Research Paper FAQ


Getting Help - Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a problem accessing the course or a problem with any aspect of the course there are people here to help! Here are some common questions with suggested answers and contact details.
You can search for particular words on the whole page by using the hot keys "Ctrl & F" on your keyboard. You then enter the search term in the search box that pops up (bottom left of the screen if you are using Firefox, top right if using Internet Explorer).
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FAQ Key:

What is expected of me in this course?

I am your tutor/lecturer, Sam Young, and my contact details are available on the main page of this course site.
Work through the Getting Started section, which includes checking out the Course Outline & Research Outline. If you're still not clear, ask a question in the Questions Forum, email me direct, or see me in class.
The expectation is that you manage three processes on this course:
    1. you manage the project itself;
    2. you manage the primary research process; and
    3. you manage the secondary research process
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Do I have to do a Primary Research project?

Yes. The only exceptions are if you have been given special permission by me to undertake only secondary research (and this will be rare).
If you are stuck for a topic, I will have a number of clients who need management researchers and who are willing to work with students. This gives you an opportunity to work in a real consultancy role, builds your business community links, looks great on your CV, and may provide you with a reference - or a job.
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What's the process that I need to follow?

There is a flowchart that I have created which should help you navigate the course:


This should help you better understand the process you need to follow as a researcher.
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Who approves my Questions?

There are three main types of question sets:
    1. Your overarching research question,
    2. Your interview or focus group questions, and
    3. Your survey questions.
Some people's research will require the development of all three sets: some of you will only need two sets.
There are three layers of approval:
    1. The Research & Ethics Committee,
    2. Me, as your supervisor, and
    3. The organisation you are researching.
You need to develop your research question ready to submit for your research proposal. However, you need to be working hard on getting your interview/survey questions ready as soon as possible after the submission of your research proposal, so that they can be approved by the Research and Ethics Committee (R&EC).
You cannot get R&EC go-ahead to start negotiating with your organisation until they have seen and approved ALL your questions.
Once approved by the R&EC, the final form of your question sets will still need to be negotiated with the organisation that you are researching, in order for the organisation to be comfortable with your process.
You will also need to develop persuasive argument about what the organisation will learn from your research, and what you will learn. You need to reassure the organisation that you will be a careful and responsible researcher, so they have the confidence to give you the go-ahead.
In the information that you provide the organisation, you need to supply the intended interview/survey questions that you will ask.
You need to address any issues that they have about your research. It would pay to cc me on any emails you send to the organisation, so that I can flag anywhere that you might be getting off track. This will also reassure the organisation that your research is being undertaken with appropriate supervision.
In developing the depth of argument that gaining approval for your research request, you will be developing good argument for the R&EC to approve further changes to your work as it progresses.
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Can I run my research idea past you?

Yes. Yes. Email is probably the best way.
Remember though that you have to be able to:
    1. show me how your idea is a management issue. For example, the IT in Schools project was about managing student learning. You need to clearly illustrate the management issue inside your particular project
    2. determine what your research question and have a rough operationalisation mapped out, and
    3. have started working out what your relevant management theories will be to measure your findings against.
Then you will be ready to run your idea past me.
You will later refine all this, and structure it to become your research proposal.
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Why do we need theories in research?

I think of a theory as being an observed pattern of behaviour: we use them as a rough rule to be able to examine our behaviour against. Like considering ingredients as a ratio in cooking: once we know the ratio, we can upscale without losing the relationship between the ingredients. If a recipe calls for 10g of baking powder for each 250g of flour, we can quadruple to 1 kilo of flour and 40g of baking powder, or halve to 5g and 125g.
Theories are the same. Once we know the steps or stages or specifications, we can be deliberate about making changes. We can become more aware of our actions and aware of the relationship between components. We can find that there are some portions of the theory that we don't do so well at, and so make improvements to that area until we develop a strength.
Having a number of theories - or patterns of behaviour - in our toolkit means we can try different approaches for differing circumstances. By knowing how all the theories break down into their component parts, we can seek a match to use when what used to work for us no longer does. We are unable to change our approach if we don't know the pattern we are following, or if we are unaware of the other patterns that there are to chose from.
We need theories to measure our research against: it becomes a benchmark for us to examine what we are observing.
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How do I find a theory for my research?

Remember, this is a piece of management research, and it needs to relate to management theory.
If you can't find a management theory to underpin your research, try the following:

    • Think about the topic area that your research sits within, and go through some textbooks which cover that topic. Run through the related theories, and find the ones which fit best with your aims
    • Look at related research, and see what theories the researchers used
    • If you are still stuck, the University of Southern California has some good guides and activities to help you find your theory at http://libguides.usc.edu/writingguide/theoreticalframework
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How many management theories should I have?

While you may have one or more underpinning theories that help guide your project, don't include more than a couple, otherwise it is very easy to lose sight of what you are trying to accomplish.
The general rule at this level is to stick either to one main theory, or two theories.
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What is the 'right' theory?

Management researchers have many theories to choose from. That's both a benefit and a curse, because there are so many models to sort through.
Good research relies on us on finding an appropriate theory or an appropriate practice strategy for our situation.
However, within our topic, we will find there are different theories which seem to suit each area. For example:

    • if we want to think about WHEN we might be best able to learn, we might use Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs model.
    • If we want to know WHAT might motivate others, we might find Herzberg's Two Factor theory useful.
    • If we are trying to create a reward environment for others, we could consider House's Path Goal theory.

To decide on a particular theory, go back to your concept map. Check there is a good fit.
Getting this right will guide your research question, and provide a structure for you to explore your research within.
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How should I interact with materials?

It is over to you how you want to interact with the materials - base it on how you learn best. I will be assessing your learning against the learning outcomes through your formal, assigned work (portfolio, online test, case study).
A few methods that I would suggest, depending on your learning style:
      1. Read the readings, then go through the handouts and link them back to the readings. Make some notes on the handouts in hard or soft copy, then come to class and participate in the lectures, or
      2. Come to class and participate in the lectures, then listen to the video clips and follow through the readings at the same time. Pause the clips at times and consider what has been said, or 
      3. Watch the video clips while making notes. Then read the readings. Come to class and participate in the lectures, making notes in hard or soft copy.

I have tried to supply the materials in several different ways so that it covers most learning styles.
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How do I keep my project confined (tighten my scope)?

You need to consider how to keep your project confined: how you SCOPE your project.
My tips are that you:
    1. Select a couple of management models for you to build your project around, and use them to guide you.
    2. Ask yourself, "How does this new information/idea/issue relate to the business, and to management in general?". 
    3. Also use your over-arching research question to test new data or ideas against, asking yourself "How will this new information/idea/issue help me answer my research question?". If the new information/idea/issue won't help you answer your research question, write up that "I considered [the new information/idea/issue], but determined it was outside the scope of my project because [...]".

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What do I call - title - my research project?

Research attempts to answer a question, and often the project title is in the form of a question.
So does that mean that your project title should be a question?
The answer is "sometimes".
At the beginning you will probably start by using a working title. This is fine, as is using your research question, until you get to final report time.
Then your title will need to provide sense-making to the reader, and will need to pick up on the main thrust of your research focus, findings and central conclusions.
At this point, you need to think of your research report title as being the abstract of the abstract.
I used my research question to title my Masters thesis until the last month or so, when I used the final title, which was suggested to me by my supervisor.
Passive statements are OK. Questions posed as titles are OK. Start watching journal articles in journals related to your research project, and see how they are titled. Then use that style for your work.
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How do I print handouts for the lectures?

To create handouts from the PowerPoint files. either go to File | Print | Slides | Select handouts, 3 slides | Click Print; or view the clip below
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What is different about New Zealand English?

