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Writing the Report / Assignment

Writing the Report

Type your assignment in one-and-a-half line spacing. Use the font Times New Roman


Main topics 14 pt Bold - underlined Sub topics 12 pt Bold - underlined

Body 12pt normal

Use the spell check facility on the word processing software. Alignment justify Page set-up 1.5 inches from left side, and 1 inch from right, bottom and up. Page numbers required to put at the bottom right corner (for the body of the report)

Assignment Format
The completed assignment should consist of the following:
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12.

Cover Sheet / Title page Assignment Brief Grading Descriptors Statement of Originality of Submitted Work Acknowledgement Executive summary Table of contents List of Illustrations/diagrams Introduction The text of your assignment References Appendixes

01. Title page

The title page is not numbered. This quite simply specifies the name of the business units covered, authors and the time scale of the plan/project.

04. Statement of Originality of Submitted Work

Statement of Originality of Submitted Work I; Student Id No.. Module Name.. I hereby confirm that the work presented here in this report and in all other associated material; is wholly my own work. And I agree to assessment for plagiarism Signature: .... Date:

06. Executive Summary

As with all summaries, the executive summary gives a brief overview of all of the sections in the plan, and will state which products or services are included, the amounts to be invested and a summary of the expected outcomes of the plan. It will also identify the key objectives of the plan.

07. Table of contents

This indicates the key sections in the plan and is important in guiding individuals to their key areas of responsibility Type the Table of Contents last so that you can ensure that your Table of Contents correlates with the text in the assignment (the page number in the Table of Contents must correctly indicate the page number for that topic in the text).

08. A list of illustrations/diagrams

Only if you have used illustrations or diagrams.

09. Introduction

The introduction will deal with the product or service to be included in the plan and its current situation in the market. The introduction will also state what the main purpose of the plan is.

10. The body of your assignment

Body of the report will include all the areas you are supposed to cover from the assignment. Body of the report would vary according to the assignment given to you. Pages and sections must be clearly numbered. concentrated on the topic displayed clear, logical development and organization: spacing, paragraphing, numbering etc. should be logical and consistent used correct referencing techniques checked spelling, grammar and punctuation written objectively, in an impersonal academic style

11. References
Examples of how to refer to the resource in-text One author A recent study (Elder 1995) found that rock samples or Elder (1995, p. 14) claims that . Model to follow in the reference list Elder, B 1995, The magic of Australia, Beaut Books, Sydney. Note: When an author has two or more initials, the entry would look like this: Schwartz, HJ 1985, Interactive writing: composing with a word processor, Holt, Reinhardt and Winston, Austin.

Two authors

A recent study (Yeric & Todd 1989) predicted that or Yeric and Todd (1989, p. 17) suggest that . Note: Use an ampersand (&) within the parenthesis, but use and for author prominent referencing.

Yeric, J & Todd, J 1989, Public opinion: the visible politics, Peacock Publishers, Chicago.


11. References
Examples of how to refer to the resource in-text A recent study highlighted the fact that (Yeric, Todd & Muller 1999). or Yeric, Todd and Muller (1999, p. 28) stated that . Note: Use an ampersand (&) within the parenthesis, but use and in author prominent referencing. Macroeconomics has been defined as (Barro 1997). or According to Barro (1997, p. 3), macroeconomics has been defined as . Model to follow in the reference list Three authors Yeric, J, Todd, J & Muller, P 1999, Political perspectives, Peacock Publishers, Chicago.

e-book resources

Barro, RJ 1997, Macroeconomics, 5th edn, viewed 17 February 2006, http://purl.library.cqu.edu.au/EBOOKS/339-028929960


11. References
Examples of how to refer to the resource in-text Model to follow in the reference list


Social welfare workers Australia wide have indicated a need to address the issues surrounding the rising suicide rate (McVeigh 2001). or According to McVeigh (2001, p. 20) the increase in the rate of youth suicide is of great concern to those employed in the social welfare sector.
Plagiarism is one of the biggest problems in academia at present (Kennedy 2004, p. 2). or Kennedy (2004) suggests that plagiarism in universities is very common.

