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                                                                                                         GUIDE TO WRITING ASSIGNMENTS


                                   UTS:MCU / JOB 10817 / MARCH 2006 / UTS CRICOS PROVIDER CODE: 00099F

University of Technology, Sydney
PO Box 123
Broadway NSW 2007
Telephone (02) 9514 2000

Guide to Writing Assignments

The Guide to Writing Assignments is the result of a collaborative process that has involved people
from many areas within the University of Technology, Sydney. Sincere appreciation is expressed
to the staff of the UTS Libraries and the Faculty of Law for their contributions, and also to the
ELSSA Centre. Many staff from Schools within the Faculty of Business, especially the Schools of
Management, and Leisure, Sport and Tourism, have also drawn on their experience and generously
contributed material, ideas and time.

Printed by the UTS Printing Service, Ultimo on behalf of the Faculty of Business.

Distributed by the University Co-op Bookshop, UTS Branches at Ultimo and Kuring-gai Campuses

© Copyright 2006, Faculty of Business, University of Technology, Sydney

About the Guide to Writing Assignments
I am pleased to introduce the second edition of the Faculty of Business Guide to Writing Assignments
(‘the Guide’). Research and written communication skills are required competencies of all students
in our Faculty. This Guide is intended to assist students prepare assignments and develop an
effective writing style which will be helpful during both their university studies and business

This second edition incorporates a number of revisions and several new sections. These
amendments reflect changing practices arising from the use of electronic sources of information,
databases and other technological developments that have impacted research and academic writing.
Feedback from earlier users of the Guide also prompted some of the new information and examples
included in this edition.

The Guide to Writing Assignments has been a successful tool for Faculty students and students
from other institutions, as well as business professionals seeking to improve their research
techniques and academic writing skills. The Faculty welcomes suggestions on the materials and
comments should be addressed to: Associate Dean (Teaching & Learning), Faculty of Business,
UTS, PO Box 123, Broadway NSW 2007.

I commend the Guide to you and wish you every success in your studies at UTS and careers.

Professor Rob Lynch
Faculty of Business
Table of Contents
    1.1  Purposes of the Guide                                        1
    1.2  Using the Guide                                              1

2   COMMON REQUIREMENTS                                               2
    2.1 Introduction                                                  2
    2.2 Answering the Question                                        2
    2.3 The Literature Review                                         2
        2.3.1 Carrying out Literature Reviews                         3
        2.3.2 Locating Relevant Books and Articles                    3
        2.3.3 Basic Approaches to Writing Up the Literature Review    4
    2.4 Academic Reading                                              5
        2.4.1 Before Reading: Predict                                 5
        2.4.2 While Reading: Record and Question                      5
        2.4.3 After Reading: Integrate                                6
    2.5 Academic Writing                                              6
        2.5.1 The Process of Writing                                  6
        2.5.2 Quotation, Paraphrase and Summary                       7
        2.5.3 Types of Writing in Business Environments               8
    2.6 Referencing                                                   8
        2.6.1 Harvard System (Author-Date)                            9
        2.6.2 Footnotes                                              19
        2.6.3 Endnotes                                               20
        2.6.4 The Numbering System (Vancouver)                       20
    2.7 Plagiarism                                                   21
    2.8 Correct Expression                                           22
        2.8.1 Developing a Good Writing Style                        22
        2.8.2 Academic Language and Literacy                         23

3   WRITING REPORTS                                                  25
    3.1  Introduction                                                25
    3.2  Purpose of Reports                                          25
    3.3  Essential Features                                          25
    3.4  The Process                                                 26
    3.5  Presentation Requirements                                   28
    3.6  Format Requirements                                         28
         3.6.1 Title Page                                            29
         3.6.2 Table of Contents                                     29
         3.6.3 Acknowledgments                                       29
         3.6.4 Executive Summary                                     29
         3.6.5 Body of the Report                                    31
         3.6.6 References                                            35
         3.6.7 Appendices                                            35
    3.7  Honesty in Reporting                                        35
    3.8  Word Length                                                 35
    3.9  Style of Language                                           36
    3.10 Planning Your Work                                          37
    3.11 Research Reports                                            37


4        WRITING ESSAYS                                                  39
         4.1  Introduction                                               39
         4.2  Purpose of Essays                                          39
         4.3  Essential Features                                         39
         4.4  Planning                                                   40
              4.1.1 Interpreting the Topic                               40
              4.1.2 Selecting a Topic                                    40
              4.1.3 Devising a Topic                                     40
              4.1.4 Determining the Approach                             40
         4.5  Researching the Essay Topic                                41
              4.5.1 Introduction                                         41
              4.5.2 Sources of Information                               41
              4.5.3 Reading and Taking Notes                             41
         4.6  The Process of Writing                                     42
              4.6.1 The Outline                                          42
              4.6.2 The First Draft                                      42
              4.6.3 The Final Draft                                      42
         4.7  Presentation Requirements                                  43
         4.8  Format                                                     43
              4.8.1 Introduction                                         43
              4.8.2 Title Page                                           43
              4.8.3 Synopsis or Abstract                                 44
              4.8.4 Table of Contents                                    44
              4.8.5 Body of the Essay                                    44
              4.8.6 References                                           45
              4.8.7 Appendices                                           46
         4.9  Word Length                                                46
         4.10 Style of Language                                          46

5        CASE STUDIES                                                    47
         5.1  Introduction                                               47
         5.2  Steps in Analysing Case Studies                            47
              5.2.1 Gain an Overview of the Case                         47
              5.2.2 Establish what has Happened                          47
              5.2.3 Determine the Causes                                 47
              5.2.4 Develop Possible Solutions                           48
              5.2.5 Evaluate These Solutions                             48
              5.2.6 Formulate Recommendations                            48
         5.3  Common Errors in Analysing Case Studies                    48

Appendix 1 How Assignments are Graded                                    49
Appendix 2 Evaluating Information from the Internet                      52
Appendix 3 Legal Cases and Statutes                                      53
Appendix 4 HREC Guidelines for Undergraduate and Postgraduate Students   62
Appendix 5 Cultural Diversity and Written Assignments                    65
Appendix 6 Using the UTS Library                                         67
Appendix 7 Commonly Used Abbreviations                                   70

1. Introduction

1.1     Purposes of the Guide to Writing Assignments
Effective written communication and research abilities are integral to university study and
important tools for the modern business professional. Researching and writing reports and essays is
not an easy task. The mark of good scholarship is more than having original ideas – ideas have to
be presented and expressed so that they are understood by others.

