. References cited in text must appear in the reference list; conversely, each entry in the reference list must be cited in text. The author
must make certain that each source referenced appears in both places and that the text citation and reference list entry are identical in
spelling and year.
Order of references in the reference list
Alphabetising names:
Arrange entries in alphabetical order by the surname of the first author. But what happens when you have several works by the same
author, or you have two works done in the same year by the same author? The following examples provide a detailed explanation of what to
do in these cases.
Order of several works by the same first author:
One-author entries by the same author are arranged by year of publication, the earliest first.
Hewlett, L. S. (1996).
Hewlett, L. S. (1999).
One-author entries precede multiple-author entries beginning with the same surname:
Alleyne, R. L. (2001).
Alleyne, R. L., & Evans, A. J. (1999).
References with the same first author and different second or third authors are arranged alphabetically by the surname of the second author
or, if the second author is the same, the surname of the third author, and so on:
Gosling, J. R., Jerald, K., & Belfar, S. F. (2000).
Gosling, J. R., & Tevlin, D. F. (1996).
Hayward, D., Firsching, A., & Brown, J. (1999).
Hayward, D., Firsching, A., & Smigel, J. (1999).
References with the same authors in the same order are arranged by year of publication, the earliest first:
Cabading, J. R., & Wright, K. (2000).
Cabading, J. R., & Wright, K. (2001).
References by the same author (or by the same two or more authors in the same order) with the same publication date are arranged
alphabetically by the title (excluding A or The) that follows the date. Exception: If the references with the same authors published in the
same year are identified as articles in a series (e.g., Part 1 and Part 2), order the references in the series order, not alphabetically by
title. Lowercase letters – a, b, c, and so on – are placed immediately after the year, within the parentheses:
Baheti, J. R. (2001a). Control...
Baheti, J. R. (2001b). Roles of...
Order of several works by different first authors with the same surname:
Mathur, A. L., & Wallston, J. (1999).
Mathur, S. E., & Ahlers, R. J. (1998).
Order of works with group authors, with no authors, or with numerals:
Alphabetize group authors by the first significant word of the name. Full official names should be used. A parent body precedes a
subdivision.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2000).
University of Michigan, Department of Psychology (1998).
If, and only if, the work is signed "Anonymous", the entry begins with the word Anonymous spelled out, and the entry is alphabetized as if
Anonymous were a true name. If there is no author, the title moves to the author position, and the entry is alphabetised by the first
significant word of the title.
Anonymous (1997).
The new health-care lexicon. (1993).
Alphabetise entries beginning with numerals as if the numerals were spelled out.
APA REFERENCE LIST STYLES
The APA style uses different formatting rules for different types of publications. The most common publications you will use at university will
include books, edited volumes, periodicals and electronic sources and it is a good idea to know the basic rules for each of these. The
following examples provide a great deal of detail about how to reference most of the sources you will need to cite at university.
1. Books, book chapters and brochures
General Format
Surname, Initials. (Year). Publication Title (edition). Location: Publisher.
Example of a typical book entry (one author)
Surname, Initials
Year
Publication Title
Edition
Eunson, B. (2008). Communicating in the 21st century (2nd ed.).
Singapore: John Wiley and Sons.
Location
Publisher
NOTE: For "Location," you should always list the city, but you should also include the state if the city is unfamiliar or if the city could be
confused with one in another state.
Multiple Authors in a bibliography
When a work has between two and six authors, cite all authors. When a work has more than six authors cite only the last name of the first
author followed by "et al."
Festinger, L., Riecken, H., & Schachter, S. (1956). When prophecy fails.
Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Roeder, K. et al. (1967). Nerve cells and insect behavior. Cambridge, Mass.:
Harvard University Press.
Book (no author or editor):
Mosby's expert 10-minute physical examinations. (1998). St. Louis: Mosby.
Corporate or government authorship
Institute of Financial Education. (1982). Managing personal funds. Chicago:
Midwestern Publishing.
Citing items in an anthology or edited book
Rubenstein, J.P. (1967). The effect of television violence on small children.
In B.F. Kane (ed.), Television and Juvenile Psychological Development (pp. 112134). New York: American Psychological Society.
Edited collections
Higgins, J. (Ed.). (1988). Psychology. New York: Norton.
Grice, H. P., & Gregory, R. L. (Eds.). (1968). Early language development. New
York: McGraw-Hill.
Encyclopedia or dictionary:
Sadie, S. (Ed.). (1980). The new Grove dictionary of music and musicians (6th
ed., Vols. 1-20). London: Macmillan.
Entry in an encyclopedia:
Bergmann, P. G. (1993). Relativity. In The new encyclopaedia Britannica (Vol.
26, pp. 501-508). Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica.
Brochure (corporate author):
Research and Training Centre on Independent Living. (1993). Guidelines for
reporting and writing about people with disabilities (4th ed.) [Brochure].
Lawrence: Author.
2. Periodicals
Periodicals include items published on a regular basis, journals, magazines, newspaper articles, etc. APA style dictates that authors are
named last name followed by initials; publication year goes between parentheses, followed by a period. The title of the article is in sentencecase, meaning only the first word and proper nouns in the title are capitalized. The periodical title is run in title case, and is followed by the
volume number which, with the title, is also italicized or underlined.
General Format
Surname, Initials. (Year). Article Title. Periodical Title, Volume (Issue),
Pages.
Citing articles in journals with continuous pagination
Journals that are paginated by volume begin with page one in issue one, and continue numbering issue two where issue one ended, etc.
Passons, W. (1967). Predictive validities of the ACT, SAT, and high school
grades for first semester GPA and freshman courses. Educational and
Psychological Measurement, 27, 1143-1144.
Citing Articles in journals with non-continuous pagination
Journals paginated by issue begin with page one every issue; therefore, the issue number gets indicated in parentheses after the volume.
Sawyer, J. (1966). Measurement and prediction, clinical and statistical.
Psychological Bulletin, 66 (3), 78-99.
Because pagination begins anew with each issue of this journal, it is necessary to include the issue number in parentheses after the volume
number.
Newspaper articles
Unlike journals, p. or pp. precedes page numbers for a newspaper reference in APA style. The full date for newspaper articles is usually
indicated.
Schwartz, J. (1993, September 30). Obesity affects economic, social status. The
Washington Post, pp. 6-9.
Newspaper article (no author):
New drug appears to sharply cut risk of death from heart failure. (1993, July
15). The Washington Post, p. 12.
If an article appears on discontinuous pages, give all page numbers, and separate the numbers with a comma (e.g., pp. 1, 3, 5-7).
Citing articles in weekly periodicals / magazines
Kauffmann, S. (1993, October 18). On films: class consciousness. The New
Republic, p.30.
Citing articles in monthly periodicals / magazines
Chandler-Crisp, S. (1988, May) Aerobic writing: a writing practice model.
Writing Lab Newsletter, pp. 9-11.
Newspaper article (letter to the editor):
Berkowitz, A. D. (2000, November 24). How to tackle the problem of student
drinking [Letter to the editor]. The Chronicle of Higher Education, p. 20.
3. Proceedings of meetings and symposia
Published proceedings:
Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (1991). A motivational approach to self: Integration
in personality. In R. Rienstbier (Ed.), Nebraska Symposium on Motivation:
Perspectives on motivation (pp. 237-288). Lincoln: University of Nebraska
Press.
Unpublished contribution to a symposium:
Lichstein, K. L., Jonson, R. S., Womack, T. D., Dean, J. E., & Childers, C, K.
(1990, June). Relaxation therapy for polypharmacy use in elderly insomniacs and
noninsomniacs. In T. L. Rosenthal (Chair), Reducing medication in geriatric
populations. Symposium conducted at the meeting of the First International
Congress of Behavioural Medicine, Uppsala, Sweden.
Poster session:
Ruby, J., & Fulton, C. (1993, June). Beyond redlining: Editing software that
works. Poster session presented at the annual meeting of the Society for
Scholarly Publishing, Washington.