McVeigh, T 2001, Death wish, Australian Magazine, 1213 May, p. 20. Note : Always evaluate information found in magazines for scholarlinessincluding bias, validity, trustworthiness of the authors etc. Magazines are not generally considered scholarly pieces of work for research.
Kennedy, I 2004, An assessment strategy to help forestall plagiarism problems, Studies in Learning , Evaluation, Innovation and Development, vol. 1, no. 1, viewed 7 October 2005, http://www.sleid.cqu.edu.au/viewissue.php?id=5

Journal article from a website


11. References
Examples of how to refer to the resource in-text Newspaper article with an author has become a major source of public concern in recent weeks (Condren 1999). or Condren (1999, p. 1) reported that . In the Advertiser (23 October 2001, p. 10) or Reform to tax laws was mentioned as (Advertiser 23 October 2001, p. 10). Note: At undergraduate study level, you are strongly encouraged not to use newspaper articles without an author. You should seek to locate a more acceptable scholarly representation of the information you wish to use. Model to follow in the reference list Condren, P 1999, Swiss prepare charges, Weekend Australian, 3031 July, p. 1.

Newspaper article without an author

Advertiser 2001, Federal election: new Chip in politics, 23 October, p. 10. Note: In this case the name of the newspaper is substituted for the name of the sponsoring body.


11. References
Examples of how to refer to the resource intext Model to follow in the reference list


Title: subtitle. Edition. Date. Place: Publisher. a) Merriam-Webster's collegiate dictionary. 10th ed. 1993. Springfield, MA.: Merriam-Webster. b) Shorter Oxford dictionary. 9th ed. 1993. Oxford: OUP. Name of producer. (Title of producer). Date. Title programme. Place: Broadcast service. Month and day. The MacNeil/Lehrer news hour. 1993. New York and Washington, DC: Public Broadcasting Service. Oct 11. Notes : Entry is under the title of the programme. The title of the programme is in italics. Title: subtitle. Date. Place: Publisher. [format] The interview game. 1985. London: BBC. [Video recording] Notes : The format [video recording] is placed at the

Television broadcast


end of the entry in square brackets


11. References
Examples of how to refer to the resource in-text Interview Model to follow in the reference list SMUTS, Dene. 1987. Interview with the author on 4 August 1987. Cape Town. [Cassette recording in possession of author] SCHAIE, K.W. 1993. [Personal communication]. April 18. Author. Date. Title: sub-title. Place: Name of Institution. [Indicate that these are course notes] VAN ASWEGEN, E.S. 2000. English literature: from Beowulf to Virginia Woolf. Cape Town: Cape Technikon. [Course notes.]

Course notes


12. Appendixes

The collection of supplementary material, usually at the end of a book/ report Must be relevant Properly numbered and referred in the text of the book/report


Checking the final draft

Checklist for a completed assignment. Title page

Name, student number Course, subject Due date, lecturer's name Title of assignment Did you check the requirements for the title page with the particular lecturer?
Numbered correctly? Page references in line? Correlation with the rest of the text? Headings consistent in size and style? Headings and subheadings numbered correctly? Body of text - the same style and size throughout the document? Pages numbered? Any blank spaces in the text? Any headings at the bottom of the page and the supporting text at the top of the next page? Any headings without supporting text? Any headings/subheadings that should be merged? Any sections that should be subdivided? Printing clear and legible?

Table of contents


Checking the final draft cnt.

Introduction and Conclusion

Consistent with the text? Your own? Original illustrations/diagrams? Acknowledged correctly when from another source? Any unnecessary illustrations? Illustrations in a frame? Captions to illustrations? Illustrations on the correct page and in the correct position? Illustrations listed separately following the Table of Contents? 'List of illustrations' included in Table of Contents? All quotations in inverted commas? All information that is not your own acknowledged? Format of citation correct? Spell-check facility used? Writing Centre consulted? Alphabetical? Format of each entry correct? Requirements of particular lecturer checked?

Illustrations/ diagrams





Specimen (sample) Assignment

A short example of what an academic essay or research project should look like.

J.M. Wicramasinghe STUDENT NUMBER: .

Title page


Lecturer: Mr F. Gunasekera Date: 24 March 2009


Specimen (sample) Assignment cnt.

Table of Contents Ensure that your Table of Contents correlates with the text of your assignment. Always type the Table of Contents last.