New Zealand English is aligned with UK English, not US English. One of the obvious differences is the use of 'u' in words such as labour, harbour and neighbour; and the use of 's' in words such as organise, realise and plagiarise.
Set your global language in your documents to NZ English, and go to the link NZ English Usage to see more detail about New Zealand spelling and grammar requirements.
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How do I get my marking feedback?

I will upload your marks and feedback to the dropbox that you uploaded your assignment into. To find your feedback, all you need to do is to go into where you uploaded your assignment, and you will see your percentage and my marking sheet.
Your feedback file will be right down at the bottom of the page:

After I have uploaded feedback, Moodle should automatically send you notification that feedback and your marks had been uploaded. IF YOU DON'T get notification, then check that the email you have listed against your Moodle profile is the one that you supplied me.
The most likely reason you are not getting notifications is that you have not loaded your current email address.
If your email address is correct in Moodle, then contact helpdesk (helpdesk@nmit.ac.nz).
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What is secondary data or secondary sources?

Secondary data or sources are findings, research or theories which other people have collected and written about. It is information which already exists.
This is what goes into your literature review, and, in addition, provides the underpinning of evidence for determining your problem, writing your introduction and developing your methodology.
This forms the views of experts which is what your literature review is entirely constructed from, using academic, peer-reviewed literature from journals and texts. 
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How do I prepare an annotated bibliography?

You can use articles which have not been written in another language, but it is hard for me as your marker to know if this is quality material or not.
To get around this, you create an annotated bibliography when you are using articles which are originally in another language. 
An annotated bibliography comes in the Appendices AFTER your main bibliography, and an entry would look like this:
Davidson, Hilda Ellis (1998). Roles of the Northern Goddess. KU: Routledge.
Davidson's book provides a thorough examination of the major roles filled by the numerous pagan goddesses of Northern Europe in everyday life, including their roles in hunting, agriculture, domestic arts like weaving, the household, and death. The
author discusses relevant archaeological evidence, patterns of symbol and ritual, and previous research. The book includes a number of black and white photographs of relevant artifacts.
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Can I get Academy of Management Journal articles?

As many of you will know, I have access to the Academy of Management Journal, as a member of AOM. It is the most prestigious management journal, ranking at number 1.
I would suggest that you all run searches on this journal, by going to http://amj.aom.org/search and entering two or three of your key terms into the "Abstract | Title" field.
Email me the FULL bibliographical details of the key journal articles you would like me to download for you:
What ie, Author, firstname & Author, firstname (year) Title: subtitle. Name of AOM Journal, Month year, Volume x, issue x (pp. x-x).
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SurveyMonkey FAQs

How do I use SurveyMonkey?

The Applied Business School has a SurveyMonkey Pro account for use on Applied Business research projects only.
Once you have submitted your Research Proposal and Student Research Plan for approval, and are working on your literature review, you should also turn your mind to what questions you will need to ask, then you consider how you will ask them.
Watching the SurveyMonkey clips on how to create surveys and seeing what question types are available for our account type (Pro) will help you understand how to construct your survey once you are ready to start work.
You need to think about how you will analyse your data when you get your results back, as you are constructing your questions. You also need to think about what cross-tab data you will need (eg, how you might want to analyse certain responses against the age or gender of your respondents to look for age group trends or differences in view based on gender etc).
Name your survey (see below) and create some questions and see what happens when you run a test on the questions you have set up. Some behaviours of questions are not quite as you would expect, and all surveys will be bench tested by the class before they go live.
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How do I get into SurveyMonkey?

Go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/home/ to login, using the info below:
SurveyMonkey Account Information

If you need to get any email correspondence, you will need to let me know to look out for a SurveyMonkey email for you.
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Is there a SurveyMonkey Naming Convention?

There is a NAMING convention for SurveyMonkey questionnaires. You MUST name your survey as follows:
    • [Course code] [Year][semester letter] [Your Surname] [Short title for your survey]
The semester letter is 'a' for semester one, 'b' for semester two.
Replace the square brackets and content with your information. For example:

    • MGT737 2017a Young ATS Research Project
    • MGT737 2017b Young ATS Research Project
Incorrectly named surveys will be deleted.
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What is a SurveyMonkey matrix question?

A matrix question is where you have a positioning statement introducing what you want your surveyees to do, a scale of some sort across the top, and a set of options down the left-hand side. For example:

The scale at the top of the page could use number anchors (eg, 0 - 10 - 20, etc). Your scale may or may not include an "N/A" or a "Don't know" option, and may adopt a even or odd number of anchors, depending on your research requirements. Do some reading about Likert scales to understand more about the choices (I have a book, "Survey Questions" by Converse and Presser, which you might find useful).
The SurveyMonkey questionnaire "MGT737 2015b Young Question Examples" contains some matrix question samples so you can see how they work.
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How do I get a SurveyMonkey test link?

When you create your survey, post a test link to the questions forum so your peers can test your survey for you, and make suggestions so you can improve it.
Go to http://help.surveymonkey.com/articles/en_US/kb/Pilot-Test-Tips-How-to-verify-the-design-and-settings to find out how you do that. If you find those instructions hard to understand, try viewing the following at around 50 seconds into the play time below.
Please do not send me (a) a live link, as this puts data into your survey instrument, or (b) a link to your SurveyMonkey file location, because I would have to go and create my own test link to test your work, which would be inappropriate as I have to stay at a professional distance from what is your research project).
Sending a live link to people who are simply testing - and not carefully trying to enter data - will have data go into your collector and if you don't remember to empty those answers before you start your survey proper, it will skew your results.
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How do I get a SurveyMonkey web collector link?

When you are ready to collect data with your survey, create a web link. View the video below to see how to do that at:
Copy and paste the collector link using Ctrl & C, then paste into your email using Ctrl & P.
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How do I email a SurveyMonkey link out to NMIT students?

Once your survey is complete and tested, you write an introduction about why you are doing your research, which form the 'call to action' to other students. For example, this is what a previous student wrote:
"Hello, my name is Jane Doe, and I am a Graduate Diploma in Business Management student. I am conducting research on student loan debt levels at NMIT. My research investigates how debt level and tertiary provider choice affect one another; to what extent these factors influence student life (how students control living costs, travelling, food and other expenses) and major decisions after study completion.
I would very much appreciate your participation in the anonymous survey I have developed, to collect my primary research data. You can participate by clicking the link at [copy your collector web link URL here].
Thank you”
Once done, I will forward this information to the School Administrator for circulation, which is emailed to all the students in the school including your live - and empty - collector data link.
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Why is the free version of SurveyMonkey a problem?

NMIT has a paid SurveyMonkey account (in English). Because we have a paid account, we get access to services that the free accounts don't have. So we can extract all our survey data in one big table, with all our data linked between the questions.
If you sign up to get a free English-language SurveyMonkey account your options are very limited. You can only ask up to a maximum of ten questions, and you can't export linked data. All your answers will export delinked: ie, that you get the summary of question one answers on their own, the summary of question two answers on their own, three answers on their own, etc.
This means that, with a free English-language account, you can't do any cross-tab analysis. And you need cross-tab analysis for your research project.
Cross-tab analysis is where we compare the answers of several questions together to look for patterns. For example, if one question asked if your respondents were male or female, you could compare their answer to that question against your other questions to see if more men than women answered yes or no to other questions. You could start to make meaning or predictions from your data by looking a little more in depth, and seeking more complexity.
The free English-language accounts don't let you export linked data. You can only export delinked data, so you cannot do any cross-tab analysis. This seriously limits the meaning or predictions you can make from your data. That's so they force you to opt for a paid version (good marketing!).
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Is there a free Chinese-language SurveyMonkey-style platform?

