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  • 1.       THE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS   Guide to Writing    Fall 2008 
  • 2. The School of Business Guide to Writing CONTRIBUTORS Sunita Ahlawat, Accounting Jaclyn Beierlein, Finance Terrence Bennett, Library Sharyn Gardner, Management Diane Gruenberg, The Writer’s Place and Tutoring Center Nancy Lasher, Law and Policy John McCarty, Marketing Michele Naples, Economics Joao Neves, Management Jayne Zanglein, Law and Policy Copyright: August 2005 2nd Edition, August 2006 School of Business Business Building The College of New Jersey P.O. Box 7718 2000 Pennington Road Ewing, NJ 08628 P) 609-771-2566 F) 609-637-5129 E) business@tcnj.edu
  • 3. The School of Business Page ii Guide to Writing Table of Contents Introduction ......................................................................................................................................1 Section I: Forms of Business Writing ...........................................................................................3 Section II: Analysis, Evaluation, and Synthesis ............................................................................8 The Importance of Organization ..................................................................................9 The Body of the Report..............................................................................................10 Section III: Grammar and Writing Guide .....................................................................................12 Section IV: Academic Integrity and Avoiding Plagiarism ...........................................................19 Section V: Campus Resources .....................................................................................................29 Section VI: Sample Grading Rubrics ............................................................................................31 References ......................................................................................................................................34
  • 4. The School of Business Page 1 Guide to Writing INTRODUCTION Welcome to The College of New Jersey and welcome especially to the School of Business. As members of the faculty we are here to challenge you and to partner with you as you define your goals and strive to reach them. One thing is certain: in reaching your personal and professional goals you will need to be able to communicate clearly. Oral and written communication skills are the most important things you will learn in college that will contribute to your success throughout your career. In your professional life you will write to your supervisors and to your clients. You will represent your employer at business meetings. You will negotiate on behalf of clients. The courses that you take at TCNJ will help develop the thinking skills you will need to communicate professionally both orally and in writing. Well organized thinking is a necessary building block for oral and written communication. The School of Business Guide to Writing, and other materials we have asked you to purchase, are part of our effort to help you attain this very important goal. This Guide is an introduction to the writing required by the School of Business. Section I: Forms of Business Writing briefly explains reports, business plans, and memos. Section II: Analysis, Evaluation, and Synthesis provides information on how to communicate why information is interesting in a business context, why it is relevant to the issue, and what conclusions should be drawn from that information. Section III: Grammar and Writing Guide is a listing of the major grammar and writing issues and how to avoid making errors. Section IV: Academic Integrity and Plagiarism explains principles of academic honesty and how to avoid plagiarism in your writing. Section V: Campus Resources presents information about the College library and the Writer’s Place and Tutoring Center. Section VI: Grading Rubrics contains sample grading rubrics for individual and group presentations. In addition to formal business writing, we also communicate constantly through email, and if you can’t convey clearly to your professor or your boss what you are asking or what conclusions you are drawing, you are not creating a very good impression. “…good writing is a sign of good thinking. Writing that is persuasive, logical, and orderly is impressive. Writing that’s not careful can be a signal of unclear thinking.” (Report of the National Commission on Writing, College Board, September 2004) Don’t misunderstand us—the content of your courses both in and outside of your major is critical to your future success in finding internships and jobs and going to graduate school. However, writing should not be dismissed as something unimportant or as something you think you will never have to do once you have landed your “number crunching” job in the business world. “‘It’s not that companies want to hire Tolstoi,’ said Susan Traiman, a director at the Business Roundtable, an association of leading chief executives… ‘But they need people who can write clearly, and many employees and applicants fall short of that standard.’” (Dillon, S.) With this in mind, the School of Business faculty are dedicated to preparing you with both the
  • 5. Page 2 The School of Business Guide to Writing business knowledge and communication skills that you will need for success in college, graduate school and the world of careers that you will soon enter. Some of you may already be quite comfortable with writing and may actually look forward to honing your communication skills. Others of you may not be quite as comfortable with writing and may even dread the task. Remember that learning to write is a process. You don’t learn it in one workshop or one intensive writing class. Writing improves when you receive careful feedback, take the feedback into consideration, and incorporate the suggestions for improvement into your next assignment. Not only do your professors stand ready to help you, but we are fortunate to have another campus resource where you can get personal assistance with academic writing. The Writer’s Place, located in Forcina Hall Room 151 (609-771-2985, tutoring@tcnj.edu) provides nationally certified peer tutors who can assist you with organizing, editing and polishing your writing. Additionally, we have a dedicated staff of librarians with wide-ranging subject expertise to assist you with all stages of the research process. While any of our reference librarians can help you gain efficient access to resources that will help with your research and writing, you can also call upon our Business/Economics Librarian, Terrence Bennett, (609-771-2105, tbennett@tcnj.edu) for in-depth subject-specific assistance. In the bookstore you will find two very useful books required for all new School of Business students: Doing Honest Work in College by Charles Lipson and The Elements of Business Writing by Gary Blake and Robert Bly. These resources provide citation formats, a discussion of what plagiarism is (and isn’t), how to approach your assignments with an eye focused on success, and basic rules for clear writing. These books are for your use during all of your college years, and will continue to be helpful when you enter the professional world and go to graduate school. We encourage you to read them and consult them often. Remember that it is your responsibility to read the assignment, follow the professor’s directions, and meet the professor’s standards for work submitted. We are here to help you do the best work that you are capable of doing. Ask your professors questions, and stop by to see them during their office hours. We look forward to working with you. The Writing Committee School of Business
