Writing assignments is one part of independent learning at OUM. An assignment is one of the important assessment methods in OUM. It directly influences learners approaches to study. More importantly, writing assignments is a process of finding evidence that the course learning outcomes have been achieved when you have successfully completed this course.
STEPS OF WRITING ASSIGNMENTS
Testing by assignment is one of the most popular forms of assessments at OUM. This is usually part of the coursework and assessment to gauge the level of your understanding as well as your progress. An assignment differs from an essay in format, in that headings and subheadings are used to denote relationships or connectivity of issues. Writing an assignment does not mean a mere presentation of facts. It is more like an academic exercise in which you have a stand on certain issues, argue out the reasons and provide authoritative evidence to support your argument.
55 Coping with
By the end of this topic, you should be able to:
1. Identify the steps of writing an assignment;
2. Explain the structure of an assignment;
3. Describe the principles of APA referencing style;
4. Discuss the common faults found in an assignment; and
5. Appreciate the ethics in writing an assignment.
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In this subtopic, you will be guided to how to write an assignment by following the steps given. There are basically 10 steps to producing a good written assignment:
(a) SSelect a Topic Choose one that you are comfortable with, one that you know something
about. Sometimes the lecturer or tutor assigns the topic to each individual.
(b) AAnalyse the Topic Ask yourself what the main issues and supporting issues are. Check what
the topic requires you to do: explain, comment, elaborate, account for, analyse, etc. Understand what each term means (pIease refer to the dictionary for explanation).
(c) SSearch for Information Use the steps in the OUM Information Trail (Topic 3). Use the search
strategy you know best and apply it to: OPAC, e-book database, e-journal database and the Internet.
(d) EEvaluate and Select Do you have enough information which is relevant to the main issues and
supporting issues? (Apply evaluation criteria in Topic 9).
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(e) TTake Notes from Resources Make sure the notes cover all aspects related to the main issues and
(f) PPlan an Outline Make sure that the outline consists of introduction, body of content,
conclusion and accompanying information in the form of appendixes, footnotes, etc.
(g) OOrganise and Consolidate Write notes for each part e.g. Introduction, Body of content, Conclusion, and Accompanying information.
(h) WWrite the Paper Be guided by the following: Language should be simple and clear. There
should be a smooth flow of ideas and arguments. Apply creative thinking. Provide accompanying information in the form of appendixes and references.
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(i) RReview Assignment Have I dealt with the main issue and supporting issues thoroughly? Is the content relevant and thorough? Is there sufficient supporting evidence to uphold my views, opinions
and ideas? Does the paper make sense overall? Is the language clear and precise, or vague and ambiguous? Do the paragraphs connect well? Are the quotations appropriately cited? Are the illustrations properly labelled? Are there spelling errors? Are all the references cited in the assignment properly recorded?
(j) PPresent Before Deadline
It is important to present your assignment before the deadline. No matter how good your assignment is, it shows poor time management skills if it is presented after the deadline. You have to allot sufficient time for completing your assignment. Avoid procrastination in order to produce a good assignment. Do you know how to schedule time for completing assignments? Visit the following website http://www.lib.umn.edu/ help/calculator/ and try the University of Minnesotas Assignment Calculator. It will guide you to set your own deadlines in completing the written assignment efficiently.
Go to the website (stated in the earlier paragraph). Based on your findings from the website, list down your action plan and deadlines in preparing an assignment.
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STRUCTURE OF AN ASSIGNMENT
An essay has an Introduction, a Body and a Conclusion. Let us move on and get some tips on how to begin your essay with the first component: an IIntroduction.
When writing the introduction, you should state the scope of the paper, set the scene or clarify what the main issue is and how you intend to approach it. Writing the introduction is actually putting the topic into perspective and serves as a preview of what you intend to say. It should be short, to the point and not more than two paragraphs (see Figure 5.1).
Figure 5.1: An example of an Introduction Let us analyse the Introduction shown in Figure 5.1. If you notice, the writer started off by describing the need and the role of a library in the first paragraph. In the second paragraph, the writer continued by explaining how the role of the library can be determined by understanding the concept of education, aims and objectives of education, etc. Then, the writer relates this idea to how OUMs Digital Library also supports the concept of the democratisation of higher education (which is also OUMs aim), OUM and its core activities. With that, the
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writer has successfully introduced the topic of the paper, Providing Equal Opportunity in Distance Learning: The Role of the OUM Digital Library.