4. Electronic information (including the Internet)
The type of medium can be, but is not limited to the following: Internet, email, discussion forums, CD-ROM, DVD, and tapes. Documents
available via the internet include articles from periodicals (e.g., newspaper, newsletter, or journal); they may stand on their own (e.g.,
research paper, government report, online book or brochure); or they may have a quintessentially Web-based format (e.g., Web page,
newsgroup). Regardless of format, authors using and citing Internet sources should observe the following two guidelines:
i. Direct readers as closely as possible to the information being cited – whenever possible, reference specific documents rather than
home or menu pages.
ii. Provide addresses that work.
List as much of the following information as possible (you sometimes have to hunt around to find the information; don't be lazy. If there is a
page like http://www.somesite.com/somepage.htm, and somepage.htm doesn't have the information you're looking for, move up the URL to
http://www.somesite.com/):
NOTE: When an Internet document is more than one Web page, provide a URL that links to the home page or entry page for the document.
Also, if there isn't a date available for the document use (n.d.) for no date.
General Format
Surname, Initials. (Date of publication). Title of document. Retrieved month
day, year, from http://Web address.
Example
Krause, K., Hartley R., James, R., & McInnes, C. (2005). The First Year
Experience in Australian Universities: Findings from a decade of national
studies. Retrieved September 18, 2007, from http://www.cshe.unimelb.edu.au.
Article from an Online Periodical:
Online articles follow the same guidelines for printed articles. Include all information the online host makes available, including an issue
number in parentheses.
Surname, Initials. (Date of publication). Title of article. Title of
Periodical, volume number(issue number if available). Retrieved month day,
year, from http://Web address.
Example
Kenneth, I. A. (2000). A Buddhist response to the nature of human rights.
Journal of Buddhist Ethics, 8. Retrieved February 20, 2001, from
http://www.cac.psu.edu/jbe/twocont.html
Electronic copy of a journal article, retrieved from database:
When referencing material obtained from an online database (such as a database in the library), provide appropriate print citation
information (formatted just like a "normal" print citation would be for that type of work). Then add information that gives the date of retrieval
and the proper name of the database. This will allow people to retrieve the print version if they do not have access to the database from
which you retrieved the article.
Smyth, A. M., Parker, A. L., & Pease, D. L. (2002). A study of enjoyment of
peas. Journal of Abnormal Eating, 8(3). Retrieved February 20, 2003, from
PsycARTICLES database.
Online newspaper article
Surname, Initials (Year, month date). Article Title. Newspaper Title. Retrieved
month day, year, from http://Web address.
Example
Wright, S. (2001, January 25). Curriculum 2000 draws criticism. The Chronicle.
Retrieved November 7, 2001, from http://www.chronicle.duke.edu
Stand-alone document, no author identified, no date:
GVU's 8th WWW user survey. (n.d.). Retrieved August 8, 2000, from
http://www.cc.gatech.edu/gvu/user_surveys/survey-1997-10/
Personal electronic communications (E-mail)
Sender (Sender's E-mail address). (Year, Month day). Subject of Message. E-mail
to recipient (Recipient's E-mail address)
Example
Benckendorff, Pierre ([email protected]). (2001, July 30). Review
of film – Days of Thunder. E-mail to Tom Cruise ([email protected]).
Online Forum or Discussion Board Posting
Message posted to an online newsgroup, forum, or discussion group. Include the title of the message, and the URL of the newsgroup or
discussion board.
Frook, B. D. (1999, July 23). New inventions in the cyberworld of toylandia
[Msg 25]. Message posted to
http://groups.earthlink.com/forum/messages/00025.html
NOTE: If only the screen name is available for the author, then use the screen name; however, if the author provides a real name, use their
real name instead. Be sure to provide the exact date of the posting. Follow the date with the subject line, the thread of the message (not in
italics). Provide any identifiers in brackets after the title, as in other types of references.
DVD, CD-ROM or Computer Software
Surname, Initials. (Year published). Article title. Title of reference work
[DVD {or CD-ROM or computer software}]. Location: Publisher.
Examples
Ludwig, T. (2002). PsychInquiry [computer software]. New York: Worth.
Hart, J. (2006). Water pollution. Microsoft Encarta 2007 [DVD]. Redmond, WA:
Microsoft Corporation.
YouTube Video
APA has not yet developed consistent guidelines for citing YouTube videos but the following guidelines are suggested.
Author/Producer Surname, Initials. (Year). Title of video [Video]. Retrieved
month day, year, from http://Web address.
If credits are given in the video
Booth, M. S. (Producer). (2006). Code Monkey [Video]. Retrieved May 18, 2007
from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4Wy7gRGgeA
If credit/responsibility appears to belong to YouTube member/poster
molly1216. (2003). How to tip in a loose page [Video]. Retrieved May 18, 2007
from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aD457Dr1jx0
5. Other media
Citing interviews
Archer, N. (1993). [Interview with Helen Burns, author of Sense and
Perception]. Journal of Sensory Studies, 21, 211-216.
Archer, N. (1993, October 11). Personal Interview.
Citing films or recordings
Weir, P.B. (Producer), & Harrison, B.F. (Director). (1992). Levels of
consciousness [Videotape]. Boston, MA: Filmways.
Television
Producer Surname, Initials. (Year, Month Day of broadcast). Title of broadcast
[Television Broadcast]. Location of broadcasting company: Broadcasting company.
Example
Riker, David (Director). (2005, February 11). The City: La Ciudad [Television
broadcast]. Alexandria: Public Broadcasting Service.
Adapted from:
American Psychological Association (2001). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (5th ed.). Washington: APA.
Neyhart, D. and Karper, E. (2007). APA
http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/.
Formatting
and
Style
Guide.
Retrieved
November
30,
2007,
from
http://
Many more examples of referencing styles are presented in the APA publication manual above. Copies are available for purchase from the
JCU Bookshop.
Appendix 3: Proof Reading
Because proofreading is the thing you do last, lots of people rush it or don't do it at all. This is a mistake. On average, proofreading will
improve the mark you get for your assignment by up to a whole grade (10%) and it can turn a failing assignment into a passing one. It's that
important.
First of all, there are some tips here on how you can proofread your assignment most effectively. Then there's a checklist of things to look at
in detail.
TIPS FOR PROOFREADING
Print the assignment out and proofread it on paper, not just on the computer screen. Nobody can proofread effectively on screen.
Proofread with someone else. It's much easier to proofread someone else's work, so someone else can proofread your
assignment better than you can.
Leave enough time. Proofreading isn't hard, but it's fiddly and it takes time. Allow at least an hour to proofread a 2,000-word
assignment.
Try reading your assignment aloud as well as just reading it silently. Reading aloud can help you spot mistakes.
THE CHECKLIST
These are things to look out for when you're proofreading your assignment:
Spelling
‰ Use the spellchecker on your computer, but don't rely on it. Use a dictionary as well. And if you're not absolutely sure about a word look it up.
Check especially that you haven't made major spelling mistakes. These really do cost marks - so cut them out.
References List
‰
‰
‰
‰
‰
Are your references in a proper format?
Are they consistent - do you use the same format throughout?
Is every reference in the assignment properly documented at the end?
Have you set out the bibliography and references properly - using italics for book titles and journal titles?
Are the dates right? It's very easy to put one date in the text, and a different one in the list of references.
Style
‰ Are there any slang words? Or 'fillers'? If you find any, cut them out.
‰ Is the assignment written in a properly academic style?
‰ Is the assignment clear? Do you understand it all? If you don't understand some parts of it, how is anybody else supposed to?
Paragraphs
‰
‰
‰
‰
Are your paragraphs properly laid out, using either indenting or line-drop?
Does each paragraph link with the one before it?
Are there about the right number of paragraphs, and are they the right size?
Are there any places where you could usefully split a long paragraph into two or more shorter ones?
Introduction and Conclusion
‰ Are these effective? Look at the sections on introductions and conclusions in this manual for help on this. Your introduction should set
out what the assignment will be about, and the conclusion should show that you've dealt with the topic intelligently. Do they do this?
Answering the Question
‰ Does your assignment answer the question? If it doesn't, then you need to rewrite the introduction and conclusion (at least).
Missing Words
‰ Are there any words missing? This sounds silly, but it's a very common error. Someone else proofreading your assignment will spot
missing words much more easily than you can.