This Guide has principally been developed to provide students with a set of principles and
practices to assist structure and complete essays, reports, case studies, and other forms of written
assessment tasks. It is therefore expected that students will read and take account of the Guide
when undertaking research and preparing written assessments. It is noted that the Guide contains
alternative models of presentation and referencing methods. Students are responsible for
ascertaining the specific requirements of the individual School or subject coordinator/tutor
regarding each given assignment. Members of staff in the relevant subject will be pleased to advise
students of the applicable requirements.

1.2 Using the Guide to Writing Assignments
The Guide is divided into five sections:
n     Common Requirements
n     Writing Reports
n     Writing Essays
n     Writing Case Studies
n     Appendices

The first section outlines common requirements for most types of written assignments, and covers
the correct methods of referencing, noting sources and other important elements of an assignment.
The next three sections outline specific information for the main forms of written presentation:
reports, essays and case studies. The final section, Appendices, provides specific information on a
range of issues and should be referred to as necessary.

2. Common requirements

2.1 Introduction
This section covers requirements that are generally applicable to all types of written assignments
other than very brief or very specific ones.

2.2 Answering the question
When students receive instructions regarding an assignment, the first step is to understand exactly
what one is being asked to do. Figure 1 provides a list of key words commonly found in questions
for assignments and/or examinations and their definitions. These words often determine the
strategy that is expected of students in answering the question.

          Figure 1: Common key words used in assignment/examination questions

      Analyse:       consider the various components of the whole and describe the
                     relationships between them
      Argue:         develop a logical sequence of discussions, either presenting opposing
                     views or supporting a particular one
      Compare:       demonstrate the similarities and differences between the objects in
      Contrast:      examine the objects in question with a view to demonstrating differences
      Criticise:     point out the weak and strong points
      Define:        give the exact meaning or state the terms of reference
      Describe:      present the different aspects of a question or problem
      Discuss:       present the different aspects of the question
      Enumerate:     specify; give a listing of
      Evaluate:      consider the various arguments and try to reach a judgement
      Examine:       appraise, judge, criticise
      Illustrate:    give examples; explain
      Outline:       describe the essential features
      Prove:         demonstrate by logical argument
      Summarise:     present concisely all main points


2.3 The literature review
The term “literature review” can refer either to an activity carried out and reported on as part of an
assignment (such as an essay or research report) or to a particular type of essay. In relation to the
first of these two meanings, many assignments will require a student to locate, read and discuss
writings on one or more topics. This review of the relevant literature will then serve as the
background against which to consider important issues, report on the data gathered, etc.

However, for some assignments a student may be asked to review the various writings and
research a particular topic as the major focus of the assessment. In this case, a student will need to
evaluate and discuss this literature carefully and thoroughly, and to develop some conclusions
about it, and about the topic itself.

      2.3.1 Carrying out literature reviews
      The aim of including a literature review as part of an assignment is not only to encourage
      students to read the latest literature but to find out more about what happens in the ‘real
      world’. This type of assignment is also designed to give students practice in using a problem
      solving method that they may continue to use in their work settings when it is appropriate.
      For example, when faced with the opportunity to design or modify a business or managment
      system, the best answer may be to locate and read the latest information, gather any needed
      data through interviews, surveys etc. and design the most appropriate ‘state of the art’ system.

      2.3.2 Locating relevant books and articles
      For most literature reviews, a student is expected to locate, read and critically analyse recent
      relevant books and articles. For those who are not familiar with the process of locating books
      and articles relevant to a particular topic, some alternative approaches are listed below.
      In most cases, a student will find it useful to use a combination of these methods.

      The Classic Approach
      Perhaps the most traditional scholarly approach is for a student to find one relevant book or
      article and skim it, looking for citations of other articles in the bibliography or footnotes that
      seem important. Each article is then read, leading to the identification of further relevant
      articles, and so on. For example, a student may use the bibliography from a relevant chapter
      in the assigned textbook as a starting point.

      The Browsing Approach
      Another long-established approach is for a student to find out what sections of the library has
      the relevant books and journals. For example, most management books and articles are
      located in the 658 section of the UTS library (and most other university libraries): the Academy
      of Management Review is located at 658.005/33, and the Strategic Management Journal is located
      at 658.4005/2. Starting with the most recent issues of a relevant journal, one browses the
      contents for relevant articles. There are also likely to be specialised books on related topics
      nearby on the shelves.

      A number of electronic approaches now exist which make the search for articles and books
      more efficient. These e-approaches utilize the previously described ‘classic’ and ‘browsing’
      techniques to some extent.
      n   search engines: a student may log onto the internet and use a search engine, such as Google
          Scholar or Google Book to locate relevant articles and/or books, or citations of these.


    n   databases: various databases such as ProQuest 5000 and Business Source Premier are
        available to students via the UTS Library homepage. Depending on the database used,
        one may be able to access a synopsis or full text document of the article.

    See Appendix 6 ‘Using the UTS Library’ for further information.

    2.3.3 Basic approaches to writing up the literature review
    Once a student has located, read, analysed and made notes on the literature (see Section 2.4),
    the next step is to consider how to structure the actual write-up of the literature review
    section of the paper. There are two basic approaches which may be used: the ‘serial’ approach
    and the ‘integrated’ approach. The serial approach involves going through the books and
    articles one by one, noting what major points they made, how well they supported them,
    criticisms, comments and comparisons. The integrated approach involves listing relevant sub-
    topics from the articles, with what the various articles have said about each sub-topic
    included under that heading. Examples of both methods in use are shown in Figure 2.