  • 6. The School of Business Page 3 Guide to Writing Section I FORMS OF BUSINESS WRITING There are numerous forms that business writing may take. These include: major reports, business plans, research studies, and memos. Some of these business writings may be rather long (20 to 30 pages), such as a business plan, while others, such as memos, may be one or two pages. Regardless of length, you should strive to be concise, clear, and organized. A longer report should not be longer because it contains more padding and fluff; rather, a long report may be warranted in instances where there is an enormous amount of material that needs to be covered. For example, an involved research study may require a long report with numerous tables and graphs. A simple analysis of some data related to a specific question may best be reported in a two to three page memo. The major reason why business writing should be concise, clear, and organized is that business decision makers have an enormous amount of paper cross their desks. They have to quickly read something, or the most relevant parts, and move on to the next thing. Large Reports and Business Plans We cannot cover all forms of large business reports here, but we can make a few comments about them. Although organization is always important in writing, it is particularly important when a document is relatively long. You should make sure that the report or plan is well organized and the flow has logical consistency. Headings and subheadings for sections will aid in this. Headings not only help you organize the document, but they allow the reader to quickly locate a section of particular interest. An important element of a longer document is an executive summary. An executive summary is the abstract of the entire report or plan. In the normal course of business, a decision maker may only read the executive summary (for such reports done in academic classes, your professor will read the entire document). Since a decision maker may only read the executive summary, you should make sure that it highlights the important points of the entire document. You should be sure that it includes the implications of any analyses, important recommendations that you are making, and so forth. Write the summary with the assumption that it may be the only part of the document that a decision maker will read. Executive summaries are typically two to five pages long. Memos Memos are written for a variety of reasons. Typically, they are used to provide a brief discussion of an issue, a short analysis of some information, or a point of view about something. Memos may also present some specific information (e.g., the time and place a meeting will
  • 7. Page 4 The School of Business Guide to Writing occur). The format of a memo will vary, depending on the purpose of it; however, there is a premium on conciseness. Most decision makers (your boss and people above him/her) will read an enormous number of memos daily, either in paper form or via email. In a memo, you want to get to the point quickly, concisely, and clearly. As noted, memos are often used to present a brief discussion of an analysis. This analysis may be of some sort of quantitative or qualitative information. Individuals in a variety of positions will often find themselves doing a short analysis and then reporting that analysis in a memo. This type of memo is often called a memo report in that it reports an analysis of information, but is shorter than a business report. A memo report is usually an internal document, written to a few others in your organization. Alternatively, a business report generally would be bound with colored covers and is suitable for distribution beyond your organization (depending on whether there is private or classified information in it). A short memo report is presented here to illustrate the way you should organize information from an analysis. This example presents the sales of DVD players for the third quarter of 2004, and then uses information from the first three quarters of the year and previous years’ data to predict the sales for the fourth quarter. The particular headings used may differ from this example. The important thing to note is that the organization presents the most important material up front; the key information a decision maker needs to see is on the first page. After the “TO,” “FROM,” and “DATE” of the memo, it should have a subject line (either “SUBJECT:” or “RE:”). This subject line and the first paragraph of the memo should provide the reader with enough information to decide whether he/she needs to read it. As Holly Weeks (2005) states, “Your opening must answer the reader’s question ‘Why am I reading this?’ To do so, it needs to establish the relevance and the utility of the document as a whole.” (p. 3) If you believe that your analysis is important, you should make sure that the nature of it and the relevance to the reader is clear in the subject line and the first paragraph. Therefore, the first paragraph should be a clear statement of the purpose of the memo (e.g., what it reports). In this memo, the findings follow the introductory paragraph. In this particular case, the findings are somewhat more important than the recommendations. If the recommendations are the most important thing, then you may want to organize the memo to present them first. Note that the “Findings” section briefly presents the important results of the analysis without unnecessary embellishment. At this point, you do not want to overwhelm the reader with a lot of detail. Leave the detail for the “Detailed Analysis” section that begins on the second page. Therefore, if a decision maker wants to further investigate something you report in the “Findings” section, he/she can go to the “Detailed Analysis” section. The “Findings” section provides the most important findings of your analysis and the implications, stated briefly.
  • 8. The School of Business Page 5 Guide to Writing The “Recommendations” section provides a statement about what you believe should occur as a function of your analysis. In many cases, you may not have a “Recommendations” section; it depends on the nature of the analysis. When appropriate, however, you should state what course of action should be taken (or considered). This may take the form of a specific decision that should be made. In this case, you have recommended how much of an increase in the production of DVD players should be made, given your prediction of sales for the 4th quarter. You may also recommend further analysis, as the second recommendation in this memo does. Depending on the depth of the analysis, you may have a “Detailed Analysis” section. You can think of this section as similar to an appendix. It presents the findings in greater detail. Here you present detailed tables, charts, figures, and numbers. When possible, it is always better to present a lot of numbers in a table or chart, as it is difficult for a reader to deal with numbers in the middle of text. Remember the old saying “A picture is worth a thousand words.” There will be some redundancy between the “Findings” and the “Detailed Analysis” sections. In fact, there should be nothing presented in the “Findings” that is not presented in the “Detailed Analysis” section in a more thorough manner. These two sections do not provide different information, just different levels of detail of the same information. Again, this example of a memo report is not the only acceptable format. It illustrates the important aspects of any memo. This example presents the purpose of the memo immediately. The findings and recommendations are presented early in the memo (on the first page). The presentation of detailed information is relegated to the end of the memo. This organization allows the decision maker to decide quickly if he/she needs to read it, then presents the important information concisely and quickly.
  • 9. Page 6 The School of Business Guide to Writing Example of a Memo TO: Justin Blake, Vice President of Marketing FROM: John Willis, Research Associate DATE: Oct. 6, 2004 RE: Predicted Sales for 2004 Third quarter DVD sales in the United States were recently published by Digital Entertainment Group. Given that sales figures for the first three quarters of 2004 are now available, we can predict sales for the 4th quarter of this year and for the total year. Findings Sales of DVD players for the 3rd quarter of 2004 were 6,593,000. Assuming that sales in the 4th quarter of 2004 maintain roughly the same ratio to total sales for the year as in the past two years (about 50%), it is predicted that sales for the 4th quarter of 2004 will be about 19,505,000 players, a 15.4% increase from the 4th quarter of 2003. Total sales of DVD players for 2004 are predicted to be 39,010,000 players. Therefore, DVD player sales continue to increase and are expected to do so for the near future. However, there are recent indications that the rate of increase is beginning to soften, most likely because of the recent availability of other formats. Recommendations It is recommended that production of DVD players be increased by 10% over last year’s 4th quarter level. This assumes that predicted figures are relatively accurate and that DVD players continue to be a popular holiday gift. After 4th quarter figures are available, it is recommended that we use annual sales data from 1998 through 2004 to forecast sales for 2005 using regression techniques.