5.2.2 Body of Content
The main body of content should contain your ideas, opinions and facts, explained and argued out systematically and logically, with each idea or issue or argument flowing smoothly from one to another. Each paragraph should contain only one main point or main idea, with supporting details. The paragraphs should be interconnected, so that ideas flow smoothly throughout the main body of content. Make sure that when an issue is raised in one paragraph, it is carefully and systematically followed through in the following paragraphs before raising another issue. Use a numbering system to show the relationship or the interconnectivity between issues as shown in Figure 5.2. Illustrations (diagrams, pictures, etc) should be used if they help in clarifying the issues.
Figure 5.2: An example of related topics in the body of content
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Always refer to the topic when you write this section. Ensure that your conclusion tallies with the introduction and the body of content. A good conclusion should provide the reader with a sense of completion or closure end of a story. Do not repeat what you have said in the introduction. The conclusion must show progress in the development of the topic from the introduction and through the body of content (see Figure 5.3). The conclusion does not introduce new ideas, arguments or opinions, but should represent closure of the issues or ideas argued out in the main body.
Figure 5.3: An example of how to conclude a topic in the conclusion
APA CITATION STYLE
In the process of completing your assignments, you need to document all the sources used in your paper. There are many ways of documenting sources within the text of a paper and in the reference section at the end of your paper. OUM citation style is based on the American Psychological Association (APA) format.
In your previous experiences in writing an assignment, how many drafts did you come up with? Do you think it is necessary to have more than one draft? Post your comments in the Forum.
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5.3.1 Components of Referencing
The main reasons for referencing are:
(a) To enable your tutor to follow up the references and find the sources,
(b) To demonstrate to your tutor you have read widely a range of opinions,
(c) To enable your tutor to check the accuracy of the information you have given,
(d) Good referencing will assist in avoiding accusations of plagiarism, and
(e) You will lose marks if you do not acknowledge sources. There are two components of referencing:
(a) In-text referencing, which acknowledges the parts that you cite from other sources within the body of your work.
(b) A reference list at the end of your work, which is a list of all the sources cited in the text in your assignment.
Table 5.1 portrays types of resources or references with APA cited referencing style.
Table 5.1: Types of Resources or References with APA Cited Referencing Style
(i) ONE AUTHOR
Haig (2001) examined the effects..
..transform business globally (Haig, 2001).
Authors Name. (Year). Title of book (Edition). Place of publication: Publisher.
Haig, M. (2001). The B2B e-commerce handbook: How to transform your business-to-business global marketing strategy. London: Kogan Page.
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(ii) TWO AUTHORS
Boone and Kurtz (2001) explained the impact..
..environment and culture (Boone & Kurtz, 2001).
1st Authors Name, & 2nd Authors Name. (Year). Title of book: Subtitle of book (Edition). Place of publication: Publisher.
Boone, L. E., & Kurtz, D. (2001). Contemporary marketing (10th ed.). Forth Worth, TX: Harcourt Colleges Publishers.
(iii) THREE TO FIVE AUTHORS
Allen, Kania and Yaeckel (2001) assessed relationship marketing..
called mass customization (Allen, Kania, & Yaeckel, 2001).
1st Authors Name, 2nd Authors Name, 3rd Authors Name, 4th Authors Name, & 5th Authors Name. (Year). Title of book: Subtitle of book (Edition). Place of publication: Publisher.
Allen, C., Kania, D., & Yaeckel, B. (2001). One-to-one web-marketing: Build a relationship marketing strategy one customer at a time (2nd ed.). New York: John Wiley.
(iv) SIX OR SEVEN AUTHORS
Harrison et al. (2005) compared two records..
..in the bank (Harrison et al., 2005).
1st Authors Name, 2nd Authors Name, 3rd Authors Name, 4th Authors Name, 5th Authors Name, 6th Authors Name, & 7th Authors Name. (Year). Title of book: Subtitle of book (Edition). Place of publication: Publisher.
Harrison, W. T. Jr., Horngren, C. T., Ismail, Z., Chng, C. K., Samad, F., & Mak, Y. T. (2005). Financial accounting in Singapore and Malaysia. Singapore: Prentice Hall.
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(v) EIGHT OR MORE AUTHORS
Barrett et al. (2012) listed all the..
..the title page (Barrett et al., 2012).
