There are two stages in the writing of the summer project report that are dealt with in this guide. The first is writing the Summer Project outline and the second is writing the Final Summer Project report - which maybe an Extended Essay; a Pagoda Project internship report or a live problem Business Report.
Please note that this manual is not a complete guide on how to write the final Summer Project report. Instead, the manual is designed to encourage you to think about how to write the report, what the objectives of the Summer Project report are, and how you should go about meeting those objectives. Further guidance and discussion on ‘how to write a report’ can be found in Berry (1996), Moore (1983), and Smith (1994). The guide also provides practical advice on how to approach writing a report.
(i) The Summer Project outline should be no more than 500 words and should be submitted to Turnitin by 5th June 2020. This project outline will be returned to you with formative feedback within two weeks and is worth 10% of the final mark for the Summer Project module.
(ii) The text of the final report on your Summer Project (excluding appendices, bibliography and abstract) should be 6,000 – 8,000 words in length. The final date for the submission of the Summer Project is 12th August 2020 (or two weeks after the internship ends).
An important objective of the Summer Project is for students to demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of a range of research and analytical skills that apply to the study of international business, management, marketing, banking, finance and/or accounting. The research project seeks to fulfil the following student learning outcomes:
• To design and complete a focused literature-based project - this may include an element of empirical work for projects in banking, finance or accounting OR engage with a practical/case problem-based project drawing on secondary data OR Work on an internship/live problem supplied by an organisation.
• To identify, access and evaluate relevant materials.
• To undertake a critically engaged literature review.
• To demonstrate a gap in the current/existing literature OR place the case problem in the context of others in a similar field OR produce a focused report addressing a specific organisational project.
• To demonstrate generic skills to produce a coherent written report suitable for a Master’s level submission.
Knowledge and understanding can be demonstrated by clearly setting out the problem or area of interest, a careful analysis of the problem at a theoretical level and (if agreed with your supervisor) at an empirical level (including the collection, analysis and interpretation of data), the drawing of conclusions from the analysis and then the use of these conclusions to make recommendations for both theorists and practitioners. Thus, the objective for the student is to use the project as a vehicle to convince the reader of the depth of knowledge they possess that is relevant to the particular topic that they are studying.
Consequently, writing a Summer Project report is an exercise in:
(a) Setting out a problem;
(b) Explaining why the problem is important or of interest;
(c) Setting out the research design, for example the literature review criteria/case selection/data collection and analysis methods;
(d) Analysing the problem in the context of relevant literature (and, where appropriate, the secondary data gathered);
(e) Drawing conclusions from the analysis and the data.
Overall, your Summer Project should put forward an argument, a point of view that is set out in a logical fashion, easy to follow by the reader and argued with reference to relevant literature, theories and/or case data. You should think of the Summer Project as a way to reveal what you have learnt during your study at UDSB by applying that knowledge to a problem or puzzle. A secondary objective for students is to demonstrate that they can manage time effectively and complete a piece of work in time whilst meeting the formal regulations that cover the standards of the Summer Project.
The Summer Project outline should be no more than 500 words and contain the following:
• A clear statement of the title
• An outline of the topic to be dealt with in the Summer Project. The outline should identify:
(a) the question, problem or puzzle that is to be considered in the Summer Project;
(b) why the topic is important;
(c) how you are going to proceed to analyse the topic – the theories that are relevant (based on the modules that you attended) and the data and the data analysis to be used.
• A project outline is required for Extended Essays; Business Projects; and Pagoda Project Internships –
An outline for the Business Project or the Pagoda Project Internship will be based on the requirements of the organisation but should still address the points above
Experience indicates that the most successful reports are within the word limit of 6000 words (+/-10%) (Excluding the abstract, bibliography and appendices). This length is approximately the size of a concise article in an academic or business journal. Successfully writing within a strict word limit requires the topic to be identified clearly and concisely. Extended factual detail will come across as weighty padding rather than as central material.
Although the structure of the Summer Project report may vary slightly depending on the type of project you undertake, there is a general content checklist that details the different sections that you might include in your final report:
See APENDIX A and B for a revised layout for the Business Report and the Pagoda Project Internship report
(i) An Abstract (executive summary) of no more than 150 words (possibly in bullet point form) explaining the problem considered, the method, and conclusion of the Summer Project.