  • 10. The School of Business Page 7 Guide to Writing DETAILED ANALYSIS • Sales of DVD players for the 3rd quarter of 2004 are 6,593,000. • 4th quarter sales have roughly been 50% of total year sales for the last two years. Total Year Sales 4th Quarter Sales Ratio th Year (thousands) (thousands) 4 Q/Total Year 1998 946 459 48.5% 1999 3,550 1,701 47.9% 2000 9,877 5,542 56.1% 2001 16,662 9.501 57.0% 2002 25,113 13,058 52.0% 2003 33,734 16,900 50.1% • Assuming that a similar ratio occurs in 2004 (approximately 50%), it is predicted that sales of DVD players in the US in the 4th quarter of 2004 will be 19,505,000 units. • Predicted sales for the total year 2004 are 39,010,000 units. • DVD sales continue to increase yearly, as the following figure shows. However, the predicted sales for 2004 are slightly lower than the linear trajectory from previous years would suggest. Therefore, sales may be beginning to soften, because of alternative formats (DVR, etc.) Annual Sales of DVD Players 45,000 Predicted: 39,010 40,000 35,000 33,734 Sales (in thousands) 30,000 25,113 25,000 20,000 16,662 15,000 9,877 10,000 3,550 5,000 946 0 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 Year Source: Digital Entertainment Group, http://www.dvdinformation.com
  • 11. Page 8 The School of Business Guide to Writing Section II ANALYSIS, EVALUATION AND SYNTHESIS: The Essence of Business Writing Why are analysis, evaluation, and synthesis more important components of writing than just simple description? Why do they matter to employers and professors? Simple description in a paper provides facts and details about a topic. For example, a fact is a piece of information, such as “The sky is blue.” Your job as a writer is to tell the reader why this fact is interesting, why it is relevant to the discussion at hand, or what conclusion the reader should draw from this fact; it is your job to put it in context. Analysis, evaluation, and synthesis are critical components in the process of writing. Simple description is important, but these three components give meaning to the facts and details that you include in your writing. Just a list of facts or other people’s opinions, does not present your argument. Remember, employers and professors are not mind readers; you must explain the meaning of your facts and descriptions. Through careful analysis, evaluation and synthesis you prove to your professor or your employer that you understand what the facts mean and that you can draw conclusions from them. Analysis is the process of dividing a whole into its parts so each part can be examined. When you analyze you look for patterns, organize parts, identify or classify components, compare and contrast, put components in order, calculate statistics, or look at a situation from several points of view. When you evaluate your facts, you are ascertaining their value or meaning. You present and defend opinions by making judgments about information, validity of ideas or quality of work based on a set of criteria. You explain to the audience how each fact fits into your argument and explain what idea or claim is supported by that fact. Key verbs that relate to evaluation include choose, compare, conclude, criticize, decide, determine, dispute, judge, justify, rate, and recommend. Finally, when you synthesize you are combining your observations, analyses and evaluations to form a new, complex product for the reader or to propose an alternative solution to a problem. Synthesis is the process of linking all of your facts, analysis, and evaluations together to present your claim. It is not done at the end of the paper, but throughout in order to present a smooth and seamless document. Key verbs that relate to synthesis include adapt, build, change, combine, compile, compose, construct, create, design, develop, elaborate, formulate, imagine, improve, invent, maximize, minimize, modify, plan, predict, propose, solve, and theorize. When you write a paper, you need to synthesize the large amount of information you have gathered, and your analysis of that information, into a thesis statement and the paragraphs that support the thesis. Therefore, analysis, evaluation and synthesis are intrinsically linked to the next topic: organization.
  • 12. The School of Business Page 9 Guide to Writing THE IMPORTANCE OF ORGANIZATION Why does organization matter to employers and professors? As stated in the introduction of this workbook “‘…good writing is a sign of good thinking. Writing that is persuasive, logical, and orderly is impressive. Writing that is not careful can be a signal of unclear thinking.’” Both employers and professors not only respect but also reward good writing. A good writer receives higher grades in school and more promotions and better assignments in the workplace. Good writing helps you gain more respect as others see it as an indicator of clear and careful thinking. On the other hand, bad writing will not only result in bad grades from your professors, but may eventually get you fired from your job! To state your point clearly in your documents, you must be organized. Even if your writing is grammatically correct, if you cannot present your facts, analysis, evaluation, and synthesis in a logical and orderly fashion, your audience will not understand you. As a good writer, you need to consider strategies to arrange your information in a way that will make the audience’s job easier. (For example, ask yourself if you can use a table, a graph, bulleted points, or subheadings to smooth out your ideas.) An outstanding paper skillfully argues a clear and specific position supported with relevant evidence and demonstrates excellent control of the elements of writing. An outstanding paper exhibits all of the following characteristics: • a compelling, clear and debatable claim which is focused and specific; • ample relevant, concrete evidence and persuasive support (including but not not limited to reasons, examples, quotations, and data) for every debatable assertion by synthesizing information and arguments from multiple, reliable sources; summarizing them fairly; and assessing them critically; • clear and consistent overall organization that relates all of the ideas together; • fully developed ideas, organized logically within paragraphs, and connected with highly effective transitions; • outstanding control of language, including effective word choice and sentence variety; and • superior facility with the conventions of standard written English (i.e. grammar, usage, and mechanics).
  • 13. Page 10 The School of Business Guide to Writing THE BODY OF A REPORT PAPER Introduction In this section, it is important to present the main point of the paper or your thesis (e.g. “Argentina is not a good place to invest now because [insert your claim/position/point here].” You should also summarize the principal supporting arguments and the conclusion of the argument that you will present in the body of the paper. However, details are saved for the body where you provide your full analysis, evaluation, and synthesis to support your claims. A well organized introduction gives the audience information about the structure and content of the development of the paper; it lets them know what to expect. The main point or thesis of your paper should not be a surprise left for the end of the document. Remember, you’re writing for the business community, which values clear, concise, and organized documents, with no surprises. Paragraph Structure/Development of Ideas Each paragraph in the main body of your paper needs to have a topic sentence, which is typically one of the arguments that supports your thesis and represents the synthesis of the information and analysis presented in that paragraph. Be sure that you make clear how each paragraph ties into your thesis or main point. The topic sentence is important because it relates the facts meaningfully for the audience. The topic sentence proves to your professor or to your boss that you understand how these facts are connected. The topic sentence is essentially the framework for the paragraph. The topic sentence doesn’t need to be the first sentence, but the reader needs to be able to recognize that sentence and know where it occurs in the paragraph. For example, a paragraph might use a series of details to lead up to the topic idea in the last sentence. Or, two or three sentences of details could lead to the topic idea in the middle of the paragraph, followed by additional details, as long as those details support the topic sentence. When editing your paragraphs, be sure that you have synthesized your ideas to show how they are linked to the thesis, and be sure that you are clear and concise. Your audience needs to understand why each paragraph is included in your paper. Ask yourself if all sentences in the paragraph are necessary to develop the idea completely, or if any sentences can be eliminated. Also, ask yourself if there are gaps in logic where another sentence is needed to advance the idea or clarify your position.