Page 1. 2. Introduction Situation Analysis 2.1 Internal Environment 2.2 External Environment 3 Marketing goals and objectives 1 2 2 3 4

5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Marketing Strategies and programs

Budgets Implementation & control Conclusion References Appendixes

6 7 8 9 10

Specimen (sample) Assignment cnt.

Executive summary As with all summaries, the executive summary gives a brief overview of all of the sections in the plan, and will state which products or services are included, the amounts to be invested and a summary of the expected outcomes of the plan. It will also identify the key objectives of the plan.

The purpose of this report is to create marketing strategies to launch (a new product) at ABC Company Ltd.
Established in 2002, ABC Company is one of the leading handicraft manufactures specializing in ceramic figurines for ornamental uses. Specific objectives were identified with macro and micro environmental scans, identifying profitable market segments for our new product line. The report includes a complete analysis of marketing mix strategies and selection criteria. After extensive analysis of the market, customer profile, and price criteria, it was determined that launching product A to the Market X will be best suited for our future growth.


Specimen (sample) Assignment cnt.


The introduction will deal with the product or service to be included in the plan and its current situation in the market. The introduction will also state what the main purpose of the plan is.

British American Tobacco PLC (BAT) is a leading multi national tobacco company. It is based in London, United Kingdom and was founded in 1902. The company has worldwide operations and is second in global market share. British American Tobacco is considered the worlds most international tobacco group, as it is operating in more countries than any other. Active in 180 markets, their fifteen percent global market share resulted in 2002 pretax profit of GBP 2,065 million. The Business in the Environment Survey, BAT was ranked at 32nd place, making it the top tobacco company. Their goals are not only to continue creating long term, sustainable shareholder value, but also to lead the tobacco industry in demonstrating corporate social responsibility and wider accountability.


Specimen (sample) Assignment cnt. Body of the report

Situational Analysis The situational analysis covers the current external and internal situation that the product or service now faces. The SWOT analysis is used to present this data, with strengths and weaknesses (SW), the internal factors, and opportunities and threats (OT), the external factors. They will cover some of the following points: SWOT analysis for Toys R Us Strengths. Toys "R" Us has in excess of 1500 superstores in the United States and Worldwide. It also owns the baby brand, Babies R Us which adds another 200 + stores. Toys "R" Us also markets successfully on the Web (in collaboration with Amazon. com). It has a huge distribution network that benefits from advanced logistical systems. Having so much shelf space means that the company has a strong bargaining position when it comes to buying prices from manufacturers. It turned over more than $11 billion in 2005. The company sells many different product ranges. There are benefits and disadvantages to this. However, a key strength is that the company has a diversified portfolio of products, which means that while some ranges are underperforming, others are out performing. As long as technology allows them to spot successes and then to focus upon them, they have a competitive strength. Weaknesses These days, Toys "R" Us has no single and sustainable competitive advantage, other than brand. In the US, its traditional stronghold, the company has lost its number one positions as toy retailer to Wal-Mart. Being large may not be enough, when customers can go to another large retailer and buy the same and 24 similar goods, sometimes getting a better deal.

Internal assessment

Specimen (sample) Assignment cnt. Body of the report

These are also sometimes referred to as controllable variables, as the firm can have direct control over its staff, resources, products and the manufacturing process.

Here we will identify the main personnel who are going to drive this plan forward. We will need to concentrate on their experience, training and skills from which the plan will benefit. It might also look at the future personnel needs of the organization, when dealing with the later stages of the plan. This section will also deal with the main lines of communication between key personnel, as well as saying something about the culture within the organization.
Marketing Manager

Sales manager

Business Development Manager

Customer Relations Manager

Area sales manager 1

Area sales manager 2 Assistant Business Development Manager Customer care executive 1

Sale executive 1

Sales executive 1

Customer care executive 2

Sales executive 2

Sales executive 2

Sales executive 3

Sales executive 3


Specimen (sample) Assignment cnt. Body of the report

External assessment external assessment will also consider the PEST factors, or the main political, economic, social and technological factors, which will affect the future This part of the plan should consider the main opportunities and threats facing performance of our organization and products or services. the organization. This will include details Competitive analysis could also be conducted using Porters five forces analysis about the key segments, the main target markets and their patterns of In addition, demographic study, currant market trends, consumption, and the share of this market forecast etc would be included. market in both value and volume terms. There will be a separate section detailing current market trends, future forecasts, and a section to deal with competitive activity and the main players in the market.