The first six (6) authors names should be included follow by using ellipsis points (...) before citing last
1st Authors Name, 2nd Authors Name, 3rd Authors Name, 4th Authors Name, 5th Authors Name, 6th Authors Name, ... Last Authors Name (Year). Title of book: Subtitle of book (Edition). Place of publication: Publisher.
Barrett, J. M., Smith, V., Wilson, R. T., Haley, V. A., Clarke, P., Palmer, N. B., Fraser, D. (2012). How to cite references in APA style. Christchurch, New Zealand: University of Canterbury Library.
(vi) EDITED BOOKS
Duncan and Brooks-Gunn (1997) related the poor..
..and poor people (Duncan & Brooks-Gunn, 1997).
Editors Name (Ed). (Year). Title of book: Subtitle of book. Place of publication: Publisher.
Duncan, G. J. & Brooks-Gunn, J. (Eds.). (1997). Consequences of growing up poor. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.
(vii) BOOKS WITH CORPORATE AUTHOR
(a) Corporate Author as Publisher (Without Abbreviation)
American Psychiatric Association (1994) outlined psychiatric mental..
..mental health needs (American Psychiatric Association, 1994).
Corporate Authors Name. (Year). Title of book (Edition). Place of publication: Author.
American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.
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(b) Corporate Author (Without Abbreviation)
Institute of Financial Education (1982) predicted the financial..
..managing funds personally (Institute of Financial Education, 1982).
Corporate Authors Name. (Year). Title of book (Edition). Place of publication: Author.
Institute of Financial Education. (1998). Managing personal funds. Chicago: Midwestern.
(c) Corporate Author (With Abbreviation)
Ministry of Health [MOH] (2012) revised the policy..
..with thorough examination (Ministry of Health [MOH], 2012).
MOH (2012) stated ..
.. (MOH, 2012).
Corporate Authors Name. (Year). Title of book (Edition). Place of publication: Publisher.
Ministry of Health (2009). Guidelines for resuscitation training in Ministry of Health Malaysia hospitals and healthcare facilities. Putrajaya, Malaysia: Author.
(viii) CHAPTERS IN BOOKS
Smith (2006) developed complementary methods..
..the conventional methods (Smith, 2006).
Authors Name. (Year). Title of chapter: Subtitle of chapter. In Editors Name, Title of book: Subtitle of book (Edition, pp. first pagelast page of the chapter). Place of publication: Publisher.
Smith, M. L. (2006). Multiple methodology in education research. In J. L. Green, G. Camilli, & P. B. Elmore (Eds.), Handbook of complementary methods in education research (pp. 457-475). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
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(ix) ELECTRONIC BOOKS
(a) Without Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Miller (2008) stated the careers..
..the nature lovers (Miller, 2008).
Authors Name. (Year). Title of book. Retrieved from URL
Miller, L. (2008). Careers for nature lovers & other outdoor types. Retrieved from http://www.ebscohost.com
(b) With Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Chaffe-Stengel and Stengel (2012) compared the working..
..they are exploring (Chaffe-Stengel & Stengel, 2012).
Authors Name. (Year). Title of book. URL / DOI.
Chaffe-Stengel, P., & Stengel, D. (2012). Working with sample data: Exploration and inference. http://dx.doi.org/10.4128/9781606492147
UNPUBLISHED DOCTORAL DISSERTATIONS AND MASTER S THESES
(i) UNPUBLISHED DOCTORAL DISSERTATIONS AND MASTER S THESES
Maddigan (2010) found women in..
..of career development (Maddigan, 2010).
Authors Name. (Year). Title of doctoral dissertation / master thesis: Subtitle of doctoral dissertation / master thesis (Unpublished doctoral dissertation/ Unpublished masters thesis). University Name, Place.
Maddigan, P. (2010). Women and career advancement: A case study in the Australian Federal Police (Unpublished master's thesis). Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia.
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(ii) DOCTORAL DISSERTATIONS AND MASTER S THESES IN PROQUEST DISSERTATIONS AND THESES DATABASE AND OBTAINED FROM UMI
Wehnert (2009) concluded that TQM..
..implementation of TQM (Wehnert, 2009).
Authors Name. (Year). Title of doctoral dissertation /master thesis: Subtitle of doctoral dissertation / master thesis. (Doctoral dissertation/ Masters thesis). Available from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Database. (UMI No.)