Repetitions
‰ When you use a word-processor, it's very easy to copy and paste sentences or phrases. Have you left in any repeated sentences or
phrases? It's easy to do.
Making Sense
‰ Does every sentence make sense? If one doesn't, rewrite it so it does. Reading aloud is a good way of finding sentences that don't
make sense.
Plagiarism
‰ Have you used secondary sources properly? Check that you haven't fallen into the trap of plagiarism. There's a section of this site
about Plagiarism.
Source: Drop-in Student Skills Centre, University of Teesside.
Appendix 4: Essay Writing
ESSAY STRUCTURE AND STYLE
One of the common types of assignments that you will be required to complete, is the ‘essay’. Most essays fall into two categories:
Descriptive essay - a descriptive approach requires you to list important points and usually your opinion is not required.
Argumentative essay - argumentative approach is one in which you have to state your opinion and defend it by providing
supporting arguments.
Both of these approaches require a logically organised essay. Regardless of the approach adopted in the essay, there are a number of
features that all essays contain. An essay can have many purposes, but the basic structure is the same no matter what: Your essay will
always have (1) an introduction; (2) a body; and (3) a conclusion. These general features are described below.
Source: Helen Treston, June Bode and Alan Calder (2002).
JCU Study Skills Online: Essay Writing. Australia: James Cook University.
Introduction
The introduction should attract the reader's attention and give them an idea of the essay's focus. It is useful to start the introduction with an
“attention grabber”, or memorable statement. You could use:
A startling fact or statistic
An anecdote or story that illustrates a point.
A relevant quote
An unanswered question or puzzle
Usually an attention grabber is only a sentence or two, so you need to add more sentences that will lead the reader from your opening to the
purpose of the essay:
Foundation sentences - set the scene for the essay by introducing the topic in some meaningful context (e.g. give background
information on the topic).
Purpose of thesis statement - summarises the main idea of the essay (usually in one sentence).
Structure of argument - a few sentences telling your reader how you have organised your essay.
Body/development of topic
In the body of the essay, all the preparation up to this point comes to fruition. The essay topic must now be explained, described, or argued.
Each body paragraph will have the same basic structure.
1.
2.
3.
Topic sentence. Start by writing down one of your main ideas, in sentence form.
Supporting information. Write down each of your supporting points for that main idea, but leave four or five lines in between
each point. In the space under each point, write down some elaboration for that point.
Concluding sentence. You may include a summary sentence for each paragraph. This is not generally needed, however, and
such sentences have a tendency to sound stilted, so be cautious about using them.
Further tips for structuring the body of your essay include:
Use different headings* to break up your essay into different sections.
Divide each section into X number of paragraphs.
One paragraph should introduce and develop one idea that relates to the topic. This idea should be introduced in the topic
sentence,
Make use of written sources to support your points (do not forget referencing).
Present a logical and reasoned argument.
*Note: Business essays typically contain headings. However, always consult your tutor's specific assignment requirements.
Conclusion
You need a tight, powerful conclusion that is the logical consequence of everything that has gone before. A good essay has developed a
number of related strands, which the conclusion ties together. The conclusion brings closure to the reader, summing up your points or
providing a final perspective on your topic.
Do not merely present a summary statement.
Do not introduce new ideas.
Content will depend on nature of essay
Aim to leave a lasting impression of your topic in the reader's mind.
Bibliography/reference list
The last section of your essay will be the reference list. It contains an alphabetical list of all references cited in your essay.
POINTS TO REMEMBER
More analysis equals more marks
You will often need to describe something before you give an analysis of it. Only include as much description as is needed for the analysis to
make sense. Don’t just repeat what some books (or your lecture notes) say - the more analysis the better. The analysis is what you will get
the marks for. A muddled, illogical and unsubstantiated analysis can leave you with no marks. Markers look for a clear, coherent and
consistent analysis, supported by evidence.
Stay on track
A major failing of essay writers is to lose their way and answer a question they weren’t asked. Answer the question, and only the question.
And keep checking that you are remaining on track throughout the essay. A good habit is to constantly refer back to the task or question you
are answering and to ask "am I still on track?". If you’ve gone off on a tangent, get back on track. If there’s something interesting that you
want to include, but which is of dubious relevance to the main argument or theme of the essay, cut it out or put it in an Appendix.
Don’t rush
You might remember that you ‘did all right’ last time you stayed up all night on caffeine, the day before the deadline, to research and write an
essay. But this most likely means that you would have done much better if you had started reading and researching, and then writing, days
or weeks before that. It is always obvious to your tutors when an essay is rushed.
Style as well as substance
Whilst it would seem ‘nice’ if the ideas of a genius would be appreciated even when written in horrible prose, you should not bank on this. A
good student not only has good ideas to write about, but can write about them well. And it seems particularly wasteful to be losing marks just
because you didn’t spend a little bit of time learning a few style tips.
Source: David Gauntlett. (2001). Institute of Communication Studies, United Kingdom.
ESSAY WRITING CHECKLIST
‰ Have I answered the question?
‰ Have I done sufficient research to enable me to carefully answer the question?
‰ Do I have an introduction that states what I believe the question to mean, the position I am working towards and the areas that will be
covered in the essay?
‰ Does the body include all parts of the question?
‰ Have I constructed each paragraph of the body so that it contains several sentences of evidence to back up the topic sentence which
begins the paragraph?
‰ Does the conclusion restate your attitude to the topic and refer the reader back to the topic?
‰ Check the length. More than 10% over/under word length may be unacceptable.
‰ Check title page. It should include your name, course, lecturer, topic, length, due date and anything else your lecturer requires.
‰ Have I cited sources for ideas / direct quotations using the method required by the lecturer?
‰ Does my essay satisfy lecturer's requirements? For example:
writing on one side of the page
large margins
‰ Is my writing correct at the surface level of:
spelling?
punctuation?
grammar, including one idea per paragraph
is it legible? (It is useful to ask a friend to check on these aspects! They see things you don't see! Otherwise try reading the essay
aloud).
‰ Is the reference list accurately and correctly set out according to the requirements?
Source: Helen Treston, June Bode and Alan Calder (2002). JCU Study Skills Online: Essay Writing. Australia: James Cook University.
Appendix 5: Report Writing
Written reports are frequently used to convey information within the workplace. Reports can be informal (e-mails, memos, letters, etc.) or
formal. This guide focuses on the report writing process and report layout and presentation. Although the information contained in this guide
is generally accepted business practice, you are advised to consult with your tutor or lecturer regarding any specific expectations they have
for this work.
There are two basic kinds of report.
Informational reports tell the reader about a topic. They present information without analysis or recommendations. The report
writer's task is to select and emphasise the relevant facts clearly and concisely.
Analytical reports tell the reader to do something. They analyse and interpret data and make recommendations. The report
writer's task is to select and emphasise the facts and arguments that support the recommendations.
REPORT PRESENTATION AND LAYOUT
Formal reports take many forms depending on the field and topic. Many companies and organisations have their own in-house styles for
reports. Formal reports are usually divided into sections with numbered headings. Although report formats vary, most reports contain the
following sections.
These guidelines are not prescriptive and some academic staff may have their own preferences, so it is important that you consult the
subject outline and/or the tutor before proceeding.
Structure of a report
Although the structure of a report can vary, business and academic reports usually (but not always) contain the following parts. Sections
marked with an asterisk (*) are essential: others are optional depending on the type, length and purpose of the report.
i.
Prefatory Parts
Title page*
Preface/Foreword/Transmittal Message
Table of contents
List of figures
List of tables or illustrations
Executive summary
ii.
Report Proper
Introduction*
Report Body* (this section is further divided into as many sections as necessary)
Conclusion and Recommendation(s)*
iii. Appended Parts
Appendices
Reference list
Prefatory Parts
The prefatory sections of a report include the transmittal message, title page, table of contents, lists of figures, tables and illustrations and
executive summary. The preliminary pages are numbered with small Roman numerals.