(ii) If you wish to make Acknowledgements, make these on a separate page.
(iii) A Table of Contents that lists the sections and subsections of the Summer Project.
(iv) The Introduction to the Summer Project should clearly identify the central topic to be discussed, assert why and in what context the topic is important, indicate the structure of the Summer Project and, in anticipation, proclaim the conclusions that you make. Initially only a rough introduction can be written as it depends heavily on what you argue and find by the end of the Summer Project. Given that you will not know all your findings until later, you will have to write the final version of the introduction last. This may initially seem a little peculiar but as you proceed you will see why this is correct.
(v) Be sure that the Subject Matter of your Summer Project focuses on a clear question relevant to a particular module of your MSc degree. This will allow you to carefully analyse the question using the relevant theories, empirical analysis and/or a case study.
(vi) After the Introduction, you will either have a Research Design section (outlining the methodology and methods of your study) or a Literature Review section (establishing the context of your topic in terms of the key debates in the literature). If the aim of your Summer Project is to complete a Extended Essay based on literature reivew the research design setting out your search and selection criteria will probably come first. Alternatively, if you choose to do a quantitative analysis or case study for your Extended essay you will probably begin with a short and concise account of the existing literature (including any key theoretical frameworks that will inform your study) prior to describing the wider research design (e.g. case selection, data collection and analysis). (see the appendices for the Pagoda Project or Business Project)
(vii) If you have completed a literature review the Results and Analysis section will present your synthesised analysis (highlighting your critical perspective) of the literature in relation to your problem. Alternatively, if you have completed primary or secondary data collection and analysis you will present your key findings from the case/analysis in the Results and Analysis section and relate these findings back to your objectives, existing literature and if relevant a theoretical framework.
(viii) The Implications section considers your theoretical and empirical findings in terms of the original explanation of why the topic is important.
(ix) The Conclusion should summarise the main points of your argument referring back to the sections of the Summer Project. The conclusion should refer to the original reason given as to why the topic is important, the research objectives and any conclusions that may follow from the work.
(x) Appendices can be used for expanding on issues that are important but not central to your argument.
(xi) References (in-text and end list). The Summer Project should use the Harvard style for the references, footnotes and the bibliography. The reference list at the end of the Summer Project should include only the references in the body of the project (and not all of the articles and books that you have read on the subject).
(xii) Appropriate titles should be given to any Diagrams and Illustrations on the page that they appear.
Having set out the topic in the Summer Project Outline, the literature search aims to clarify what others already think regarding the topic. The literature search and review is an exciting stage of the process as your own thoughts about the topic will begin to become clear, including how you might make your argument and the likely conclusions. Furthermore, you will be able to see the extent that your argument is original in either a broad sense of being entirely ‘new’ or in a narrow sense in that you are the first to apply the economic arguments to your topic. A good starting point is to make use of a literature ‘search engine’ to search for the recent papers published on a particular topic. Two good databases are: Business Source Premier (EBSCO databases) and Web of Science which are available through the library website.
These databases allow you full-text access to some (but not all) of the indexed publications. Where full-text access is not provided, you can note down the reference and then search the library catalogue to see if the library holds it either in hard copy or in electronic format. Please visit the Subject page on the Library website for recommended databases and sources: http://libguides.dundee.ac.uk/management
The literature survey in your final report should contain.
(a)A clear and concise account of the different streams of thought about the topic. The different ‘streams’ may be based on different philosophical approaches, different methodological approaches (i.e. empirical versus theoretical, or even econometric versus survey-based analyses), or different outcomes (i.e. one strand of the research argues one outcome, whilst another strand argues the opposite).
Note: Identifying the ‘streams’ of thought is designed to simplify the literature search for you and the reader. Consider the case where you read 30 articles (journal articles and books) that are particularly relevant to your topic. If your literature survey is a list of what each article says then this is not helpful to you or the reader because it is impossible to comprehend what each says simultaneously. However, if you separate the 30 articles into a maximum of four (and preferably less than four) streams of thought (i.e. into four groups of similar views) then both you and the reader can comprehend what the profession understands about the topic, what the different views are based on, and whether or not we agree with each of the different groups of views.
