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(BTB4126 / BTB3026 / BTD2426)
PROJECT PAPER HANDBOOK
BBA/DIM PROJECT PAPER GUIDELINES
A. INTRODUCTION TO THE PROJECT PAPER
The project paper is a requirement for the award of the BBA/DIM degree. Students have the right to choose either of these for their project: i) ii) iii) Research Paper Case Study Business Plan / Marketing Plan
This documentation or manual, however, only applies to the first category. If students choose to write the other two, they are required to get the specific guideline from the Deputy Dean (Student Affairs) at the Faculty. As for the Research Paper, BBA/DIM students are expected to write a wellarticulated paper in chapter format, with a length of 8,000 to 10,000 words. There is no maximum or minimum page limit on the term paper - it must, however, be long enough to cover the topic in a reasonably thorough manner. Generally, exceptional papers have averaged around 30-40 pages in length. A good project paper should have the following characteristics: It should demonstrate that a student is capable of conducting research, writing a critical review of the literature, applying statistical tools to analyze data and interpreting the results. • It makes a contribution to the academic literature and business policy and/or practice. • It makes evident the link between research objectives, literature review, conceptual framework and findings. • Its writing quality reflects that considerable effort has been invested in producing the final draft. • It is well edited and has been thoroughly checked for spelling, grammatical, punctuation and typographical errors. Text citations and references conform to the American Psychological Association (APA) referencing style. The language is kept simple and concise and there is a minimum of unnecessary words.
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The project paper will have to show an overall coherence. The examiners will look for a link between one chapter to the next, so that the logic of the connections between chapters and of the points made within the chapters is clear. This guideline is prepared specifically for students with the intention of providing specific and detailed particulars of procedures to prepare and submit the project paper. Please read and follow these procedures carefully to avoid unnecessary, costly, and time-consuming revisions.
B. THE PROJECT PAPER PROCESS
The project paper process begins with identification of the proposed research area. Students are encouraged to do some reading to get a better idea of the possible areas of research that are of interest to them. They should then approach a potential supervisor by referring to the list of potential project paper supervisors provided by the faculty. Selection of potential supervisors should be based on their respective areas of expertise/research interest. Students should then approach the potential supervisor to seek his/her approval to supervise their research. If the supervisor agrees, the student will then need to discuss the proposed research in more detail, and with the guidance of the respective supervisors, complete the project paper proposal form. Students will then be required to submit the form to the BBA/DIM Project Paper Supervisor. Following this, students will have to provide a brief presentation of the project paper proposal to the supervisor.
C. THE PROJECT PAPER PROPOSAL
1. Completing the Proposal Form To ensure that the proposal is submitted in good form, please note the following instructions: a) All proposal forms are to be filled in completely and submitted with a proposal. b) The name and matriculation number of the student should be typed in bold.
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e) Proposed Research Method Students are required to indicate the research methods to be used. The purpose of the proposal presentation is to enable the FBA to assess the following matters which are crucial in determining the potential successful completion of a project paper: • Suitability of the topic • Focus of the research Rev 3: May 2010 .g. Please note that the category “Secondary Data’ refers to research studies which will utilize (i. students are required to list the objectives of their proposed research.4 c) Title of Project Paper This is to be typed in accordance with normal rules for title. etc. conjunctions.e. government statistics. etc. company annual reports. i. 2.e. Proposal Review and Presentation The FBA will then review the proposal forms.. use. analyze and interpret) data from secondary sources e. Members of the FBA may then question the student further on certain aspects of the research. by ticking the appropriate method listed in the revised proposal form. financial data from Bloomberg. all words will begin with a capital letter except for articles. Students are then required to make a brief presentation of the proposed area of research to the FBA. The proposal presentation to the FBA requires students to make a brief outline of the proposed area of research. For example: Correct Incorrect : Corporate Social Responsibility in Malaysia : CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY IN MALAYSIA Incorrect d) : Corporate social responsibility in Malaysia Research Objectives In this part.
to the FBA for approval. Students whose proposals are under this category may then proceed with the research study under the guidance of the respective supervisors. • Research area and/or proposed supervisor not approved. • 3. Rev 3: May 2010 . • Proposal is approved with minor corrections. will have to be re-submitted to the FBA for approval. the student may proceed with the research in consultation with his/her supervisor. Students will be required to either change the focus of research and/or select an alternative supervisor. Students are required to attend regular meetings with the supervisor. The revised proposal. endorsed by the supervisor concerned. This will allow sufficient time for the evaluation of the project paper and for the student to make minor corrections as required. endorsed by the proposed supervisors. The student will then have to make another brief presentation of the new proposal.5 • • • • Manageability of the research in relation to time Availability of the literature Sample selection and sample size Potential supervisor’s area of expertise and/or research interest and the proposed research The proposals will then be evaluated and the decision will fall under three categories: Proposal is approved as is. Students will then have to re-submit their revised proposal forms. if any. The Research Process Upon approval of the proposed area of research and the supervisor. as determined by the FBA. Please note that students who wish to convocate in the University’s annual convocation ceremony of a particular year are strongly encouraged to plan their research schedule such that they will be able to submit their project paper to the FBA latest by four months prior to the date of the convocation.
