Summer Project Report Guide

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Project Report

 

 

 

A Guide

 

 

 

 

 

CONTENTS                                                              Page

  1. OVERVIEW……………………………………. 1

1.1     Submission Deadlines……………………. 1

1.2     The Objective of the Summer Project… 1

 

  1. THE SUMMER PROJECT OUTLINE…. 3
  2. WRITING ‘THE Summer PROJECT REPORT’ IN GENERAL…………………………… 3
  3. GENERAL WRITING SKILLS…………… 5

4.1     The Literature Search……………………. 5

4.2     The Literature Survey/Review in your Summer Project Report………………………….. 5

4.3     Referencing…………………………………. 6

4.4     The Bibliography………………………….. 7

 

  1. ACADEMIC MISCONDUCT…………….. 7
  2. SUBMISSION CHECKLIST………………. 9

APPENDIX A: WRITING A CONSULTANCY STYLE REPORT……………………………………. 10

APPENDIX B: ASSESSMENT CRITERIA…. 13

APPENDIX C: COVERSHEET…………………. 14

 

 

1.      Overview

There are two stages in the writing of the summer project report that are dealt with in this guide.  The first is writing the Summer Project outline and the second is writing the Final Summer Project – which will be either

    • an Extended Essay;
    • a Pagoda Project Internship Report
    • a Consultancy Project Report.

 

Please note that this manual is not a complete guide on how to write the final Summer Project report.  Instead, the manual is designed to encourage you to think about how to write the report, what the objectives of the Summer Project report are, and how you should go about meeting those objectives.  Further guidance and discussion on ‘how to write a report’ can be found in Berry (1996), Moore (1983), and Smith (1994).[1]  The guide also provides practical advice on how to approach writing a report.

1.1  Assessment

(i)   The Summer Project Outline should be no more than 500 words and should be submitted to Turnitin by 4th June 2021.[2]  This project outline will be returned to you with formative feedback within two weeks and is worth 10% of the final mark for the Summer Project module.

(ii)  Final Summer Project Report (excluding appendices, bibliography and abstract) should be 6,000 – 8,000 words in length. The final date for the submission of the Summer Project is 13th August 2021 (or two weeks after the internship ends), and is worth 90% of the final mark

1.2  The Objective of the Summer Project

An important objective of the Summer Project is for students to demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of research and analytical skills that apply to the study of a topic within the programme and pathway of study – eg international business, management, marketing, HR, banking, finance, accounting, Islamic aspect of these.

The Summer Project has the following student learning outcomes:

  1. Knowledge and understanding of the main issues and proposed solutions in a chosen area;
  2. Develop the intellectual skill to discriminate between material that is central to the issues and that which is auxiliary;
  3. Develop the practical skill to write a report in an engaging manner so that the main thrust of the report is accessible to non-specialists

 

Consequently, writing a Summer Project is an exercise in:

(a)          Setting out a problem;

(b)          Explaining why the problem is important or of interest;

(c)          Researching this problem in literature;

(d)          Analysing the problem in the context of relevant literature (and, where appropriate, the secondary data gathered);

OR

Applying this in practice during your internship/ consultancy project

(e)          Drawing conclusions from the analysis

Overall, your Summer Project should put forward an argument, a point of view that is set out in a logical fashion, easy to follow by the reader and argued with reference to relevant literature, theories and/or case data.  You should think of the Summer Project as a way to reveal what you have learnt during your study at UDSB by applying that knowledge to a problem or puzzle.

A secondary objective for students is to demonstrate that they can manage time effectively and complete a piece of work in time whilst meeting the formal regulations that cover the standards of the Summer Project.

 

2.      A VErY ROUGH TIMELINE

JANUARY SEMESTER

Initial choices – submitted mid  Feb

Pagoda Project application direct – date to be confirmed around end Feb/March

Pagoda selection process/interviews over March / April /.May

Supervisors allocated by end April

SUMMER SEMESTER

Initial meeting with supervisor to agree topic in May  – This is YOUR choice and YOU need to come to the first meeting with a clear idea of what you want to write about OR what the internship/consultancy wants you to do and how that would allow you to apply what you have learnt

Submit outline – beginning June

Second Meeting with supervisor – mid to end of June to discuss next steps based on feedback

Possible follow up meeting/email

Chapter for written feedback – Turnitin submission (NOT MARKED) Date as agreed sometime in July

Third Meeting with supervisor – to discuss feedback on chapter and agree final steps

Possible follow up meeting/email

Final submission – mid August

3.      The Summer Project OUTLINE

All students must submit an outline by the date given above.  The outline will allow your supervisor to give clear feedback on your proposed project. Once submitted – and feedback given you should meet with your supervisor to discuss your next steps.