Wehnert, U. E. (2009). Implementing TQM cross-culturally: A mediated model of national culture dimensions, TQM values and organizational performance. (Doctoral dissertation). Available from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Database. (UMI No. 3361225)
ARTICLES IN PERIODICAL (JOURNAL, NEWSPAPER, MAGAZINE)
(i) PRINT JOURNAL ARTICLES
Freeman (2000) supported the view..
..of Malaysian market (Freeman, 2000).
Authors Name. (Year). Title of article in the journal. Title of Journal: Subtitle of Journal, Volume(Issue), first page-last page of the article.
Freeman, S. (2000). Industry environment: Influence on performance of small-medium sized enterprise in Asia-Pacific markets. Asian Academy of Management Journal, 5(2), 96-113.
(ii) JOURNAL ARTICLES IN PRESS*
*In press means that a paper has been accepted for publication by a journal.
Gary (in press) rated customer satisfaction..
..achieve higher rate (Gary, in press).
Gary, J. L. (in press). An empirical study on the effects of job satisfaction on behavioral intentions. Journal of Satisfaction Studies.
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(iii) ELECTRONIC JOURNAL ARTICLES
(a) Uniform Resource Locator (URL)
Kenneth (2000) investigated the issues..
..their human right (Kenneth, 2000).
Authors Name. (Year). Title of article in the journal. Title of Journal: Subtitle of Journal, Volume(Issue), first page-last page of the article. Retrieved from URL
Kenneth, I. A. (2000). A Buddhist response to the nature of human right. Journal of Buddhist Ethics, 8. Retrieved from http://www.cac.psu.edu/j be/twocont.html
Dabney and Tzeng (2013) identified dimensions of..
..service quality dimensions (Dabney & Tzeng, 2013).
Authors Name. (Year). Title of article in the journal. Title of Journal: Subtitle of Journal, Volume(Issue), first page-last page of the article. Retrieved from Database
Dabney, B. W., & Tzeng, H. (2013). Service quality and patient-centered care. MEDSURG Nursing, 22(6), 359-364. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier Database
(c) Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Jurez (2014) contrasted the findings..
..financial statement analyses ( Jurez, 2014).
Authors Name. (Year). Title of article in the journal. Title of Journal: Subtitle of Journal, Volume(Issue), first page-last page of the article. DOI.
Jurez, F. (2014). Review of the principles of complexity in business administration and application in financial statements. African Journal of Business Management, 8(2), 48-54. doi: 10.5897/AJBM2013.7274x.
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(iv) NEWSPAPER ARTICLES
Romann (2014) commented on the..
..and Singapore government (Romann, 2014).
Authors Name (Year, Month Day Published). Article title. Newspaper Title, first page-last page of the article.
Romann, A. (2014, January 10-16). Mixed outlook for Asian currencies. China Daily, p. 11.
(v) NEWSPAPER ARTICLES (DISCONTINUOUS PAGES)
Schwartz (1993) wrote about the..
..and social problems (Schwartz, 1993).
Authors Name (Year, Month Day Published). Article title. Newspaper Title, first page, subsequent pages of the article.
Schwartz, J. (1993, September 13). Obesity affects economic, social status. The Washington Post, pp. A1, A4.
(i) CONFERENCE PAPERS (PRINT)
Prayag and Ramjee (2009) related the research..
..in poultry production (Prayag & Ramjee, 2009).
Authors Name. (Year). Title of conference paper. In Editors Name (Ed.), Title of Conference/ Published Proceedings (first pagelast page of conference paper). Place of Publication: Publisher.
Prayag, I. L., & Ramjee, R. (2009). The impact of Newcastle disease control on smallholder poultry production in Mauritius. In R. G. Alsers, P. B. Spadbrow, & M. P. Young (Eds.), Village chickens, poverty alleviation and the sustainable control of Newcastle disease: Proceedings of an international conference held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 5-7 October 2005 (pp. 132-134). Canberra, ACT: Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research.
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(ii) CONFERENCE PAPERS (ONLINE)
Tunon and Jensen (2012) recognised the importance..
..effective web-based presentation (Tunon & Jensen, 2009).
Authors Name. (Year). Title of conference paper. In Editors Name (Ed.), Title of Conference/ Published Proceedings (first pagelast page of conference paper). Place of Publication: Publisher. Retrieved from URL.