                 Figure 2: Two basic approaches to the literature review
            “Serial” Method                                  “Integrated” Method

    The seven recent articles that we          The seven articles that were reviewed
    reviewed in this assignment are            focused mainly on the following five major
    discussed in turn below.                   areas … Each of these areas will be discussed
                                               below, with a sixth section briefly
    (1) Smith (2003) reported on a survey
                                               commenting on some minor points which
    of 287 senior managers in Victoria.
                                               arose in only one or two of the articles.
    Her study covered five major areas
    which were … Her results are               (1) Relationship between X and Y
    summarised below … Smith (2003)            The relationship between X and Y was the
    concluded … While I agree with her         major concern of the in-depth case study of
    about points A and B, I do not believe     an American insurance company by Jones
    that she has presented sufficient          (2004), and it was one of the five major areas
    evidence that X and Y should be            covered in the survey of 287 Victorian senior
    related in the way she suggests.           managers conducted by Smith (2003). Bloggs
                                               (2002) also discussed this issue at a general
    (2) In a more detailed study, Jones
                                               level and the theory outlined by Young
    (2004) carried out in-depth interviews
                                               (2003) is also of some relevance. In essences,
    will all middle to senior managers of
                                               there appear to be two basic positions on this
    an American insurance company.
                                               issue. Smith (2003), Bloggs (2002) and Young
    Jones (2004) was attempting to clarify
                                               (2003) can all be seen as maintaining … Jones
    the relationship between X and Y.
                                               (2004), on the other hand … Overall, Jones’s
    Based on prior research, she
                                               (2004) position appears more convincing.
    hypothesised that … She concluded
                                               This is because …
    that … Although Jones’s (2004) study
    covers only one organisation, I would      (2) The importance of A
    suggest that her explanation of the        All articles reviewed emphasised the
    relationship of X and Y is more            importance of A except Jones (2004), who did
    convincing than that offered by            not address this issue.
    Smith (2003) or by Bloggs (2002).
                                               To summarise the arguments for A, Smith
    This is because … Bloggs (2002) …
                                               (2003) found … Bloggs (2002) argued… etc.


      The integrated approach is favoured by academics. However, the serial approach is easier to
      use, and thus may appeal to those who are new to writing literature reviews.

      It is noted that both methods require a student to compare articles and give opinions as to the
      strengths and weaknesses. Lengthy summaries of the articles should be avoided. Further, the
      major implications of the literature review will need to be pulled together in a sensible

2.4 Academic reading
A student enrolled in University is required to undertake a great deal of reading. This reading may
be for the purpose of a literature review, or for the other kinds of writing discussed later in this

Usually, a student will be directed to specific readings related to the studies, or requested to find
related research papers. It is important to understand, remember and apply the readings to
assigned academic tasks.

When reading, it is depth of processing which determines how much one understands and
remembers. For this reason, it is suggested that a student considers academic reading to consist of
three stages: before reading, while reading, and after reading.

      2.4.1 Before reading: predict
      Lecturers and tutors will give students key readings for the relevant subject or provide
      references. Students will be asked to find further texts which are related to the topic. As
      students get to know the field, the ability to decide what is worth reading and what is not
      develops. The following points should help students to develop this skill.

      1.    Be clear about why you are reading a particular text. Do you need this information
            now? Could it be useful later? Or is it interesting, but not relevant?

      Reading too much and too widely is a well-known strategy which can serve to unconsciously put off
      the actual writing of the assignment.

      2.    Skim through the text in order to decide whether it merits close attention. This can
            n   checking
                – publication details: How recent is it?
                – references: How many? Are they academic or not?
            n   reading the abstract or executive summary
            n   reading the introduction and conclusion
            n   looking only at headings and the first (‘topic’) sentence of each paragraph

      This process should take less than five minutes, and can save a great deal of time in the long run.

      2.4.2 While reading: record and question
      After a student has assessed that a particular text is worth taking the time to read, ‘close’
      reading will be most effective if a student takes notes. Here again, the amount of attention
      given to the text – the depth of mental processing – will determine what a student
      understands and remembers.


    For deep processing to occur, a student needs to engage with the text critically. This occurs
    through questioning the author’s ideas, assessing whether the argument is sound, relating
    what s/he says to a student’s own experience and other reading. Key questions to think
    about while reading include:
    n     What is the purpose of the text, and who is it written for? (e.g. to report upon a
          study/to market a product; written for an academic audience/popular audience)
    n     Does it draw upon theory to explain what happens in practice?
    n     Is the evidence/argument presented convincingly? Clearly?
    n     How does this text compare with others read on this topic? Does it refer to those texts?
          Does it add points, or miss points?

    Traditionally, students were encouraged to underline or highlight key parts of texts during
    reading. However to engage in deep processing it is suggested that a student also take notes,
    via paper or on laptop, while reading. In taking notes it is important to record details of the
    text and relevant page numbers, identify which parts are direct quotes and which are not, and
    jot down any responses to the ideas read in the text.

    If a student reads an academic text without making notes, both understanding and memory will be
    greatly diminished.

    2.4.3 After reading: integrate
    After a student has finished reading and taking notes on a text, the temptation is to move on
    to the next task. However, the next 5-10 minutes can add a further dimension to one’s
    understanding, for the brain is highly active at this point. It is strongly recommended that a
    student read through their notes immediately. This allows an opportunity to check the notes
    make sense, highlight main ideas and add any new thoughts.

    The ‘integration stage’ is a highly productive one in the reading process, allowing a student to start to
    connect new knowledge with existing knowledge.

2.5 Academic writing

    2.5.1 The process of writing
    In academic writing, a student needs to fulfil a specific task as set by the lecturer, to
    demonstrate understanding of key concepts in the field, and to create a formal style
    appropriate to the level of study and particular discipline. In understanding academic
    writing, a student should keep the following three points in mind.

          The first point is that the writing process consists of a number of stages. A student

          1.   analyse the task and identify the information required (see Section 2.4.2)
          2.   make initial notes of your own ideas (see Section 2.4.2)
          3.   read and make notes from the research literature (see Section 2.4.3)
          4.   make a plan of your writing
          5.   write a first draft
          6.   read, revise, re-read, edit
          7.   make further draft(s)
          8.   proofread.


      While it is not necessary to follow all the stages in this exact order, a student will need
      to cover each stage at some point. The quality of writing lies largely in the process of
      drafting, re-reading and revising.

      The second point concerns word-processing as a composition tool. Unless otherwise
      stated, university students are required to submit assigned work which has been word
      processed, and in most cases, students will also compose their writing at the word
      processor. While this tool has brought many benefits, one problem which has emerged
      in much student writing has been a lack of ‘coherence’ – of a sense of logic in the
      writing. This can happen when a writer does a great deal of cutting and pasting of text
      on screen, which may lead her/him to focus overmuch on the parts of her/his writing,
      and to lose sight of the whole picture.

      However, in order to write well, students need to be constantly re-reading what they
      have already written, and checking that the ‘story’ is told clearly and logically.
      Therefore it is suggested that in composing written text, students work from a printed-
      out copy of their work when possible. This is because a hard copy enables one to re-
      read the whole text in ways which are difficult to do when scrolling on screen, and
      additionally because there are a number of graphical connections and alternatives
      which one can easily make by hand on a print copy, but which again are difficult to
      achieve on screen.