Title page
Unless otherwise stated the title page of your report should include the following details:
title of the report
your name and student number
due date for the assignment
name of the tutor or lecturer for whom the report was written
the name of the subject (including the subject code)
Foreword/Preface/Transmittal Message
A report often includes a covering letter or message to the person who requested it. If the report is internal to the organisation, this document
is a ‘memo’. Essentially, the writer says, “Please find attached the report you requested.” Additionally, the writer may mention items of
special interest and acknowledge those who may have contributed to the report. This is optional and you are only required to submit this on
request. If a report is written for a large audience then a more general preface or foreword may be appropriate.
Table of Contents
This page(s) is used to outline the sections and sub-sections of the report. The contents page should list the main section headings and subheadings of the report and their corresponding page numbers.
List of figures, tables, illustrations
When there are six or more figures, tables and illustrations, they are listed on a separate page with their corresponding page numbers in the
text. If only a few exist, then they are included in the `table of contents' page.
Executive summary
A good executive summary allows a busy reader to get the main points of the report without reading the whole report. It is always written in
your own words and contains no quotations. It should be short and should include:
The purpose of the report
The problem or issues dealt with and the main points of discussion
The conclusions of the report
Any recommendations made
You should avoid reporting on background material in any length - this should be done in the Introduction. As a general rule of thumb, your
executive summary should be about 10% of the length of the full report.
The executive summary is placed at the beginning of the report, after the table of contents but before the introduction and it is given a
Roman numeral rather than an Arabic number, as a page number. While the executive summary is located at the start of the report it is a
good idea to write it after you have finished writing the whole report.
Introduction
The introduction explains the background to the report, its purpose and the points covered. The introduction of a report usually covers some
or all of the following points:
purpose or objective of writing the report
background information (e.g. brief history, context of topic, organisation or problem)
scope i.e. size or extent of study, amount of data collected, time frames, focus of data collection or discussion (e.g. department or whole
organisation)
methodology, i.e. the kind of data used (e.g. who was interviewed, what type of material was referred to). In certain reports, the
methodology may be set out in a separate section prior to the body of the report
assumptions and limitations, (e.g. given the above material, what assumptions did you make and what limitations does this place on the
material that follows)
plan, (e.g. what format does the report follow). This briefly overviews the argument, framework or logical structure that the reader
should expect to read in the rest of the report.
A good introduction will be short and will help to guide the reader.
Report Body
The main body of the report should contain a clear explanation of what you have discovered and how you have found it out. This is a
significant part of the body of your report and this section should contain the basic facts supported by examples, quotations, charts,
diagrams etc. The structure of the main body of the report will vary considerably according to such factors as the type of problem posed and
nature of the topic and the length of the report. It is often divided into sections with headings that describe the topics covered. These should
be numbered using the decimal system. Another way to divide up the main body is:
Procedure - what you did
Findings - what you have found out
Discussion - relating what you have found out to what the reader already knows
Many reports contain tables and figures. Each table or figure should have a caption containing a number and a title. You should only include
tables and figures which contribute to the information you want to convey. It is not necessary to summarise all the information in a table in
your text, but you should always explain the main points illustrated in the text following the table.
Conclusion and Recommendations
This contains the conclusions you draw from the information presented in the main body of the report. These are logical deductions drawn
from the findings in the previous section. Sum up the main points and refer to any underlying themes. If any questions or issues remain
unresolved, mention them in the conclusion. Conclusions should be firmly and briefly stated. You should not introduce new information.
Recommendations are suggestions for actions or changes. They are written as action statements without justification and they are stated in
clear, specific language. They should be expressed in order of importance. If the purpose of the report is simply to present information on a
topic for discussion, a recommendations section may not be necessary.
Reference List
A report may contain a reference list or recommendations for reading in a full bibliography. The reference list should give information about
all sources cited in the report. Full publication details must be included using the APA format. It is customary to arrange the reference list in
alphabetical order according to author.
Appendices
Include in an appendix any supporting evidence that could not be incorporated into the main part of the report. Appendices may include
tables, texts, graphs, diagrams, photographs, questionnaires, etc. You should put these in an appendix when placing them in the main body
of the report would interrupt the process of reading. Items in an appendices should be referred to somewhere in the main body. If you do not
need to refer to them in the main body, you might think about whether you need to include them at all.
REPORT WRITING CHECKLIST
Does the title page have:
‰
‰
‰
‰
‰
‰
‰
the title of the assignment
the author's name
the recipient
the name of the course
the name of the department/faculty
the date of submission
the approximate length?
Does the table of contents have:
‰
‰
‰
‰
‰
‰
‰
a list of tables
a list of figures
an abstract
headings matched with Arabic page numbers
references
a Roman numeral
a heading?
Does the list of tables have:
‰
‰
‰
a heading
table numbers, titles matched with Arabic page numbers
a Roman numeral?
Does the list of figures have:
‰
‰
‰
a heading
figure numbers, titles matched with Arabic page numbers
a Roman numeral?
Does the abstract have:
‰
‰
‰
‰
a separate page
a heading
a summary of the main points in the assignment
a Roman numeral?
Does the main text have:
‰
‰
‰
‰
an introductory section
developing sections
a concluding section
a reference list?
Does the introduction:
‰
‰
‰
‰
‰
define the topic and the key terms
delineate the scope and focus of the topic
indicate the writing task
present a plan of the argument followed in the essay
show the writer's theoretical stance/ approach?
Does the development:
‰
‰
‰
‰
‰
expand the plan of the essay given in the introduction
keep to the topic
carry out the writing task
follow the theoretical approach proposed in the introduction
back up claims with quotations?
Does the concluding section:
‰
‰
‰
follow a consistent and accepted style?
Are short quotations:
‰
‰
‰
‰
enclosed in quotation marks
incorporated into the body of the paragraph
less than three lines long
sourced with the author's surname, date of publication and page
number in brackets?
Are long quotations:
‰
‰
‰
‰
‰
‰
‰
relevant
copied verbatim
sourced accurately?
Have all in-text paraphrases and citations been sourced by:
‰
‰
‰
author's name
date of publication
optional page numbers?
Are tables incorporated with:
‰
‰
‰
‰
an in-text cross-reference
a frame
a number that is consecutive
a heading?
Are figures incorporated with:
‰
‰
‰
‰
an in-text cross-reference
a frame
a number that is consecutive
a heading?
Are the references:
‰
‰
‰
on a separate page
under the appropriate heading according to the Harvard and/or
footnote system
listed alphabetically by surnames?
Do books include:
‰
‰
‰
‰
‰
‰
the author's surname and initials in that order
the date of publication
the title (underlined or in italics)
the edition of the book
the publisher
the place of publication?
Do journal articles have:
‰
‰
‰
‰
‰
‰
‰
the author's surname and initials in that order
the date of publication of the journal
the title of the journal article in quotation marks
the journal name (underlined or in italics)
the volume number of the journal
the part number of the journal, if applicable
the page numbers of the article?
Do articles/papers in edited books have:
‰
‰
‰
‰
‰
‰
‰
‰
the author's surname and initials in that order
the date of publication of the book
the title of the essay/paper/article in quotation marks
the editor's initials and surname in that order
the book title (underlined or in italics)
the edition, if applicable
the publisher
the page numbers of the article?
restate the main ideas
give the writer's personal opinion on the matter
state any implications?
Do headings and subheadings:
‰
Are all quotations:
longer than three lines
single spaced
indented for their entire length
sourced with the author's surname, date of publication, page
number?
Source: Student Q-Manual, Faculty of Business and Economics, Monash University.
Appendix 6: Case Study Writing
WHAT ARE CASE STUDIES?
A case study presents an account of what happened to a business or industry over a number of years. It
chronicles the events that managers had to deal with, such as changes in the competitive environment, and charts
the managers' response, which usually involved changing the business- or corporate-level strategy. The case
study will contain a problem or a case of how a person or institution has dealt with a problem. Case studies are
usually written in a narrative style (i.e. like a story) using real life organisational contexts.
Case studies are often used as assessments because they allow you to apply theories in practical situations. This
is clearly a good preparation for your future career. The most important thing is to make it clear to yourself what
you are supposed to do. For example, are you to diagnose a problem, make recommendations, or investigate
alternative solutions/interventions and justify a final choice? The best way of approaching this is to put yourself in
the role of the specialist or the consultant and imagine you are advising a client about an actual situation. Your
task is either to propose a solution, recommend a course of action or to assess the success of previous attempts
to solve the problem.
