April 24, 2014 at 2:36 pm
You are required to give enough information/analysis/evaluation to pass the rap. But you find that 7500 words are not enough and they are really not enough. So what to do? Use graphics. Yes provide your information in shape of Tables, Graphs, Pictures, Smart art of ms word (don’t forget to reference them). Use graphics in all three parts where ever possible. Graphics is word-efficient way to provide information.April 24, 2014 at 4:12 pm
….and regardless of the word count usually using graphics is a much more efficient way of communicating information than lots of words – the ‘ picture paints a 1,000 words concept!’ How about comparing a page of text describing movements and trends with a page containing basically the same information but in a few graphs and charts? Then ask yourself – which gave you the best overall impression of what had gone on? The graphs and charts every time… and almost instantly rather than having to carefully read every word on the page.
Savvy students realise the appeal of using the program tools now available to enhance their work and produce their analysis to best advantage using the techniques suggested above…and I bet the markers love graphics too as it saves them having to wade through page after page of boring text!!!!
One thing to note though – tables will probably be captured in the word count – but graphs and charts, pictures and the rest are usually superior to tables anyway…..April 26, 2014 at 12:24 pm
When you say reference your graph what exactly do you mean?April 26, 2014 at 2:38 pm
You bung (XYZ Annual Report, 2011, 2012, 2013) underneath it depending on which years’ figures you are showing in the graph
( I have assumed the graph covers 3 years here) 😀April 27, 2014 at 3:58 am
REFERENCING PART 1:
Referencing soft wares
One of the most difficult part of RAP is referencing. So few tips on referencing. Those who are enrolled at Uk universities have access to excellent referencing soft wares. We, the distance learners, dont have idea of power and potential of those soft wares and how much they can make your task easier. But thanks to microsoft, MS Word has inbuilt capacity of keeping data base of your references, which means you can insert in-text reference at any point you desire and at the end of RAP you can generate complete reference list at a single click. What else? You don’t have to worry about referencing syntax, can you believe this? No worries about where to place full stop, comma or italics and perfect Harvard style. (so much hype made over Harvard referencing and how many of you failed by marker by commenting “this is not a Harvard style”)
I have heard that MS Word 2010 has inbuilt Harvard referencing but you need to install add-on in MS Word 2007 from https://bibword.codeplex.com/?
There are various variations of Harvard system available.(for example anglia, exeter) You need to test them to get the best result.April 27, 2014 at 6:41 am
A really excellent tip! Especially for those who are just about to start their reports
(wish I’d known about it when I did my Masters – it would have saved me hours of grief!) 😀
NOTE: since this post was written I have written a whole,article on Referencing. This is available on our homepage http://www.opentuition.com/obu
With the article and links in it + our Forum topic ‘Harvard Referencing you should have all the Info you not reference your workApril 27, 2014 at 8:52 pm
What if the graph uses figures from an Appendix instead of directly from the annual report? Then should the chart be like : (Appendix A). ??April 27, 2014 at 10:42 pm
It is acceptable to do either. The raw data originates usually from the Annual reports, so you either acknowledge this in the body of the report or you can reference the financial statements in the Appendices and cross refer to them as you have suggested by (Appendix A) etc. Often comes down to a matter of preferred style (or a desire to keep the word count down as the ‘Appendix ‘ method can sometimes save a few words here and there) 🙂April 28, 2014 at 9:07 pm
@traphena thanks for clearing it up.
Regarding conclusions and recommendations.
Do we have to give references in conclusions as well, considering that references were given during analysis and evaluation- if there is no new information?
Is it good practice to use one newspaper article to reference multiple points at different segments in the research report?April 28, 2014 at 10:24 pm
@arslan101 Yes – I’m afraid that you have to reference the whole of the RAP. The convention is that each time you use a source, even if you have used that source before you have to put in a reference for it. With the annual reports you can probably get away with just mentioning it once every paragraph or so (rather than every sentence!)***. I appreciate the point you are making and probably if you have referenced well in the rest of the RAP and as you are not introducing any new information in the Conclusion & Recommendations at a first degree level they wouldn’t fail you, but as it’s not ‘best practice’ to leave out any referencing, I cannot encourage it. 😉
It is perfectly acceptable to use one article to reference multiple points in different parts of the report. All I would say is that the best RAPs demonstrate a ‘balanced approach’ – that is they don’t just rely on information that comes from the company or just one source, so try to use a variety of sources as this tends to (a) show that you have researched your subject well and (b) you have shown a balanced and objective view of the situation. In my experience it is those sorts of projects that tend to get the A & B grades. 😀
*** this assumes that your graphs are referenced – you don’t then have to reference all the ratios as it is clear that they come from the graphs and originate from the annual report. Where you are making explanations e.g. “this was due to the implementation of a cost-cutting strategy in 2012”, you MUST give a reference as you are making a statement and need to cite a source to support this to give it validity.April 29, 2014 at 11:22 pm
kingsandqueensParticipantMay 1, 2014 at 10:44 pm
That’s great @arslan 101 🙂
@bassaniobroke and I + the other contributors derive a lot of pleasure knowing that we have through our own knowledge & experience helped other students to achieve their full potential and hope you will return to this Forum when you pass to help other students that are struggling. You see although I know a lot about the RAP because I already had a BSc I never actually had to do the RAP!!! So I don’t really know what it is like to have to do it. So we do.need some contributors who have experienced this. 😉May 12, 2014 at 12:39 pm
Hello all Please could anyone explain to me what an external reference is with examples please. ThanksMay 12, 2014 at 6:49 pm
An external reference is a comment or statement that does NOT rely on statements made by the company (or its comparator) that you are using as your subject company for your topic. For example commentary made by an analyst or financial journalist would be external references if you referred to them in your RAP. Think of external references as a bit like witnesses in court providing additional evidence to support a case (or possibly refute or question the facts in a case). In the context of the RAP you use external reference sources to confirm and support your findings “The opening of the new high tech production unit by XYZ plc in Malaysia last year as part of the company’s expansion plans in the Far East has been very successful” (Malaysian Straits Times, 2013)” or “In spite of heavy investment in the a new production line in Malaysia last year by XYZ plc, the company has failed to make headway in the Far Eastern Market “(Business Times, 2014).