      The third point about the writing process is that it is difficult to step back from what
      one has written and assess its impact objectively. For this reason, two strategies are
      suggested. The first is: always leave at least a day between one draft of writing and the
      next draft. Even this relatively short time can enable students to see the effect of the
      writing better from a reader’s perspective. The second strategy here is to ask a fellow-
      student for comment on one’s work; ideally this is something which can be done
      reciprocally. It is not necessary to get an ‘expert’ reviewer; rather, one needs to get a
      sense of ‘how it reads’ to another person.

2.5.2 Quotation, paraphrase and summary
Academic writing is concerned with bringing together two sources of ideas: a student’s own
(through critical thinking), and the ideas of others (found in the research literature). It is also
about making clear which source is which. Making use of other people’s ideas without
acknowledgement is known as plagiarism, and is regarded as a form of intellectual theft.
The UTS policy on plagiarism is outlined in Section 2.7; ways of acknowledging others’ ideas
are covered in Section 2.6 on referencing.

A student drawing on an author’s ideas has the choice to either use the writer’s actual words,
that is, quote; or rewrite ‘in one’s own words’, that is, paraphrase or summarise. Quotation
should only be used for a point which is key to the discussion, and/or one which is
particularly well expressed by an author. Paraphrase and summary should be used much
more frequently as they are key processes in academic writing that demonstrate a student’s
understanding of different authors’ ideas, and the ability to use those ideas to present an

For further guidance on how to summarise and paraphrase, see pp. 60-62 of Terri Morley-
Warner’s book Academic Writing is … (CREA Publications, UTS, 2000).


      2.5.3 Types of writing in business environments
      The ultimate purpose of almost all writing in business is to improve actual day-to-day
      practice. This may be achieved directly, by providing information about what is being done
      and what its effects seem to be, or more directly, through contributing to the development of
      a model or theory which may later be of use to practitioners. However, in reading the
      literature, it is likely that a student will encounter the following types of writing:

      Research Reports describe the gathering of some data and what the author makes of the
      analysis and results of this data. Normally such reports attempt to answer all of the ‘who,
      what, when, where, how and why’ questions. Research reports may focus on data of just a
      few cases; one case (for example, a particular organisation) and be referred to as a case study;
      or data from thousands of people (for example, census data). If the data is gathered by asking
      questions of a number of people or organisations, it is called a survey or a poll.

      Theoretical Discussions describe and discuss what the authors consider to be important
      issues in developing good theories, models, or even techniques. This may be followed
      through by the suggestion of a new or revised model, technique, etc. While these articles
      often comment on the implications of past research or suggest needs for future research, they
      do not report on their own new research.

      Prescriptive Articles attempt to ‘sell’ to the reader the merits (or, occasionally the faults) of a
      particular theory, model or technique. Most commonly, these articles appear in ‘popular
      magazines’ rather than ‘academic journals’. While some discussion of the theory underlying
      the technique may occur, or vague reports of ‘successful applications’ may be mentioned, the
      careful reader will note that all they really have to go on is the author’s assurance that the
      technique works.

      There is a fine line between genuine theoretical discussions and prescriptive articles.
      Generally speaking, however, in theoretical discussions the author describes and explains
      past research more thoroughly, notes both pros and cons, and is quite tentative about any
      recommendations other than ‘more research is needed’.

      Combinations: It is not unusual for a single article to contain more than one of the kinds of
      writing described above. For example, an article may begin with a review of past research,
      followed by a discussion of theoretical issues, and then report on some new research that the
      authors have carried out. The article may then conclude by taking a prescriptive approach,
      telling the reader that the model, technique, etc. should or should not be used in particular

      All of the above types of writing are likely to be encountered whilst carrying out a literature
      review on a particular topic, and all of them can be useful. A student, however, should
      attempt to ensure that at least some of the books or articles included in their literature review
      deal with theory and research.

2.6 Referencing
A indicated above, academic writing is concerned with bringing together two sources of ideas:
one’s own (through critical thinking), and the ideas of others (found in the research literature).
When a student refers to another person’s ideas, it is essential to acknowledge the author of that
idea. This process is known as ‘citing’ or ‘referencing’, and must be done at two points. First,
students need to acknowledge an author each time reference is made to her/his ideas within their
writing (known as in-text referencing), and second, to list all such citations at the end of their work
(in References or Bibliography).


There are four basic systems for acknowledging sources:
n   Harvard (or Author-Date) System
n   Footnotes
n   Endnotes
n   Numbering

Each system will be noted in this Guide, but the Harvard System is that most commonly used in
business writing, and accordingly will be examined in the greatest detail.

      2.6.1 Harvard system

             In-text referencing does not require full details of the published work. It always
             consists of (i) author, and (ii) year of publication. It may sometimes also require (iii) page

             General ideas
             When referring to (‘citing’) an author’s general ideas in written work, a student should
             provide two pieces of information:
             (i)    the author’s surname (no first name or initials) and
             (ii)   the year of publication.

                    A system of fund-raising known as ROPES has been found to work successfully for
                    larger American organisations (Kelly 2001).
                    Kelly (2001) describes a system of fund-raising which is particularly appropriate for
                    larger organisations.

             Specific idea/actual words
             Where a student is referring to an idea found on a particular page, or directly quoting
             the author’s words, it is important to also include the page number.

                    Effective fund-raising has been said to require ‘organizational commitment, practitioner
                    expertise and continual attention’ (Kelly 2001, p. 394).

                    Kelly draws attention to three principal factors which determine the success of fund-
                    raising (2001, p. 394).

             The abbreviation p. is used to refer to words quoted from one page. Sometimes, a
             quotation falls over two pages, in which case pp. is used.

             If the quotation is short, that is, less than approximately 40 words, it should appear
             within the text.

                    Dees notes that in recent years, some non-profit organisations have diversified into
                    what he calls ‘bold, creative extensions of the old-fashioned bake sale or car wash’
                    (2001, p. 56).


          If the quotation is approximately 40 words or longer, if should be freestanding,
          indented, single spaced, and without quotation marks.

                  The path towards becoming a social entrepreneur has been described as follows:

                      Above all it takes the courage to change … because every non-profit [organisation]
                      has an organisational culture that gets in the way …. a collection of shared values
                      that defines who we are, what we stand for, how we should treat our clients, and so
                      on. (Dees 2001, p. 10)

          In the above example, the three dots … indicate that some words have been omitted.
          The four dots …. indicate that a sentence (or more) has been omitted. The square
          brackets indicate that a word has been added (normally, as here, in order to make the
          meaning clear).

