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ASSIGNMENT GUIDANCE

GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS
1. Read the assignment brief carefully and make sure that you understand the work you should hand in and
what is required of you. If you are uncertain, discuss it with your teacher.
2. The assignment requires you to work by yourself and to produce authentic and, wherever possible,
original work. You should not share your work with any other students.
3. If you work in a group at any stage, you must present your own responses to each task.
4. Some tasks may require Observation Records/Witness Statements. Your teacher will organize for these
to be completed and you must attach these to your submitted work.
5. You should not plagiarize any idea, writing, data or invention belonging to another person.
6. Presentation of your work:
(a) Check that you have completed the required tasks. (b) Label each page with your name and page
number. (c) Use a standard business report structure. (d) Word process the report. (d) Use 12 point
Arial script. (e) Use the Harvard referencing system.
7. Please visit the library at https://www.questiaschool.com/research-tutorials and watch the tutorials,
especially tutorials 6. Integrating Sources and 7. Paraphrasing Sources.

GENERAL ASSIGNMENT REPORT FORMAT


1. Cover page

2. Title page
The title page should contain the following.
(a) Title of your paper/assignment
(b) Your name
(c) Course title
(d) Institution name (Maldives Business School)
(e) Word count
The following is a sample title page.

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Title of your paper/assignment
Your name
Your course (e.g. BTEC HND/Associate Degree (Management/HRM/Marketing))
Maldives Business School
Date
4,000 words

3. Abstract/Executive Summary
This is a short section of about 100-130 words. The abstract/executive summary should
consist of:
(a) An introduction to the topic
(b) A brief description of the research/activities you have done
(c) A summary of your results/learning
(d) A brief indication of the implications of the results/learning

Write this last. Here are two sample abstracts.

Abstract
It is not uncommon to see The University of Montana students working while attending
school. By conducting informal interviews it is clear that students work for a variety of
reasons. The authors of this study have diverse thoughts about the impact work has on
student’s academic performance. No study, which tries to explain factors affecting working
university students, has ever been conducted at the Missoula campus. The purpose of this
study was to discover and compile information regarding The University of Montana
students who work. This study was carried out for the Financial Aid Department at The
University of Montana, to help Financial Aid better serve student needs. This report
includes background to the study, the objectives to be met, sampling methods, the survey
questionnaire (see Appendix A), and the results of the research.

Executive Summary
Niche marketing has become a successful strategy for many CPA firms because it identifies
target markets and resources, distinguishes a CPA firm from the competition and generates
higher profit margins. Niche market specialties will focus both your firm's marketing
program and your marketing professional's activities by providing a foundation for
marketing plans and goal setting. This article will provide you with the keys to successful
niche marketing as well as niche marketing success stories.

4. Table of contents
Here is an example Table of contents. You will have to write what goes into the

TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. Abstract ………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
2. Introduction ………………………………………………………………………………………………….
3. Title of fist main section ………………………………………………………………………………… 1
3.1 First subheading ……………………………………………………………………………………… 2
3.2 Second subheading ………………………………………………………………………………….
4. Title of second main section ……………………………………………………………………………. 3
4.1 First subheading ……………………………………………………………………………………… 4
4.2 Second subheading …………………………………………………………………………………….
5. Conclusion and recommendations ………………………………………………………………….. 5
6. References …………………………………………………………………………………………………… 6
Appendix A
Appendix B 7
8

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5. Introduction
This is a short section of about 450 words. The introduction should describe the background (i.e. the
situation at a particular time) and academic context (the context is the set of circumstances in which
the report was written including the report’s function and purpose). Include a brief literature review
(a literature review shows what is currently known about the topic and forms the foundation for the
new views that you will present in the report) and an explanation of the method used to collect and
analyze data.