Definition of Terms. and/or hypotheses of the research. It is always useful for the student to discuss with his/her supervisor on the structure or organization of the project paper before writing commences. This section provides operational definitions of all principal variables in the study. Limitations of the Study . iv. area of research etc. ii. research questions.This section should discuss the limitations/constraints of the study. v. the research objectives. iii. Chapter One: Introduction The purpose of this chapter is to state the research problems/issues/ hypotheses that will be examined in the project paper. practice and policy. Generally. This should provide the background of the study and indicate to the reader in general terms what the research intends to study.6 D. by establishing a frame of reference for the problem. vi. Objective(s) of the Study. the following sub-sections are included in writing the introduction chapter of project paper: i. This section is always placed last in chapter one and informs readers on the summary of contents to be presented in each of the remaining chapters. Organization of the Project Paper. Sequence of Chapters A typical format of the project paper will usually have the following sequence of chapters. Significance of the Study . a. However. THE ORGANIZATION OF THE PROJECT PAPER 1. Research Questions and/or Hypotheses – This section should describe in detail. students may decide on the specific title of each chapter of the paper depending upon their individual style. Rev 3: May 2010 . Background of the Study – This section should inform the reader with the problem to be dealt with.This section should state the contribution of the research to theory.
The usual subsections in this chapter will vary. b. It is recommended that the sub-section under each sub-heading begin with a sentence introducing the purpose. Sub-headings should reflect the major variables of the literature review. In other words. It is a common practice to write the first chapter of most research writings last.7 Note: a. Chapter Two: Literature Review The main purpose of the literature review chapter is to expand upon the context and background of the study. Rev 3: May 2010 . b. and to provide empirical and theoretical bases for the research. content or relevance of the literature to be reviewed in the sub-section and end with a sentence summarizing the conclusions or trends evident from the literature reviewed in that sub-section1. c. Either approach is acceptable. as long as the limitations of the study are presented and discussed. in sufficient detail. to allow a reader to replicate the study. Chapter Three: Research Design and Methodology The methodology chapter describes the exact steps that will be undertaken to address the hypotheses and/or research questions. depending on whether the research is quantitative or qualitative-based. although there is no hard and fast rule about this. to further define the problem. this chapter needs to clarify the relationship between the proposed study and previous work conducted on the topic. Some authors prefer to discuss limitations of the study in the last chapter. The aim of this chapter is to provide a complete description of the specific steps to be followed.
clearly 7 written and documented analysis. After describing the sample. and the raw data upon which analyses is based assumes very different forms.8 The following sub-sections may be relevant in the methodology chapter in a quantitative study: Subjects or respondents Instrumentation Procedures Data analysis Summary Qualitative studies must meet the same criteria for completeness that quantitative studies do. The second research objective or hypothesis may be the next sub-heading. The data analysis and findings chapter of a qualitative research will be slightly different. the standards upon which reliability and validity are judged may not be the same. the next step is probably to address the research objectives or the hypotheses of the study. it must always be linked to what has been said in the problem/ hypothesis statement in the introduction and the literature review chapters. it should be noted that the sub-headings for different project papers using a qualitative approach might vary. and a careful consideration of the order and logic of the presentation serve as the foundation of quality research. the use of tables and graphs. d. however. regardless of the type of research3. The methods of analyses may differ. that is. Simple demographics can be presented in written or tabular format. Chapter Four: Data Analysis and Findings Tables and graphs are usually essential to a data analysis and findings chapter. Nevertheless. and so on. whether for quantitative or qualitative research. Most data analysis and findings chapters begin with a description of the sample. with the text describing in words what are shown in the tables and graphs. they must be able to describe in sufficient detail the methods and procedures to permit replication of the study. Rev 3: May 2010 . However. The first research objective or hypothesis may be the first sub-heading. This is important to justify the choice of method used in the study2. depending on the actual research method used. In discussing the methodology. the main concern should still be “making sense” of the data.
To interpret – Here. The last chapter has the following functions: i. The conclusions chapter ties the results of the study to theory. This chapter. iv. this section is designed to answer the following questions: What do the findings mean? Why did the results. however. iii. It is useful to begin the last chapter with a summary of the main findings. if we understand the function of this chapter. but not in the conclusions chapter. literature review. if any? What were some of the limitations of the study? To integrate – This section attempts to tie the results together to achieve meaningful conclusions and generalizations. Chapter Five: Conclusions and Recommendations This chapter is often the most difficult to write because it is the least structured. methodology. potential significance for application and results of the study. Rev 3: May 2010 . does have a frame of reference – the introduction chapter. (In the former case. the conclusions chapter should also attempt to integrate the findings into an existing theory or generate original theory. This helps to orient readers to the discussion that follows. To theorize – Wherever possible. the details of the research dictate the content. In the introduction. if any.9 e. To conclude or summarize the findings of the study in the form of conclusions. It does help however. ii. literature review. the existing theory that is to serve as a frame of reference). practice and policy by pulling together the theoretical background. The points raised in the introduction chapter must be responded to in the conclusions chapter. and data analysis and findings chapters. you should state in either the 8 introduction chapter or the literature review chapter. not turn out as expected? What circumstances accounted for the unexpected outcomes.