(b)A short critique of the literature that emphasises which views are particularly relevant to your topic. In addition, you should indicate how the Summer Project will make use of the views highlighted in the literature survey.
All published work by other authors that you have relied upon must be fully and properly referenced in your Summer Project report. When you reference a piece of work in the text you put the author’s name (or names) plus the year of publication. For example, you may refer to an argument presented by someone called Jones in a paper published in the year 2000. In this case you might say ‘as Jones (2000) argues . . .’ in the text and then you would provide the full reference in terms of the title and journal name in the bibliography at the end of the Summer Project report. An example of multiple authors might be, ‘Banerjee, Mizen and Russell (2002) demonstrate . . .’.
Though the act of documentation (i.e. that of referencing, the use of footnotes and the compiling of a bibliography) seem pedantic, it is very important. Footnotes and full bibliographies enable the reader to check your sources and to see how you have established your case. Any good Summer Project is a contribution to knowledge and must therefore be open to all. The scrupulous use of footnotes and bibliographies enables someone to build on your research as you have built on the work of others. Documentation is therefore not a mere matter of academic form but an issue that relates to the accessibility of knowledge.
Note that you should only reference original work. Therefore, you should not reference text books, what you hear in lectures or the notes of your lecturers as these are not original pieces of work.
The correct use of documentation adds subtly to your Summer Project s and is very important.
(a)All direct quotations must be cited in a footnote or in the body of the text. Direct quotations are indicated by being in quotation marks (i.e. “ . . . ”) and you indicate exactly where the quotation is taken from by referencing the article or book and the page number where the reader can find the quotation.
(b)Footnotes can be used to qualify or briefly expand a point made in the text without interrupting the flow of your general argument.
(c)Footnotes can also be used to make a critical or insightful remark about an argument that you do not have the space to develop in your text.
(d)Footnotes can be used for cross-referencing material within your essay.
You must use a standard bibliographic style. The preferred style is Harvard. https://www.citethisforme.com/harvard-referencing is a useful site for help with this.
It is very disappointing when students, knowingly or unknowingly, cheat when submitting assignments.
The University has a very strict policy on this and a copy of the Code of Practice on Academic Misconduct can be found at: https://www.dundee.ac.uk/media/dundeewebsite/qualityframework/documents/Academic%20misconduct%20code%20of%20practice-Jan%202018.pdf
Academic Misconduct covers a number of dishonest practises, which include:
• buying your report;
• getting someone else to write your report;
• submitting group work as your own;
• submitting someone else’s work that they have shared with you in draft form as your own work;
• re-submitting a piece of work used elsewhere within this or any other university;
• altering or inventing data;
• plagiarism or copying someone else’s published work without acknowledging this in the text.
If you are unclear about what constitutes academic honesty after reading the Code then seek guidance from your supervisor.
Cheating is taken very seriously by the University and may lead in serious cases to degree qualifications being withheld or the termination of studies. It is important for you to understand what constitutes academic misconduct in general and plagiarism in particular. The Code states that plagiarism is: ‘The unacknowledged use of another’s work as if it were one’s own’. Examples of plagiarism given in the Code include:
(i)inclusion of more than a single phrase from another’s work without the use of quotation marks and acknowledgement of source;
(ii)summarising another’s work by changing a few words or altering the order of presentation without acknowledgement;
(iii)copying another person’s work; and
(iv)the use of another person’s ideas without acknowledgement or the presentation of work as if it were one’s own which is substantially of another.
As an aside, if you quote large passages directly from a textbook or another source and then acknowledge the quotation in the text using quotation marks and reference, this will avoid a charge of plagiarism but it will not demonstrate to the marker that you understand the subject area nor answer the question. Consequently, you will achieve very low marks (or zero marks if the whole Summer Project report is a series of quotations).
When you are satisfied with your Summer Project, check that your report is complete before submission. The different parts of your submission should be compiled in the following order:
(a)A signed ‘Summer Project Report Submission Form’. (This is a cover page that includes the title of your Summer Project report, your full name, the date of submission, and the degree that the report is submitted for and an acknowledgement that it is your own work).