  • 14. The School of Business Page 11 Guide to Writing Transitions Well organized papers have logical transitions between paragraphs as well as within paragraphs. These transitions help your audience understand the relationships of your ideas and the direction of your paper. Transitions meaningfully show where you’ve been and where you’re going. Statements such as ‘And as for the economic situation’ or ‘Turning to the unemployment picture’ are not meaningful transitions and don’t clearly link your ideas. Instead, the transition should help your audience understand why you are now going to discuss unemployment, how unemployment relates to the topic of the previous paragraph, and how it relates to your thesis. The transition between two paragraphs may come at the end of the first paragraph or at the beginning of the second. It may be the topic sentence or it may be a sentence that precedes the topic sentence. A transition may be used to signal to the audience that you are continuing your thought or expanding your argument (using words such as moreover, in addition, similarly, also, or furthermore). Or, you might need a transition to let the audience know you are changing direction or presenting information or arguments that are contrary to those you have presented in the previous paragraph or sentence (using words such as in contrast, however, but, or on the other hand). Therefore, thus, and as a result are transition words that signal to the audience cause and effect or that you are drawing a conclusion from the information you have just presented. No matter what type of transition you use, it is critical to provide a logical flow from one idea to the next. Conclusion Finally, your conclusion is where you summarize your main points and restate the recommendation/thesis. It is where you may restate the ideas you synthesized previously in your paper and repeat the link to your thesis/recommendation. No new information is presented in the conclusion! In the conclusion you wrap all ideas into a short summary, so the reader can take away the main arguments and ideas.
  • 15. Page 12 The School of Business Guide to Writing Section III GRAMMAR AND WRITING GUIDE* *This Grammar and Writing Guide is an adaptation of the one used by Dr. Michele Naples. First, use the resources available to you, which are listed in this handbook. Second, read the books you have purchased about writing and incorporate their suggestions into your work. Third, have a classmate or roommate proofread your paper for you, or go to the Writer’s Place. If your reader points out any grammatical or writing errors, fix them. Agreement If your subject is plural, the verb must be plural; when the sentence's subject is complex, the writer sometimes makes mistakes, e.g., “Several kinds of Southern melon is planted” is wrong; the subject is kinds, not melon, and the verb should be “are” rather than “is.” Argument You need to make a case in your paper. To do so, state clearly what you are trying to argue, and then provide evidence in support of your contention. This evidence may take the form of citations from primary sources, or logical arguments to show inconsistencies in someone’s argument. Do not make sweeping generalizations that you have not substantiated with evidence. Citations In-text citations should follow APA conventions: (Naples 1993 p. 192) would mean the article by Naples included in the bibliography, p. 192. [Note, this is not the same as MLA rules you may have learned previously.] If Naples has two articles published in the same year, then cite them in the order they appear in your bibliography (which is alphabetized by article title), either (Naples 1993a) or (Naples 1993b). If you refer to different chapters from an edited collection, you have two choices. Preferably, (l) you should cite them separately by chapter title in your bibliography, and then refer to each chapter author by name. Alternatively, (2) you could cite the edited text in your bibliography, and in the paper refer to [(chapter author) in (text author)], e.g., [Naples in Swartz and Bonello 1992 p. 14]. Do not spell out the article's title in the body of your essay; that is unnecessary since your bibliography gives that information. Just use the author's full name when he/she is first mentioned, and the last name to refer to their work or ideas thereafter.
  • 16. The School of Business Page 13 Guide to Writing Colloquial Language Business word choice should be formal, so you come across as professional. Do not use colloquial expressions or format, which would convey a chatty or conversational tone. For instance, do not begin sentences with “Now,”. Avoid using “me,” “I,” or references to your feelings. You are trying to sell your ideas in a scholarly format, let the ideas speak for themselves. An interpretation does not just represent your “feeling,” rather you can objectively ground your interpretation in the text; show the reader why yours is the obvious conclusion. Commas Commas serve two basic functions: (1) to divide phrases, and (2) to separate parenthetical remarks: (1) This sentence is short, and is only an example. (2) This sentence, which is short, is only an example. If you write using too many parenthetical remarks, your text will be hard for the reader to follow. Sentence (1) above reads more easily than sentence (2), and requires half as many commas. Say what you mean, get to your point, and you will not insert so many parenthetical remarks. Conditional Statements The combination “if ... then” has two possible formats: If he is in the room, then Mary will see him. If he were in the room, then Mary would see him. When your second phrase uses “would,” the verb following the “if” clause has to be in the subjunctive mood, “were” in this case. For many verbs, the subjunctive is the same as the past tense. Consistency or Agreement If you capitalize certain key words, e.g., “Congress,” do so consistently. If you describe a source in the present tense (the author says ...), do so consistently, do not switch to past tense (then the author said ...).
  • 17. Page 14 The School of Business Guide to Writing Contractions Contractions are inappropriate in research papers, they are too informal. Instead of “don't” use “do not,” instead of “can't” use “cannot,” etc. Countable Quantities A quantity that can be counted is described as several, more, many, a lot, few (few persons) or fewer (even fewer persons); often countable quantities end in “s” (fewer years of education). A quantity that cannot be counted is described as follows: a good deal of, much, more, or less (less education). Gender – Generic Third Person Singular It is old-fashioned to use “he” to mean “he or she.” Studies have found that the vast majority of the population thinks “he” is male, not gender-neutral. Phrase your sentences using the plural pronoun form, or use “he or she,” “he/she,” or “s/he.” Similarly, avoid using male words for humanity; modern thesauri incorporate gender-neutral language (mail carrier, firefighter) if you need help. Hyphenation If you must divide words, do so at the end of the syllable: after a long vowel (e.g., go- ing), after the consonant after a short vowel (e.g., tod-dle), or after a full word within a compound word (e.g., draft-ing). If you string together nouns that modify a third noun, use a hyphen to link the first two, e.g., “rail-transit system.” Also, if you have an adjective-noun combination which in turn modifies a second noun, use a hyphen, e.g., “real-investment function.” There is no need for a hyphen after the word “well,” as in “well defined problem,” since “well” is an adverb and is expected to modify an adjective or verb, such as “defined” in this phrase. Infinitives Do not split infinitives: not “to thoroughly understand” but “to understand thoroughly.”
  • 18. The School of Business Page 15 Guide to Writing Name - Avoid Vague Statements Attribute ideas to their sources, otherwise the paper can seem vague. A good paper is grounded in the texts it uses. A paper is often clearer and stronger if the author names different points of view (e.g., human capital theory vs. the crowding theory of discrimination), rather than treating points of view vaguely as “one idea and a different idea.” Pagination Your pages must be numbered in sequence, by hand if necessary. Plurals The plural of a word adds an “s,” or if the word ends in “s,” “es,” e.g., one business, two businesses. Do not confuse plurals with possessive nouns (see Possessives). Possessives The possessive of a noun adds apostrophe “s,” or if the word ends in “s,” add an apostrophe after the “s,” e.g., one dealer's cards, many dealers’ cards. The exception: “its” is possessive (i.e., belonging to it), because “it's” represents the contraction “it is.” Proofreading You must proofread your paper for typographical and grammatical errors. A spell checker and/or a grammar checker may not be enough. Fix mistakes. Do not leave them to the professor to fix, you will irritate him or her. Assume that typos will lower your grade.