Note:
An academic report is a research report written by a scholar (e.g., students, researchers and
professors) on a particular topic. Its main purpose is to present answers (i.e., new knowledge) to a
research question to another scholar who wants information on that topic which is based on facts
(things that are observable or measurable) and is objective (i.e., without bias). This new knowledge
is built on the foundation of what is currently known about the given topic. This is called a literature
review.

For example:

Topic Business strategy of People Express (Airline)


Many scholars have defined strategy as an organization’s the long-
term plan which helps it to achieve competitive advantage over its
rivals by means of the proper use of resources and competences
(Mitzberg, 1987; Barney, 1991; Johnson, Scholes and Whittington,
2009; Dess, Lumpkin, Eisner and Peridis, 2012). As the definition
shows, gaining competitive advantage by using its resources and
Literature review competences is therefore the crucial to strategy. Many have thus
tried to explain competitive advantage in strategy development
(Porter, 1980, 1985; Barney, 1991; Teece, Pisano and Shuen 1997;
Peteraf and Barney). According to Porter (1997), competitive
advantage is to be achieved by manipulating the five forces in the
relevant industry. This means (1) minimizing the bargaining power
of customers, (2) minimizing the bargaining power of suppliers,
(3) minimizing the threat of new entrants, (4) minimizing the
threat of substitutes, and (5) minimizing rivalry among the
competitors.

Research questions Assuming Porter’s theory is correct, why and how did People
Express airline become bankrupt when it was hugely successful
(Ask questions such as: and growing rapidly? Could we devise a new strategy using
Is it really like this? How Porter’s forces and other techniques?
or why did it become like
this? Is it always like This report will examine these issues by collecting data and
this? Does ‘everyone’ see information available in published articles, books and on the
it this way? Do newer internet to find flaws in People Express’ strategy and develop a
sources agree with older new strategy that will help it to survive and thrive.
ones on this topic?)

6. Main sections of report


This is the body of your report. It may contain up to 2,500 words depending on your assignment. In
these sections you should present your data, analysis, findings and discussions. You can divide the
main sections of your repo0rt into relevant headings and subheadings.

7. Conclusion and recommendations


This is a short section of about 150 words. Write your conclusions and recommendations clearly and
with clear reasons or supporting evidence.

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8. References
Write your references in the Harvard style. Follow the guidance given below. Use the books and journal
articles in the library. Do not use Wikipedia and blogs. Do not cite your teacher. Use company websites
when your research involves those companies.

Examples of citation and list of references

The following examples will show you how to cite sources in text and write a full reference in the list of references.

1. Referencing a book
(a) In-text citation examples
1. Indirect citation
If a business wants loyal customers, it must start with employees who will deliver great customer
service (Bell and Zemke, 2013).
2. Direct citation
According to Bell and Zemke (2013), a business that wants loyal customers must have employees
who deliver great customer service.
3. Quoting
According to Bell and Zemke (2013, p.1), quality employers are those “who get as big a kick out of
delivering great service as customers do receiving it.”
(b) References list
1. Printed book
Format: Family name, INITIAL(S). Year. Title. Edition (if not first edition). Place of publication: Publisher.
Example:
Bell, C.R. and Ron Zemke, R. 2013. Managing knock your socks off service. 3rd ed. New York:
AMACOM.
2. Books available online (e-books):
Format: Family name, INITIAL(S). Year. Title. [Online]. Edition (if not first edition). Place of publication:
Publisher. Available through: <website address> [Accessed: date when you read this sources].
Example:
Bell, C.R. and Ron Zemke, R. 2013. Managing knock your socks off service. [Online]. 3rd ed. New
York: AMACOM. Available through:
<http://www.questiaschool.com/library/120078331/managing-knock-your-socks-off-service>
[Accessed: 10 May 2014].
2. Referencing a journal article
(a) In-text citation example
A recent study (Mohr, 2007) concluded that buzz marketing is a complete solution for marketing
sporting events.