(b)If you want to acknowledge the kind support and encouragement of anyone (friends or family) then include a separate page with acknowledgments on it.
(c)A page with the 150 word executive summary/abstract.
(d)A page with the ‘Table of Contents’ on it.
(e)The text of your report.
(f)Appendices: If you wish to include further details and explanation of the work contained in the text of the report (which will be outside the word limit) then you can include the work in an appendix.
(g)Bibliography using the Harvard style of referencing.
A Summer Project based on live problem supplied by our Consultancy partner is a little different in structure to the desk-based project. In particular, consultancy style work will address additional issues in the following three areas:
• Problem Formulation
• Consultancy/Work Approach and Professionalism
• Professional Practice/Reflection
This is made up of situational analysis, problem identification, solutions and recommendations.
The case subject, its salient features, the key issues are clearly and succinctly profiled providing a contextual understanding of the case subject or the problem situation.
The problem or problems investigated are clearly highlighted and a coherent case for the consultancy project is developed by drawing on information already presented. The objectives of the consultancy/work project are clear and justified and appropriate in scope for what the client or the host organisation has identified.
Solutions developed, and recommendations made to the case subject are practical, relevant, valid, insightful, value adding, adequate in scope, address the fundamental problem, and identify the issues of the contextual situation. The limitations of the issues are identified and set within what is organisationally desirable and culturally feasible. A list of recommendations that are fit for purpose are given, and a how-to guide or a roadmap is clearly presented to the organisation or client as to what the next step(s) should be.
This section involves the research design, research methods, quality and professional presentation.
The research design is the key body of theory and related core concepts and frameworks that relate to your problem. These should all be clearly introduced, the link between research methods and consultancy frameworks should be clear, logical and appropriate. The focus should be on the choices that were made during the project. The decisions as to why this is the best way forward should be evident and presented.
Research methods link back to what would be in a traditional dissertation, addressing questions such as: What did you do? How did you do it? Why did you do it? However, in consultancy work, the research methods should fit and align themselves to the overarching consultancy framework.
A professional consultancy report should have mature thinking and involve mature language. It should be succinct, in clear formal writing style, and free from grammatical and typographical errors. Remember to ensure any graphics used are copyright free and properly referenced in text. Professional Practice and Reflection This section involves reflection on the output or the product, and on the process as well as reflection for personal learning and development.
The purpose of an internship is to develop professional skills in a hands-on environment. Because internships are a learning opportunity, it is important to evaluate the skills you have developed in your time with the company The Pagoda Project internship report is important because it informs your educator of the lessons and skills you learned and the opportunities you had to apply those skills. Your internship report includes relevant details about your intern experience, such as a description of your position with the organization, the tasks you completed and the skills you learned. It also shows how you have used the knowledge from your taught modules in a real situation It is NOT a diary of the tasks you did, but a thoughtful review of the skills you brought to these tasks and what you learnt in undertaking them; and theory you applied and how successful this was; your thoughts or recommendations for how the company can continue to develop.
Chapter One is the Introduction chapter. This should set the scene as to why the research is important. Your report should also include a brief description of the organization. Include information like the date it was founded, the business’s purpose or mission statement, the types of tasks the company completes daily and any other relevant details. You should also explain your own role within the company. Chapter Two is your literature review. Engagement with academic literature in the internship is expected, and should explore how you are linking the internship to the modules you have undertaken. We expect you to apply a theory or framework in a practical situation – this section will review the framework.
Project reports are judged against a set of guiding criteria. The order in which the points are set out below implies no particular weighting; all the criteria listed are of importance, though some may be weighted higher than others.
Provides background to study
Sets out clear and focused research design
Provides rationale for study o Signposts the remainder of the report
Sets out the design – e.g. literature review, quantitative analysis or case study design
Is it appropriate to the question or focus? o Are key decisions explained?
Does it provide the reader with enough detail to understand the design?
Are all major sources cited?
Is there evidence of critical thinking in literature usage?
In general, is there a good relation to existing literature?
Are they supported by the data?
Are they related to the objectives?
Have the objectives been achieved?
Does it link academic knowledge with practice?
Is there continuity between the various sections?
Is there logic in the argument?
Is there a beginning, middle, and end?
Style and use of language, tables, figures etc.
Length of project
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