  • 19. Page 16 The School of Business Guide to Writing Quotations Always cite the source of a quotation with page number. Always indent long quotes (quotes over 4 lines), which then need no quotation marks around them. Even if you are paraphrasing a source, still cite the source so the reader knows what point of view is being presented. You may only cite a source if you have actually read that source. If you want to quote someone quoted in your source, say “(Knight quoted in Naples 192).” Do not overquote. You must put things in your own words to digest the ideas and make the paper your own. Your paper will get a lower grade if there are too many quotes. Rephrase - Word Choice When in doubt, check a dictionary for exact definitions. Use a thesaurus to help you figure out exactly what you mean, and to find various related words to your initial word choice which better express your meaning. Phrase your sentences in active voice and avoid using the verb “to be” and gerunds (words ending in “ing”) when possible. The paper will be less wordy and read much more easily: “It was known by policy-makers that this was possibly going to be one outcome.” vs. “Policy-makers knew that this was a possible outcome.” Put your subject and verb near the beginning of the sentence, do not make the reader wonder where a sentence is going. Do not hedge. Say what you mean. Avoid phrases like “it seems,” “it might be true that,” “the author attempts to try to ....” Do not overstate your conclusions: e.g., “This is a totally misguided study.” Avoid sweeping generalizations: e.g., “Everything Reagan did was wrong.” Make your case in detail, giving the reader your evidence. The reader will not only get your point, but will be more likely to believe it. Do not string together nouns (economists are notorious noun-stringers), this makes sentences much harder to read. If you must string nouns, use appropriate hyphens (see Hyphenation above) as this will make your noun strings much easier to read.
  • 20. The School of Business Page 17 Guide to Writing Semi-Colon Any phrase which follows a semi-colon (;) is the equivalent of a separate sentence, and should have a subject and verb. If the phrase does not have a subject and verb, it should follow a comma rather than a semi-colon. Sentences - Non-Sentences, Partial Sentences Each sentence must have a subject and verb. Gerunds, words like “being,” “having,” “seeming,” are not by themselves adequate as verbs for a sentence: “Being they did not pass the law.” - not a sentence vs. “It turned out that they did not pass the law.” - a sentence Read each sentence and make sure it stands on its own, and is not really an additional part of the previous sentence. Certain words or phrases do not generally begin sentences, e.g., “whereas,” “which means,” “not to mention”: “Not to mention the business failed.” - this is not a sentence. “In addition, the business failed.” - this is a sentence. Sentences - Run-On Sentences Each sentence should present one thought. If you see a long sentence (more than 3 lines), automatically look to find where you can divide it into separate thoughts and sentences. Show – Show, Do Not Tell Give evidence for any claims, avoid making sweeping generalizations. Make a case, step by step, for any argument you cite or advance yourself. Do not accept statements uncritically, but make sure authors have substantiated their conclusions.
  • 21. Page 18 The School of Business Guide to Writing Spelling/Grammar – Common Errors If you are not sure, check the spelling of your words. Misspelled words are very distracting in papers, make it hard to focus on your ideas, and will be marked wrong. Common errors: Affect - verb Effect - noun Exception: “effect a change” Analysis (analysization is not a word) It's - it is (it's a coat) Its - possessive for it (its coat) Of - adverb & preposition Have - verb (e.g., should have) Plan to (do) Plan on (doing) Principal - adj, main or major; Principle – precept or rule noun, person who runs school; money invested Receive - (“i” before “e” except after “c” or when sounded as “a” as in “neighbor”) Regardless – in spite of Irregardless – not an actual word, a double negative Tenants - apartment renters Tenets - beliefs Then - at that time Than - comparison: greater than There - like here, a place Their - possessive for third person plural They’re – contraction of “they are” Due - date the paper is due Do - a paper I have to do With regard to In regards to
  • 22. The School of Business Page 19 Guide to Writing Section IV ACADEMIC INTEGRITY AND AVOIDING PLAGIARISM Why does plagiarism matter to employers, professors, and other students? Plagiarism is theft of another person’s words or ideas. You would not make a copy of the Mona Lisa, sign your name to it, and pass it off as your own work. Nor would you copy a new song composed by U2 and beat them to the recording studio. You would not steal the architectural plans to the World Trade Memorial and claim them as your own. We would all agree that these are clear-cut examples of theft. Let’s make it a little less obvious. Let’s say you are hired by Business Week. You are assigned to report on a public hearing but your car breaks down on the way to the hearing and you miss it completely. You read about it on the news wires and then construct an article based on another journalist’s report. Your boss finds out and calls you into the office. Should you be fired? Or perhaps you have been hired by a marketing firm. You are supposed to conduct 20 phone interviews a day, but you are rather slow and only do 16. You fabricate the other 4 interviews. You get caught. Should you be fired? Let’s say you work for a financial analyst and you are hired to write an analysis of Upron Corp. You do most of your own research, but you are largely influenced by a financial analysis prepared by a competing firm. When Upron files for bankruptcy, your boss asks you for your research. He finds out that you adopted much of the analysis of the competing firm and showed little independent judgment. Should you be fired? Or, you download your paper for Intro to Management from an online paper mill. You get an A-. Other students spend twenty hours writing the management paper and get the same grade or worse. Should they resent you? Should they turn you in for violating the Academic Integrity Code? Perhaps you wrote your management paper but got lazy and paraphrased a few pages and neglected to include internal citations and a Works Cited page. Should the professor report you for violating the Academic Integrity Code? What do all of the scenarios have in common? They all involve dishonesty and the use of shortcuts to get a job done without the extra hard work or effort. They all demonstrate a lack of independent thought and analysis. You aren’t doing the job you were asked to do; you are passing someone else’s work off as your own. That’s dishonest.