(b) Reference list


1. Article in a print journal
Format: Family name, INITIAL(S). Year. Title of article. Title of Journal. Volume(issue number), page numbers.
Example:
Mohr, I. 2007. Super Bowl: a case study of buzz marketing. International Journal of Sports
Marketing & Sponsorship. 9(1), pp.33+.
2. Article in an online database
Format: Family name, INITIAL(S). Year. Title of article. Title of Journal. [Online]. Volume(issue number), page
numbers. Available through: <website address> [Accessed: date when you read this sources].
Example:
Mohr, I. 2007. Super Bowl: a case study of buzz marketing. International Journal of Sports
Marketing & Sponsorship. [Online]. 9(1), pp.33+. Available through:
<http://www.questiaschool.com/read/1G1-172135141/super-bowl-a-case-study-of-buzz-marketing>
[Accessed: 10 June 2014].
3. Referencing a book which is edited
Reference list example

Format: Family name, INITIAL(S) (of editors). ed(s). Year. Title. [Online]. Volume(issue number), page
numbers. Available through: <website address> [Accessed: date when you read this sources].

Example:
Stone, P.G. and Planel, P.G., eds., 1999. The constructed past: experimental archaeology,
education, and the public. London: Routledge.
4. Referencing an article on a website
Reference list

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Family name, INITIAL(S). Year. Title of blog entry. Date blog entry written. Title of blog. [Online]. Available
from: <website> [Date accessed].

Example:

Denning, S. 2012. What killed Michael Porter’s Monitor Group? The one force that really matters.
20 November. Forbes. [Online]. Available from: <
http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2012/11/20/what-killed-michael-porters-monitor-
group-the-one-force-that-really-matters/> [Accessed: 28 March 2013].
5. Referencing a PDF document
Reference list

Format: Same as for an e-book.

Example:

Maldives Monetary Authority. 2013. Annual economic review 2013. [Online]. Maldives Monetary
Authority. Available at: <http://mma.gov.mv/ar/AR_2013.pdf> [Accessed: 16 May 2014].
6. Referencing an online image
Family name, INITIAL(S) (of the originator). Year. Title of image. [Online]. Available from: <website> [Date
accessed].
Example:
Bowry, J. 2013. Telephone boxes in the snow. [Online]. Available from: <http://www.flickr.com/>
[Accessed 10 June 2013].

7. Referencing an interview
Family name, INITIAL(S) (of interviewee). Year. Interview with (name of interviewer). Date, location.
Example:
Thompson, D. 2008. Interview with J. Smith. 4 August, Leeds.
8. Referencing a newspaper article online
Family name, INITIAL(S). Year. Title of article. Newspaper title. [Online]. Date. Available from: <website>.
[Date accessed].
Example:
Pope, F. 2009. Losing Nemo: is there time to save the seas? The Times. [Online]. 3 December.
[Accessed 4 March 2010]. Available from:
<http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/environment/article1844332.ece>

9. Appendices
This is where you put information that is not essential to explain your findings, but that supports your
analysis and conclusions. Include in the appendices such things as completed survey questionnaires
and spreadsheets.

Sample Presentation Format

Follow the guidance below if you need to make a presentation.

First, make a presentation file in Microsoft PowerPoint. Start your presentation with the presentation cover
page. Continue by adding more slides as shown below. You can get the presentation cover page from the
portal file named “Presentation cover page.”

You must prepare cue cards to accompany your presentation. Your presentation and cue cards must not
exceed the word limit given in your task. Add cue cards to the “Click to add notes” section of each slide in
your PowerPoint presentation to give details of the points on your slides.
The font sizes for the presentation are given below. Use different colours for titles, heading and
subheadings.
Title: 44
Heading: 36
Subheading: 32

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Use the following format in your presentation. You can get the presentation cover page from the portal file
named “Presentation cover page.”

Once you have finished your presentation file, submit it on the web portal. The teacher will give you a date
to deliver your presentation.