DO NOT spend time revising the outline – just  use the feedback to work on the main submission
Extended Essay Outline template

  1. TITLE

 

  1. BACKGROUND/AIM

What is the area/topic that you want to explore?

Provide a context/background for the reader to help them understand your topic, and why it is interesting.  This section will allow your reader to understand how your question relates to the general area you are working in.

 

  1. RESEARCH QUESTION

What is the question you want to answer?

Keep your question focused.  If your question is too broad you are more likely to have difficulty answering it.

 

  1. IMPORTANCE OF TOPIC

Why is this question important?

You must make it clear to your reader that your question is trying to answer an important topic.  Don’t assume that your reader will understand that the topic is important.  You must tell them why you think it is important.

 

  1. THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK

What theoretical framework/s or models will you use to answer your question?  Highlight a few key texts to show this framework.

Explain to your reader the main theoretical approaches/arguments you will use to answer your question. Link the project to the taught modules.

 

  1. METHODS/ANALYSIS

What are you going to do to solve the problem? How will you collect the information to answer your question? (REMEMBER NO INTERVIEWS/SURVEYS)

Think a little about how and why you will use a method or approach – and explain how this will fit with the current way the company works and thinks.

 

  1. RELEVANCE OF FINDINGS

Who will be interested in your findings, and why will they be interested?

  1. REFERENCE LIST

What are the key academic and managerial readings which can help solve the problem you are working?

Use the most up-to-date references unless it is an important paper that is seen as influential. You can include references to governmental/organisational reports as well as academic journals

 

Pagoda Internship / Business Consultancy Outline template

  1. TITLE

 

  1. BACKGROUND of the COMPANY

What does the company do and what will be your role during the internship?

Provide a context/background for the reader to help them understand what the company does and why it will enhance your employability.  This section will allow your reader to understand how your question relates to the general area you are working in.

 

  1. RESEARCH QUESTION

What is the problem you are solving or issue you are improving?

How can you help the company solve a problem they are currently addressing, or improve a process for them, or develop a new market with them?

 

  1. IMPORTANCE OF TOPIC

Why is this question important?

You must make it clear to your reader that your question is trying to answer an important topic.  Don’t assume that your reader will understand that the topic is important.  You must tell them why you think it is important.

 

  1. THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK

What theoretical framework/s will you use to answer your question?  Highlight a few key texts to show this framework.

Explain to your reader the main theoretical approaches/arguments you will use to answer your question. Think here about how you can apply a concept or model in practice. This is where you can relate your work experience to the modules you have studied.

 

  1. METHODS

What are you going to do to solve the problem?

Think a little about how and why you will use a method or approach – and explain how this will fit with the current way the company works and thinks.

 

  1. RELEVANCE OF FINDINGS

What does the company gain from your time with them?

  1. REFERENCE LIST

What are the key academic and managerial readings which can help solve the problem you are working?

Use the most up-to-date references unless it is an important paper that is seen as influential. You can include references to governmental/organisational reports as well as academic journals

 

4.      Academic MISCONDUCT

It is very disappointing when students, knowingly or unknowingly, cheat when submitting assignments.

The University has a very strict policy on this and a copy of the Code of Practice on Academic Misconduct can be found at:

https://www.dundee.ac.uk/media/dundeewebsite/qualityframework/documents/Academic%20misconduct%20code%20of%20practice-Jan%202018.pdf

 

Academic Misconduct covers several dishonest practises, which include:

  • buying your report;
  • getting someone else to write your report;
  • submitting group work as your own;
  • submitting someone else’s work that they have shared with you in draft form as your own work;
  • re-submitting a piece of work used elsewhere within this or any other university;
  • altering or inventing data;
  • plagiarism or copying someone else’s published work without acknowledging this in the text.

 

If you are unclear about what constitutes academic honesty after reading the Code then seek guidance from your supervisor.

Cheating is taken very seriously by the University and may lead in serious cases to degree qualifications being withheld or the termination of studies.  It is important for you to understand what constitutes academic misconduct in general, and plagiarism in particular.

The Code states that plagiarism is: ‘The unacknowledged use of another’s work as if it were one’s own’.

Examples of plagiarism given in the Code include:

  • inclusion of more than a single phrase from another’s work without the use of quotation marks and acknowledgement of source;
  • summarising another’s work by changing a few words or altering the order of presentation without acknowledgement;
  • copying another person’s work; and
  • the use of another person’s ideas without acknowledgement or the presentation of work as if it were one’s own which is substantially of another.