  • 23. Page 20 The School of Bus c siness Guide to Wr Writing Professors, em mployers, an classmate do not resp someon who takes shortcuts to nd es pect ne s o avoid wo and who lies about th work they did or did n do. In sh ork he y not hort, they don like disho n’t onest people w lack integrity. who In our cut-and n d-paste worl it has bec ld, come all too easy to com mmit plagiarism unwittingly. g Let’s loo at some ex ok xamples of p plagiarism an learn how to avoid it. nd w . EXAMPL I LE Original Document: Grayson D., Hodges A., (2002). Eve , , erybody’s Buusiness: Man naging Risks and s Opportunnities in Tod day’s Global Society (DK l K/FT Press) p. 33, “The Value of Co ompany Brannds” Plagiarism by Direct Copying m In 1999, Inter n rbrand determmined the value of com mpany brand They fou that 59% of ds. und % the total stock mark value of Coca-Cola can be attributed to br ket rand value wwhile 58% o of the total stock mark value of Ford can b attributed to its bran value. Six ket be d nd xty-one perc cent of the tot stock ma tal arket value of Disney is attributable to brand v s e ntrast, only 19% value In con of Marlboro’s stock value is attri v ibutable to b brand value.. Plagiarism by Paraph m hrasing, Rear rranging Wo ords, and Su ubstituting W Words In 1999, Inter n rbrand condu ucted a surve to determ what is the value of certain ey mine f company brands. Th found th corporati y hey hat ions such as Coca-Cola, Ford, McDoonald’s and Disney a attribute mo than 50% of their total stock ma ore % arket value t brand value. In contrast, to r only 19% of Marlbor stock va is attribu % ro’s alue utable to bra value. and
  • 24. The School of Business Page 21 Guide to Writing Plagiarism by Theft of an Idea Business branding consultants have determined that more than half of a corporation’s stock value is attributable to brand value. More than 50% of the total stock market value of corporations such as McDonald’s (64%), Disney (61%), Coca-Cola (59%), and Ford (58%) can be attributed to brand value. Revision 1: Correct Paraphrasing In 1999, Interbrand, a branding consultant, calculated how much of a corporation’s stock value is directly related to the value of the corporation’s brand. They found that more than half of corporate stock value can be attributed to intangibles such as brand. For example, 59% of Coke’s stock value relates to brand, while 58% of Ford’s stock value is directly tied to brand. In contrast, only 19% of Marlboro’s stock value is attributable to the value of its brand. (Grayson & Hodges, p. 33, “The Value of Company Brands” chart). Revision 2: No Plagiarism and Some Evidence of Independent Thought A corporate brand is a valuable corporate asset. In 1999, Interbrand, a branding consultant, calculated how much of a corporation’s stock value is directly related to the value of the corporation’s brand. They found that more than 50% of the total stock market value of corporations with readily identifiable brands such as McDonald’s (64%), Disney (61%), Coca- Cola (59%), and Ford (58%) can be attributed to brand value. (Grayson & Hodges, p. 33, “The Value of Company Brands” chart). For example, Coca-Cola’s brand—its red and white logo—is worth about $82 billion dollars. (Grayson & Hodges, p. 33).
  • 25. Page 22 The School of Business Guide to Writing EXAMPLE II Original Document: Grayson D., Hodges A., (2002). Everybody’s Business: Managing Risks and Opportunities in Today’s Global Society (DK/FT Press) p. 132, “Demonstrating Added Value in Emerging Economies” table. Demonstrating Added Value in Emerging Economies Area of Added Value Methods of Demonstrating Value Building Human Capital • Investing in education, training, health and safety of employees • Exposing local nationals to international contacts and practices • Paying taxes for the government to spend on social services • Investing in education, training, health, and nutrition projects Plagiarism by Direct Copying When a corporation operates in emerging economies it must demonstrate how it can add value to the local economy by building human capital. It can do this in four ways. First, the corporation helps the local economy by investing in education, training, health and safety of employees. Second, the corporation exposes local nationals to international contacts and practices. Third, the corporation is a benefit to the local economy because it pays taxes for the government to spend on social services. Finally, the corporation can invest in local education, training, health, and nutrition projects. Plagiarism by Paraphrasing, Rearranging Words, and Substituting Words A U.S. corporation that hires employees in emerging economies can demonstrate its value to the local economy in four ways. First, the corporation helps the local economy by hiring employees, training them, and making sure they work in a safe environment. Secondly, by operating in the local area, the corporation acts as a role model to introduce the local residents to American cultural values and practices. Third, the corporation is a benefit to the local economy because the taxes it pays to the local government will help subsidize social services. Finally, the corporation can go beyond its duty as an employer and invest in local projects that help train local residents or helps educate them on issues such as nutrition and health.
  • 26. The School of Business Page 23 Guide to Writing Plagiarism by Theft of an Idea A U.S. corporation that hires employees in emerging economies can demonstrate its added value to the local economy in four ways: by hiring and training local residents; by introducing these employees to different cultural values and practices; by contributing to the local tax base; and by investing in community projects. Revision with No Plagiarism and with Independent Thought U.S. corporations that hire employees in emerging economies can show added value to the local economy in four ways: by hiring and training local residents; by introducing these employees to different cultural values and practices; by contributing to the local tax base; and by investing in community projects. (Grayson & Hodges, p. 132, “Demonstrating Added Value in Emerging Economies” table). For example, when a corporation such as Sean “P. Diddy” Combs’ corporation, Sean John Apparel, sets up business in Honduras, it hires and trains unemployed local women to sew shirts. These women work alongside U.S. managers and are introduced to American culture. Sean John Apparel pays taxes to the Honduran government, allowing for social services such as health care and education. Finally, according to the National Labor Committee, Sean John Apparel, after being publicly humiliated, is “doing the right thing” and has a recognized union at the Honduran plant. (National Labor Committee, p. 1). Notice the following: 1. The revision does give a short internal cite to the original source. The full cite will be located in the Works Cited page. 2. Direct quotes in the second to the last line are placed in quotation marks, with the source at the end of the sentence. 3. No more than two or three words in a row are copied from the original source. 4. The revision is not simply a paraphrase of the original; it is an integration of other thoughts and ideas, some original thoughts and some ideas from other sources. For more information on how to properly cite and avoid plagiarism, see Charles Lipson, Doing Honest Work in College. Let’s see if you understand and can apply these concepts. Here’s a plagiarism self-test with an answer key to see if you are on the right track.
  • 27. Page 24 The School of Business Guide to Writing Plagiarism Self-Quiz In each of the following questions, read the original and determine if the student examples were plagiarized. 1. John reads the following passage in Marianne M. Jennings’ Business: Its Legal, Ethical, Global Environment, at 789-790 (6th ed. 2003). In City of Los Angeles Department of Water v. Manhart, the Supreme Court held that employers could not require female employees to contribute more to their pension plans than males. The additional contributions for the female employees were required by the employer because the pension planner had statistical evidence that longevity of female employees exceeded that of male employees. If the Supreme Court had sanctioned the disparity in pension plan payments, the higher cost of having female employees could have been cited by employers as the reason for their hiring practices. Insurers and employers are required to treat employees as a group and not break them down by their age, sex, or other characteristics. He does not read the case being discussed—City of Los Angeles Department of Water v. Manhart. He solely relied on the Jennings excerpt. In his paper, he writes the following sentences. Which of the following does not involve plagiarism? a. In City of Los Angeles Department of Water v. Manhart, the Supreme Court held that an employer unlawfully required female employees to contribute more to their pension plans than males. b. The Supreme Court has held that an employer could not structure pension contributions so as to allow male employees to contribute less to their pension plans than females. c. The Supreme Court has held that insurers and employers are required to treat employees as a group and not break them down by their age, sex, or other characteristics. d. Textbook author, Marianne Jennings, notes that “[i]nsurers and employers are required to treat employees as a group and not break them down by their age, sex, or other characteristics.” Marianne M. Jennings Business: Its Legal, Ethical, Global Environment, at 790 (6th ed. 2003).
