Individual Coursework Assignment Report Writing Guidance
This accompanies the client and assignment brief.
|This document has been adapted from the BEAM045
Group Coursework Assignment Report Writing Guidance, which it is assumed you are familiar with and can also refer to.
|Guidance is specific to the BEAM045 Individual
Version Author: Joanne Abraham
Version Date: February 2021
|1 INTRODUCTION – Report Writing Recap||2|
|2 CONTENT PLANNING||2|
|4 SOURCES OF INFORMATION – USING, CITING, REFERENCING||3|
|7 FURTHER SUPPORT||5|
Reports are a standard management tool, with many managers needing to write them frequently.
THE PURPOSE OF A REPORT IS
TO PROVIDE VALUE TO THE READER & MEET THEIR NEEDS TO MAKE DECISIONS AND PLAN ACTIONS
KAPLAN – THE INFORMATION JOURNEY
Source: Robinson Z & Pedley-Smith.S. (2020) A Student’s Guide to Writing Business Reports Kaplan Publishing Note that the order of work is not the same as the order of content to be presented to the reader.
Answering these questions should help you to work out the best approach to writing your report:
Questions BEAM045 Assignment
| What is the precise purpose of the report?|| Inform & advise your client in their decisionmaking|
| Who is the intended audience for my report (who could be reading it)?|| As advised in the client brief|
| Where will I look for the information I need in order to write the report?
|• Quantitative and Qualitative sources
• Internal and external information
• Contextual information
| Are any theoretical tools or approaches needed or appropriate?
|• A range of management accounting tools
• Real-world context and research
| What marking criteria will be used?
| See Client and Assessment Brief|
|• How much do they know already?
• What do they not need to know?
|• What do they need to know about the subject?
• What are their expectations from reading the report?
More so than any other type of academic assignment, a report’s appearance is an integral part of its success or failure as a document.
|The report should be:
• Easy to read and understand by your reader
• Easy to navigate
• Easy to cross-reference throughout
• In professional, clear English
Rationale: The reader(s) want clear information that takes minimal effort to read and understand, to enable them to quickly and confidently make their decisions based upon your evaluation.
The structure for your assignment should have the following elements:
| Title page
(excluded from word count)
|• As stated in the Brief and by Education Support
• Ensure that the title page as a whole looks professional and uncluttered.
• It should be stylistically consistent with the rest of the report, and contain no unnecessary information.
| Table of Contents (excluded from word count)||• As stated in the client brief
• Include a list of Appendices content (excluded from word count)
• Clearly laid out and to accurately reflect the hierarchy of the different sections.
• It should allow your reader to navigate quickly to individual parts.
| Section A-D
|• Start each section of your report on a new page
• Content based upon analysis and evaluation, and client brief requirements
(excluded from word count)
|• Supplementary information not included in the main report section.
• Analysis: Calculations to your report
• These must be clearly presented and titled
| Reference List (excluded from word count)||• Provide a reference list for each section of your report
• Use APA 7th edition
• Only include references that have been cited
4. SOURCES OF INFORMATION – USING, CITING, REFERENCING
|• This report is expected to be informed by quality research such as academic papers and publications by professional accounting bodies and consulting organisations. Citing from reputable publications such as the Financial Times, Economist, Wall Street Journal, and others of a similar stature would be beneficial
• You are advised to provide at least three quality sources. More than ten sources for each topic is likely to be excessive and not justified by the prescribed word count.
• It is stressed that while some internet sources are highly credible others are to be avoided.
Sources such as Wikipedia, Investopedia, Pakaccountants, and Accapedia may be of use in helping you consolidate your understanding but they are at too basic a level to be included in your final paper and will reflect adversely on academic rigour.
You are also advised to use textbook references sparingly as these tend to be focused on more basic content. The research you do should be taking you beyond the basic understanding afforded by textbooks to an awareness of the current operating environment of the organisation and what leading companies are
|doing to improve their capabilities in these areas.
• Consider how to cite these sources in the main report without distracting the reader from the main information you are communicating.
• Note how to the same source used several times in a section may be referenced – ibid.
| Information created by others and published in printed or online sources should be described, analysed and properly referenced so that your reader can both understand their relevance and be able to locate them easily in their original place of publication.|
|There is awareness that there may be some element of collaboration in this report. Therefore:
• Any quantitative analysis must have full workings shown in the appendices to be credible.
• Emphasis will be placed on how the quantitative analysis is understood. This will be evidenced in the main body report narrative and evaluation.
• Any indication of qualitative plagiarism will be taken seriously.
The referencing style used in the Business School is the APA (7 ed.) style. This requires you to embed short in-text citations in the text of your work that direct your reader to corresponding full references in a List of References at the end of the assignment.
The Business School’s Guide to Citing, Referencing and Avoiding Plagiarism and the accompanying shorter A to Z list of example references and citations in the APA (7th ed.) style for guidance.
Cheating and plagiarism: The University treats very seriously any case of a student attempting to seek unfair academic advantage through plagiarism or cheating and can lead to exclusion from the module.
In the course of your research, you may have sourced or created figures, information, or analysis which you feel are not directly relevant to the main report content but which support the key points of information and evaluations in the main report sections.
- They should be presented separately.
- Each item should be titled and labelled (e.g. ‘Appendix A’ plus a title).
Often tables are placed in the Appendices, and graphs/diagrams in the main body of the report.
- Online Submission Student Summary Sheet v19
- Online Submission Student Handbook v19
- Academic Honesty Advice for Students prior to Submission v2
7. FURTHER SUPPORT
|Academic Development Resources and Workshops
• Original Business School guides on Report Writing and Citation and Referencing https://vle.exeter.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=6748§ion=2
• Study Zone Digital: https://vle.exeter.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=1850
|One-to-one appointments with Lead Academic Tutor