If you quote large passages directly from a textbook or the internet and then acknowledge the quotation in the text using quotation marks and reference, this will avoid a charge of plagiarism but it will not demonstrate to the marker that you understand the subject area nor answer the question.  Consequently, you will achieve very low marks.

The Dundee University Students Association (DUSA), in collaboration with the Centre for Technology and Innovation in Learning (CTIL), has produced a video guide for students available at https://www.dusa.co.uk/advice/academic/

There is also guidance available on proofreading. This provides a framework for students, academic staff, academic support staff, and proof-readers for acceptable practice regarding proof-reading of written work by students https://www.dundee.ac.uk/governance/policies/guidance%20on%20proof-reading/

Turnitin will help you to check for inadvertent plagiarism by the similarity check – but it is up to academic staff to determine what might be considered as plagiarism.

Your Final Summer Project Report MUST contain a signed coversheet that acknowledges that you have read the Code, and that the submitted work is your own, and that you have done everything you can to avoid plagiarism. Work submitted without this will be returned and will not be marked until the signed coversheet is attached. (See Appendix D)

It is important that you understand that academic misconduct is unacceptable and that severe penalties, including not receiving your intended degree/diploma/certificate, may be applied.

 

5.      General writing Skills

5.1 The Literature Search

The literature search will help you to find what other academics already think regarding the topic/question/problem you will write about for your Summer Project Report.

A good starting point is to make use of a literature ‘search engine’ to search for the recent papers published on a topic.  Two good databases are: Business Source Premier (EBSCO databases) and Web of Science which are available through the library website.

These databases allow you full-text access to some (but not all) of the indexed publications. Where full-text access is not provided, you can note down the reference and then search the library catalogue to see if the library holds it either in hard copy or in electronic format.

Please visit the Subject page on the Library website for recommended databases and sources:  http://libguides.dundee.ac.uk/management

 

5.2 The Literature Survey/Review

The literature survey in your Final Report should contain.

  • A clear and concise account of the different views/opinions on the topic. The different viewpoints may be based on different philosophical approaches, different methodological approaches (i.e. empirical versus theoretical, or econometric versus survey-based analyses), or different outcomes (i.e. one strand of the research argues one outcome, whilst another strand argues the opposite).

This process will simplify the literature search for you and the reader.  For example – assume that you read 30 articles (journal articles and books) that are particularly relevant to your topic.  If your literature survey is a list of what each article says then this is not helpful to you or the reader because it is impossible to comprehend what each says simultaneously.  However, if you separate the 30 articles into three or  four groups of similar views then both you and the reader can comprehend what the profession understands about the topic, what the different views are based on, and whether or not you agree with each of the different groups of views.

  • A short critique of the literature that emphasises which views are particularly relevant to your topic. In addition, you should indicate how the Summer Project will make use of the views highlighted in the literature survey.

5.3 Referencing

All published work by other authors that you have relied upon must be fully and properly referenced in your Summer Project report. (SEE SECTION 4)

When you reference a piece of work in the text you put the author’s name (or names) plus the year of publication.  For example, you may refer to an argument presented by someone called Jones in a paper published in the year 2000.  In this case you might say ‘as Jones (2000) argues . . .’ in the text and then you would provide the full reference in terms of the title and journal name in the bibliography at the end of the Summer Project report.  An example of multiple authors might be, ‘Banerjee, Mizen and Russell (2002) demonstrate . . .’.

All direct quotations must be cited in a footnote or in the body of the text.  Direct quotations are indicated by being in quotation marks (i.e. “ . . . ”) and you indicate exactly where the quotation is taken from by referencing the article or book and the page number where the reader can find the quotation.

In text citations and references/bibliographies enable the reader to check your sources and to see how you have established your case.  Any good Summer Project Final Report is a contribution to knowledge and must therefore be open to all.  Good use of footnotes and bibliographies enables someone to build on your research as you have built on the work of others.  Note that you should only reference original work.  Therefore, you should not reference what you hear in lectures or the notes of your lecturers as these are not original pieces of work.

All direct quotations must be cited in a footnote or in the body of the text.  Direct quotations are indicated by being in quotation marks (i.e. “ . . . ”) and you indicate exactly where the quotation is taken from by referencing the article or book and the page number where the reader can find the quotation.