Rev 3: May 2010 . • Inappropriate statistical procedures. The suggested extensions can be offered in general or more specific form4. To recommend or apply – Since management and business administration are applied fields. • Problem statement is ambiguous. d. b. • Discussion of major findings are not linked to the research objectives. • Over generalization – concluding beyond the data collected and the scope of study5. wordy and too long. c. thus indicating directions that future research should take. replications. research questions and/or hypotheses presented in the introduction chapter. • Results and analysis poorly summarized. • Merely a list of summaries – lack of connection or flow of ideas. research in these areas should provide recommendations that can be applied in practice. Literature review: • Not related to the objectives of the study. • Biasness in reporting. Findings: • Incomplete findings. • Not sufficiently supported by empirical evidences and facts. • Sources of data are not identified. Methodology: • Research method is inappropriate. or refinements.10 v. • Tests of validity and reliability not undertaken. To suggest extensions – This chapter should be concluded with suggestions for further research. Some Common Errors in Project Papers a. • Important definitions are omitted. The problem statement: • The problem statement is too long or too trivial or not important. vi. 2.
Please bear in mind that the FBA deplores overlong or confusing papers and the onus is on the students to provide a well-organized and well-written work. ii. List of Sections a. Chapter One: Introduction Chapter Two: Literature Review Chapter Three: Research Design and Methodology Chapter Four: Data Analysis and Findings Chapter Five: Conclusions and Recommendations Bibliography Rev 3: May 2010 . viii. The Arrangement of the Contents of the Project Paper All project papers should be divided into appropriate chapters. so students are advised to discuss this with their respective supervisors well in advance before they start writing to avoid unnecessary changes in the final version of the project paper. iv. v. Symbols/Specialised Nomenclature (if any . Not all project papers will include all items listed below.optional Table of Contents List of Tables List of Figures/Illustrations List of Abbreviations. ii.optional) b. x. vi. ix. Title Page Abstract Approval Page Declaration and Copyright Dedication .optional Acknowledgements . iv. Text (Page 1 begins with Chapter 1) i. Preliminary pages (Roman Numbering) i.11 3. The following ordered list of project paper contents is supposed to serve as a guide. iii. iii. v. vi. vii.
however. the student may submit the project paper to the FBA for evaluation. Submission of Temporary-bound Copy to the FBA Upon completion of the project paper. Paper Size Quality Color . Type of printing machine Students are encouraged to use a personal computer (PC) to write their project paper.12 c. and with the supervisor’s approval (The student is required to attach the supervisor’s endorsement form when he/she submits the project paper to the FBA).7cm) . Any word processor software such as Microsoft Word or WordPerfect would be suitable to write the project paper. Students may also use Microsoft Excel. GENERAL FORMAT OF WRITING THE PROJECT PAPER 1. General Presentation Guidelines: a. iii.0cm X 29. dot-matrix ink-jet printers are not acceptable. for tables. Lotus 123 etc.optional) 4.A4 (21.Acid-free paper of at least 80gm weight . b.White c. ii. calculations or any other applications. Supplementary Pages (No Pagination) i. Appendices Glossary (if any – optional) Index (if any . Near-letter quality impact printers or laser-jet printers may be used. The entire submission procedure is described in Section I of the FBA Project Paper Guidelines. Language The language of the project paper is English. Rev 3: May 2010 . Please note that first submission of the project paper must be made in comb binding. E.
bibliography and appendices. Please type in bold for headings and subheadings. Rev 3: May 2010 . use 10-point. The font size for chapter headings is 16 point. upper case letters. 10-point. Font size and type Candidates must use Times New Roman font. acknowledgment.13 d. Headings Chapter headings are to be centered and written in bold. f. Underlining and boldface in the sub-headings is at the student’s discretion. e. • For tables and figures. book titles or occasional emphasis. The usage of bold variants of the same font style and underlining in the text of headings and titles is at the student’s discretion. including the title page. Font Size: • For text use 12-point font. Font style Only one font style (Times New Roman) may be used through the entire thesis. foreign words. Headings should be typed in all upper case letters while sub-headings are to be typed in upper and lower case letters. Italic variants of the same font style may be used for labels. Exceptions to this can only be made for tables/figures/illustrations imported from other sources. No other fonts are acceptable. approval page. Other sub-headings are to be aligned to the left margin and should be 14 point in font-size. Subheadings should be in upper and lower-case. • For footnotes.