At this stage, I don't know. When I do, I will post links to the platforms here.
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Why might I need a Chinese-language SurveyMonkey-style platform?

If you want to survey respondents in China, you will probably be best to survey them in Chinese. You will get the best quality responses if you remove as many impediments to understanding as you can.
Because NMIT does not have access to a Chinese version of SurveyMonkey, you will have to find an equivalent Chinese language platform. However, because it will be free, it may be limited in terms of how many questions you can ask, or whether your data is linked or delinked. I don't know, so you will have to find out on your own.
You will need to test any Chinese survey platforms which you find to see if you can export your data as a table of linked data. I would suggest that you could very quickly create fifteen questions (on anything), then quickly answer the survey yourself ten times at random, then test to see if that platform will let you export your responses as a linked table. That will test both the number of questions, and the cross-tab ability. 
If it does let you do both, then I can tell the other students who are wanting to do Chinese language surveys to use the same online platform.
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Progress Report FAQs

What do I talk about in my Progress Reports?

I need to see that you are managing your project well, not just managing the research process. Your progress report shows me clearly how well you are managing your project
So in each progress report, you explain your project logistics to me, covering six areas:
    1. Secondary Research, where you explain what materials you are finding and how they will be useful to you. Use APA referencing
    2. Primary Research, where you explain your planning, thought-processes, issues, problems, ideas and outline of what areas of primary research you are currently working on
    3. Emphasis Change, what your process has been, tracking any changes or development ideas in your overall project. If you changed your research question, your aims or your operationalisation, you would list the old version here, the new version, and the reason for changing it.
    4. Other Information, anything else taht you think I need to know, such as a major limitation or constraint in your life, going overseas, the discovery of a potential new way to explore your idea or the possibility of getting access to different data
    5. Coming Weeks' Plan, this is where you show me IN DETAIL what you are planning to do until the NEXT PROGRESS REPORT IS DUE. If it is eight weeks away, then I want eight weeks' planning. Look at the planning exemplars online.
    6. Actual:Plan Thus Far: What you have spent your time doing since either the start of the course, or the last progress report. What you had planned but didn't get to. What was on your "Coming Week's Plan" from last time, but that you couldn't get done, so it needs to be carried forward. Look at the planning exemplars online

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How do we submit our Progress Reports?

Four times during the semester, before Monday 8am, you need to submit your Progress Report (PR) for marking (or five times if you are running the full year).
To submit your PR, go to the Assessment page, and drop it into the corresponding Progress Report drop-box number. 
When I have marked the progress reports, I will change the words "drop-box" at the end of the title to "Results". Providing you have entered your correct email in your Moodle profile, you will also get a Moodle email, advising you that you have had feedback on an assignment.
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Where do I find my Progress Report Marking?

Your Progress Report marking will be in the correspondingly numbered Progress Report dropbox; ie, PR 1 will be in Assessment 1-01: Progress Report Results.
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How do I submit a draft of my first progress report through TurnItIn?

Ensure you have plenty of time to check your work before your assignment is due. I would be aiming to submit a day early so you have time to edit and resubmit your assignment before the deadline.
Follow these instructions:
    1. Log on to NMIT Online. View the help page info at http://ecampus.nmit.ac.nz/moodle/mod/book/view.php?id=3786&chapterid=7345
    2. Go to the Assessment tab, and go into the Assessment 1-01: Progress Report Dropbox
    3. Upload your assignment as a DRAFT
    4. Once TurnItIn has processed your work, you can then check your similarity score (this may take an hour or more)
    5. Once processed, a similarity score percentage will appear. Click on the percentage to access the report.
    6. So you can make any required edits, download your Similarity Score report by clicking the print icon, and selecting download pdf, on the bottom left-hand footer of the report page.
    7. Edit your draft on your PC until you have your score as low as possible, actively noting where and how you have not paraphrased or treated materials appropriately so you add to your store of skill
    8. Save your updated draft assignment with a slightly different name (eg "v 2" or similar in the title), so that TurnItIn will generate a new score.
    9. Beside your existing submitted Draft, click the cross to delete it, and click OK on the "are you sure" message
    10. Upload your new version as a DRAFT
    11. Repeat steps 4-8 until you have a similarity score as low as you want it (NB: your score must be below 10%).

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How do I decide between two topic areas?

If you have two ideas, and can't decide between the two, try the following:

    1. Get a well-respected textbook for each topic area
    2. Using the textbook, compile a list of keywords for each topic area
    3. Use the keywords and search for some recent topic-related journal articles
Examine the number of articles you find, and:
  1. See how many articles there are, and
  2. If there are any questions within the topic that you think you can answer or extend
  3. If the writing is recent, so a number of people are active within the research community
The area with more recent evidence and more researchers might be a better bet.
Explore both of your topic ideas in your first Progress Report, so you show me:
    1. what information you are gathering for each topic to help you refine down to a question for each, and
    2. what your process is for making your decision between the two.
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What do I need to think about for my primary research in my first progress report?

You need to tell me how you think you are MOST likely to collect your primary data, AT THIS STAGE (and yes, it is early in your process).
The three most common collection methods for the Social Sciences are survey, interview and focus groups.
You need to find a way to record your data, so you are very accurate in analysing the information that your participants give you. The ‘most normal’ way of doing that is as follows:
    1. Surveys: SurveyMonkey collector
    2. Interviews: use your phone or record using Skype
    3. Focus groups: use your phone or a video camera
You need to collect enough data to be able to draw sound and reliable conclusions, so you need to think about how many people you will need to collect data from.
Think through if you have an opportunity to find a comparison company to use as a benchmark to for comparison or contrast. For example, you could gather data from:
    1. another organisation which is doing something a similar to your target organisation, and where you could gather the same information as your target company, or
    2. find some secondary research in the form of a case study about an organisation which is doing something a similar to your target organisation.
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How should I write up the literature?

Consider setting yourselves up a structure, and asking yourself something like the following questions about each piece of literature and filling in the dots:
    1. I found this material...
    2. The authors said... It is useful for my research because...
    3. Paraphrase what the author said
    4. Cite the author in APA style within your writing, ie, (Author, date)
    5. Quote in DOUBLE quote marks (ie, so if that had been a quote, I would show it in my writing as "Quote in DOUBLE quote marks"), and only use only short quotes of fewer than 50 words
    6. When you use a quote, remember to include a page number in the citation bracket, ie, (Author, date, p. x)
    7. Have the full citation in your Bibliography
    8. I will use this...


NB: while it is fine to present material like this for your progress report, this will still need writing up in a synthesised way to develop argument in your literature review for your research report.
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Can I use any of my Progress Report materials in my Research Proposal?

Yes. You can use any of your own writing in any of your assessments, throughout the course.
However, materials that you gather early in the course are likely to be superseded as your research project progresses, and you will find better and more well-developed ways of approaching and exploring ideas.
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Research Proposal FAQs

How quickly to I need to work out my research question?

As soon as possible. Today. Get a rough idea of what you want to research and hone your question as you go (what goes into your research proposal is rarely what you end up with).
The data you find, the articles you turn up and your philosophical approach to research will all affect your ideas and direction. Be flexible.
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What do I need to present for the Oral Presentation of my Research Proposal?

You need to think through and answer the following questions:
    1. What is your overarching research question?
    2. What are your aims?
    3. What are your objectives (operationalisation) for each of your aims?
    4. Where will your primary research data come from?
    5. Who will form your primary research sources?
    6. What will your research methods be?
    7. Where will you be looking for your secondary research data?
    8. What do you think your research outcomes will be?
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Do I have to upload PowerPoints for my Research Proposal Oral Presentation?

No, it is not compulsory. The dropbox is there so that there is an NMIT Online/Moodle reminder of the assessment for you.
It is also there for me to pick up all the files from so that we can have a speedy start to the presentation session.
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How do I prepare my written Research Proposal?