5.4 Editing

A key stage is editing. Make sure you leave time to polish the overall work. You have to check and eliminate filler words and phrases, improve word choice, and correct mistakes in punctuation and grammar if you find any. You should look for:

  • incomplete sentences;
  • dangling modifiers;
  • easily confused words (such as to, too, and two);
  • spelling mistakes;
  • apostrophes for possessives and plurals;
  • quotation rules obeyed;
  • comma use;
  • eliminate contractions.

You will need to re-read your paper several times. A good strategy is to read your paper backwards. In this way, you will have to concentrate and will be able to catch more mistakes. You should start reading the last sentence, then check the second to the last one and continue doing it until you get to your first sentence.

 

5.4       The Bibliography

You must use a standard bibliographic style.  The preferred style is Harvard. https://www.citethisforme.com/harvard-referencing is a useful site for help with this.

 

Appendix a: SUMMER Project Report Submission Form

School of Business

SUMMER PROJECT  FINAL REPORT

 

 

Full Name:

Matric No:

Programme/Pathway:

Title:

 

Supervisor:

Word Count:

I have read and understood the University’s rules on academic misconduct (https://www.dundee.ac.uk/governance/dca/discipline/plagiarism/) and am aware of the consequences which may follow if I break these rules.

I declare that the attached assignment is my own work and has not been submitted elsewhere.

I have not bought it or copied it from someone else, with or without their permission.

I have not undertaken research based on any form of communication with people without ethical permission

I understand what plagiarism means.

Any material copied verbatim is contained within quotation marks and the sources cited. I have submitted this work through ‘Turnitin’ and reviewed the similarity report.

The University of Dundee School of Business has my permission to use this system to assist in the detection of plagiarism. I understand that the final decision regarding what is, and what is not, plagiarism is taken by the relevant lecturer/tutor, not by the ‘Turnitin’ plagiarism detection system.

 

 

 

Signature:                                                                                          Date:

Appendix b:  Writing the final report

THE EXTENDED ESSAY

This is a traditional essay style project based on your own choice of topic.  You will need to decide (with your supervisor) what problem or question you want to investigate.

Chapter One is the Introduction where you will set the context of your essay. You should demonstrate your understanding of the subject; explain how you developed the ideas for your paper and conclude with a problem or question you want to answer

Chapter Two is the literature review. This is a substantial element of the essay as you cannot undertake primary research. You should use this chapter to build a case for the problem you want to sole. What is the current thinking on this? See Section 5 for details on this. Remember this is where you should discuss what the literature says, not just list it. A good literature review doesn’t just summarise sources – it analyses, synthesises, and critically evaluates to give a clear picture of the state of knowledge on the subject.

Chapter Three is the research design or methodology chapter. What problem or question did you investigate, and what kind of data did you need to answer it? Explain how you gathered and selected material (such as publications or case study materials) to analyse. You should answer questions such as how you selected the literature, what key words did you use; what date range; what databases. If you are using a more case-based approach, explain how you chose the case organisation and what information sources you have used to build the case study – eg webpages; brochures; social media posts.  Explain how you selected these for the focus of your analysis. If you are using a model or theory explain this here (if you have not covered it in your literature review). Briefly explain how you processed and analysed the data – you do not need to give details here as this will be in the next chapter.  Discuss why other methods you could have used and explain why you chose this approach.

Chapter Four should be your findings – This is where you set out what you found out about the topic you investigated.

Chapter Five is the discussion or analysis of your findings (These two chapters may be combined. You should explore here what you found, and more importantly what this means. How dies it relate to the literature your reviewed or the theory you were applying? The results might seem obvious to you, but it’s important to show the reader exactly how they answer your original problem or questions. This is where you can give you own interpretations of the research, but you should also link your finding to the work in the literature review. Use the Rule of Three. Find supporting arguments for each point you make, and present a strong point first, followed by an even stronger one, and finish with your strongest point.

Chapter Six is the Conclusion. The conclusion should remind the reader what you wanted to find out, why you took the approach you did, what you expected to find, and how well the results matched your expectations. You should briefly restate your main findings. You can also give limitations of the research. The conclusion can also show the implications of your findings for theory and practice. Be realistic! You may also suggest future research that could be undertaken. It is very important that you do not introduce any new data or arguments.

Finally, the project will contain a list of references and any supporting appendices such as summary of government reports or organisational reports.

 

 

THE CONSULTANCY PROJECT REPORT

A Summer Project based on live problem supplied by our Consultancy partner is a little different in structure to the desk-based project.