          Single quotation marks (or ‘inverted commas’) are the default. If you need to quote
          within a quote, use double quotation marks.

          In their analysis of organisational design, Robbins et al. attribute to certain cultural values ‘an
          aversion to conflict and a need to “save face”, which fosters a mechanistic structure with clear
          lines of authority’ (2000, p. 367).

          Online document
          In citing an online document, a student should use the above principles of (i) author,
          (ii) year, and (iii) page number if quoting.

          However, if the online document does not have page numbers, it is best for a student
          to give the paragraph number (use the abbreviation para. or the symbol ¶), and/or a
          sub-heading which will help the reader find the reference.

                  Recent developments in workplace restructuring have been explored by Street
                  (2005, ¶ 5).

                  Lee, however, has strongly opposed this notion (2004, Introduction Section, para. 2).

          Other types of in-text referencing
          While the most common form of in-text referencing is single year + author, this section
          outlines other types including:

          1.    two or three authors
          2.    four or more authors
          3.    two or more publications by the same author in one year
          4.    publications by authors with the same surname
          5.    several publications by different authors
          6.    institution as author
          7.    no author
          8.    no date of publication
          9.    chapter in an edited book
          10.   secondary citation (an author who is cited by another author)
          11.   audio-visual material
          12.   personal communication
          13.   UTS study materials
          14.   legislation
          15.   legal cases.


      It is noted that types (6), (9), (10) and (12) often cause difficulties, and require close

    Type                       Example
1   two or three authors       McGrath and Viney compare taxation advantages of
                               superannuation funds with those of shares (2000, p. 137).
                               Significant changes in the relative taxation advantages of
                               superannuation funds and shares are reported to have
                               occurred (McGrath & Viney 2000, p.137).
                               Note that in the last example, when authors’ names appear
                               within brackets, you should replace the word and with the
                               ampersand symbol &.
2   four or more authors       Cite the first name only, and replace the remaining names by
                               the phrase et al., meaning ‘and others’.
                               For example, if referring to the book Management, by
                               Robbins, Bergman, Stagg and Coulter, cite as:
                               Robbins et al. 2000
                               However, in the reference list, cite all four authors.
3   two or more                Add letters to the year, and separate years by a semicolon.
    publications by the        Canagarajah (2002a; 2002b)
    same author in one
4   publications by authors Include each author’s initial(s).
    with the same surname V. Cook (2005) recently responded to G. Cook’s (2004)
                            criticism of highly technologised workplaces by ….

5   several publications by    Place in alphabetical order, and separate by semicolons.
    different authors
                               Resource development implications have been explored
                               by a number of researchers (Cameron 2000; Kelly 2001;
                               Murphy 2000; Tuck & Chang 2004).

6   institution as author      For example, a government department is cited as:
                               Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Immigration
7   no author                  A student should not use the terms anonymous or anon.
                               Instead, the title of the work must be given.
                               Surviving at University 2005
                               If a newspaper or magazine article, the name of publication,
                               exact date and page number must be given.
                               The Bulletin, 20 July 2005, p. 17


          Type                     Example
     8    no date of publication   Use n.d. to denote ‘no date’.
                                   Smith (n.d.) argued that …
     9    chapter in an edited     An edited book which contains chapters written by
          book                     different authors may be referenced in two ways.
                                   First, if a student wishes to refer to the book as a whole, or to
                                   its editor, the citation is as follows:
                                   In a volume edited by Kramsch (2004), ….
                                   Ecological approaches have recently been explored from
                                   a range of viewpoints (ed. Kramsch 2004).
                                   Alternatively, if a student wishes to refer to a specific author,
                                   e.g. Jamieson, who has contributed a chapter to Kramsch’s
                                   edited book, cite only the author of that chapter, and not the
                                   editor of the book. That is, cite Jamieson 2004 and not
                                   (However, note that in the final reference list, the entry for
                                   Jamieson will also cite Kramsch.)
                                   Use ed. if one editor; use eds if more than one.
                                   (eds Patterson & Taylor 2001)
     10   secondary citation       If a student is reading a book by Jones, which refers to another
                                   writer, Rogers, and wishes to cite Rogers, both writers must be
                                   referred to as follows:
                                   Jones (2004, p. 62) cites Rogers’ 1999 study to support ….
                                   Rogers’ 1999 study (cited in Jones 2004, p. 62) found
                                   that ….
                                   This referencing structure shows that one has not read Rogers
                                   in its original form, but that you met that author’s ideas
                                   through reading Jones. Similarly, in the References section at
                                   the end of one’s work, list only the text which was read, that is,
     11   audio-visual material    Cite title and year.
                                   A Beautiful Mind 2001
     12   personal communication Sometimes a student may wish to refer to spoken or written
                                 words which have not been published, but which were received
                                 personally through, for example, face to face conversation,
                                 telephone, fax or email. All these are regarded as forms of
                                 ‘personal communication’, and can be cited in a number of
                                 ways, depending on the flow of one’s text.


     Type                  Example
12   (continued)           When interviewed on 30 May 2005, Mr D. Nguyen
                           indicated that the proposal to diversify had received
                           strong support from managers.
                           This proposal to diversify at ABC Company had received
                           strong support from managers (D. Nguyen, pers. comm.,
                           30 May 2005).
                           Students should obtain the permission of the person concerned
                           before reproducing their words or ideas in a public document
                           such as a university assignment.
                           (Personal communications are not included in the Reference
                           list, as they are not publicly available for a reader to follow up.)
13   UTS study materials   In all three cases below, referencing is not normally required.
                           However, individual lecturers may have their own preferences,
                           and will advise you if that is the case.
                           Lectures and tutorials: spoken mode
                           Not normally referenced, because they are public oral sources,
                           but if asked to do so, follow the personal communication
                           category above, referring to the name of the subject and
                           lecturer, as well as the date and place.
                           Study guides
                           Not normally referenced; in this case, because they are meant
                           to provide an introduction to/overview of a topic, and serve as
                           a basis for further reading and research. However, if required,
                           cite as usual with author/year.
                           Books of readings
                           These are collections of published works which universities are
                           permitted to copy for educational purposes. On the first page of
                           each reading, there will be full publication details. A student
                           does not need to give additional details relating to the UTS
                           compilation (once again, unless a lecturer stipulates otherwise).
14   legislation           This includes Acts, Regulations, Rules and Ordinances. The
                           first time you cite an Act, the required format is as follows:
                           – short title (italic type)
                           – year (italic type)
                           – name of jurisdiction (Roman type)
                           The Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cwlth)
                           However, if the Act is again referred to within the text,
                           one should use Roman instead of italic type, and omit
                           both year and jurisdiction.
                           The Trade Practices Act