The text should be double-spaced throughout. A heading that appears as a last line on a page will not be accepted. vi. v. viii. Photocopying All photocopied material must be clear. The first sentence of a paragraph should be indented to 6 spaces. iii.14 g. Abstract Explanatory footnotes Appendices Long headings or subheadings Long captions to tables. Photocopied material on any page should be numbered as part of the project paper and should be within the margins required by these guidelines. Paragraphs Spacing between two paragraphs in the basic text should be set at 4. or plates Bibliography Tables Quotations Rev 3: May 2010 . h. i. vii. There should be a minimum of two lines of a paragraph at the bottom of the page under the heading. Line spacing The project paper should be typed on one side of the page. figures. ii. iv.0 spaces. Any doubts about the quality of any photocopied material should be resolved with the consultation of the FBA. clean and sharp. with single-spacing for exceptional circumstances only: i.
b. : 1” : 1. underlining or other marks should appear before. They are arranged and numbered using small Roman numerals (i. Title page. This page should not be numbered though it is counted as page number (i). Use of Footnotes Footnotes must not be used for citing references. All page numbers should be centered at the bottom of the page. periods. iii. No pagination. Margins and justification Set the justification to “full” and the margins to the following measurements: TOP BOTTOM LEFT RIGHT k. using font size 10-point. Preliminary pages include all the sections that precede the text. a. d. l. Pagination The following plan of page numbering has been standardized and must be observed. Rev 3: May 2010 . Page one should be the first page of Chapter One. Supplementary pages. They should be used only for useful extensions and excursions of information in the body of the text. Preliminary pages. When you insert the page numbers. Use Arabic numerals. etc. No hyphens. Footnotes should be in single spacing.15 j.). after or under the page number. set your position to “bottom of page (footer)” and alignment to “Center”. Footnotes should be numbered consecutively with superscript numerals. Text pages.5” : 1. ii.5” : 1” c.
• • • Heading . pagination. rules pertaining to margins. When the names of the authors of a source are part of the formal structure of the sentence. Format -It should be written in block form (i. etc. 3. Abstract An abstract is required in English only. font type. centered at the top of the page. Write in the past tense to report specific manipulations and procedures you employed in the study and the present tense to describe conclusions based on the findings. The underlying principle here is that ideas and words of others must be formally acknowledged. Content . The abstract is a one-paragraph. font size. line spacing. 4. The reader can obtain the full source citation from the list of references that follows the body of the paper.16 2.The abstract should contain statements of the (1) research problem (2) method (3) results and (4) conclusions and implications. the difference was not statistically significant. justification. must be observed at all times without exception.e. It should NOT be more than 200 words in length. Consider the following example: Wirth and Mitchell (1994) found that although there was a reduction in insulin dosage over a period of two weeks in the treatment condition compared to the control condition. without indentations) and in complete sentences. Body In the preparation of the body of the text. the year of publication appears in parentheses following the identification of the authors.The word “ABSTRACT” in all capital letters. [Note: and is used when multiple authors are identified as part of the formal structure of Rev 3: May 2010 . Text Citations Source material must be documented in the body of the paper by citing the author(s) and date(s) of the sources. selfcontained summary of the most important elements of the project paper. i.
they are ordered alphabetically by first authors' surnames. Rev 3: May 2010 . separated by semicolons. iv.17 the sentence. When a source that has three.] ii. both authors are included every time the source is cited. & Allen. Payne. 1991.] iii. 1991. the first author's surname and "et al. Consider the following example: Reviews of research on religion and health have concluded that at least some types of religious behaviors are related to higher levels of physical and mental health (Gartner." are used every time the source is cited (including the first time). When the authors of a source are not part of the formal structure of the sentence. Note also that when several sources are cited parenthetically. Larson. all authors are included the first time the source is cited. (1991) showed that . Compare this to the example in the following section. v.. & Jenkins. When that source is cited again.1991). Bielema. Bergin. 1990. or five authors is cited. 1987. Payne et al. 1991. the first author's surname and "et al. Koenig.. [Note: & is used when multiple authors are identified in parenthetical material. Paloma & Pendleton. When a source that has six or more authors is cited. When a source that has two authors is cited. Maton & Pargament. both the authors and years of publication appear in parentheses. Bergin. Levin & Vanderpool. 1991)." are used. four. & Jenkins. Bielema. Consider the following example: Reviews of research on religion and health have concluded that at least some types of religious behaviors are related to higher levels of physical and mental health (Payne.
and telephone interviews). Do not use single-spacing. Quotations i. When it is necessary to cite a source that you have not read ("Grayson" in the following example) that is cited in a source that you have read ("Murzynski & Degelman" in the following example). Because a personal communication is not "recoverable" information. February 12. include initials. 6 5. 1978) claimed .. Rev 3: May 2010 . Display quotations of 40 or more words in a doublespaced block typewritten lines with no quotation marks. it is not included in the References section. ii. Long quotations. vii. use the following format for the text citation and list only the source you have read in the References list: Grayson (as cited in Murzynski & Degelman. use the following format: B. of fewer than 40 words should be incorporated into the text and enclosed by double quotation marks (“……”). For the text citation. Skinner (personal communication. If the quotation is more than one paragraph. indent the first line of second and additional paragraphs five (5) to seven (7) spaces from the left margin. F.. surname. emails. To cite a personal communication (including letters. Short quotations. Exact page reference MUST be given for all quotations. Indent five (5) to seven (7) spaces from the left margin without the usual opening paragraph indent. Every effort should be made to cite only sources that you have actually read.18 vi. 1996) identified four components of body language that were related to judgments of vulnerability. and as exact a date as possible.