Suggested Layout/Format of Consultancy Style Project

Chapter One is the Introduction chapter. This should set the scene as to why the research is important. This chapter should provide a contextual overview of the consultancy project “problem” which clearly sets out the scope of the consultancy work you will do

Chapter Two is your literature review. Engagement with academic literature in the consultancy reports is expected. (see Section 5 for how to complete this)

Chapter Three is your methodology/approach. This is where you will explain what theory/ framework/model you have decided to use. Similar to a traditional essay you should address questions such as What did you do? How did you do it? Why did you do it?

Chapter Four is the findings that you have actually obtained using the research method(s) you have employed. (This chapter and Chapter Five can be combined)

Chapter Five is the discussion based on the analysis of findings and how this relates to theory and practice. What choices did you make during the project and why. The discussion should also consider its suitability to the client, and the alternatives or other consultancy work that may need to follow.

Chapter Six should set out the conclusions, limitations of the research, future research that needs to be undertaken and some form of personal reflection. Solutions developed, and recommendations made to the case subject are practical, relevant, valid, insightful, value adding, adequate in scope, address the fundamental problem, and identify the issues of the contextual situation. You should discuss what you have learned from the conduct of the project as a consultant such as theoretical concepts, practical skills, insights into the business or industry, and what learning will be taken forward in your professional career.

Finally, the project will contain a list of references and any supporting appendices such as some sort of summary of government reports or organisational reports.

 

THE INTERNSHIP REPORT

The purpose of an internship is to develop professional skills in a hands-on environment. Because internships are a learning opportunity, it is important to evaluate the skills you have developed in your time with the company. The Pagoda Project internship report is important because it informs your educator of the lessons and skills you learned and the opportunities you had to apply those skills.

Your internship report includes relevant details about your intern experience, such as a description of your position with the organization, the tasks you completed and the skills you learned. It also shows how you have used the knowledge from your taught modules in a real situation

It is NOT a diary of the tasks you did, but a thoughtful review of the skills you brought to these tasks and what you learnt in undertaking them; and theory you applied and how successful this was; your thoughts or recommendations for how the company can continue to develop.

Chapter One is the Introduction chapter. This should set the scene as to why the research is important. Your report should also include a brief description of the organization. Include information like the date it was founded, the business’s purpose or mission statement, the types of tasks the company completes daily and any other relevant details. You should also explain your own role within the company.

Chapter Two is your literature review. Engagement with academic literature in the internship is expected and should explore how you are linking the internship to the modules you have undertaken. We expect you to apply a theory or framework in a practical situation – this section will review the framework. (See Section 5 for more information on this)

Chapter Three is your approach. This is where you will explain what you have done within the company to apply the theory or framework. The question used in the Extended Essay can be used here: What did you do? How did you do it? Why did you do it?

Chapter Four is the findings and discussion that you have actually obtained using the research method(s) you have employed. Here you will explain how well your intervention worked , or explore why it did not work.

Chapter Five should set out the conclusions, limitations of the research, future research that needs to be undertaken and this is where you can also include your personal reflection of the internship.

Chapter Six should be a more reflective review of the overall process – What have you gained from the internship and how will you apply this to your future career?

Finally the report will contain a list of references and any supporting appendices
Appendix d: Assessment criteria

 

All three styles of Summer Project reports/essays are judged against a set of guiding criteria. The order in which the points are set out below implies no particular weighting; all the criteria listed are of importance, though some may be weighted higher than others.

 

  • Introduction
    • Provides background to study
    • Sets out clear and focused research design
    • Provides rationale for study
    • Signposts the remainder of the report

 

  • Project / Research Design
    • Sets out the design – e.g. literature review, quantitative analysis or case study design
    • Is it appropriate to the question or focus?
    • Are key decisions explained?
    • Does it provide the reader with enough detail to understand the design?

 

  • Literature Review
    • Is it relevant and focused?
    • Are all major sources cited?
    • Is there evidence of critical thinking in literature usage?
    • In general, is there a good relation to existing literature?

 

  • Implications and Conclusions
    • Are the conclusions persuasive?
    • Are they supported by the data?
    • Are they related to the objectives?
    • Have the objectives been achieved?

 

  • Internal consistency and Logic
    • Does it link academic knowledge with practice?
    • Is there continuity between the various sections?
    • Is there logic in the argument?
    • Is there a beginning, middle, and end?

 

  • Presentation
    • Style and use of language, tables, figures etc.
    • Length of project
    • Overall impression

 

[1] Berry, R. (1996).  The Research Project: how to write it, 5th edition, London: Routledge; Moore, N. (1983). How to do Research, London: Library Association; Smith, P. (1994).  How to Write an Assignment: improving your presentation skills, Plymouth: How To Books.

[2] For those students who are completing a Pagoda Project – the outline is due two weeks after the start of the internship.

.