Slide 1

Cover Page

Slide 2

Title of your presentation


Your name
Your course (e.g. BTEC HND/Associate Degree in Business (Management/HRM/Marketing))
Maldives Business School
Tutor:
Date:

Slide 3
Introduction
1. Attention-getting statement - gain the attention of the audience by using a quotation,
telling a brief story or humorous anecdote, asking a question, etc.
2. Thesis statement - state the specific purpose of your presentation here
3. Preview statement - overview of all of your main points in this presentation

Slide 4
First main point
1. Sub-point 1
(a) Supporting materials/ideas
(b) Supporting materials/ideas
2. Sub-point 2
(a) Supporting materials/ideas
(b) Supporting materials/ideas
3. Sub-point 3
(c) Supporting materials/ideas
(d) Supporting materials/ideas

Slide 5
Second main point
1. Sub-point 1
(c) Supporting materials/ideas
(d) Supporting materials/ideas
2. Sub-point 2
(e) Supporting materials/ideas
(f) Supporting materials/ideas
3. Sub-point 3
(g) Supporting materials/ideas
(h) Supporting materials/ideas

Slide 6
Third main point
1. Sub-point 1
(e) Supporting materials/ideas
(f) Supporting materials/ideas
2. Sub-point 2
(i) Supporting materials/ideas

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(j) Supporting materials/ideas
3. Sub-point 3
(k) Supporting materials/ideas
(l) Supporting materials/ideas

Etc.

Summary statement slide


Summary
Signal to the audience that you've finished with your main points
Summary statement - review all of your main points

Conclusion slide
Conclusion
Provide closure or concluding statement - prepare a closing statement that ends your
presentation smoothly.

References
References
Use the Harvard referencing system.

Cue Card for [Slide Title]

One for each relevant slide.

Note: The number of main points, sub-points and supporting materials/ideas you use will vary
depending on how much information you have to convey and how much detail and supporting
material you need to use.

Here are the main ways of arranging speech points.


Topical To stress natural divisions in a topic; allows points to be moved around to
emphasize listeners' needs and interests. E.g.
Forms of Business Organization
 Sole Proprietorship
 Partnership
 Private Limited Company
 Public Limited Company
Chronological To describe a series of developments in time or a set of actions occurring
sequentially. E.g.
 1895 - 1920
 Significant Event # 1
 Significant Event # 2
 1920 - 1945
 Significant Event # 1
 Significant Event # 2
Spatial To describe or explain the physical arrangement of a place, scene, event,
or object. E.g.
 My house
 Beautiful front garden leads to
 Large portico
 Two spacious living rooms
Cause and effect To explain or demonstrate a topic in terms of its underlying causes or
effects. E.g.
1. Lack of funds (cause 1)
2. Unsatisfactory social life (cause 2)
3. Unsatisfactory grades (cause 3)

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4. Drop out (effect)
Problem and To demonstrate the nature and significance of a problem and provide
solution justification for a proposed solution. E.g.
First, describe the problem and its seriousness.
Second, provide the solution to the problem.
Narrative To convey ideas through the medium of a story with characters, settings,
and a plot. E.g.
What happened?
When did it happen?
Where did it happen?
Circular To demonstrate how one idea leads to another and then another, all of
which leads back to the speech thesis.
Better mental and physical health Acts of kindness More
friendships More social support Better mental and physical
health
Monroe's Motivated To motivate listeners to adept a course of action. E.g.
Sequence Attention Hey! Listen to me, you have a PROBLEM!
Need Let me EXPLAIN the problem.
Satisfaction But, I have a SOLUTION!
Visualization If we IMPLEMENT my solution, this is what will
happen. Or, if we don't implement my solution,
this is what will happen.
Action You can help me in this specific way. Can you
help me?

Claim/Refutation To prove/disprove an opposing claim to your position.