Students are advised to pay serious attention to this matter. The best way to avoid plagiarism is to make proper documentation of the sources to which referred to in the project paper. Do not number the references. and/or the work that rightfully belong to others and then present these words. Only works directly cited or quoted in the text should be included in the bibliography.e. Heading: BIBLIOGRAPHY (centered. Entries are organized alphabetically by surnames of first authors.19 A Note on Plagiarism Making proper text citations and providing accurate referencing for quotations are crucial to help ensure that students do not intentionally. with a font size of 12-points. or otherwise. ideas. and/or work as if this material were their own words. • • • Pagination: The bibliography begins on a new page. either in direct quotation or by reference. which makes use of other works. Most reference entries have three components: Rev 3: May 2010 . must contain a bibliography. as it is a very serious offence to plagiarize the work of others. Plagiarism occurs when people “steal the words. the FBA reserves the right to fail the student concerned and to report the student to the Disciplinary Committee of the University. the ideas. The bibliography must be presented according to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association i. 6. or work”7. plagiarize the work of others. in upper-case letters. ideas. Bibliography Any research work. listing all of these sources. Format: The references (with hanging indent) begin on the line following the Bibliography heading. the APA Style Manual format. The bibliography should be single-spaced. All the references cited are listed in alphabetical order. on the first line). Students are strongly cautioned that if there is evidence that a part or parts of a project paper has/have been plagiarized.
). (n.com/psyrelig/psyrelpr. Journal of Applied Social Psychology. (2000). a) Examples of sources i. Department of Psychology Web site: http://www. Boston: Allyn and Bacon. use "n.d. and periodical volume numbers. & Harris. Invitation to the psychology of religion (2nd ed. D.d. with a period following the closing parenthesis. Retrieved August 3.edu/psychology/index. Year of Publication: In parentheses following authors. iii. APA style essentials.htm Rev 3: May 2010 . D. list the first six and then use "et al. ii. Commas separate all authors. Retrieved May 18.cfm? doc_id=796 . If no author is identified.). F. (1996). the title of the document begins the reference. 26. Source Reference: Includes or title. Web document on university program or department Web site Degelman. Body language of women and judgments of vulnerability to sexual assault. R." for remaining authors.vanguard. Book Paloutzian. Journal article Murzynski. M. L.. iv. publisher (for book). from Vanguard University. from http://www. If no publication date is identified. (1996). E. iii.20 i. 2001. Authors: Authors are listed in the same order as specified in the source. When there are seven or more authors. & Degelman. 2000. city of publication.psywww. J.. 1617-1626. Italicize titles of books. Notable people in psychology of religion. using surnames and initials." in parentheses following the authors. titles of periodicals. Stand-alone Web document (no date) Nielsen. M.
Charts and graphs must be centered. Article or chapter in an edited book Shea. (2000). 2001. New York: Oxford University Press. Journal of Applied Social Psychology. In J. Stand-alone Web document (no author. T. Abstract retrieved July 23. Religion and Mental Health (pp.. & Degelman. Retrieved May 20. 2001. (1990). Religion and sexual adjustment. A closer look at the drug abusematernal aggression link.). viii. Source(s) of data must be placed at the bottom left of the tables and figures. (n. Please refer to the example given in the next page. 20.edu/~mkearl/gender. Effect of server introduction on restaurant tipping. no date) Gender and society. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. D.html Journal article from database Hien. Tables and Figures Use font size 10-point and single spacing. D. printed in font size 10-point. 70-84). from PsycINFO database.trinity. D. & Honeyman. from http://www. 168-172. Retrieved December 3. 2000.21 v.. 15. Rev 3: May 2010 .). 7. Number all tables and figures with Arabic numerals in the order in which the tables are first mentioned in the text. 503-522. F. Abstract from secondary database Garrity. (1992). Schumaker (Ed. Title of the tables and figures must be placed on the top.d. from ProQuest database. J. K.
as of August 2005 onwards they are only required to ring-bind or comb-bind the report.1 1. Appendices All appendices should be placed after the bibliography. This format should not be changed or amended at all. b.22 Example: Table Table 1: Car Sales.3 Rev 3: May 2010 . Cover and Binding a.0 -1. 8. Binding While in the past students were required to hard-bind the report for submission. 1991-97 000’ Units 1991 1994 SEA-4 621 261 Japan 4868 4210 NAFTA 9445 10154 Western Europe 1350 11934 0 World 3343 33359 2 Source: IMF (1999). The size of the cover page is A4. Cover Refer to the illustration of the cover page on the next page. and quotations too long for inclusion and not immediately essential to an understanding of the subject.0 -0. Selected World Markets. original data. It contains supplementary illustrative material. Any other size is not accepted. 9. 1997 585 4492 9333 13408 36161 Growth (%) 1991-97 14. This section is optional and will depend on the content of the individual project paper.3 2. A standard white paper cover is recommended.