  • 28. The School of Business Page 25 Guide to Writing 2. Original: Anon, A Beautiful Day for a Fair, Pennsbury News, June 14, 2005, at p. 2. “At today’s Pennsbury fair, the weather was perfect and the students were excited. Kites were flying, children were running about, and parents were hugging the happy graduates. In an address to those present, Principal Katz said, ‘Never say anything that does not need to be said.’” You attend the fair and write the following. You did not read the article printed above. Which of the following is plagiarism? a. The day was gorgeous, the graduates were smiling, and the children were running after kites. b. The day was gorgeous, the graduates were smiling, and the children were running after kites. Speaking to the audience, Principal Katz said, “Never say anything that does not need to be said.” c. Neither is plagiarism 3. The original was written by sportswriter Peter King on the Sports Illustrated website: “McNabb had a bad throwing thumb at the time of the 2003 meeting with the Pats, which was part of the reason he was stinking up the joint. All he’s done since is have his best regular season ever, and take this star-crossed team to its first Super Bowl since the Dick Vermeil days.” Ken Powers, a reporter for the Worcester Telegram and Gazette which is owned by the The New York Times, wrote the following column: “What those vocal Philly fans didn't know then was that McNabb had a bad throwing thumb, a large part of the reason he was stinking up the joint. All he’s done since is have his best regular season ever, and take this star-crossed team to its first Super Bowl since the Dick Vermeil days.” Should Ken Powers be fired for plagiarism? a. Yes b. No
  • 29. Page 26 The School of Business Guide to Writing 4. Original: Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation, p. 96 (2003): “The new franchising strategy proved enormously profitable for the McDonald’s Corporation. We are not basically in the food business,” Sonneborn once told a group of Wall Street investors, expressing an unsentimental view of McDonald’s that Kroc never endorsed. “We are in the real estate business. The only reason we sell fifteen cent hamburgers is because they are the greatest producer of revenue from which our tenants can pay us rent.” Which of the following is not plagiarism? a. Although Ray Kroc would attribute McDonald’s success to brand loyalty to his hamburgers, his business partner Sonneborn would attribute its success to its real estate holdings. b. Although Ray Kroc would attribute McDonald’s success to brand loyalty to his hamburgers, his business partner Sonneborn would attribute its success to its real estate holdings. (Schlosser, at 96). c. Franchising was the heart of McDonald’s success; in fact, one of the original founders of McDonald’s said that they are not in the food business, they are in the real estate business. (Schlosser, at 96). Answer Key: 1. The correct answer is d. a. In City of Los Angeles Department of Water v. Manhart, the Supreme Court held that an employer unlawfully required female employees to contribute more to their pension plans than males. This is incorrect because (1) it does not cite to the original work (Jennings), (2) it is plagiarizing by direct copying, and (3) John should read the original source (City of Los Angeles Department of Water v. Manhart) if he wishes to directly cite it; otherwise, he is misleading the reader into thinking that he read the original source. The proper way to cite this is as follows: In City of Los Angeles Department of Water v. Manhart, the Supreme Court held that an employer unlawfully required “female employees to contribute more to their pension plans than males.” (Jennings, at 789-90 (citing City of Los Angeles Department of Water v. Manhart)).
  • 30. The School of Business Page 27 Guide to Writing b. The Supreme Court has held that an employer could not structure pension contributions so as to allow male employees to contribute less to their pension plans than females. This is plagiarizing by paraphrasing. c. The Supreme Court has held that insurers and employers are required to treat employees as a group and not break them down by their age, sex, or other characteristics. This is plagiarizing by direct copying. d. Textbook author, Marianne Jennings, notes that “[i]nsurers and employers are required to treat employees as a group and not break them down by their age, sex, or other characteristics.” Marianne M. Jennings Business: Its Legal, Ethical, Global Environment, at 790 (6th ed. 2003). This is correct. 2. The correct answer is c. You did not plagiarize since you did not read the original source. You directly quoted from Principal Katz, and that is permissible. 3. Ken Powers was fired for plagiarism. According to an article by Katherine Seelye, “Sportswriter at Massachusetts Paper is Fired for Plagiarism,” published by The New York Times on February 4, 2005, p. C-5, the Worcester Telegram and Gazette published a correction, stating that “‘substantial portions’ of Mr. King’s column were printed ‘under the byline of Ken Powers.’” The newspaper apologized to its readers and to Sports Illustrated and said it was conducting an investigation. The Worcester Telegram’s editor, Harry Whitin, issued the following statement: “Ken Powers’s column on Jan. 30 did not constitute his own work. He does not dispute that. Further investigation has revealed that this was not an isolated incident and that he has previously used the work of others without proper attribution. We have terminated his employment and our investigation into his past work continues.” Sportswriter at Massachusetts Paper is Fired for Plagiarism. The editor noted that Ken Powers had plagiarized “at least a half dozen” articles. 4. The correct answer is b. a. Although Ray Kroc would attribute McDonald’s success to brand loyalty to his hamburgers, his business partner Sonneborn would attribute its success to its real estate holdings. Plagiarism by Theft of Idea. b. Although Ray Kroc would attribute McDonald’s success to brand loyalty to his hamburgers, his business partner Sonneborn would attribute its success to its real estate holdings. (Schlosser, at 96). Proper citation. c. Franchising was the heart of McDonald’s success; in fact, one of the original founders of McDonald’s said that they are not in the food business, they are in the real estate business. (Schlosser, at 96). Plagiarism by paraphrasing. The proper way to cite this would be:
  • 31. Page 28 The School of Business Guide to Writing Franchising was the heart of McDonald’s success; in fact, one of the original founders of McDonald’s said “We are not … in the food business…. We are in the real estate business.” (Schlosser, at 96 (citing Sonneborn)).