Tunon, J. &, Jensen. J. (2012). Free and easy web-based presentation and classroom tools. In T. J. Peters (Ed.), Proceedings of the 15th annual Distance Library Services Conference, Mempis, TN. Retrieved from http://ocls.cmich.edu/conf2012/
(iii) UNPUBISHED CONFERENCE PAPERS
Portman (2000) reviewed the effectiveness..
..playing computer games (Portman, 2000).
Authors Name. (Year, Month). Title of conference paper. Paper presented at the Title of Conference: Subtitle of Conference, Place.
Portman, J. (2000, May). Teaching learners English using video games. Paper presented at the 3rd International Conference on Computer-Assisted Language Learning, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
(i) The initials as well as the surname of the communicators are usually provided as exact a date as possible. Personal communications such as e-mail, letter, memos, personal interviews, telephone conversations are not included in the reference list because they do not provide recoverable data.
J. J. Tommy (personal communication, November 15, 2013) described university education ..
.. the undergraduate students (J. J. Tommy, personal communication, November 15, 2013).
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SECONDARY REFERENCED PAPERS
(i) Secondary referenced papers are papers where the work of an author is learnt from the work of other author(s).
Stake (as cited in Cano, 2012) pointed out the..
..and primary schools (Stake, as cited in Cano, 2012).
Cano, E. V. (2012). Mobile learning with Twitter to improve linguistic competence at secondary schools. The Educational Review, 29(3), 134-147.
QUOTATION OF SOURCES
(i) A short quotation has fewer than 40 words and the quotation should be enclosed with double quotation marks.
They stated, The four scales that can be applied to the measurement of variables are the nominal, ordinal, interval, and ratio scales (Sekaran & Bougie, 2009, p.148).
Sekaran and Bougie (2009) highlighted that the four scales that can be applied to the measurement of variables are the nominal, ordinal, interval, and ratio scales (p. 148).
Sekaran, U., & Bougie, R. (2009). Research Methods for Business: A skill building approach (5th ed). Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley.
(ii) A quotation of 40 or more words should be displayed in a free-standing block of typewritten lines and the quotation marks must be omitted. Start such a block quotation on a new line, and indent the block about 0.5 in. (1.3 cm or five spaces) from the left margin. The entire quotation should be double-spaced.
Sekaran and Bougie (2009) explained the following:
A Pearson correlation matrix will indicate the direction, strength, the significance of the bivariate relationships among all the variables that were measured at an interval or ratio level. The correlation is derived by assessing the variations in one variable as another variable also varies. (p. 321)
Sekaran, U., & Bougie, R. (2009). Research Methods for Business: A skill building approach (5th ed). West Sussex: John Wiley & Son Ltd.
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AUTHORS WITH SAME SURNAME
(i) The first authors initials have to be included in all text citations, even if the year of publication differs.
C. Oliver (1990) and R. L. Oliver (1980) classified satisfaction as..
..customer satisfaction models (C. Oliver, 1990; R. L. Oliver, 1980).
Oliver, C. (1990). Determinants of interorganisational relationships: Integration and future directions. Academy of Management Review, 15, 241-265.
Oliver, R. L. (1980). A cognitive model of the antecedents and consequences of satisfaction decisions. Journal of Marketing Research, 17, 460-469.
AUTHORS WITH TWO OR MORE PAPERS IN THE SAME YEAR
(i) Lower case letters have to be used to differentiate between papers published in the same year by this author.
Parasuraman, Zeithaml and Berry (1991a) and Parasuraman, Zeithaml and Berry (1991b) proposed the model..
..of service quality (Parasuraman, Zeithaml and Berry, 1991a; Parasuraman, Zeithaml and Berry, 1991b).
Parasuraman, A., Zeithaml, V. A., & Berry, L. L. (1991a). Refinement and reassessment of the SERVQUAL scale. Journal of Retailing, 67, 420-450.
Parasuraman, A., Zeithaml, V. A., & Berry, L. L. (1991b). Understanding customer expectations of service. Sloan Management Review, 32, 39-48.
MALAY, CHINESE, INDIAN & SIKH AUTHORS
(i) MALAY AUTHORS
For example, Raja Ahmad bin Ramli, Tun Zaidi Zainuddin and Datin Julilah binti Harun (1999)
Raja Ahmad Ramli, Zaidi Zainuddin and Julilah Harun (1999) examined the
..of diversification strategy (Raja Ahmad Ramli, Zaidi Zainuddin, & Juilah Harun,
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Raja Ahmad Ramli, Zaidi Zainuddin, & Julilah Harun (1999)..