          Type                      Example
     14   (continued)               Depending upon the flow of a student’s writing, when citing
                                    the jurisdiction, one may do so within the text, rather than
                                    following the year of publication.
                                    Victoria’s Equal Opportunity Act 1995 requires that ….
     15   legal cases               Cite as follows, all in Roman type except as indicated:
                                    – name of the parties (in italics)
                                    – year: square brackets [ ] are used when there is no
                                      sequential volume number, and parentheses ( ) when
                                      there is a sequential volume number
                                    – volume number (if any)
                                    – abbreviated name of the report series
                                    Commonwealth v. Anderson (2000) 105 CLR 303
                                    Johnathon v. Australian Broadcasting Authority [2002] ALR 1

       The reference list
            A reference list consists of all the publications students have referred to within their
            text. A bibliography includes not only works cited but also those which were read but
            not directly used. Most university assignments will require a reference list, rather than
            a bibliography.

            The reference list should be arranged alphabetically by author surname, with title
            used in rare cases of there being no author. Do not separate the list into sections
            according to category of publication.

            Minimal or Maximal Capitalisation?
            Minimal capitalisation involves capitalising only the initial letter of the first word of
            the title and if the title contains words which usually take a capital letter, such as
            names of people and places. This form should be used for the following titles:
                       – a book
                       – a chapter in a book
                       – an article in journal.

            Maximal capitalisation involves capitalising all ‘major’ words in a title, that is, all
            words except articles, prepositions and conjunctions. In this case one can usually copy
            the way the title has been set out in print. Use the maximal form for the following
                     – a conference
                     – a journal, magazine or newspaper
                     – legislation.

            It is noted that the maximal form is used for a journal title, but the minimal form is
            used for the title of an article within a journal.


A sample reference list
Traditionally, reference lists were formatted to occupy as little space as possible, but
this practice renders the reference section more difficult to read. The format shown
below is recommended for use by students. It is noted that there is a line space
between entries, and a hanging indent is used for each entry.
The reference list below was created in order to show examples of the major types of
entry. Each reference cited here will be analysed in the section which follows.

Clegg, S. 2003, ‘Managing organization futures in a changing world of
      power/knowledge’, in H. Tsoukas & C. Knud (eds), The Oxford handbook of
      organization theory, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 536-567.

Community action and the environment 2003, video recording, Video Education
     Australasia, Bendigo, Victoria.

Darcy, S.A. 2004, ‘Disabling journeys: the social relations of tourism for people with
       impairments in Australia – an analysis of government tourism authorities and
       accommodation sector practice and discourses’, PhD thesis, University of
       Technology, Sydney.

Department of Primary Industries and Energy 2002, National sustainable energy
      statement, DPIE, Canberra.

Irvine, J. 2005, ‘Commodity boom is over: Access’, Sydney Morning Herald, 27 July,
       p. 19.

Kim, A.J. 2002, Community building on the web, Safari Tech Books, Boston, Mass.,
      viewed 10 July 2004, http://proquest.safaribooksonline.com/0201874849.

PM 2005, radio program, ABC Radio 702AM, Sydney, 4 August.

Robertson, P. 2001, Astronomy in the deep freeze, Australian Academy of Science,
      Canberra, viewed 1 April 2004,

Seaman, C.B., Mendonca, M.G. & Young-Mi, K. 2003, ‘User evaluation and evolution
     of a prototype management tool’, IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, vol.
     29, no. 9, pp. 838-51.

Strong, W.S. 1999, ‘Copyright in a time of change’, Journal of Electronic Publishing, vol.
      4, no. 3, viewed 5 August, http://www.science.org.au/nova/065/065key.htm.

Taylor, T. 2001, ‘Creating diversity in community organizations’, paper presented at
       the 7th Annual SMAANZ Conference, Victoria University, Melbourne.

Wearing, S. 2001, Volunteer tourism: experiences that make a difference, CABI Publishing,
      New York.

Wieder, B., Booth, P., Matolcsy, Z. & Ossimitz, M. 2005, ‘A new approach towards
      measuring the performance of enterprise systems’, Proceedings of the 1st
      International Conference on Enterprise Systems and Accounting, Thessaloniki,
      Greece, pp. 19-43.


                Referencing software: Endnote program
                Students engaged in extensive research may wish to consider using the Endnote
                program, which the UTS library makes available to students and staff. This program
                enables one to collect, store and organise references.

                The Endnote program can create reference lists in a variety of styles, including what it
                calls the Harvard style.

                For more information on Endnote, its styles and training programs, see the UTS
                library: http://www.lib.uts.edu.au/information/endnote.

                For further help in referencing
                Go to UTS library’s website:

                Contact the ELSSA Centre: http://www.elssa.uts.edu.au

                Consult the latest edition of the Australian Government’s Style Manual for Authors,
                Editors and Printers, published by John Wiley, Milton, Queensland.

                A detailed analysis of a reference list
                When looking at a list of references such as the sample presented above, it may be
                difficult to see exactly the various categories and punctuation required. The following
                section attempts to clearly set out the referencing requirements of print and electronic
                sources of information. It is noted that the titles in bold should not be incorporated in
                a reference list and are for explanatory purposes only.