Main point 1 - Oppositions position - claims/evidence/reasoning


Main point 2 - Implication of opposing claims
Main point 3 - Counter arguments
E.g.
Abolish the Death Penalty
 The system can make irreversible errors: innocent person executed
for false evidence; cannot bring that person back to life.
 It is cruel.
 It is not a deterrent: it has not stopped people from murdering
others.
Comparative To demonstrate the superiority of one viewpoint or proposal over another.
advantage E.g.
We should eat bananas, not apples because:
 Bananas are gentler on your teeth than apples
 You can peel bananas more easily than apples
 Bananas are cheaper!

You should rarely have more than five main points in any presentation.

PLAGIARISM

Maldives Business School’s rules and regulations relating to plagiarism are given below.

Plagiarism is the attempt to fulfill an academic requirement by using the ideas, words or work of another
person and representing them as one's own. Academic conventions dictate that students and scholars must
acknowledge the source of phrases and ideas that are not their own. Many ideas and phrases are so familiar
that they have become the common property of all; these obviously require no documentation. However, the
use of ideas or phrases [or entire works] that are clearly original with another author requires that the
appropriate credit be given to the original author.

A student shall not plagiarize any idea, writing, data or invention belonging to another person. For the
purpose of this rule, plagiarism includes:
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1. Using another writer’s words without proper citation.
2. Using another writer’s ideas without proper citation.
3. Citing the source but reproducing the exact words of a printed source without quotation marks.
4. Borrowing the structure of another author’s phrases or sentences without crediting the author.
5. Borrowing all or part of another student’s paper or using someone else's outline to write own paper.
6. Using a paper writing “service” or translating the writing or creation of another person from one language
to another.
7. Any form of plagiarism found in assignments will result in disciplinary action that may lead to dismissal.

ANNOTATED BIBILOGRAPHY (For the research project)

Annotated bibliography example: Author-Date (Harvard) referencing style

Trevor, C.O., Lansford, B. & Black, J.W., 2004. Employee turnover and job performance: monitoring
the influences of salary growth and promotion. Journal of Armchair Psychology, 113(1). pp.56-64.

In this article Trevor et al. review the influences of pay and job opportunities in respect to job
performance, turnover rates and employee motivation. The authors use data gained through
organisational surveys of blue-chip companies in Vancouver, Canada to try to identify the main causes
of employee turnover and whether it is linked to salary growth. Their research focuses on assessing a
range of pay structures such as pay for performance and organisational reward schemes. The article is
useful to my research topic, as Trevor et al. suggest that there are numerous reasons for employee
turnover and variances in employee motivation and performance. The main limitation of the article is
that the survey sample was restricted to mid-level management, thus the authors indicate that further,
more extensive, research needs to be undertaken to develop a more in-depth understanding of employee
turnover and job performance. This article will not form the basis of my research; however it will be
useful supplementary information for my research on pay structures.

TASK VERBS EXPLAINED

Word Meaning
Analyse To analyze, first identify separate factors. Then discuss each part separately. Finally
explain how the parts relate to one another and to the overall structure or purpose.
Apply Use knowledge, rules, laws, theories, methods learned in one situation to a different
situation or to solve a problem.
Assess To assess means to give careful consideration to all the factors or events that apply and
identify which are the most important or relevant, giving the judgments of any known
authorities as well as your own.
Compare Identify the main factors that apply in two or more situations and explain the similarities
and differences or advantages and disadvantages.
Critical reflection is the process of analyzing, reconsidering and questioning
experiences within a broad context of issues. Critical reflection in a project means
interpreting experiences and data to create new insights and agreement on actions.
Here is how to do it. Step 1. The what? Describe the incident/experience with just
enough detail to support doing your “So what?” section. For example, describe who,
Critical what, why, when, where. Step 2. So what? This is the sense-making section. You
reflection must analyze the incident/experience and discuss its significance, your position or view
point, actions and emotions (pre-during-post). Step 3. Now what? This section
makes connections from the incident/experience to further actions. For example, what
would you do differently/the same next time? Why? What are the key points, lessons
learnt to share with your colleagues, network and/or group outside the network? (e.g.,
idea, product, process, concept)? How will you do this?
Demonstrate To demonstrate is to provide several relevant examples or related evidence which
clearly support the arguments you are making. This may include showing practical
skills.
Describe Give a clear description that includes all the relevant features - think of it as ‘painting a
picture with words’.