CASE STUDY ANALYSIS
Case study analysis is an exercise in identifying, diagnosing, and recommending. The most common method of
case study analysis is a “step-by-step” method. There are two main kinds of case study analyses set for
assessment tasks.
Case studies with questions
Problem-based cases studies
Analysing Case Studies with Questions
The questions that are asked at the end of the case study are designed to guide your analysis of the case. To
complete this kind of analysis, work through the following steps.
Step 1 - Read and then re-read the case study.
The first step is to read through the case quickly to get some idea of what it is about and to identify the main
problem or broad issue. Then closely re-read or reconsider the case in the light of the theoretical knowledge you
have.
Step 2 - Read the questions at the end of the case study.
Read the questions, break the questions down into key words and phrases and summarise what each question is
asking you to do.
Step 3 - Analyse the case study.
Use a highlighter pen to mark important aspects of the case study. Write questions and notes in the margin of the
case study. Analysing the case thoroughly will allow you to re-examine the problem in the terms of your discipline.
If appropriate, use any standard tools in your field of knowledge that could help you to analyse the situation.
Identify the main problems and issues in relation to the set questions. What are the causes and consequences of
the behaviour, events or situation described in the case? Think about what information is missing from the case.
What limitations does this missing information place on the answer you can provide and how might you speculate
about any missing information?
Step 4 – Gather information
Use your notes from step 3 to brainstorm headings. You can use these headings to make a plan for each question
and to guide further reading and note making. As you read, think about how you can draw on the theories to
support your answers to the questions.
Step 5
- Compile draft answers to the case study questions.
Check whether you have sufficient information to answer the questions. If not, read the case study again and/or
locate relevant information from your lecture notes and readings. If you are asked to identify solutions or make
recommendations you should use a problem-solving process that involves:
outlining the alternative courses of action available to solve the problem
listing the advantages and disadvantages of each course of action
recommending a solution and justifying it
Step 6 - Write up the analysis
It is very important to read carefully through the assignment instructions provided by your lecturer so that you are
quite sure of the required format for the written answers. You should note the following points when writing up your
case study analysis
Avoid simply describing the situation and make sure you have applied theories to really explain why and
how situations have developed.
Write short introductory and concluding paragraphs of one or two sentences at the beginning and end of
each question.
Make sure that your information is logically sequenced.
Check that your writing is properly referenced
Proofread your assignment for spelling, grammar and punctuation.
Analysing Problem-based Case Studies
In these assignments the case studies are usually longer and there is usually a lot of choice as to how you
approach the analysis. To complete this kind of analysis, work through the following steps.
Step 1 - Read the case study
Give yourself time to absorb the case details before starting your research or writing a plan for the assignment.
Skim read through the case quickly to obtain an overview of events. Read the case again more closely,
highlighting key words, phrases and sentences. Make a note of all the people involved and their positions in the
organisation being discussed and the time sequences for events.
Ask yourself some relevant questions such as:
What are the key trends in this case?
What are the positive and negative factors in this case?
Are the individuals in the case making their best possible contribution? If not, what is preventing them
from doing so and what might be done to overcome this?
Step 2 - Analyse the problem
Once you have read the case study and thought about some of the factors in the case, you should analyse the
problem and clarify the main issues. Start by defining the central problem (or problems). A problem can be
defined as the difference between what the situation is and what the ideal might be. You should consider the
issues that are central to the problem as well as the causes and consequences of the problem.
Determine the organisation’s successes and failures in relation to the case and the communication processes
that are operating within the organisation Apply an analysis tool that you think may be useful, for example SWOT,
PEST or Force Field. It is a good idea to explain and justify why you chose the particular analysis tool.
You should also identify any information gaps. You can make some assumptions about missing information as
long as you identify these clearly. Write a statement about any assumptions you have made for use in your final
analysis e.g. ‘It is assumed that Jane’s manager had consulted her before proceeding with the negotiations’.
Step 3 - Gather Information
Once you have developed an understanding of the case, the behaviour of individuals and how decisions have
influenced events, you will need to link this to concepts, theories and models you have studied. In your writing you
must demonstrate the application of theories in developing your analysis so that you are able to really explain why
and how situations have developed instead of just describing the situation.
Select the relevant concepts, theories and models that you feel will help you to analyse the problem
further e.g. ‘communication barriers’; ‘resistance to change’.
Organise these into headings that you can use to make a plan for your assignment.
Use these headings to search your lecture notes and tutorial questions, the index of text books, a library
catalogue or a data base for material which will help you to analyse the information presented in the
case study.
Step 4 - Make recommendations
In order to make recommendations you will probably need to use a problem-solving process:
Outline the alternative courses of action available to solve the problem that you analysed.
List the advantages and disadvantages of each course of action. You may also need to evaluate the
alternatives using the same criteria for each evaluation so that they can be compared. You can make
predictions as to what would happen if each of your alternatives were to be adopted.
When making your recommendations, remember the following steps.
Select your preferred course of action and clearly explain your reasons for selecting this particular
option.
Outline who should take the action, when the actions should be taken and how those actions will occur.
List the implications of the preferred course of action, considering both negative and positive
implications.
List any implementation issues which might arise: e.g. ‘allocation of resources’; ‘management
resistance’ and then explain how these issues should be dealt with.
Step 5 - Write up the assignment
It is very important to read carefully through the assignment instructions provided by your lecturer so that you are
quite sure of the required format for the written answers. You should note the following points when writing up a
problem-based case study analysis
Group together all the relevant information you have noted from your readings and use this to outline the
sections of your report.
Make sure that your information is logically-sequenced, that your arguments can be clearly understood
and that all your recommendations are linked to your discussion.
Check that you have adequately answered the question posed and addressed all the issues identified in
the case study.
Remember that there are often multiple approaches to solving problems and there may be more than one possible
answer. Analysing case studies helps you to solve problems and apply the theory you have learnt from courses to
a practical situation in a way that will be useful to you in your future career.
Adapted From: Learning Advisers (2002). Analysing a case study in business courses. University of South Australia.
STANDARD FORMAT FOR PROBLEM SOLVING CASE STUDIES
1. Title page
2. Letter/Memo of transmittal
3. Table of contents
4. Executive summary
This section should comprise a brief overview of the case, setting the scene and noting any important assumptions
made. It gives you the opportunity to put the whole ‘in a nutshell’ and this will help you to decide how to structure
your paper. It is easier to try out ideas, structuring and restructuring a one-page summary than a 2,000 word
assignment. You should also give a synopsis of your case report, noting very briefly the major problems identified
and the recommended solutions. Approximately one page is required.
5. Problem identification
In this section you should identify all the major problems in the case. Try to understand underlying causes of
problems, not just symptoms. In most case studies you will identify a number of problems - too many students
attempt to actually ‘solve' the problem in the number of words allowed. It is crucial to make it very clear which are
the major two or three problems or key issues, that must be solved first. Therefore, this section should consist of a
short concise statement of the problems you are going to solve in the remainder of the case. Approximately half a
page is adequate.
6. Analysis of Problems and Issues
This is a central part of your case study analysis. In this section you will detail the issues, causes and
consequences of any problems. You should link each problem identified to relevant theory and also to actual
evidence from the case. Remember you must integrate theory and reference all non-original work. This where you
need to apply any models, theories or concepts that you are familiar with and that help explain and understand the
situation.
Make sure you use plenty of headings and subheadings to structure your analysis. For example, have separate
sections on any important conceptual tool you use. Thus, you might have a section on Porter’s five forces model
as part of your analysis of the environment. You might offer a separate section on portfolio techniques when
analyzing a company’s corporate strategy. Tailor the sections and subsections to the specific issues of importance
in the case.
7. Evaluation of alternative solutions
While most problems will have a very large number of possible solutions it is your task to identify and evaluate a
number of the more appropriate ones (at least two to three for each major problem identified).
Each alternative solution should be briefly outlined and then evaluated in terms of its advantages and
disadvantages (strong and weak points). It is not necessary to make a statement in this section as to which
alternative is considered best - this is stated in the next section. Do not integrate or recommend theory in this
section. Practical solutions to the problems are required.