Specimen (sample) Assignment cnt. Body of the report

Marketing objectives and goals

The main marketing objectives will be expressed in terms of market share, sales, profit and return on investment (ROI). All of these should be expressed in quantified terms such as percentages or numbers, with the time taken to achieve those goals. Their accuracy will depend heavily on the information available to the company. They should be accurate and realistic as opposed to an unrealistic wish list. As McDonald (1999) states, marketing objectives are about products and markets only. We might express our objectives in terms of our image and reputation in the market with customers and potential customers, and use research to measure these variables. More and more firms are considering their social responsibility. You will probably want to know how you can set, for example, a target for improving awareness of the brand in the market place. The simple answer is that we need to understand what is possible and use current examples as benchmarks. It is well documented that high profile sponsorship might only improve awareness levels in the first year by about 10-15%, so we can bear this in mind when setting our own objectives. We also know that short term sponsorship might deliver an increase in awareness, sometimes as high as 20%, but that this then falls once the sponsorship ends. Setting objectives and developing your training programmes around this, means that all key people within the organization are aware of what we are trying to achieve, and can work towards these goals.




Launch the new product in March, 2008 Maintain positive, steady growth of 3% each quarter. Increase the market share by 5% in 2009. Increase sales by 14% in 2009


Specimen (sample) Assignment cnt. Body of the report

Setting sales targets 2005 Marketing consultants will usually find that when they visit a new client the main objective of the client is to increase sales significantly. They often have very ambitious targets and want to know how this will be achieved. Of course, the first thing that we need to establish is how existing customers feel about the business, and are they happy with our service at present. Existing customers are very often neglected, when they can represent the easiest new sales to make. A company which manufactures sophisticated computing software, was able to make additional sales of 60,000 (or 8.6% of their current turnover) in two weeks simply by contacting their existing customers. In order to set sales targets for our client we can follow this sequence: 1. Establish the current conversion rate for sales. If they need to visit four clients in order to get one sale then they have a conversion rate of 25%. 2. Establish also how many prospects their sales force are capable of visiting in a week. 3. Calculate how many calls need to be made, or how many pieces of information need to be sent out, in order to get a response for the sales team to follow up. 4. Ask the client to state how many new sales they need in the next year. 5. Now calculate how many people they will need to see in order to get their desired sales target. 188 Sales Weekend getaway customers Travelers Total Sales $11,396 $13,089 $24,485 $42,000 $60,000 $102,000 $54,000 $62,000 $116,000 2006 2007

Direct Cost of Sales Weekend getaway customers Travelers Subtotal Direct Cost of Sales

2005 $570 $654 $1,224

2006 $2,100 $3,000 $5,100

2007 $2,700 $3,100 $5,800 28

Specimen (sample) Assignment cnt. Body of the report

Budgets We will look at budgeting in more detail, later on in this unit. Our budgets will take into account the cost of undertaking our product, communications and distribution activities. This will include our expenditure on advertising, our product development costs and the costs of increased distribution. This will be presented to include targets and will identify some of the key areas and those responsible for monitoring them.


Specimen (sample) Assignment cnt. Body of the report

Implementation and control Under implementation and control, we will measure the progress of our actions and carry out a financial analysis. This will also involve monitoring our budgets. Jan Feb Mar April May June July Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Product development Package development

Test marketing

Amendments to the product concept

Promotions Launch

Specimen (sample) Assignment cnt. Body of the report


This section summarizes the key findings of the report, as outlined in the Discussion. They show the present situation. The Conclusions should: Relate specifically to the reports objectives (as set out in the Introduction) Identify the major issues Be arranged in order of importance Be specific, and succinct Be a list of numbered points or a paragraph


Specimen (sample) Assignment cnt.

Bibliography BEHR, J.A. 1993. Pet therapy and the elderly: a case study. Compos mentis, 10 (3):45-49. CARMEN, Yvonne. 1994. Along came a dog. London: Edward Arnold.