You can find the information you need:

    • within the Course Outline (Home tab)
    • by posting a question on the Questions Forum (Home tab)
    • by looking at the Research Proposal exemplars (Assessment tab)
    • by reading the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page (Resources tab) from the exemplars for items listed under #7 below (Research Proposal tab)
As well as what is listed in your course outline, I am drawing your attention to the fact that you need to detail:
    1. the introduction to your project - how you arrived at it, and what you hope to deliver to your client and what you hope to learn from the research
    2. your research question, aims and operationalisation (objectives) as per the lecture materials
    3. your preliminary literature review, outlining your concept map aspects of the research
    4. your research philosophy, inquiry strategy, research methodology and methods
    5. your ethics issues (AS WELL AS properly completing the NMIT Student Research Plan form you can find an exemplar of this in the appendices for my research project which is Research Proposal Exemplar 2)
    6. your time and management budget, and previewing your final report structure. This is where you write up your plan for the whole project, what you are going to do, and when you think you will do those things, with resources, start and dates
    7. your participant information sheets, participant consent forms, sample questions (ie indicative interview, focus group or survey questions), and a support letter or email from your client (addressed to me, as your tutor) - these are likely to go into your appendices
    8. your completed student research form will be submitted into TurnItIn separately.
And remember that, while you can get agreement from your client to participate, you cannot start your primary research until you get permission from the Research and Ethics Committee that your project planning and methodology is sound enough to reach the outcomes you intend.
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What's the difference between aims & operationalisation?

Your aims are your statements of intent, what you are setting out to achieve, highlighting any anticipated difficulties or any mission-critical inclusions. They should be supported by your operationalisation (objectives); the specifics, the measures by which you will know you have answered your aims.
Your operationalisation for each aim needs to detail what you need to find out to answer this aspect of your work, how each answers this area, as a part of your overall research question. Your aims, operationalised this way, will collectively answer your research question.
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What is operationalisation?

Operationalisation means "deciding how a concept or variable is to be measured" (Veal, 2005, p. 59), which includes qualitative assessments and identifiers, and information needs.
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What are objectives then?

"Objectives" is simply another name for operationalisation. I use operationalisation instead for two reasons. Firstly because our textbook uses this term, and secondly, because students are more easily confused between 'aims' and 'objectives'.
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How do aims and operationalisation fit with my research question?



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In my written Research Proposal, should I have a support letter from my client?

Yes. It needs to go, along with your Student Research Plan, to the Research and Ethics Committee.
Include any support letters in the Appendices of your Research Proposal.
Have them address the letter to me, as your supervisor.
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Do I have to complete an ethics application (ie, the NMIT Research Ethics Application form)?

Yes. Upload your completed form alongside your Research Proposal submission.
Upload your NMIT Research Ethics Application in a separate file to your Research Proposal.
I will forward this to the Research and Ethics Committee for you.
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What goes in my Research Ethics Application form?

The Research and Ethics Committee will use JUST this form to make a decision, so be very complete on filling it in. The better the information is that you provide, the more likely they are to allow you to start your primary research quickly.
Use the Research Ethics Application form exemplar on the Assessments tab as a guide for how much information you need to supply.
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Should I include my questions with my Research Ethics Application?

Yes, if you have thought about them already. The more information you can provide the Research and Ethics Committee, the more likely they are to allow you to start your primary research.
Add these to the end of your Research Ethics Application form.
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Should I include my participant consent forms and participant information sheets with my Research Ethics Application?

Yes, if you have created them already. The more information you can provide the Research and Ethics Committee, the more likely they are to allow you to start your primary research.
Add these files to the end of your Research Ethics Application, so I can ensure the Research and Ethics Committee gets them.
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Do I have to have participant consent forms and participant information sheets if I am doing a survey? And do they have to be submitted along with my Research Ethics Application?

Yes, if you have created one already. See the Survey tab: you create a combined participant consent/information form for the front page of your survey. The more information you can provide the Research and Ethics Committee, the more likely they are to allow you to start your primary research.
Fill in the NMIT Participant Consent form template and add it to the end of your Research Ethics Application form.
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Do I need to include signed Participant Consent Forms with my Research Ethics Application?

No.
It's normal to get ethical approval FIRST, then recruit your participants afterwards.
The Participant Consent forms you submit with your Research Ethics Application are the blank forms that you get your participants to read and consider, once you have approval to start your primary research.
What you are doing now is planning, setting up a clear process, and documenting that process for R&EC.
So you don't need to rush into recruiting your participants.
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What happens if my Research Ethics Application needs amending?

Make the changes as indicated, and submit the updated version into the Research Proposal Resubmission Dropbox.
These files will be forwarded to the Research and Ethics Committee.
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Do I have to send my Research Ethics Application form to the Research & Ethics Committee?

No. I will forward this to the Research and Ethics Committee for you, along with my marking comments.
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What do I do with my Research Proposal feedback? Do I have to redo the whole thing?

No. The feedback provided with your research proposal is so that you don't carry forward mistakes into your Research Report. Ensure you repair the issues indicated before carrying the material into your final work.
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When can I start my primary research?

You can only start your research once you have permission from the Research & Ethics Committee or myself (depending on research type) for:

    • (a) your research proposal and
    • (b) your Research Ethics Application and
    • (c) once you have sign off for:
      • (i) your questions (whether they are interview, survey or focus group)
      • (ii) participant information sheets and
      • (iii) participant consent forms.
You may need to provide several edits until you get clearance. Check the Ethics Application Process on the Methodology tab.
Carry on with your literature review and structuring your report/article in the meantime.
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How long with the Research & Ethics Committee take to decide I can go ahead?

Allow for three weeks in your planning, with flexibility for bringing things forward if they get back to you sooner.
I will let you know as soon as I hear.
During this time, work on fixing the shortfalls in your research proposal, and carry that information through to your final report; dive into your literature review; test your questions with the class; and put together as much of your final report as you can.
Spend these 60 hours wisely, and it will pay dividends at the end of the project.
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What happens if my Research Ethics Application form makes my similarity score too high?

It won't, if you upload your Research Ethics Application form separately (as instructed).
If you have included your Research Ethics Application form in your Research Proposal appendices, your similarity score may be high (ie, over 9%). If your Research Proposal is around 4000 words, the similarity created by the Research Ethics Application form will be around 13%.
What to do:
    1. If you have included your Research Ethics Application in your Research Proposal, check your similarity report, and ensure that this - the form - is the only reason for your score being high, and
    2. Email me to let me know, then
    3. I will remove the similarity for you, and will send you your actual 'clean' score.
Don't panic.
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What goes into my Introduction section?

Your introduction section sets the tone for your project.
It outlines why you are interested in your topic, outlines the background, details the context, and introduces the research problem. 
If you get stuck here, some questions to ask yourself are: have you looked at the Research proposal exemplar? The marking schedule? Have you looked at this section in the Frequently Asked Questions section on Moodle? Have you detailed the context your research is within? Have you introduced your research question or topic area? Have you explained why you are interested in this topic?
Also remember that you need to APA reference in this section. 
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How do I write up my literature review for my Research Proposal?

You write your literature review in just the same way as you would for your research report. You synthesise the views of the expert views you are exploring and write the results up in your own words, and APA referenced.
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What should my literature review references look like in my Research Proposal?