8. Recommendation(s)
This section should state which of the alternative solutions (either singly or in combination) identified in section six
are recommended for implementation. Be comprehensive, and make sure they are in line with the previous
analysis so that the recommendations fit together and move logically from one to the next. You should briefly
justify your choice, explaining how it will solve the major problems identified in section six. Integration of relevant
theory is appropriate here.
Some cases are about excellent companies experiencing no problems. In such instances, it is hard to write
recommendations. Instead, you can focus on analyzing why the company is doing so well, using that analysis to
structure the discussion. The recommendations section is very revealing because your lecturer or tutor will have a
good idea of how much work you put into the case from the quality of your recommendations.
9. Implementation
In this section you should specifically explain how you will implement the recommended solutions. What should be
done, by whom, when, in what sequence, what will it cost (rough estimates) and other such issues.
Remember, if a recommended solution cannot be realistically implemented, then it is no solution at all.
10. Appendices
11. Reference List
Referencing of all non-original material is essential. You will lose marks for poor referencing.
Source: Nell Kimberley and Patrizia Cotesta (1997) Student Q Manual (Second Edition). Monash University.
ADDITIONAL CASE STUDY TIPS
The following are some additional tips that can help make a good analysis even better.
1.
2.
3.
4.
Do not repeat or summarise large pieces of factual information from the case. The marker has read the
case and knows what is going on. Instead, you should use the information in the case to illustrate your
statements, to defend your arguments, or to make salient points.
Make sure the sections and subsections of your discussion flow logically and smoothly from one to the
next. Try to build on what has gone before so that the analysis of the case study moves toward a climax.
This is particularly important for group analysis, because there is a tendency for people in a group to
split up the work and say, "I’ll do the beginning, you take the middle, and I’ll do the end."
Avoid grammatical and spelling errors. They make the paper sloppy.
In some instances, cases dealing with well-known companies don’t include up-to-date research because
it was not available at the time the case was written. If possible, do a search for more information on
what has happened to the company in subsequent years. Very often you can download copies of a
company’s annual report from its Web site, and many companies also keep lists of press releases and
articles that have been written about them. Source:: Business Resources: Case Study Analysis. Houghton Mifflin (2004).
Appendix 7: Oral Presentations
IMPORTANCE OF PRESENTATION SKILLS
The ability to present effectively is growing in importance in the workplace, schools, universities and in the
community at large. Business professionals, politicians, sports coaches, sales people, people in service industries,
lecturers and anyone, in fact, who deals with people, needs good speaking skills.
Television, video and the internet have had an enormous impact on audience expectations. In order to be
successful, it is imperative that the speaker is clear, informative, entertaining, convincing and brief. However, great
presenters are not born with excellent skills. They have taken the time to learn how to plan and prepare a
presentation. They are self-assured, self-disciplined and put their skills into practice as often as possible.
WHAT IS AN ORAL PRESENTATION?
Oral presentations usually take place in tutorials or seminars. An oral presentation is a talk given to a group in
which you present your views on an issue or topic based on your readings or research. The oral presentation may
be associated with a written assignment or can lead to one. There may be specific requirements you may need to
meet and these will be detailed in your course outline or study guide. Your presentation may be as an individual or
as part of a group. Presentations in the workplace aim to:
1.
2.
3.
Inform – an informative speech conveys factual information using clear examples and supporting
material. It aims to develop ideas, pass on information or show how something works or can be done.
Balance the content and discussion to achieve an unbiased, objective presentation.
Persuade – a persuasive speech establishes a need in the audience and explains the action required to
satisfy the need. A persuasive speech aims to influence the audience, to change their attitude or bring
them round to a particular point of view.
Entertain – An entertaining speech uses a variety of techniques such as humour, anecdotes, examples,
and quotations around a common theme, so that the audience enjoys the presentation. As a speaker,
you may decide to combine informative or persuasive elements with entertainment.
Your speech may be designed to meet one of these objectives, or a combination of these objectives.
PREPARING THE PRESENTATION
As well as having the right mental attitude toward presenting, an important factor in successful presentations lies
in the planning and preparation process.
Step 1. Analysing your audience
Try to empathise with the people in the audience and consider the following:
What do you know about the people?
Each of the individuals at the presentation has different attitudes, needs, knowledge, expertise and
responsibilities.
What are their needs and expectations?
What will be their attitude toward you and your ideas?
Have they had good/bad past experiences with you which may affect their attitude?
What do they know and what do they need to know in order to understand your presentation?
What are their likes/dislikes in presentation style and format, if any?
What time frame is expected for a presentation?
You should bear in mind the different personalities and relationships which exist within a group when presenting
your ideas. Maintain eye contact with everyone. It could be tempting to focus on those whom you want to impress
and avoid looking at someone who may disagree with you. Try to treat everyone in the same way.
Establishing rapport with an audience and focusing your attention on them is important. An audience will stop
listening if it feels you are not interested in them. Watching members of the audience also enables you to gauge
how well they are receiving your message.
Step 2. Writing the Presentation
Oral presentations, like written assignments have three main parts or stages:
1.
2.
3.
The Introduction. The introduction aims to catch the audience’s attention and to indicate the topic. As
you speak for the first time, the audience will be deciding whether or not you are worth listening to, how
interesting you are, are you energetic, enthusiastic and sincere? Your opening words should entice the
audience so that they want to listen to you. You can use some of the following strategies at the start of
your presentation to add interest:
Give a human interest story
Pose an unanswered question
Present a surprise statement
Give a startling statistic
Use appropriate humour
Quote a recognized expert
Appeal to solve a common problem
The Body. The body develops the central theme of the presentation and provides supporting
information. Examples of supporting information include: personal experiences, examples, illustrations,
facts, and statistics. Strategies that can be used in this part of the presentation include:
Dividing the whole into comparable parts.
Using factors for presenting issues and questions by applying conventional relationships of data
(time, place, quantity, factor, combination).
Connecting major points with transitions.
Conclusion. The conclusion reinforces the main ideas and gives the listeners a second chance to hear
the ideas presented earlier. To make an impact, use:
a relevant anecdote
a quotation
an example
a recommendation
other alternatives.
Speakers indicate that they are about to end the talk by using signalling words such as:
in conclusion
to summarise
in closing
Speakers may also conclude by inviting their audience to take some action, or by challenging them, or
by asking for their cooperation or support.
Step 3. Rewriting for the Ear
Read the speech aloud and listen for:
a simple structure that is easy to follow
active voice with simple tense
words that are easy to hear and understand
concise words with a clear meaning
words that sound right together
breathing spaces that add impact to the message
words that help to move the listener through the introduction, body and conclusion.
Step 4. Practise and revise the content
Practise and revise by reading the content several times to become familiar with the main ideas. Rewrite parts that
sound awkward.
Step 5. Consider Personal Aspects
You need to analyse yourself as a speaker before presenting your speech. What an audience sees is a part of the
message received. Sharpen your strengths through awareness and mastery of the following points:
Confidence. Develop confidence in yourself and from your audience by, preparing earnestly, practicing,
dressing appropriately and speaking in strong, clear tones
Sincerity. Avoid any type of insincerity; be sincere throughout your speech.
Thoroughness. Exacting coverage shows you care about your speech. It also shows credibility. But do
not overdo it – excessive detail can drown an audience in a sea of facts. Use good judgement to balance
speech.
Friendliness. Friendliness allows the audience to identify with you and be receptive. But do not feign it through self-analysis, you can learn to project a genuine and friendly image. Interest, enthusiasm,
originality, and flexibility also help speakers.
Step 6. Organise the Visual Aids
The final step in the preparation of a presentation is to organise support information, overheads, PowerPoint,
posters, props, costume and so forth.
PRESENTING THE SPEECH
1. Methods of Presentation
After organising the speech, you then attend to its presentation. You have three choices:
1.
2.
3.
Presenting Extemporaneously. Extemporaneous presentations are the most popular and effective of
the three choices. This method involves preparing notes from the organised speech and presenting from
them. This mean that you should rehearse, but do not memorise your presentation. Extemporaneous
presentations sound natural but are the result of much planning and practice.