Although it would be just about achievable to get a pass grade, if the rest of the Evaluation is very good by using just Company information (particularly if you looked a bit beyond the actual financial statements by extending your evaluation to include the CEO/ Directors’ report or company press releases) it is unlikely that you would get a grade higher than a C.
Evaluation of Information, Analysis & Conclusions requires ‘Strength shown in some areas of critical review of the information. Good evaluation of information.’ for a B and ‘High level of critical thought’ and ‘a rigorous approach to the evaluation’ for an A
… and this normally requires external reference sources to show that you have done a proper ‘critical evaluation’ rather than just accepted what the company has said as the company information is more likely to be biased. Also finding external evidence sources shows you have put more effort into your research to produce a ‘balanced’ report
Information Gathering (Graduate Skills) requires ‘Clear evidence of A RANGE of relevant information sources’ for competenceMay 13, 2014 at 2:48 pm
@trephena I may be a bit late in asking it but:
Is a Bibliography list absolutely important?
I just included a reference list, however I was pretty thorough in my references had a total of about 60 or more.
I would really like your opinion on the matter.May 13, 2014 at 3:42 pm
@arslan 101 bibliography is not mandatory, but it will give good impression, (that you have gone beyond) you may name your reference list as bibliography and include reference list and bibliography in it. (: hope you understand what I mean.
for topic 8 even go beyond 60 references, though as @trephena said earlier that its quality that matters and not quantity.May 13, 2014 at 4:02 pm
May 13, 2014 at 4:47 pm
In part 2 of research report: an explanation of accounting and business techniques (topic 8)
I used ACCA course books as source and paraphrased using my own words. Now the problem is how to reference it:
For example, in Political factors for PESTEL I have a paragraph of four lines whose source material is BPP P3 Business Analysis book. Should I add the in text citation at the end of the paragraph only or how should I add it? Likewise all other factors were also explained using books as source.
Where should I place the in text citation in this situation?May 13, 2014 at 4:50 pm
@trephena Dear Madam, Thanks for remembering me. (: This humble servant only attends the desk when ma’am is out of office, scared to speak when the authority is there.(with section number and page number by heart). 🙂
Stay blessed.May 13, 2014 at 5:31 pm
@bassaniobroke – and I thought you were just resting on your laurels as your Forum has now had over 800 hits!!! 😀 Your RAP tips were a great idea AND obviously appreciatedMay 13, 2014 at 6:42 pm
I found the answer:
‘If you are paraphrasing from one source throughout a paragraph, don’t worry about
putting a citation after every sentence. Putting a citation at the end of the paragraph is
fine (there should be at least one citation at the end of each paragraph if the material is
paraphrased). If you are paraphrasing from 2 or more sources within one paragraph, in
such a way that the information is integrated extensively, cite both sources at the end of
Its from Monash University. I hope this is acceptable at Oxford Brookes too.
Although how much paraphrasing is good and acceptable, I can envision no other way to do this and still remain under word limit for part 2 i.e. 1000 words.May 13, 2014 at 8:11 pm
@arslan101 My dear friend, Monash University is an Australian University and what you are talking would not be acceptable to OB. Make no mistake, marker has no so such word as mercy in his dictionary, only take guidelines from Anglia Ruskin University and Coventry University. (in addition to OB).May 13, 2014 at 9:48 pm
Oh @bassaniobroke – do you really think that the OBU markers are so cruel? i.e. that they have NO mercy – will have to pass that on to my contact there who may be a bit hurt!!! But you are right in that multiple references at the end of the paragraph are not acceptable – if most of the paragraph was a paraphrase of one source then yes, a single reference at the end would suffice.
And yes Monash is an Aussie Uni – but it is ranked among the top 1% of the world’s top universities (according to their website 🙂 ) – I met the vice chancellor of Monash at a bash a year or so ago and he was a nice chap so feel obliged to put in a good word for them (and in fact they have some joint tie in with Warwick Uni in the UK – the purpose of the bash I seem to recall), so a bit surprised they are so lax on referencing 🙂
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