Your referencing must be in APA format. The APA referencing in your literature review should happen source by source, for example:
Man, according to Swift (1992, p. 53) "is a story-telling animal". Schank and Abelson (1995, p. 2) state that human "knowledge is encoded as stories". Green (2004) cites an Indian proverb "Tell me a fact and I'll learn. Tell me the truth and I'll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever" (p. 1).
Sometimes you reference per sentence, and sometimes you only need reference at the end of each paragraph (here all the references which were drawn from are included at the end):
“Case in Point” is a more staged delivery process, often used in post-graduate education, particularly on MBA courses. Students receive hefty discussion cases just ahead of class, independently reading and researching, writing up their ideas, relevant theory, issues and problems. Before the class, students discuss their findings in small groups, collectively determining issues and solutions. In class, the lecturer provides minimal input aside from directly asking the first person to answer the lecturer’s first question. From this point, the lecturer lightly referees and guides discussion; drawing out issues, ensuring diversity in voice and view, and providing an effective summary at the close of the two hour session (McNair, 1954; Towl, 1969; Christensen & Hansen, 1987; Roberts, 1997; Rangan, 1995; Parks, 2005; Gill, 2011).
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How many sources do I need for literature review in my Research Proposal?

You should have as many sources as you can find, based on your concept map outline, in the time you have.
I would expect at least ten good quality, academic sources - as a minimum - for the proposal.
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How should the literature review in my Research Proposal be structured?

Your literature review should be presented in the same format as the Research Proposal exemplar (but with - of course - different content).
Cluster your literature into each of your concept map areas. Strongly relate each cluster to your concept map in a logical way to clarify your aims, and - overall - your research question. This is called synthesising the literature. 
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Why is the Research Proposal Literature Review different to the Progress Report? 

The progress report format is simply for quickly reporting what you have been reading.
The progress report format is not a literature review format. The progress report secondary research is simply a list of parts.
Your literature review for your progress report needs to be clustered, themed, synthesised, and pulled together into logical concept map sections in order to start to answer your research question. In a literature review, you in text reference, and have a bibliography of all the papers you have consulted to prepare this at the end of your Research Proposal.
....

What if my literature review is less than 2000 words?

The word count is a guide to probably having written 'enough' to have adequately explored the concept map that you have developed of your topic/question/problem area. While it is OK if your literature review is not 2000 words long, being under this may mean that you have not yet explored your research problem thoroughly enough.
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Can I Use my Research Proposal literature review in my research report/article?

Yes. You can use any of your research proposal materials in your research report/article.
....

Can I use my Progress Report literature in my Research Proposal?

Yes! That is why you have been gathering and writing up your secondary data. You can use any or all of the material that you have gathered thus far. 
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How do I find an academic's email address?

    1. Google search the academic's name and the word 'email", eg "Dr No Body, email".
    2. Repeat the search on Google Scholar
    3. Find other papers by the academic, and see if their email is recorded on any of their other published papers
    4. Find another paper by the academic, and get the name of their institution. Go to the institution's website and search for the academic there
    5. If you have done all the above and still can't find the academic, and if they have written an Academy of Management paper, ask me to get their contact details from AOM.
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How do I write to an academic?

If you are unable to source a key resource from someone, most academics do not mind being contacted to ask for small amounts of help.
Be POLITE. Assume all academics are 'Professor' (the highest academic rank). Write and ask for help, for example:
Dear Professor [X],
I am wondering if you are the Dr [X] who, with Dr [Y], created an interactive poster which was presented at the [Name of Conference] conference in [year]?
If you are, I am hoping that you can help me: I have been trying to track down a copy of your poster. I am currently undertaking some post-graduate study into [explain your research project in a brief sentence] and felt that your poster might yield some great insights.
Are you able to please advise where I could source a copy of your work from?
Thanks & regards
[your name]
Keep your request to one question.
THANK THEM when they reply.
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Oral Presentation FAQs

How big should my Oral Presentation Bibliography be?

Only include citations for items you have quoted in your bibliography for your presentation. It should not exceed one slide.
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How do I provide feedback on the oral presentations?

There is a form that you fill out, which you will find under the Oral Presentation Assignment section on the assessment tab, entitled Oral Presentation Feedback Template.
This needs to be submitted into the Assessment 4: Student Presentation Feedback Dropbox.
....

What does constructive oral presentation feedback look like?

There are four sections that you need to give brief feedback to each presenter on. They are:
    1. What was good
    2. What can be improved
    3. What was missing, and
    4. What surprised you.
Some sample feedback which students have provided:

What was good

What can be improved

What was missing

What surprised you

Really clear, I like the hand out for better understanding. She recovered from getting lost well. I really enjoyed it, I felt she explained it well despite the big English words and complex data

She was talking quickly but was OK to understand, perhaps one more practise before the presentation.

Graphs next to each other to compare a bit better, otherwise great!

The analysis of the graphs and returning it to the virtues was very interesting. Its funny how people say one thing but really do another. I’m really proud for this student as I saw the practise and the actual presentation and she was awesome!

Her topic was very interesting, well prepared and she was very good at talking.

Talk a little louder

A bit more explanation on the Chinese culture that underpins this.

That families will force their family members to study even if they are not interested.
....

Will other students know the feedback is from me?

No. I will summarise the feedback anonymously and pass it back to students.
However, please remember that the feedback you supply is for constructive criticism and the personal development of each presenter, not to undermine individuals or to falsely praise them. Feedback should be provided accordingly.
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Research Reflection Journal FAQs

What is a reflection journal?

Reflection is personal. It is thinking deeply - pondering, cogitating, being introspective - about an experience, analysing those experiences, and then planning future changes based on what we have learned from our mistakes. Reflection helps us understand what worked, so we can keep doing what we found was successful. Reflection, based on our new-found knowledge, lets us both build on and modify our past knowledge. Reflection is the key to learning.

Reflection "involves revealing anxieties, errors and weaknesses, as well as strengths and successes" (Queen Margaret University, 2014, p. 1). It is deeply personal.
A reflective journal is where you think deeply about what has happened to you throughout the research process, and find your key learning points within that process. You will then come up with some strategies for handling future projects.
I am wanting you to tell me about your own experience and learning on the course. How you felt about each area you need to cover, and what learning came from it that will change in your future behaviour. I want to know from you what your real-life application will be the NEXT time you undertake research, and how you will apply your learning to your future behaviour.
....

Are there any resources on reflection?

Yes. The bottom section on the Resources tab contains materials on developing reflective practice and writing good reflection.
....

How long should my reflection be?

A good reflection will be around 4000 words, on average: a fail around 1300. Following are the averages for the grades:

Grade Averages
A 4000
B 1900
C 2500
Fail 1300

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What goes into the Topic Selection section?

Explain why you selected your topic, how you came to the decision you did about your particular topic and your objectives.
Reflect on any difficulties you had with your concept map, or the operationisation of your aims.
Reflect on any difficulties you had with the topic selection process, and the learning you will take away to apply to the next time you undertake research.
....

What goes into the Research Proposal section?

Reflect on the difficulties you had in thinking through how to put together your research proposal. Explain what learning you gained, and what you would know to do in a different way next time.
Reflect on any issues you had in gaining research approval, any difficulties you had with the approvals process, and the learning they take away to apply next time.
Think about what was hard about preparing your additional documentation, such as the Participant Consent Forms and Participant Information Sheets, and your lists of questions. Tell me about what you would do differently on your next project and what tools or skills you have gained from this part of the process.
....

What goes into the Finding/Collecting Information section?

This section encompasses reflecting on how you found information for your the literature review,including determining what are good quality materials, finding articles, contacting other researchers and gaining access to your chosen journals.
Also reflect on any primary research problems that you had, including gaining access to participants, getting enough participants, analysing data and determining what data was 'good' data. Explore difficulties you had with the process, and the learning you take away and your strategies you can apply the next time you undertake research.
....

What goes into the Writing Process section?