(ii) CHINESE AUTHORS
For example, Ooi Kee Seng, Lew Fook, Wang Su-Ling and Jenny Saw Lian See (2001)
Ooi, Lew, Wang and Saw (2001) distinguished between the.....
..humorous and silly (Ooi, Lew, Wang & Saw, 2001).
Ooi, K. S., Lew, F., Wang, S., & Saw, J. L. S. (2001)..
(iii) INDIAN AND SIKH AUTHORS
For example, Sharmila d/o Subramaniam, Ranjit Singh, Harvinder Kaur and Balakrishnan s/o Arokiasamy (2000)
Sharmila, Ranjit, Harvinder and Balakrishnan (2000) related the material.....
..in your life (Sharmila, Ranjit, Harvinder & Balakrishnan, 2000).
Sharmila, S., Ranjit, S., Harvinder, K., & Balakrishnan, A. (2000)..
(i) ANONYMOUS AUTHOR
Cite in the text as Anonymous when the works author is designated as Anonymous.
Anonymous (1994) explained the needs..
..juniors and seniors (Anonymous, 1994).
Anonymous. (1994). Wheres the beef? College seniors evaluate their undergraduate experience. Change, 26, 29-32.
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ONLINE LECTURE NOTES / PRESENTATION SLIDES
(i) (a) PDF
Use the abbreviation n.d. for no date when the date is not specified in the source.
Hallam (n.d.) reorganised the theories..
..of the theories (Hallam, n.d.).
Authors Name (n.d.). Title [PDF format]. Retrieved from URL
Hallam, A. (n.d.). Duality in consumer theory [PDF document]. Retrieved from Lecture Notes Online Website:
(b) POWERPOINT SLIDES
Roberts (1998) compared the environment..
..of the regulations (Roberts, 1998).
Authors Name (Year). Title [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from URL
Roberts, K. F. (1998). Federal regulations of chemicals in the environment[PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from http://siri.uvm.edu/ppt/ 40hrenv/ index.html
(i) In-Text Citation
Discrimination (n.d.) is defined as..
..group or category (Discrimination, n.d.).
Title (n.d.). In Wiki. Retrieved Month Day, Year, from URL
Discrimination. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved March 10, 2014, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discrimination
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(i) In-Text Citation
Ewing (2014) stated that women..
..poetry without inspiration (Ewing, 2014).
Authors Name (Year, Month Day). Title of article /post. Title of Blog [web log]. Retrieved from URL
Ewing, K. (2014, March 10). Celebrating inspiring women around the world. Google [web log]. Retrieved from http://googleblog.blogspot.com/
5.3.2 Plagiarism and Collusion
Plagiarism means to represent the words, thoughts, ideas, arguments or expressions of another person as ones own. It is considered a serious offence and is heavily penalised. You must cite all your sources in every academic work you produce. However, there are some rule and conventions that you must abide by for citing your sources in an appropriate manner. In this context, referencing means to acknowledge all the sources you have researched and deemed right to appropriate within your assignment. Collusion is acting with another person with the intention to deceive. At university, it can mean submitting the work of someone else, with their knowledge and consent, to gain an advantage in an assignment. To avoid collusion:
(a) You must not borrow a paragraph or two from someone else. Make sure you do not use any sentences or paragraphs from someone elses work, do not share your work or allow anyone to copy any part of it you could be questioned about plagiarism and/or collusion.
(b) You must not submit work that is identical to that another student (with the exception of group work) in part or in whole. Sometimes you find yourself writing on the same topic as a friend studying the same unit. This does not mean that your assignments should be, or will be, the same.
(c) You must not submit the work of someone who has studied the same unit previously even if that person gives you their work to submit under your name and does not mind if you do so, or even if it is work from a couple of years ago, or if you change a little bit here and there.
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(d) You must not submit the work of another student under your name even if that student does not mind that you do so. You cannot hand in the work of another student, or a friend, and pretend it is your own even if that person says they do not mind, or you cannot get someone to write an assignment for you even if you pay them well.
COMMON FAULTS FOUND IN AN ASSIGNMENT
Table 5.2 describes some common faults found in assignments.