Memorizing. Memorizing is the most difficult presentation method because most people panic or get
confused when they forget a word or two from a memorized speech. Many speakers compromise —
they use notes and memorize key passages.
Reading. Reading a speech can be effective if you practice but some audiences dislike speeches that
are read. Speeches that are read may be dull and mechanical. When you read a speech, make sure you
have practiced and your audience accepts this presentation method.
2. Analysing your Audience during the Presentation
Analysis of your audience does not end at the preparation stage. Unlike written forms of communication, oral
presentations offer the unique opportunity to gauge how the audience is reacting to your message. You should
continue analysing your audience during the presentation. Be receptive to feedback – audience information about
how your message is being received. Be alert for all cues - particularly facial expressions, smiles, tone in
questions - about their receptivity to your speech.
3. Appearance and Physical Actions
Listeners see you and your surroundings as they receive your message. They perceive more than just your words.
The Communication Environment. The physical setting of your speech (the stage, lighting, etc.) is part of
what your audience sees. This setting, including outside noises, should help rather than hinder your
presentation. Always attempt to check the facilities at the site where you will be presenting, allowing
sufficient time to rearrange the room, if necessary, and check the equipment.
Personal Appearance. Dress appropriately for the audience and the occasion. Your personal appearance is
a part of the message. You should also use facial expressions and physical movements to your
advantage.
Posture. Posture is usually the most obvious point your audience observes. Practice good posture by having
others tell you areas of improvement or by using videotape. Aim for a natural posture by distributing your
weight evenly and standing erect and comfortably without appearing stiff or limp.
Walking. A strong, sure walk to your position of speaking portrays confidence. Walk during speech only to
create the effect you want.
Facial Expressions. Facial expressions are the most apparent of physical movements. Most of us
unconsciously convey unintended meanings through them. Eye contact, used with discretion, shows
interest. Use eye contact and facial expressions effectively.
Gestures. Gestures add meaning to messages, but their meanings are vague. Use them as natural, strong
supplements to speeches.
4. Use of Voice
Good voice is to good speaking as good legs are to good running. Both are vital to the end result. Voice difficulties
in student presentations are usually caused by one or more of the following:
Lack of Pitch Variation. Avoid monotones by using the full range of your voice. Lack of variation is usually
developed through habit. Awareness is the first step to break the habit.
Lack of Variation in Speaking Speed. Messages are more interesting if they are presented in different
delivery speeds. So vary your speaking speed. Use fast pace for easy material and slow pace for hard
parts. Do not, however, fill pauses with useless distractions such as “you know”, “uh”, “like” etc.
Lack of Vocal Emphasis. Talking loudly, with volume, gives emphasis to ideas. But don’t talk too loud, too
frequently. Use contrast; some ideas can be accented by soft expression. Variety is the key to emphasis
through voice volume. A consistently soft voice will be weak and the audience will lose interest.
You should work for self-improvement in voice use by using tape recorders, observing successful presenters and
imitating good qualities observed and learned.
5. Nerve control
Everyone suffers from nerves and everyone is frightened of looking foolish. The important point to remember is
that you must welcome and harness your anxiety because you need it to be an effective speaker. It energises you.
Without it your performance will be dull and lifeless. You can control your nerves in several ways:
through practice
visualising success
positive self-talk
remembering a good feeling.
6. Managing Questions
Question time is a period at the end of an oral presentation during which members of the audience can ask
questions or make comments about the material that you have presented. In most cases there will be a set
amount of time for questions – 5 or 10 minutes – at the end of an oral presentation. Along with your prepared talk,
the questions and answer sessions should also be rehearsed. Ask yourself what questions may arise because of
lack of clarity, too much information, poor logic or simply because there is no room to include everything.
There are a variety of different types of questions that you may be asked during question time. The best way to
respond will depend on the type of question being asked, as well as the way it is asked. Generally, questions can
be divided into three varieties.
i.
Constructive questions: often questions are asked so that you can expand on or clarify aspects of your
presentation in ways that are useful for helping you think about your research in constructive ways.
ii.
Intimidating questions: some questions are asked in a confusing or even aggressive manner and it is
difficult to know how to answer them. While these questions might seem intimidating or unhelpful, it is easier
to deal with them if you understand the reasons for them.
iii. Comments: many ‘questions’ will not be questions at all, but comments, statements or suggestions. These
do not require an ‘answer’, although you can make a further comment or suggestion.
The main points to remember about question time are:
listen carefully - make sure you understand the question
rephrase it in your own words
answer it concisely
where possible refer back to any visuals which may provide the answer
if a question is long and rambling, highlight only part of it and give a short answer.
don't be defensive - use eye contact and positive body language
speak with confidence, don't lie - if you don't know the answer say so
don't enter into an argument with any individual
don't rush an answer - pause, think about what you are going to say.
VISUAL AIDS
The term 'multi-sense' recognises that people receive messages in several different ways. This means that a
delivery with a variety of communication channels will have a stronger impact than a delivery depending only on
voice and body movement. Visuals usually carry key parts of the message. They are the points of emphasis in a
presentation. Visual material is an important signal to people, so use it to improve any presentation.
1. Role of Visual Aids
Each audiovisual aid should be simple and present only one idea. An effective visual aid:
gains attention
increases interest
supports your point
emphasises relationships
clarifies
aids the listeners' memory
assists the presenter to arrange the content in an orderly manner
removes the focus from the speaker.
2. Types of Visual Aids
Verbal aids may take the form of facts, statistics, examples, quotations and comparisons, definitions, testimonials,
case studies, personal experiences, participation, humour and analogies. Visual aids could include a data show,
demonstration or video. They may also include photographs, illustrations, maps, graphs and diagrams, props,
costumes or handouts.
3. Techniques for Using Visuals
Follow this list of do’s and don’ts to use visuals effectively.
Make certain that everyone in the audience can see the visuals. Too many or too-light lines on a chart,
for example, can be hard to see. An illustration that is too small can be meaningless to people far from
the speaker.
Explain the visual if there is any likelihood that it will be misunderstood.
Organize the visuals as a part of the presentation. Fit them into the presentation plan.
Emphasize the visuals. Point to them with physical action and words.
Talk to the audience—not to the visuals. Look at the visuals only when the audience should look at
them.
Avoid blocking the listeners’ view of the visuals. Make certain that the listeners’ views are not blocked by
lecterns, pillars, chairs, and such. Take care not to stand in anyone’s line of vision.
4. Guidelines for PowerPoint Visuals
It is true that the use of visual aids can make the difference in a presentation in terms of presenting your content
clearly, vividly and memorably. If you use a data show, overhead transparencies or flipcharts, remember the
following points:
16pt or larger text
use clear font styles such as Palatino, Times New Roman or Arial
bullet points: use key words and phrases only
do not overcrowd slides, be concise: use the KISS principle (keep it simple stupid)
limit the main ideas to 4 per OHT
aim for high contrast between background and text colours
keep animations and special effects simple
avoid sound except where it adds to the understanding of content
check spelling, grammar, punctuation
make tables, graphs and images as simple and large as possible
follow a logical structure (an outline slide may be useful)
number all OHTs
5. Guidelines for Handouts
Handouts are useful in terms of reinforcing the message by representing the main points in a simple fashion. They
may also allow you, the presenter to provide background material before you talk and additional reading after the
presentation. Like any form of visual support, they add interest to a presentation. Handouts should:
be simple
relate directly to the objective of the presentation
have high visual impact
must not distract the audience.
WHY PRESENTATIONS GO BAD
Some of the main causes of bad presentations include:
Distracting visuals/verbals/vocals
Failure to speak to time
Equipment failure
The material is too technical/pitched too high or too low for the audience
Poor organisation of material
Inappropriate pace
Failure to retain the audience's attention
Information overload
Lack of enthusiasm
Lack of rapport with audience.
You should aim to reduce or eliminate these causes whenever you present by using the strategies presented in
this guide.
Material in this Appendix adapted from:
•
•
Raymond Lesikar and Marie Flately (2002) Basic Business Communication (Ninth Edition). New York: McGraw-Hill.
Learning Advisers (2004) Making the Most of Oral Presentations. Adelaide: University of South Australia.