(1) BOOK

Author                   Year,      Title of Book,                            Publisher,                        Place.
(surname initials)                  (in italics)

Wearing, S.              2001,      Volunteer tourism: experiences            CABI Publishing,                  New York.
                                    that make a difference,
n    If the book is an edited collection of papers written by different authors, cite only the editor’s name in the author
     column, and insert (ed.) or (eds) after the editor’s name, e.g. Jones, G.M. (ed.)
n    If the place of publication is not a major city, also cite the state or country, e.g. Geelong, Victoria.
n    If the book is published in an edition other than the first edition, insert this information after the title, e.g. 2nd edn

Author    Year, Title of Chapter,             in Name of editor(s)        Title of book Publisher,         Place,        pp.
(surname,       (in single inverted                                       (in italics)
initials)       commas)
Clegg, S.     2003, ‘Managing organi- in H. Tsoukas &                     The Oxford        Oxford         Oxford, pp. 536-
                    zation futures in a  C. Knud (eds),                   handbook of       University             567.
                    changing world of                                     organization      Press,
                    power/knowledge’,                                     theory,



Author                  Year,    ‘Title of article’,                Name of journal,          vol.,        no.,     pp.
(surname, initials)              (in single inverted commas)        (in italics)
Seaman, C.B.,           2003,    ‘User evaluation and               IEEE Transactions on vol. 29,          no. 9,   pp. 838-
Mendonca, M.G.                   evolution of a prototype           Software Engineering,                           851.
& Young-Mi, K.                   management tool’,
n   Most issues of journals are now available online. For referencing purposes, a student should still treat these
    journals as print (category 3 above), rather than as electronic (category 11). If a journal is only web-based, it will
    indicate this fact on its home page.

n   When a by-line [author’s name] appears, follow (3) above, except replace the two categories vol. and no. with one
    category of day & month.
Author                  Year,      ‘Title of article’,          Name of magazine/              day & month,         p.
(surname, initials)                (in single inverted          (in italics)
Irvine, J.              2005,      ‘Commodity boom is           Sydney Morning Herald,         27 July,             p. 19.
                                   over: Access’,
n   When no by-line appears, do not include the item in the reference list, but give details in-text only. For example:
    (Sydney Morning Herald, 30 June 2005, p. 23).

n   If the author is also the publisher, use an abbreviated form in the Publisher category, as shown below.
Author                           Year,       Title,                                           Publisher,      Place.
(surname, initials                           (in italics)
OR institution)
Department of Primary            1997,       National sustainable energy statement,           DPIE,           Canberra.
Industries and Energy

(6) CONFERENCE PAPER – published as conference proceedings

Author             Year, ‘Title of paper’,           Proceedings/Name of           Editor(s) Publisher, Place,           pp.
(surname,                  (in single inverted       (in italics)                  (if any)   (if any)
initials)                  commas)
Wieder, B.,    2005, ‘A new approach      Proceedings of the 1st                                            Athens, pp.
Booth, P.,           towards measuring International Conference                                             Greece, 19-43.
Matolcsy, Z.         the performance of on Enterprise Systems
& Ossimitz, M.       enterprise systems’, and Accounting,
n   Editors’ names are not always given, in which case, leave this category empty as above.
n   The publisher category should only be filled if it differs from the name of the conference.
n   The words ‘proceedings of …’ are not always included, as this fact may be assumed by citing the conference title


n    These include conference papers which have been presented but not subsequently published, as well as abstracts,
     manuscripts and theses.
n    Unpublished work is signified by using Roman type instead of italic for the title.
         PhD Thesis
         Darcy, S.A. 2004, ‘Disabling journeys: the social relations of tourism for people with impairments in
               Australia – an analysis of government tourism authorities and accommodation sector practice
               and discourses’, PhD thesis, University of Technology, Sydney.

         Conference Paper
         Taylor, T. 2001, ‘Creating Diversity in Community Organizations’, paper presented at the 7th Annual
               SMAANZ Conference, Victoria University, Melbourne.


The accepted citation words for each medium, or format are as follows:
n    Video      =   video recording
n    DVD        =   DVD recording
n    Film       =   motion picture
n    CD-ROM     =   CD-ROM

Title                       Year,       Format,                Publisher,                      Place.
(in italics)
Community action            2003,       video recording,       Video Education Australasia,    Bendigo, Victoria.
and the environment


     TV         = television program
                                               As (8) above, but add day & month.
n    Radio      = radio program

Title            Year,        Format,                Name of station,             Place,          day & month.
(in italics)
PM               2005,        radio program,         ABC Radio 702AM,             Sydney,         4 August.

(10) BOOKS

Author         Year,     Title,         Publisher,    Place,      date viewed,    URL
(surname,                (in italics)
Kim, A.J.      2002,     Community Safari Tech        Boston,     10 July 2004,   http://proquest.safaribooksonline.
                         building on Books,           Mass.,                      com/0201874849
                         the Web,


Author          Year,      ‘Article Title’,        Journal         vol.,     no.,   date viewed,   URL
(surname,                  (in single inverted     name,
initials)                  commas)                 (in italics)
Douglas, D.     2004,      ‘Inductive theory       Electronic      vol. 2,   no. 1, 3 July 2005,   http://www.ejbrm.
                           generation: a           Journal of                                      com/archives/
                           grounded approach       Business                                        vol2-issue1/vol2-
                           to business             Research                                        issue1-articles.htm
                           enquiry’,               Methods,

(12) WEB DOCUMENT [which is not a book or a journal]

Author,             Year, Title,             Producer,          Place,       date viewed, URL
(surname,                 (in italics)
initials OR
Robertson, P.       2001, Astronomy in       Australian         Canberra, 1 April 2004, http://www.science.org.au/
                          the deep freeze,   Academy                                    nova/065/065key.htm
                                             of Science,
Australian          2002, Federal Election Australian  Canberra, 17 May 2004, http://www.aec.gov.au/
Electoral                 2001,            Electoral                          EF/105/
Commission                                 Commission,

      2.6.2 Footnotes
      The footnote technique uses numbers, placed slightly above the line at the end of a quotation
      or directly after the mention of research work. The footnotes should be numbered continuously
      throughout the essay. The number of the reference is repeated at the bottom of the same page
      with accurate information identifying the source. Some common abbreviations are used for
      works previously cited – see Appendix 7 for how to use these. Some examples of this
      technique are listed below:

                It has been suggested that ‘one of the chief reasons for people wanting to set up a
                company is that the corporate form of organisation permits individuals to have
                limited liability’ 1.

                Under the Corporations Law each company is required to have ‘the word “limited” or
                the abbreviation “Ltd” as part of and at the end of its name’2.

                1     Leo, K.J. & Hoggett 1993, Company Accounting in Australia, 3rd edn, John Wiley and Sons,
                      Brisbane, p. 4.

                2     loc. cit.

      Note the use of the single inverted commas to indicate that the material is being directly

      Some further examples:

                Often ‘the producer’s view of a particular product may not always be identical to that
                of the consumer’3.


            While the product lifecycle is a well recognised phenomenon, Statt argues that ‘some
            products have an indefinite lifespan’4.

            3     Statt, D.A. 1997, Understanding the Consumer, Macmillan, London, p.26.

            4     ibid., p. 29.