23 (Sample of the Cover Page for the Project Paper) UNIVERSITI TUN ABDUL RAZAK FACULTY OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION PROJECT PAPER TITLE Prepared By : NAME ID NO : : PROGRAM : SEMESTER : Rev 3: May 2010 .
IOU. Vice-President Gore. Unimas. should usually be preceded by the. ASEAN. Queen Elizabeth. the EPU.e. Maybank. 35mm. mph). NATO. e. lb. but lower case when on their own. When used with figures. SDR. the UNCHR. 19th). 25kg. km. should be followed by commas. 45kw. Other organizations. Chairman Rev 3: May 2010 . for example.. In the text. ISIS) does not generally require the definite article (use of the before the abbreviation). LIFO. the institute rather than ISIS. Use lower case for measures (like kg. IMF. OECD. the BBC. Thus. ISIS. write the organization rather than NATO. FOB. the KGB.g. A NOTE ON WRITING STYLE 1. CIF. Capitals The general rule is to use capital letters for organizations and institutions. but not for people. whether they can be pronounced as words or not (GNP.24 F. with no space (9am. though they are set in capitals. An abbreviation that can be pronounced (like NAFTA. Abbreviations like i. these lowercase abbreviations should follow immediately. 100kph. Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed. except companies. People: Use upper case for ranks and titles when written in conjunction with a name. PORIM. UNESCO. Abbreviations that can be pronounced and are composed of bits of words rather than just initials should be spelled out in upper and lower case: Comecon. UMNO). 2. abbreviations. Abbreviations Unless an abbreviation or acronym is so familiar that it is used more often than the full form (like GATT. 1850AD). and the authority rather than MIDA. Petronas. GDP. Profesor Idrus. try not to repeat the abbreviation too often. 89rpm. for example. There is no need to give the initials of an organization if it is not referred to again. R&D) should be set in capitals. write the words in full on first appearance: thus Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC). as should AD and BC (200BC. PLO. with no points. After the first mention.. UMNO.
Treaty of Pangkor.000 . Dr. etc.RM5. Currencies Normally. regions. Organizations. Peninsula Malaysia). Ministries.000 . Industrial Revolution. the West. Republican. areas or countries (The Hague. etc. C$ (Canadian dollar). New Economic Policy. Middle Ages. Ministry of Trade and Industry.5. So is Kuala Lumpur city. To avoid confusion. Bank Negara Malaysia.25 Mao.000 (not RM5. Historical Periods: These are in upper case: the Great Depression. we use $ to refer to the United States Dollar (USD) as the standard international currency and in general convert currencies to $ on first mention. Democratic Action Party. Samarahan district. 3. Britain. On their own. Chuah. but use lower case to indicate direction (northern Malaysia. Amnesty International. Places: Use initial capitals for definite geographical places. Mr. For Malaysian currency: RM150 (no space between RM and 150) RM6 (not RM6. Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. High Court. we write. south-east of Sarawak). the prime minister of Malaysia. NZ$ (New Zealand dollar).: Generally take upper case when their full name is used. Petroleum Act. Other dollars are differentiated by the initials: A$ (Australian dollar).00 or 6RM) RM3. South-East Asia. Professor Yusof.000) RM3m . Renaissance.5 billion) 40 ringgit 25 sen RM40. S$ (Singapore dollar).RM5m) RM3 billion – 5 billion (not RM3 . the vice-chancellor. the chairman of ABC. it is advisable to use US$. the Gulf. Middle East. East Asia.5m (not RM3m . Acts.25 Rev 3: May 2010 . Political Parties. Mahathir. The third world (an unsatisfactory term now that the communist second world has all but disappeared) is lower case. Thus. Departments.
7. except: in references to pages. and fractions with fractions.. even when the figures are higher than ten (a tenth of them.. Rev 3: May 2010 1990s Monday 7th June 1980-85 mid-1990s . unless they are attached to whole numbers (4 ¾. Use words for simple numerals from one to ten. and for all numerals include a decimal point or a fraction (e. spelled out in words. two-fifths) and. There were 12.g. 3. three-quarters. Use fractions for rough figures (e. 25 ½). 8 and 6 cases respectively). The index fell by 2. Dates Stick to the conventional: day. in percentages (e.g. Do not compare a fraction with a decimal. about 1 ½ hectares) and decimals for more exact ones (e.g. month. Figures Never start a sentence with a figure.26 For other currencies: 1m pesos (Philippines) 200 rupees (India) 2m rupiah (Indonesia) Y 5 billion (Japanese Yen) DM678 (German Deutschemark) 4.. in that order. with no commas: 6th July 6th July 1999 August 1976 10th – 12th May 1995 1st May – 2nd June 2001 20th century 21st century ideas 5.. a thirtieth anniversary). write the number in words instead.15.3 per cent). Use figures for numerals from 11 upwards..g. Compare decimals with decimals.g.5%). Avoid statements like The rate increased from 5 ½ to 7. and in sets of numerals some of which are higher than ten (e. year. 8 ¼). Fractions should be hyphenated (one-third.35. 20 ½ million population.