Reflect on what sections were difficult to write and which were easy. Tell me about what strategies which others had shared with you: what worked for you, and what didn’t.
Think about what you did for proofing, and how that worked for you. Reflect on the difficulties you had with writing in general, and the learning you take away and your new strategies to apply to the next project you tackle.
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What goes into the Project Review section?

This section contains your reflection on the entire research process, the management process and the course.
You are expected to look deeply at your own performance, and the way you worked on this project, and critically analyse how well you did, and what you could have done better on the research project you have undertaken.
Tell me about your self-evaluation, reflecting on what you have learnt, what worked well for you, what you could have done differently if you have to repeat the process and any other salient points you believe a future researcher could benefit from.
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Report/article FAQs

How quickly should I start writing my report/article?

As soon as you have your marked research proposal back from me, fix the errors and create your final report/article document, version 1.
Note that you can't start your research itself until you have permission from the Research & Ethics Committee.
....

What if I get stuck with my report/article direction?

Based on your reading and research thus far, do a "Fantasy Table of Contents" to work out what you think you should include (including your chosen theories), then walk me through it. This is your plan of where you want to go.
.
Relax and remember that this is just the start for this major piece of work.
....

How do I include theory in my report/article?

Apply each theory to your research in five parts:
      1. First define the relevant theory in your literature review, and
      2. detail the components (and reference each part of this work). Then
      3. in the discussion, tell me why you chose the particular theory to explore. Then
      4. apply the theory to your research, and explain the matches and mismatches, showing likely outcomes/meaning.
      5. Then summarise the meaning in your conclusions.
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What theories should I include in my report/article?

It is absolutely up to you: although you need to ensure that there is logic and carefully constructed argument in what you have chosen. Review earlier management papers that you have completed. Read widely, consult texts. Examine journal articles which match your research method and see what underpinning theories they have used.
Ask me, ask your colleagues, ask other tutors.
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How many sources do I need for the literature review in my report/article?

You should have as many sources as you can find, based on your concept map outline, in the time you have for your research report, but of higher academic quality than your research proposal.
I would expect AT LEAST two pages of bibliographical entries, remembering that this is a 300 credit paper (NB: for my Master's thesis I had 15 pages of bibliography).
Two pages is the minimum: there is nothing wrong with having more!
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How long should my Report be?

Previous students' reports have ranged in length, but the average report lengths over the past couple of years for a passing grade have been around 14,000 words: 

Overall Report
A  20,631
B 12,522
C 9,079
Fail 10,592
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How long should my Literature Review be in my report?

Previous students' reports have ranged in length, but the average report lengths over the past couple of years for a passing grade have been around 3,500 words:

Overall Lit Review
A 5,002
B 3,830
C 1,707
Fail 2,744
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How large should my bibliography be?

I would expect your bibliography to be to be two to three pages in your final report, and to include all materials consulted, cited, and used. It should contain any image and model citations as well as articles and texts.

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What goes in my Literature Review?

Your literature review summarises the key information found in scholarly literature which is related to your research project.
It should be written up to lead the reader through the most important aspects of your topic area, and should form a synthesis of the views of your chosen experts: it is NOT a list of parts. Your writing in this section will "describe, summarise, evaluate and clarify" all those views of the experts which relate to your topic and will be written up to create a smooth and cohesive picture of the environment your research is grounded in.
Your literature review paragraphs all need introductory sentences in to lead your reader into this new idea, you then discuss your expert views, explain what that means for your projects, conclude and close the paragraph.
It should read as: The cost of data storage has fallen dramatically in the past forty years. Mehta reports that the "cost of storing a terabyte of data has fallen from $1 million in the 1970’s to $50 today” (2012, p. 2). This decreases storage entry barriers (Porter, 1980) and reduces the need for data to be deleted. Each paragraph should be written this way, and not: “The cost of storing a terabyte of data has fallen from $1 million in the 1970’s to $50 today” (Mehta, 2012, p. 2).
A good literature review will contain 3,500-6,000 words from experts in the field on the key aspects of your topic. It will define your key terms, present argument and support your research question. You will also explore and provide an under-pinning theoretical base – ie, specific and relevant management theories – to measure your research findings against.
See the Student Research Guide for more information.
....

When should I get started on my Literature Review?

As soon as you have submitted your Research Proposal and your Student Research Plan. As you will be waiting for the Research and Ethics Committee to give your project approval – so you can't start your primary research yet - now is the time to start your literature review.
Doing this now will also help you spot flaws in your proposed methodology, find coding structures, understand more about your likely limiters and delimiters, and deepen your understanding of your research project.
....

Can I use my literature review from my Research Proposal?

Yes.
Anything that you have explored thus far in your research project can be carried forward to be used in your Research Report or Research Article.
However, it is likely that you will have discovered better quality materials along the way, so at least some of those original resources will probably have been superceded.
Additionally, you may also have decided not to use any or your original Research Proposal literature because it now appears too naive to you, and you now have better quality materials to replace it. Not including any of your original materials is perfectly OK as well.
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Can I use literature review material I have already reported in my Progress Reports in my report/article?

Yes. You can re-use material that you have already found and reported on in this project. Yes, yes, yes.
All that you collect and report on throughout your research process may be used in the resulting research report/article. You can discard as much or as little as you want to from the literature that you collect.
Your progress report literature review section is for is to communicate with me, as your supervisor (and possibly with your client), on how your project is going. Then the resulting materials get built into the end product.
For more information, check out the video clip at http://youtu.be/y82omSf2pl4
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Can I use lists?

You can, providing you don't "dump and run". Instead explain why you have included your list with an introductory paragraph, and sum up with a concluding paragraph. Additionally, tell me what EACH individual ITEM is, what it is used for, and why you are including each one. Make each piece of your list work hard for you in telling your research story.
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What information goes where?

Your literature review is the views of experts. This does not contain any of your opinion: only the opinion of experts.
Save your personal opinion up for the discussion. Your methodology is what YOU are going to do, based on the views of expert researchers. This is likely to include your textbook, and MAY include some studies that you have looked at in your literature review, if you are lucky enough to come across studies containing methodologies which are close to yours, and add validity, reliability or generalisability to your research.
Your findings is likely to contain ONLY your work. What YOU found. This is a descriptive section, not evaluative. There will be few, if any, expert references in this section. Your method itself should have been properly explained in your methodology section. However, you may create a way to reference where in your research data that things have come from, so you, or others, can refer back to it.
Your discussion is where you bring together your literature review and compare the experts’ views from your literature review with your findings, and start to develop your own opinion.
The diagram of how this looks is:

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What is the word count on the report/article?

Report
There is no word count on the report, only a word guide of 12,000-20,000 words. Take care to avoid waffle, as you will be penalised for not meeting the required academic standard.
However, previous students have averaged at 16,500 words (including bibliography and appendices).
Article
Follow the instructions at NZJABR and read some of the articles here to get a feel for what the journal is seeking.
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What's the difference between data and information?

Your raw results are data (eg, 1 = true, 3 = true, 5 = true, etc). What you write about them is information (eg, my results indicate that the organisation has a management orientation).
I don't need much data in your report/article: I need information, researcher consideration and reflection and an applied future focus.
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How do I analyse interview data in my Findings?