     2.6.3 Endnotes
     Endnotes are an alternative version of footnotes. Endnotes may be placed at the end of the
     chapter or at the end of the complete work (but before the Appendices and Index). Such a
     listing is not a substitute for a bibliography.

     Conventional Abbreviations using Footnotes/Endnotes
     Several abbreviations are commonly used in footnote/endnote references. These are:
     n     ibid. (meaning ‘the same’); where references to the same book follow consecutively, even
           if not on the same page of the essay, the second reference may be footnoted by the Latin
           ibid., followed by the page number:
                ibid., p. 64
     n     op. cit. (meaning ‘in the work cited’); where later references to this book do not follow
           consecutively, give the name of the author, op. cit. and the page number:
                Statt, op. cit., p. 162
     n     loc. cit. (meaning ‘in the place cited’); where reference to the same page of a book or
           article follows consecutively use loc. cit.

     Appendix 7 details more commonly used abbreviations as recommended by the Australian
     Government Printing Service (AGPS).

     2.6.4 The Numbering System (Vancouver)
     This system is used in certain disciplines such as economics. Instead of using authors’ names,
     this technique uses numbers. The numbers should be written on the line in brackets and after
     the quotation or work requiring reference. This number becomes the unique identifier of that
     source and if the source is referred to again the identifying number is repeated. The references
     are listed at the end of the work separate from and prior to the bibliography. For example the
     list of references may appear like this:

     1.    Oakland, J.S. & Sohal, A. Total Quality Management: Text with Cases, Butterworth-
           Heinemann, Melbourne, 1966.

     2.    Dattner, F. The Naked Truth: An Open Letter to the Australian Working Community,
           Woodslane Press, Sydney, 1996.

     If specific pages of a source need to be referred to (as with a quotation) the page number can
     appear after the reference number, but within the bracket. For example (1:14), where 14 is the
     page number and 1 is the source.


2.7 Plagiarism
Plagiarism is currently a major problem for universities around the world. There may be many
reasons for its prevalence, but one certainly relates to the ease with which information can be
accessed and downloaded from the Internet.

What is plagiarism?
According to the UTS Coursework Assessment Policy and Procedures Manual (2002, p. 24), plagiarism
      n     Copying out part(s) of any document, audio-visual material, computer-based materials
            or artistic piece without acknowledging the source. This includes copying directly from
            the original, or from a secondary source (e.g. photocopy, fax, email) or by other means,
            including memorising.
      n     Using or extracting another person’s concepts, results, processes or conclusions and
            passing them off as one’s own.
      n     Summarising and paraphrasing another’s work without acknowledging the source.
      n     Preparing an assignment collaboratively and then submitting work that is substantially
            the same as another student’s assessment in cases where the assessment task is
            intended to be individual work – not group work. This does not include legitimate
            forms of cooperation such as students discussing their work with others, exchanging
            ideas, or seeking help from lecturers.
      n     Asking another person to write an assessment item.

UTS Coursework Assessment Policy and Procedures Manual is available at:

Detecting plagiarism
The lecturers who mark a student’s assigned work have a deep and broad knowledge of their field
which often enables them to recognise the words of published authors. Moreover, if a student
includes in their own writing some unattributed work of a published writer, the differences in
writing style can be readily perceived. As well as these informal means of detecting plagiarism,
there are now electronic processes which are being employed. In the simplest form, search engines
such as Google can match an entered text fragment to its original source. More sophisticated
programs have also been developed to scan electronically submitted assignments, and UTS has
a licence to operate the Turnitin detection program.

The Turnitin program can compare a student’s text with documents on the Internet, a database of
published material, and previously submitted student assignments. It identifies copied materials by
colour-coding various sources, indicating what percentages have been copied, and provides links to
the original source material. In this way, detection of plagiarism has been greatly facilitated.

Avoiding plagiarism
Plagiarism usually occurs in two ways. The first is deliberate, where students attempt to cheat by
copying others’ work. There are severe penalties for this kind of academic misconduct (see Section
16 of the UTS Rules relating to ‘Student Misconduct and Appeals’).

More commonly, however, students plagiarise inadvertently, either through being unaware of what
constitutes plagiarism, or by failing to follow academic procedures for acknowledging the
ideas/words of others.


In order to avoid plagiarism, students need to first understand and apply the rules of referencing
(see Section 2.6 of this Guide for a detailed analysis of the required forms).

As well as learning to reference accurately, students also need to make use of the key academic
techniques of summarising and paraphrasing. For some people, these are skills which have already
been learned at school or in the workforce, but for many, they need to be developed while at
university. There are several ways of doing so. Students should observe the ways in which
successful authors paraphrase and summarise others’ ideas. For many students it will also be
valuable to attend workshops in this area, such as those offered by the ELSSA Centre at UTS. Some
students may also need individual assistance, and should make an appointment to see an ELSSA
Centre lecturer, who will provide feedback and guidance on a draft of a student’s written work
before submission.

2.8 Correct expression
Both essays and reports need to be expressed in the correct manner. They need to be written in
properly constructed sentences and paragraphs featuring accurate spelling and appropriate
punctuation. As much as anything, this aids the reading of a student’s work and allows the
message in the work to be conveyed. Worthwhile ideas will be lost if they are not easily
understood. Students with poor grammar should take steps to improve it. This may be by referring
to, and using, one of the following grammatical guides:

      Collerson, J. 1994, English grammar: a functional approach, Primary English Teaching
      Association, Sydney, New South Wales.

      Leech, G. 1994, A communicative grammar of English, 2nd edn, Longman, London.

      Swan, M. 1995, Practical English usage, 2nd edn, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

      Truss, L. 2003, Eats, shoots & leaves: the zero tolerance approach to punctuation, Profile Books,

If your punctuation is poor, refer to a guide book such as:

      Australian Government Publishing Service 2002, Style Manual for Authors, Editors and
      Printers, 6th edn, AGPS, Canberra.

In undertaking academic writing, it should be noted that each sentence should have a verb and
sentences should be grouped together to form coherent, structured paragraphs. Each paragraph
should have a distinct point, theme or topic and possess a beginning (introduction), middle
(discussion) and end (conclusion). When a student starts discussion of a new point, theme or topic,
a new paragraph should be started. Ensure correct punctuation, particularly the use of the
possessive apostrophe.

      2.8.1 Developing a good writing style
      There is more to good writing than correct grammar, spelling and so on. It is a matter of style.
      A student’s writing will develop through practice as one moves through the course. However,
      there are steps students can take to hasten this process.

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