Bibliography of all sources consulted, in alphabetical order.

This bibliography is according to the Harvard style.

HOGBEN, Janice E. 1988. The pet project: pet therapy in the Boston Hospital Network. New England journal of medicine, 65(5):20-25, May.
HUMAN SCIENCES RESEARCH COUNCIL. 1994. Report on the living standards of the elderly in South Africa. Pretoria: HSRC. O'BRIEN, Siobhan. 1993. Interview with author, 5 June at the Salesian Institute, Cape Town. SOLOMON, Adam. 1990. An evaluation of pet therapy case studies in New Hampshire hospitals. Journal of the American Medical Association, 96(10):101-114, Fall.

How to write an essay


The introduction should be designed to attract the reader's attention and give her an idea of the essay's focus.


Begin with an attention grabber. The attention grabber you use is up to you, but here are some ideas:


How to write an essay- Cont..

Startling information This information must be true and verifiable, and it doesn't need to be totally new to your readers. It could simply be a pertinent fact that explicitly illustrates the point you wish to make. If you use a piece of startling information, follow it with a sentence or two of elaboration. Anecdote An anecdote is a story that illustrates a point. Be sure your anecdote is short, to the point, and relevant to your topic. This can be a very effective opener for your essay, but use it carefully.


How to write an essay- Cont..

Dialogue An appropriate dialogue does not have to identify the speakers, but the reader must understand the point you are trying to convey. Use only two or three exchanges between speakers to make your point. Follow dialogue with a sentence or two of elaboration. Summary Information A few sentences explaining your topic in general terms can lead the reader gently to your thesis. Each sentence should become gradually more specific, until you reach your thesis.

How to write an essay- Cont..

2. If the attention grabber was only a sentence or two, add one or two more sentences that will lead the reader from your opening to your thesis statement. Finish the paragraph with your thesis statement.



Compose a Thesis Statement

Now that you have decided, at least tentatively, what information you plan to present in your essay, you are ready to write your thesis statement. The thesis statement tells the reader what the essay will be about, and what point you, the author, will be making. You know what the essay will be about. That was your topic. Now you must look at your outline or diagram and decide what point you will be making. What do the main ideas and supporting ideas that you listed say about your topic?

Your thesis statement will have two parts.

The first part states the topic.

Kenya's Culture Building a Model Train Set Public Transportation

The second part states the point of the essay.

has a rich and varied history takes time and patience can solve some of our city's most persistent and pressing problems



Or in the second part you could simply list the three main ideas you will discuss. has a long history, blends traditions from several other cultures, and provides a rich heritage. requires an investment in time, patience, and materials. helps with traffic congestion, resource management, and the city budget. Once you have formulated a thesis statement that fits this pattern and with which you are comfortable, you are ready to continue.

Write the Body Paragraphs

In the body of the essay, all the preparation up to this point comes to fruition. The topic you have chosen must now be explained, described, or argued. Each main idea that you wrote down in your diagram or outline will become one of the body paragraphs. If you had three or four main ideas, you will have three or four body paragraphs.

Each body paragraph will have the same basic structure.




Start by writing down one of your main ideas, in sentence form. If your main idea is "reduces freeway congestion," you might say this: Public transportation reduces freeway congestion. Next, write down each of your supporting points for that main idea, but leave four or five lines in between each point. In the space under each point, write down some elaboration for that point. Elaboration can be further description or explanation or discussion.


Supporting Point Commuters appreciate the cost savings of taking public transportation rather than driving. Elaboration Less driving time means less maintenance expense, such as oil changes. Of course, less driving time means savings on gasoline as well. In many cases, these savings amount to more than the cost of riding public transportation.


If you wish, include a summary sentence for each paragraph. This is not generally needed, however, and such sentences have a tendency to sound stilted, so be cautious about using them. Once you have fleshed out each of your body paragraphs, one for each main point, you are ready to continue.


The conclusion brings closure to the reader, summing up your points or providing a final perspective on your topic.

All the conclusion needs is three or four strong sentences which do not need to follow any set formula. Simply review the main points (being careful not to restate them exactly) or briefly describe your feelings about the topic. Even an anecdote can end your essay in a useful way.



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