spell out the figures and use to: a three-to-two vote. They decided by nine votes to six… (not 9:6). But do not use full stops in abbreviations or at the end of headings or rubrics. …estimated to be between 7m and 8m (not 7m – 8m). The final choice is up to the writer. except in charts or tables. Full stops Use plenty. 2m – 3m (not 2 – 3m) and 2 billion – 3 billion or 2bn – 3bn. 38%. Decide early which English to use. use in 1950-60 or from 1950 to 1960. go metric: prefer hectares to acres. a ratio of one-to-ten. but only if one of the figures is greater than ten: thus a 25-20 vote.8m (not RM5m – 5.g. then Rev 3: May 2010 . but spell out billion. where bn is permissible. figures and hyphens may be used. kilos to lb.000m. or in a sentence: Of about 1. preferably use British English rather than American English or any other kind. metres to yards. nearly 300 (or 25%) failed. Avoid using from 1950-60 or between 1950 – 60. 4m. Sales rose from RM5m to RM5. 6 billion. But American English.8m). Use 2. litres to gallons. Instead. RM6 billion. Otherwise.4%. They keep sentences short and simple. Where a ratio is being used adjectively. Celsius to Fahrenheit. About 15 per cent of the population were …. Always write percentage. especially American spelling has been widely accepted now. Thus. US$4m.200 students who sat for the examinations. but % can be used in tables and charts or in parentheses. 2 – 3%. not %age. 21. 8.. but the key rule is: be consistent. British and American English For conventional reason.). Measurements In most contexts. In a full sentence. which means 1. though in most contexts proportion or share is preferable.000 – 3. Thus. use per cent (e.000. 7. etc. a 12-8 vote.27 Use m for million. kilometers (or km) to miles. 6. But in a sentence.
places. Methodology. Conclusions and Recommendations)? Is your Introduction/Literature Review a coherent presentation of the theory and research from which you have drawn your hypothesis/es? Is/are your hypothesis/es clearly stated? Have you divided long or complex chapters with helpful subheadings? Are the subheadings grammatically parallel? Does each chapter begin with a clear overview? Is the essential information/data in the body of your paper? Have you placed tables and charts where they will be the most helpful to your readers? Have you assigned less essential or more detailed data or information to appendices? Is your language clear and precise throughout the project paper? Is the base tense of your project paper consistent? Are all sources properly documented? Did you double-check the evidence in your report against your note cards to be sure material from the sources you have used is accurate? Is your bibliography complete and in the correct form? Is the main idea in each paragraph clear? Are the relationships clear among ideas in each paragraph? Have you proofread and edited the project paper carefully. checking for the following: Is the content properly located in the appropriate chapter (Introduction/Literature Review. spelling. G. Data Analysis and Findings. For names of companies. EDITING YOUR FINAL DRAFT: CHECKLIST FOR THE PROJECT PAPER. eliminating all grammatical and mechanical errors (pronoun reference. keep to the original spelling9. and titles. subject/verb agreement.28 stick to it. punctuation)10? Rev 3: May 2010 . Review the entire project paper.
29 H. Clarity of Concepts and Presentation (15 marks) Is there clarity in concepts. Cohesiveness of the Study (20 marks) Is there focus? Is there a ‘flow’ from one chapter to another? Do the conclusions relate to the introduction and research objectives or hypotheses? d. the project paper is first reviewed by the FBA to ensure that it complies with the FBA Project Paper Guidelines. Rigor of Analysis (20 marks) Can the student demonstrate the application of the relevant analytical tools and techniques to focus on the critical issues? Are observations and conclusions based on sound arguments? c. Language. PROJECT PAPER EVALUATION CRITERIA Upon submission of the project paper (in temporary ring-binding). Significance of Study (20marks) Does the study contribute to a better understanding of the area of research? Does it have policy implications? Does the study lead to recommendations? b. grammar. Grammar and Style (15 marks) Are there numerous errors in spelling. The evaluation criteria used for evaluation and grading is as follows: a. The project paper is then sent to the supervisor and one (1) examiner. Conciseness of the Project Paper (10 marks) Is the style of writing concise and to the point? e. Project papers that deviate in form and presentation style from the Guidelines will be rejected and NOT sent for evaluation. to the FBA. endorsed by the supervisor. punctuation. The student will be informed and required to re-submit the project paper which conforms to the Guidelines. appointed by the FBA for evaluation and grading. evidence and data in the pursuit of the purpose of the study? Are presentation tools (i. sentence construction and general use of English as a language that distract the reader? Is the use of footnotes necessary and appropriate? Are the references consistent with the APA referencing style? Rev 3: May 2010 . statistical analysis) well utilized? Is there logic and rationale in the study? f.e.