  • 32. The School of Business Page 29 Guide to Writing Section V CAMPUS RESOURCES The Library The TCNJ Library is an essential resource for the successful completion of your research and writing assignments. While it’s true that an ever increasing amount of information is available 24 hours a day via the World Wide Web, a comprehensive search for the best materials to support your research must still give effect to books and other materials that you can only find in the Library. Moreover, the Library serves as a gateway to subscription-based online resources that are made available to you as a TCNJ student, but are not freely accessible by anyone who happens to have access to the Internet. These resources include the full text of articles from scholarly journals, newspapers and other publications, as well as financial and demographic data and other research-related information. In addition to subject-specific materials to support your research, the Library has an abundance of resources to expand your knowledge of the topics covered in this workbook: understanding the research process; learning effective writing styles; preparing proper citations for sources consulted; and avoiding the perils of plagiarism. But perhaps your most important library resources are the librarians! Students arrive at TCNJ with varying levels of expertise in undertaking college-level research. Our dedicated staff of reference librarians is ready to help you sharpen your research skills to meet the demands and expectations of your professors. Additionally, the librarians will work with you to ensure that you get connected in the most efficient way possible with the best available materials to support your research. To learn more about resources and services available at the Library, visit the Library’s website at http://www.tcnj.edu/~library/index.php
  • 33. Page 30 The School of Business Guide to Writing The Writer’s Place in the Tutoring Center: Writing Assistance for Liberal Learning The Writer’s Place in the Tutoring Center is located in 145 Forcina Hall, telephone number 609-771-2985, www.tcnj.edu/~tutoring. Writer’s Place tutors are undergraduate students who have completed a training program to assist writers with organizing, revising, and editing their papers. Tutors will work with you at any point in your writing process: understanding the assignment, drafting your ideas, rereading and revising your draft for clarity and development, and/or doing a final edit for correctness of language. Tutors will not create your thesis, find your data, decide for you what your paper should include, do your proofreading, or make other writerly decisions for you, but they will help you with those decisions. The Writer’s Place in the Tutoring Center is open daily, Mondays-Fridays, during regular business hours and some evenings. Please check www.tcnj.edu/~tutoring for each semester’s schedule. You can sign up for weekly appointments to meet with the same tutor each week and work on long-term projects. If you want occasional assistance, sign up for a single session writing conference at least 48 hours ahead of the time you want your appointment.
  • 34. The School of Business Page 31 Guide to Writing Section VI SAMPLE GRADING RUBRICS
  • 35. SAMPLE GRADING RUBRIC FOR ORAL PRESENTATION Ask your professor for presentation and/or writing rubrics for your specific course. For general writing program rubrics go to http://www.tcnj.edu/~writing/rubrics.html Oral Communication and Presentation Skills Class: ________________________________________ Topic: __________________________________________ Date: ____________ Group #: ______ Individual Performance Below Expectations Meets Expectations Exceeds Expectations Student initials: Criteria b – below expectations; u – unacceptable m - meets expectations A - above expectations; e - exceptional Dresses inappropriately for presentation (if applicable) Is in appropriate recent graduate attire (if applicable) Dresses as a working professional (if applicable) Does not stay in role. Makes excuses for the presentation. Stays in role and uses appropriate language. Adopts professional presenter role and language Demeanor Uses slang or inappropriate words. Displays no distracting mannerisms. Uses body language effectively to maintain audience Demonstrates distracting mannerisms. interest Speaks to too softly and/or too fast. Can be easily understood, appropriate pace & volume, Has clear, strong voice projection and inflection Delivery Does not complete sentences or ideas. delivery is mostly clear and natural. Projects enthusiasm and interest (voice & pace) Mumbles and is difficult to understand or to follow. Keeps nervousness under control. Is composed and confident Uses materials effortlessly. Makes little eye contact with the audience. Looks at slides to keep on track with presentation. Rapport with Moves around or looks around comfortably. Addresses Is excessively defensive. Ignores the surroundings. Maintains eye contact w/ audience most of the time. audience the audience or individuals directly. Reads from materials. Refrains from being defensive. Uses humor appropriately. Has solid understanding of the topic & material. Grasp of the Fails to use concepts and terms used in the field. Has adequate understanding of the topic & material. Is fluent with terms, concepts, and theories without material Makes significant mistakes in the use of terms or Uses appropriate terms & concepts. Does not apply pretension. presented concepts. theory or concepts to the current situation. Uses models/theory to reach key insight. Presents a superficial & mostly descriptive analysis. Is thoroughly familiar with the case/situation. Takes into account different perspectives. Quality of Fails to address significant issue or perspective. Bases conclusions from the facts and data presented in Presents original and pertinent insights. analysis Makes significant errors in the analysis of case/situation. the case/situation. Uses additional sources of relevant information. Is unable or reluctant to answer general questions about Ability to answer Answers questions adequately about the case/situation Answers all questions well. Relates questions to a the case and related materials. questions and related materials. broader context and to other issues. Is unable to answer an important direct question. Overall (holistic) assessment of each individual performance or grade u – unacceptable, b - below expectations, m - meets expectations, a - above expectations, e - exceptional
  • 36. Group Performance Criteria Below Expectations Meets Expectations Exceeds Expectations Assessment of group b - below expectations; u – unacceptable m - meets expectations a - above expectations; e - exceptional performance Opening statement clearly states the purpose and order of Unclear or lack of opening statement. Opening statement is relevant but somewhat boring. Introduction presentation, including the role of the audience. Opening statement lists presenters and assigned parts. There is a logical outline of speech or presentation. Creative beginning catches audience’s interest. Quality of Sloppy and/or unprofessional. Difficult to read or too Well-designed, original, high quality, without being a Readable, professional, and appropriate in number slides much text. Many slides are superfluous or distracting. distraction. Slides add to the understanding of the issues. Missing or poor conclusion. The conclusion is persuasive and action-oriented. Conclusion Conclusion summarizes the main points made by the presenters. Conclusion is not tied to the presentations made. Conclusion is generalized into a broader context. Planned time for presentations is uneven. Time is adequately distributed among presenters. Time is adequately distributed among presenters. Time Presenter takes too long, taking time away from Too much time is spent w/ one issue or w/ one interruption. Interruptions are managed effectively. Management others. There is little time for questions. There is plenty of time for Q&A. There is no time for questions. Overall (holistic) assessment of the group performance or grade u – unacceptable, b - below expectations, m - meets expectations, a - above expectations, e - exceptional Comments: ____________________________________________________________________________________________
  • 37. Page 34 The School of Business Guide to Writing References Dillon, Sam. (2004, December 7). What corporate America can’t build: A sentence. The New York Times, p. A 23. Report of the National Commission on Writing, College Board. (2004). College Entrance Examination Board. Weeks, Holly (2005), “The Best Memo You’ll Ever Write,” Harvard Management Communication Letter, Spring 2005.