(BUS 13) Instructions for Written Assignments
This material is used courtesy of Fred Gibbons, Instructor for EE353/CS394
You will need to prepare one piece of written work during the course, ONLY if you take the class for credit. It involves a thorough analysis of a case, but you are limited in your written paper to five pages double-spaced, plus exhibits. The paper must be strictly your individual work, independent of discussions or consultations with others.
Written papers are due at the start of class on the date indicated. CASES MAY BE HANDED IN EARLY; UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES WILL THEY BE ACCEPTED LATE, I.E., AFTER THE CLASS BEGINS ON THE DUE DATE!
As guidelines for these written assignments, you should keep in mind the following:
1) Papers should be on 8 1/2" x 11 paper, double spaced, with normal margins. The name of the case should be on the first page of the text in the upper right-hand corner. Your name, the date, and the course number should be on the back of the last page only. Please do not put your name on the front of the paper.
2) The word limit for each paper is 1,800 words (this is five double spaced pages of text with reasonable margins and font), plus exhibits (which do not count towards the length limit, but cannot be primarily text). Note that these are maximum limits. Please try to make your papers concise and coherent.
3) Exhibits, if required, should contain specific types of analyses (such as financial, capacity, cost competitiveness, etc.) and information that supports and is relevant, but would be too detailed for the body of the paper. Exhibits should not be simply an extension of the text.
4) Please proofread your paper before turning it in. Papers for this course should be of the same quality that you would provide to the management of a business that you are dealing with directly. (Note: pencil and ink corrections for typographical errors are acceptable. It is also permissible to have grammar and spelling, but not content, checked by someone else, e.g. a language tutor).
Turn in the original or Xerox copy of your work and save a copy
for yourself. The following are some suggestions to help avoid
some common pitfalls in case writing:
1) Review all tools and techniques for business analysis presented thus far in the course and apply them as appropriate.
2) Don't focus too heavily on minor (but interesting) issues or those for which there is little data.
3) Avoid rehashing of case data. Case facts should not be presented unless they are used to support a specific line of reasoning. Assume the reader is familiar with the case.
4) Be sure not to build your recommendations solely based on case data which have questionable validity, e.g. opinions, hearsay, etc.
5) Be sure to include a brief discussion of alternatives you did not choose and your reasoning for their dismissal.
6) Assure that all quantitative analysis is readily understandable. Analytical work should be simply presented so that the reader can replicate your analysis. This is generally done in an exhibit or appendix. Be sure that the source of all the data is noted.
7) When recommending actions, avoid or modify any which:
- are not specific -
- are impractical -
- are not well integrated or conflict-
- do not address obvious timing issues -
- ignore obvious cost implications -
- are not directly pertinent to key case issues -
Grading Criteria for Written Papers
1. Does the paper contain analyses of the major issues?
2. Does the analysis properly incorporate the relevant tools?
3. Does the analysis show the relationships among important factors in the situation?
4. Are assumptions made in the analysis stated explicitly?
Recommended Actions (if applicable):
1. Are the criteria for selecting a recommendation stated? Appropriate?
2. Is the plan of action integrated in a logical way and linked to the analysis?
3. Does the action plan recognize the importance of timing (short and long term)?
4. Is the action plan specific and complete?
5. Is the action plan practical (something that can be done reasonably)?
6. Is the action plan effective (does it resolve the problems and achieve the desired result)?
7. Is the action plan efficient (does it make good use of available resources)?
Exhibits (if applicable):
1. Are analyses in the exhibits done correctly?
2. Do the key analyses support and add to the text on key points?