Pass. i. ii. for evaluation and grading. he/she shall certify that it is of acceptable standard in content quality and presentation style by signing the supervisor endorsement form. The two copies of the project paper will then be sent to the supervisor and one (1) examiner. Rev 3: May 2010 . • • The supervisor’s and examiners’ evaluation of the project paper will then be compared. Pass with minor corrections. or both of the examiners classify the project paper under ‘iii’. the FBA will automatically REJECT the project paper. If the project paper has been categorized under ‘i’ by one examiner and under ‘ii’ by the other. The FBA shall require the supervisor and the examiner to assign specific numerical marks to the project paper in the evaluation report. The copies shall be checked for conformity with the FBA Project Paper Guidelines.30 I. indicating areas that need revisions (if any) and submit an evaluation report to the FBA not later than four (4) weeks after he/she receives the project paper from the FBA. The supervisor and the examiner will then evaluate the project paper. the project paper will NOT be sent for evaluation until and unless the student re-submits two (2) copies of the project paper which is in accordance with the stipulated guidelines mentioned above.e. respectively. Major revision required. In the event that the project paper fails to conform to the stipulated format. SUBMISSION OF THE PROJECT PAPER The following procedure shall be observed in sequence for the submission and approval of the project paper. Resubmission. if either one. The examiner will be appointed by the FBA. both the supervisor and the examiner categorize the project paper in the same category (other than category ‘iii’) the marks will be averaged and endorsed in an FBA meeting. If the evaluation is comparable. Consequently. However. The report shall also place the project paper into one of the following categories: i. the student will then be asked to do the minor corrections and the marks averaged as above. iii. • The student shall submit to the FBA two (2) copies of the project paper in temporary ring binding. • Once the project paper is deemed to be ready for submission by the supervisor.
SAMPLE OF COMMENTS FROM FBA PROJECT PAPER SUPERVISOR Rev 3: May 2010 . the student will be required to attach the supervisor’s endorsement that he/she has made all required corrections. under the guidance of his/her supervisor. the student shall submit to the FBA three (3) copies of the project paper in permanent hardcover binding. Appendices I and X depict the entire project paper process from identification of the research area and potential supervisor to submission of three (3) hard-bound copies to the FBA. Generally. The student is then required to resubmit the revised project paper to the FBA for evaluation. The FBA shall table the grade awarded for the project paper to the University Senate for final endorsement. The FBA shall retain one hardcover copy. If the project paper falls under (iii) above. Once the student has made all revisions in accordance with the supervisor’s and examiner’s reports. the student will be given a maximum time period of six (6) months to make the required corrections. reserves the right to require a student to defend his/her research if deemed necessary. Upon final approval from the FBA. • • • • • • J. • If the project paper falls under (ii) above. within a period which shall not exceed one (1) month. the supervisor shall certify that the project paper is of acceptable standard in content quality and presentation style. Upon resubmission of the revised project paper. no oral presentation of the project paper is required at the submission stage.31 then the student will be required to revise the project paper and resubmit to the FBA. The project paper will then be subjected to another round of evaluation similar to the one described above. the FBA shall hold the supervisor responsible to determine and confirm that all necessary corrections have been made. The FBA however. send one copy to the supervisor and one copy to the library. One copy of the revised project paper (in temporary ring-binding) 31 shall be submitted to the FBA to be checked again for conformity to the format stipulated in the FBA Project Paper Guidelines.
2. The paper needs to be edited for overall coherence. Students are strongly advised to review these comments and try as much as possible. your literature review fails to reveal the relation between what has previously been done by others in your area of research and what you did in your research. You MUST ensure that any work not cited within the text. If it is the latter case. and in particular. In the case of the latter. The Committee requires that you send your project paper for professional editing to ensure that the paper meets minimum acceptable standards. in the main text. This is not acceptable for research papers. i.32 Below are some sample comments on recent project papers. Your literature review does NOT lead to a theoretical and empirical justification of the research objectives. unclear if the pilot test was carried out but you did not make any mention to it or. There are numerous grammatical errors found throughout the entire paper. to minimize the possibility of getting similar comments on their project papers. Rev 3: May 2010 . In some instances. Consequently. 1. The Committee also observed that you had not cited all items listed in the bibliography. be 32 free from obvious and glaring grammatical errors. you did not conduct a pilot test. textbooks. rather than periodicals. 3. this is a major flaw of the research process and may lead to unreliable and/or invalid findings. alternatively. your literature review chapter needs to be re-written.e. It is however. is NOT listed in the bibliography. The methodology chapter does not make any mention of a pilot test for the self-developed questionnaire instrument. The references listed in the bibliography appear to comprise largely. you should at least have referred to it in your discussion of the limitations of the study. 4. there are problems with sentence structure.
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