I don't need to see your raw data: I need to see the construction that you put on your raw data: the information you make from it.
Tabling your responses often make it easier to understand the data, so you can create information from it (and you could use either Excel or Word for this):

Topic

Ren Zing

Jin X

Li W

Zhang Ye

Hiring

prefers to hire experienced people rather than graduates, because Xing needs staff who have social networks to help the company sell more electronic products, and also, experienced people do not need to spend much time learning how to sell the products to customers and potential customers.

prefers to hire people without degrees to be couriers and graduates to be trained as potential managers. Because couriers should be strong and do not need to have much knowledge. On the contrary, managers need to have degrees that can let them be respected and accepted by their subordinates.

prefers to hire a graduate whose major was IT or other related subjects in university, because W’s main business is about IT and it is better if every staff has the professional knowledge related to IT

prefers to hire an experienced person without a degree. Because: She is not a graduate and she is afraid that graduate staffs may not obey her orders; She does not think that graduates are needed in such a small restaurant; Graduate staffs deserve higher salaries but she does not want to pay more money to her staffs as her small restaurant has a limited ability to get profits
Then you can look for common factors across your responses – eg:

Topic

Ren Zing

Jin X

Li W

Zhang Ye

Coding

Hiring

prefers to hire experienced people rather than graduates, because Xing needs staff who have social networks to help the company sell more electronic products, and also, experienced people do not need to spend much time learning how to sell the products to customers and potential customers.

prefers to hire people without degrees to be couriers and graduates to be trained as potential managers. Because couriers should be strong and do not need to have much knowledge. On the contrary, managers need to have degrees that can let them be respected and accepted by their subordinates.

prefers to hire a graduate whose major was IT or other related subjects in university, because W’s main business is about IT and it is better if every staff has the professional knowledge related to IT

prefers to hire an experienced person without a degree. Because: She is not a graduate and she is afraid that graduate staffs may not obey her orders; She does not think that graduates are needed in such a small restaurant; Graduate staffs deserve higher salaries but she does not want to pay more money to her staffs as her small restaurant has a limited ability to get profits

Not management graduates; Want experience + no degree; want graduate + work experience;
Then you can look at your data for over a period of time and seek your emergent codes (the colours), then write up your underlying factors from that (what drives those – eg the green is protectionism: I don’t want to hire anyone smarter than me in case they can take over my job), and while you explore the underlying factors in your findings, you put your analysis tables into your Appendices.
Additionally, be clear about what goes in your findings: Raw data, information, clustering, summarising, coding.
Any application of meaning goes in your discussion.
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What goes in Discussion and what goes in Findings?

Raw data, information, clustering, summarising, coding goes in your Findings.
Application of meaning goes in your Discussion. Your Discussion section is where you pull together your Literature Review and the meaning from your Findings and start making sense of your primary research.
In the example below, the blue highlighted material is findings, the pink is discussion:

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So What are Findings?

Your Findings section contains your primary research data. What constitutes findings is anything you get directly from your sources: which you obtain by personal questioning via whatever your research methods happen to be.
Primary research means you are collecting this data for the very first time.
The Findings section should only contain your primary research. You explore, cluster and group your raw data into information. This will start to show the reader how your research question is likely to be answered.
This section is not for continued exploration of expert data or opinion, or the continued development of expert argument. That should all initially appear in your literature review (so you can pick it up and apply it in the Discussion section).
Nor is the Findings section for interpretation of your findings or for seeking meaning from them. Providing meaning and interpretation happens in the Discussion section, where you link your data to those expert views which you have already introduced in your literature review
Secondary data - which goes in your literature review - is anything you get from a third party, such as book, website or journal; from a graph that your source gives you; or information from someone who knows your source.
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How do I know if I am including secondary data in my findings by accident?

There is a simple way to know if you are including secondary data in your findings by mistake.
Ask yourself the following questions:
Have you have detailed a collection method to gather this data for the first time in your methodology? and
Did you get approval from the R&EC to collect this data?
If no to these, then your data is secondary, and it does not belong in your Findings. If yes, then your data is primary, and belongs in this section.
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What about when I am using the Case Study method?

For case study data to be included in your Findings chapter, it must also be primary. If the data is secondary, then it goes in your Literature Review.
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How do I write my operationalisation for my final report?

Write your operationalisation (objectives) in the past tense, because you have done them now.
Your operationalisation should also be written up the way you initially planned them in your research proposal (or as you altered/amended them in your progress reports).
Then show how much you segued from your plan between the proposal (or progress report) and what you actually researched for your research report.
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Can I submit a report/article section to my supervisor for checking?

I will check some aspects of your report/article early if you are worried: for example, if you are worried that you are referencing correctly. Please note that I won't pre-mark your work, and will give you only general feedback.
Also, I will only check work that has already been submitted into TurnItIn. Follow these instructions:
    1. Log on to NMIT Online. Go to the appropriate assignment dropbox (eg Assessment 6: Research Report or NZJABR Research Article Assignment)
    2. Upload your assignment as a Draft
    3. Then email me to let me know you have submitted a Draft into TurnItIn, and the link to where you have submitted it (copy the URL and email it to me), and that you would like me to have a quick look at [what you would like me to check]
    4. I will check your work within the next two or three days and come back to you with any major issues which need improvement.
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What if my project doesn't fit the report format?

If you are completing a project for a client, what you are doing may not seem to fit the report marking schedule. If that is the case, then taking an exegesis approach might guide you.
Krauth defines an exegesis as an "academic text which accompanies a creative piece produced by a [...] researcher" (emphasis added, 2011). Your 'creative piece' is whatever it is that you are putting together for your client: it might be a database, a contacts list, creating a communications strategy or developing a call-cycle policy and procedure. Your 'academic text' is your write up of the PROCESS you have taken to create that piece of work.
You do both of these things together as you go through the semester: the project and the write up.
You will detail the method, path, planning, decision-making, alternatives, options and choices that you have taken in creating the work for your client.
As you create your project, you are simultaneously writing up HOW you will manage your PROCESS. You will record how you will manage the project, what your process is for deciding what to do, how you make decisions, what alternatives you will consider, what theory you will draw upon to help you to decide, how collaborative you will be, what issues you might find, and what you think you might do about them.
Thus the Management Process somewhat takes the place of your Research Process (see the Week 1 PowerPoints).
Your report sections are treated in a slightly different way, as follows:
    1. Your introduction will include your research question or statement and detail what you aimed to achieve as you would normally, but will need to introduce your reader to the two halves of your project at this point: the project and the write up (NB: your chapter previews and so on will be treated in the normal way).
    2. The theories you draw on for your literature review might come anywhere from within decision-making theory, planning theory, scheduling, project management, communication theory, control, measurement and monitoring theory, process theory, policy or procedural theory, quality management or HR theory. It will be up to you to find things to draw on to populate your literature review. In addition, you will need to scope out the company background, the industry sector, the location, nation and international environment for that, and related industries, and the backgrounds of any relevant major players in the sector. This is all secondary research, so belongs in your literature review.
    3. What you write up for your methodology is HOW you went about deciding what you would do, and how you knew when you had done enough. Includes detailing all your limitations and assumptions for the project, as normal. You will more than likely include some theory in here on how you determined your method, which may or may not appear in your literature review (it might be enough to just mention this theory in your methodology).
    4. Your findings are the detail of what you created and what you discovered for yourself while creating. You might include exploring your meeting minutes with your client, your expectation of times, scheduling, barriers within the organisation. Remember: primary data. Original data that you collect yourself.
    5. The discussion may well be fairly short, as you match your literature review theory to your findings, and talk about what is not yet done, and what the next steps need to be... whether you have met those targets that you set out to achieve.
    6. The conclusions are just wrapping your discussion up, summarising, not leaving any loose ends, and providing any project limitations (NB: only substantive MAJOR issues: your methodology will contain the fiddly little details) and future research is simply summary info from your discussion for those future staff who pick this project up and run with it after you do your final handover and report.
Reference: Krauth, Nigel (2011). Evolution of the exegesis: the radical trajectory of the creative writing doctorate in Australia. Text: Journal of writing and writing courses, April 2011, Volume 15, issue 1. Retrieved 2 June 2015 from http://www.textjournal.com.au/april11/krauth.htm.
Referencing FAQs ....