•
Nell Kimberley and Patrizia Cotesta (1997) Student Q Manual (Second Edition). Monash University.
Appendix 8: Literature Reviews
WHAT IS A LITERATURE REVIEW?
A literature review involves collecting literature (written information) about one or more topics. The review requires
you to:
» Collect information and summarise it
» Examine and evaluate the information in terms of its strengths and weaknesses
» Consider how different sources compare to one another and fit together.
A literature review is a task that you should really undertake for any assignment as it is important to have carefully
selected resources to support your ideas. However when you are asked to complete a formal literature review
either on its own or as a section in a larger assignment, you not always will be given a set of specific questions to
answer. Sometimes you may simply be given a general topic (for example, “Strategic Human Resource
Management”, “Brand Personality” or “Internet Hacking”) and be asked to complete a literature review.
HOW TO APPROACH A LITERATURE REVIEW
There is no set way of beginning a literature review. It is simply a matter of researching, then making, organising
and evaluating notes in order to decide how best to present the information. It is essential that you understand
what each source has to say about a topic. This will enable you to compare and contrast the information so that
you can categorise the literature according to key issues and viewpoints thus providing an integrated discussion of
what you have read. The key to doing a literature review is to take it step-by-step and work on it over time (it
cannot be done overnight so start early!!)
Although there is no set format for taking notes it is really a matter of what suits you. Ensure they are organised
as neatly as possible. A suggestion would be to use a table to organise your notes or to keep notes from
individual sources on separate pages and use headings to organise the information.
STEP 1: Check the Task
Read through your assignment task (in the subject outline). Make notes of the general topic and any key
issues/questions you may be asked to address. Use this to write a list of key words you can use for your article
search.
STEP 2: Search for Information
Start searching for relevant information. When searching for information, be sure that you collect the appropriate
kind of sources. In some cases you will be restricted to using only academic journal articles, whereas in others,
you may have to use a combination of academic, practitioner, empirical and theoretical articles. Always check
your Subject Outline. If you need assistance in finding articles through the databases, you are advised to make an
appointment with the staff in the Student Resource Centre on Level 2.
WARNING: Your review should focus on published materials so when doing a literature review, be very
careful about searching the World Wide Web as you may come across information that is inappropriate.
Always start by searching for articles in the online databases.
STEP 3: First read for overview
Read through the materials. Make notes of any common themes/issues/ideas that present themselves. This will
be useful later when you come to note taking.
STEP 4: Develop focus points
Develop a set of guide questions/general points that need to be considered in relation to your topic. These may
come directly from your course profile or they may be a more specific set of keyissues/questions/points based on
your first reading of the materials. You may have a set of key questions about the topic already in mind, but you
may wish to add common ideas/discussion points you have noticed from your reading.
STEP 5: Second read – make summary notes
The next step is to start making notes of key ideas from each source for analysis and evaluation. At this stage it is
important to:
•
Thoroughly read through each source one at a time and make notes
•
Do this in simple bullet-point format
•
Avoid re-writing large paragraphs from the text
•
Put it into your own words
•
Stay focused on the question you are trying to answer/the issue you are trying to deal with
•
Once you have read an article, put it aside and ask yourself “what did that source have to say about that
issue? What was its main viewpoint/response in relation to that question/issue?”
When you have taken note of that source’s views on that issue – consider the next one until you have considered
each source. If that source does not deal with that issue, continue and move on to the next one. Once you have
finished making notes from that source, continue with the next one. Make sure that with each set of notes, you
write the full referencing details (as you would use for a reference list) either at the top of the page/section or, if
you are using a research table, in the first column.
STEP 6: Compare and Evaluate
Once you have completed the note-taking process you then need to evaluate the information. At the bottom of
your notes of each source, write the following:
•
Where is the information from? Book? Journal? Website?
•
What is the main message(s) this source is trying to communicate? That is, what is the main argument?
•
Why has the author(s) taken this viewpoint?
•
Who agrees (has similar views)?
•
Who disagrees (has different views)?
•
How credible/valid is this source?
•
How/where can I use this information?
STEP 7: Collate and develop essay/report plan
Once you have collected, compared and evaluated your information, you are in a position to start organising ideas
and begin developing an essay/report plan. As with any assignment, your words/literature will need to be written
in paragraphs, so ideally you should organise your information according to key ideas and then present the major
viewpoint(s) in relation to each of those ideas. Be aware that when presenting the information, the same source
may be referred to in different sections as it becomes relevant. Remember the task is not so much about
presenting individual article critiques as it is about presenting the key themes/points of discussion you have found
and how the viewpoints fit together in relation to each of these. The way you structure/present this information will
depend upon the task requirements and the information you have gathered.
LITERATURE REVIEW CHECKLIST
‰ Have I used the required number of sources?
‰ Have I used the correct type of resources (empirical articles, academic journal articles, practitioner journal
articles?)
‰ Have I summarised the key viewpoint of each article?
‰ Have I compared/contrasted sources with each other?
‰ Have I considered the validity of each source (reliability of the author, age, extent of supporting
research/evident?)
‰ Have I grouped my resources according to commonality of themes/ideas?
‰ Is my discussion integrated?
‰ Have I been sure to include analysis and critique in my discussion – not just description and summary?
‰ Have I referred to all sources correctly (in-text)?
‰
‰
‰
‰
Have I listed all the sources in a reference list?
Does my reference list include only sources I have discussed and referencing in the body of the review?
Have I written in complete, logically ordered paragraphs?
Is my writing correct at the surface level of:
spelling?
punctuation?
grammar, including one idea per paragraph
Source: AIC LSU Student Resource Centre: Literature Reviews (2008).
Appendix 9: Annotated Bibliographies
WHAT ARE ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHIES?
A bibliography is like a reference list that details all the books, articles, or papers that you have read on a particular
subject. An annotated bibliography is a bibliography where you have read an article (or white paper or book etc.)
and have made some notes about that article. Each annotation should be about one page in length.
HOW TO WRITE AN ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY
Step 1
Select a topic to write about. Read the subject guide first.
Step 2
Find 10 articles, papers, or books on the subject – they could be pro or anti the issue.
Step 3
Take notes whilst reading each article then collate them from the general to the specific, or at least in some
form of order from 1 to 10. (Sometimes when you put them into logical order they can help you to make your
point or help you to prove your ‘case’)
Step 4
Write an annotation on each article, making sure that each annotation is correctly referenced in the heading
(and also in the final reference list)
Consider:
- what is the topic about?
- what are the key arguments or viewpoints of the source?
- what are the main strengths and/or weaknesses?
- how reliable/valid is the source? (consider the date, the author, the referencing etc)
- How does this annotation relate to your subject?
- make sure you identify why you chose each article and how each article relates to
your subject or what you are trying to prove/identify/argue etc.
Step 5
Write a summary of all ten articles – generally one or two pages. In the summary, in-text referencing linking
all ten articles together is important.
Step 6
Write a conclusion – probably about half a page to one page
Step 7
Make sure you include a full reference/bibliography list in APA style at the end
Step 8
Make sure the finished document conforms to the requirements in the Subject Guide.
Step 9
Use Arial 10 point font with single line spacing (this saves paper) – or as directed by the lecturer
Step 10
Upload an electronic copy to SafeAssign - and hand in a hard copy in class
Courtesy of Ian Kirkwood 2010
Acknowledgements
This document is designed to assist students in their studies at James Cook University
Brisbane. The document is based on an original text prepared by Pierre Benckendorff
titled “The Endeavour: A Quality Learning Manual for Students”. Much of the material
is taken directly from that document. To that end, the acknowledgments in The
Endeavour also stand for this document: “This manual also includes a number of
guidelines developed by James Cook University’s Language and Learning Services
group and thanks must go to this unit for their groundwork in the area of student
learning. Much of the material in this manual is drawn from leading educational
sources and every effort has been made to acknowledge these sources throughout
the text. A final note of thanks must go to Associate Professor Stewart Alison, Sue
Russell and other School of Business staff who have provided their input and advice
in the preparation of this manual. (Pierre Benckendorff, January 2008).” In addition
the contribution of Ian Kirkwood from JCU Brisbane is acknowledged.
Jennifer Boreland, Brisbane, February 2011

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