Table 5.2: Common Faults in Assignments
Faults How to Overcome
1. Unfocused treatment Keep to the point, do not ramble. Always refer back to the topic and leave out unnecessary points.
2. Shallow treatment of topic/subject
Provide sufficient content. Read more, use more examples, back up argument with evidence.
3. Badly organised content (poor presentation)
Keep to the outline:
Body of content:
Issue 1 + argument
Cite the following book using OUM citation style based on the APA format.
Book title: The Writing Process
Author: John M. Lannon
Place of publication: USA
Year of publication: 2004
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Issue 2 + argument
Issue 3 + argument
Issue 4 + argument
4. Lack of fluency and flow Keep language simple and to the point.
Link points and paragraphs.
Check spelling and grammar.
5. Poor introduction Make sure you introduce the topic and explain how you are approaching the subject. Put the topic in perspective.
6. Poor conclusion Make sure you conclude by providing the answers or solutions to the issues involved. Refer again to the topic and make sure your conclusion is consistent with the introduction. Have you answered in the conclusion the questions raised in the body of content?
7. Boring presentation Be creative in your approach, be less pedantic in style. Be open to other views and ideas. Be an active reader; do not accept whatever is written at face value. Question, question and question!
8. Irrelevant information Make sure you read widely and gather enough rrelevant information so that you do not need to pad your essay with irrelevant information. Apply evaluation and selection criteria to your reading and information gathering.
Discuss in the forum how to overcome some of the common faults when writing an assignment.
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ETHICS IN WRITING AN ASSIGNMENT
According to wordreference.com, ethics is the philosophical study of the moral value of human conduct and of the rules and principles that ought to govern it. Based on this definition, we can see that ethics is about moral decisions, which is based on a standard of conduct that indicates how one should behave based on moral duties and values. It is based on a personal decision, universally accepted values or ethical obligations determined by society. In the context of an assignment, ethics refers to the set of values and standards that guides your actions, thoughts and words when preparing your assignment. Arguably, there are many different values pertaining to right or wrong behaviour during examinations. We will look at some universally accepted ethics related to assignment writing. These are as follows:
(a) Copying the paper or work of another learner;
(b) Permitting another learner to copy your work;
(c) Possessing notes, crib sheets, additional sources of information or other materials that are unauthorised by OUM;
(d) Taking or attempting to do the assignment for another learner or getting someone to do likewise for you; and
(e) Altering or falsifying assignment results. Below are some guidelines for ethical conduct in writing assignments, retrieved from http://www.student.unsw.edu.au
(i) Cite the published source (including, where relevant, the electronically published), to acknowledge the originator of ideas upon which you are building your work, and to acknowledge quotations by the use of quotation marks.
(ii) Refer to, or use unpublished scholarly materials only with the consent of the originator and acknowledge the source of the materials if that consent is given.
(iii) Refrain from plagiarism, which is the unacknowledged incorporation of anothers work, into your work.
(iv) Ensure that the use of scholarly materials does not result in obstructing access by others, in particular, where such materials are held within the Universitys library or research centre.
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(v) Faithfully represent the views of the authors cited and do not misrepresent authors views either by partial or censored quotation, or by quoting out of context, or by misleading commentary.
(vi) Seek access only to scholarly materials to which you know you are entitled or authorised, and not to attempt to access such material to which you know you are not entitled or authorised (for example, by computer hacking).
(vii) Respect the rights of other authors and refrain from tampering with digital records (whether in text, image, sound, or other format) over which the originator has copyright and/or has asserted the moral rights of ownership.
(viii) Refrain from manipulating digital records (whether in text, image, sound or other format), whether in their original context or in a different context, so as to mislead their audience.
Writing assignment is a process of finding evidence that the course learning
outcomes have been achieved.
The most common type of assignment is writing an essay.
Essay has an Introduction, a Body and a Conclusion.
In the process of completing your assignments, you need to document all the sources used in your paper. There are many ways of documenting sources within the text of a paper and in the reference section at the end of your paper.
OUM citation style is based on the American Psychological Association (APA) format.
Plagiarism means to represent the words, thoughts, ideas, arguments or expressions of another person as ones own.
Collusion is acting with another person with the intention to deceive. At university, it can mean submitting the work of someone else, with their knowledge and consent, to gain an advantage in an assignment.
In the context of assignments, ethics refers to the set of values and standards that guides your actions, thoughts and words when you write your assignment.
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APA referencing style