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Discuss To discuss is to analyze carefully, and present pro and con considerations regarding the
problems or items involved. Answer in a complete and detailed manner, connecting
ideas to examples. Draw a conclusion.
Evaluate Review the information then bring it together to form a conclusion. Give evidence for
each of your views or statements.
Examine To examine, first discuss the things involved (e.g. theories, methods, issues, problems).
Then discuss the implications in detail.
Explain To explain is to set out in detail the meaning of something, with reasons. Give examples
to show what you mean. Start by introducing the topic then give the ‘how’ or ‘why’.
Identify Point out or choose the right one or give a list of the main features.
Impact Impact is the measure of the effects (consequences) of one thing’s action or influence
upon another.
Implication Implications are the effects or consequences of doing something on something else, i.e.
what might happen as a result of doing it or the conclusion that can be drawn from
something although it is not explicitly stated.
Interpret To interpret is to explain the meaning of something.
Justify To justify is to argue in support of some decision or conclusion, showing evidence or
reasons in support of your conclusions with logical reasoning and concrete examples.
Recommend To recommend is to make a proposal or plan for something. Give evidence or reasons
in support of your recommendations.
Report on To report on something is to write on a topic, giving the result of an investigation or
inquiry. Include positive and negative aspects and evidence to support judgments.
Review A review usually specifies a critical examination. You should analyze and comment
briefly, in organized sequence, upon the major points, merits and demerits of a thing or
problem, giving a valid conclusion and the end.
Premise Literal meaning: “"things mentioned before." In logic, it means something (e.g. a
statement or proposition) that is assumed to be true for the purpose of an argument
and from which a conclusion is drawn.
E.g.
All Maldivians eat fish. Premise 1
Ali is a Maldivian. Premise 2
Therefore Ali eats fish. Conclusion
Valid All Maldivians eat fish. Premise 1
conclusion Ali is a Maldivian. Premise 2
Therefore Ali eats fish. Conclusion
For the conclusion to be correct or valid:
1. The premises must be true.
2. There must be a relationship between the two premises.

Let us take the premises to be true. That is, it is true to say that “all Maldivians eat
fish,” and that it is true to say that “Ali is a Maldivian.” So the fist condition is satisfied.
And, in this case, there are two relationships. (1) The relationship between fish and
Maldives, and the relationship between Maldives and Ali. So, the second condition is
also satisfied.

The relationships cause a third relationship, the relationship between Ali and fish,
which must therefore be true. That is, “Ali eats fish,” must be valid (true).
However, you may question the truth of the premises. For example, is it true that all
Maldivians eat fish? How do you know that all Maldivians eat fish? What evidence do
you have that all Maldivians eat fish? Have you done a survey of all of them? Have they
all told you that they eat fish? This premise will be false if you can show even one
Maldivian who doesn’t eat fish!

And, is it true that Ali is a Maldivian? You can argue that, yes Ali is a Maldivian because
he has a Maldives passport. So, is anyone with a Maldives passport is a Maldivian? So, if
Queen Elizabeth II gets a Maldives passport then she would be a Maldivian, right? Then
you may argue that she is not, because she was not born in the Maldives. So, you your
definition of “Maldivian” has now changed. What about Hassan and Hawa’s (who both
have Maldives passports) daughter who was born in India and is two weeks old and
doesn’t have a Maldives passport? Is this baby girl a Maldivian? She wasn’t born in the

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Maldives. Then you may argue that anyone born of Maldivian parents is a Maldivian. Or
a combination of all these and more. And why should others agree with your definition?

(Read more on logical fallacies on the internet.)

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