How do I title my research project?

Now you are finalising your report, you need to ensure that your title will provide sense-making to the reader, and will pick up on the main thrust of your research focus, findings and central conclusions.
Think of your research report title as being the abstract of the abstract.
Go back to those key journals related to your research project, and see how the articles are titled. Then use that style for your report.
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Do I include my Research Ethics Application (REA) in the Appendices of my research report?

No. 
Don't include your REA in the appendices: take it out if you have included it, and that will lower your similarity score. It is taken as a given that you have done all the necessary things to gain permission to start your primary research.
However, you will want to talk about some technical specifics that make your methodology replicable. You do that in your methodology to clarify your methods. You don't need to include all your REA big grin
...

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Referencing FAQs 

Is there a 'How To' Referencing Video?

Yes. You can view a referencing workshop overview which shows you the basics of why we reference and what APA references should look like here: https://youtu.be/h5idGGrWkoc
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What needs to be Referenced?

Check out Dr Stephen Fox's excellent video on what needs to be referenced, and how, here: https://youtu.be/-Xsm5ZlS5R8 And view the child's book that Dr Fox is using to teach us here: https://youtu.be/Aa2D7oXGABE
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Where do I find the information for a textbook reference?

You can view a textbook referencing how to which shows you where to find the information for an APA reference here: https://youtu.be/-WdxF3FPUrQ
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Is there a good 'How to' list for structuring APA references?

Yes. Curtin University has the best list for structuring APA references (both in text and bibliographical) that I have come across. Go here: http://libguides.library.curtin.edu.au/referencing/apa
....


How do I reference?

Use APA 6th Edition.
The point with referencing is to provide your reader - and yourself - with a MAP back to the source materials; a way of re-finding the expert's opinions which you drew on.
You underpin your work with the work of experts to show me whose ideas you have interacted with, how widely you have 'consulted' and how careful and thorough your work has been. Citations are markers of quality.
View the video clips on referencing, and they will help you construct your references.
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What does a bibliographical reference consist of?

For your bibliography, you list all the textbooks, journal articles, articles and videos which you used to write up your assessments. It is a 'building materials list', and it should include EVERYTHING you drew on to complete your work.
Ensure your bibliographical references display all the following information:
Author surname, first name(s) initials (date). Title of item. Country of publication: publisher OR Author surname, first name(s) initials (date). Title of item. Retrieved [date] from: URL
An academic journal is a little different. It needs a journal volume, issue, and page range:
Author surname, first name(s) initials (year). Title of article. Title of journal, season & year of publication, volume #, issue # (pp. x-x)
All the APA required information needs to be supplied for every item. if you get stuck, ask me in class or email me for help, but try to work it out yourself first (all learning comes from trying).
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What is a 'good' reference?

A good reference is one that someone ELSE can access. So if you use an NMIT catalogue link, no one who is not logged onto the NMIT system can access it. This does not provide a map back to the source document. For example, this (incorrect) entry:
Libraries honored for cutting-edge tech. (2014, may). Retrieved from http://llcp.nmit.ac.nz:2251/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CA370444751&v=2.1&u=per_nmit&it=r&p=ITOF&sw=w&asid=4df126d5eaac6f5720419623c82b0db1.
Not only can your reader not access this, but once you no longer have an NMIT logon (and access to the NMIT Library catalogue), you can't access this either. So you are better to create a reference with some longevity. For example, this entry, reworked, is:
American Library Association (February 2014). Four local libraries honored for offering cutting-edge services. Retrieved 17 September 2015 from http://www.ala.org/news/press-releases/2014/02/four-local-libraries-honored-offering-cutting-edge-services.
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What order is a bibliography listed in?

Your bibliography must be in alpha-numeric order by author surname.
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What is an in text reference?

There are two parts to academic referencing:
    1. 'in text' citations, which is where you link to your bibliography within your writing; place your flags inside your sentences using (Author, date) – or (Author, date, p. x) if a quote - to show where the links are to your


  • bibliographical references. This latter is where you have your full APA, map back to the source, reference.



  • ....

    OK, so how do in-text references work?

    An in text reference requires an author surname and a year of publication, surrounded by round brackets: eg, (Author surname, year).
    Where you want to indicate within the body of your document where ideas have come from, enter your citation: eg, (Daft, 2008). For example:
    Richard Daft suggests that we associate leaders with famous or newsworthy people such as prime ministers, military heroes or sporting legends (Daft, 2008).
    As long as both parts are within the paragraph, you can split year from the author's name, eg:
    Daft suggests that we associate leaders with famous or newsworthy people such as prime ministers, military heroes or sporting legends (2008).
    Ensure you have included the bibliographical entry in your bibliography, eg:
    Daft, R. L. (2008). The Leadership Experience (Fourth Edition). USA: Thomson-South Western.
    ....

    Should I always include a page number in an in text reference?

    No, you don't need to.
    The rule, whenever we quote anyone's words, models, drawings or illustrations from a numbered document, is to provide a page number. For example: "Leadership is an influence relationship among leaders and followers who intend real changes and outcomes that reflect their shared purposes" (Daft, 2008, p. 4).
    This tells the reader that if they go to page 4 in the document, they will find exactly what you have quoted. The implication is also that you will have ensured that the meaning you have used in your writing will align with what the original author said; that you won't have taken the author's words out of context.
    However, sometimes you might want to include a page number to help you find a particular area in a book, even though you are not quoting, and the choice is yours (just be aware that, if you were going to submit to a journal, some publishers might not like this
    ).
    ....

    What is a second-hand reference?

    The person you are reading has quoted another author.
    Whenever you can, go back to the source author, but if you can't read the original, you can cite the 'second-hand' author.
    If a quote is 'second-hand' - ie the person writing about it is themselves quoting the original author - we can chose to cite as follows: "Leadership is an influence relationship among leaders and followers who intend real changes and outcomes that reflect their shared purposes" (Rost, 1991, p. 102, as cited in Daft, 2008, p. 4).
    However, to get REALLY technical (and this is possibly outside this level of referencing), Daft changed a couple of Rost's words. So if we need to indicate that, we do that by citing it this way: "Leadership is an influence relationship among leaders and followers who intend real changes and outcomes that reflect their shared purposes" (Daft, 2008, after Rost, 1991, p. 102, as cited in Daft, 2008, p. 4).
    ....

    How often should I reference?

    I would expect to see at least one in-text reference in each paragraph of your writing. For example:
    Daft suggests that we associate leaders with famous or newsworthy people such as prime ministers, military heroes or sporting legends (2008). By this I think that Daft is implying that we are naturally drawn to Great Man leadership, or to leaders as persons or personalities.
    Ensure in your findings that you create a way to reference your research raw data. You will usually find you need at least two citations as you are tying the theory to your findings in your discussion, and possibly many more as you synthesise material.
    ....

    How do I reference YouTube clips?

    Use the same process as listed above: the author of the clip, the title of the clip, the date it was recorded (and if you don't know, use the upload date), the date you accessed it, and the URL. For example, Adam Liepzig's TED Talk:
    Liepzig, A. (2013). TEDxMalibu: How to know your life purpose in 5 minutes. Retrieved 12 December 2014 from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVsXO9brK7M
    The only thing that you need change in what is listed above is what your access date actually was.
    ....

    How do I reference the Course Materials?

    I put a reference on most of my slides which tells you where my material comes from. It is good academic practice to go back to the original source wherever you can (and I would prefer you to do that). You will find a bibliography at the end of each PowerPoint: and if that item is not in the course materials and you don't have it, email me, and I will send it to you.
    However, if there isn't a reference on my slide (ie, this is my own work), then you can cite me. There are two ways to do the bibliographical entry (eg below for Week 1). They are both correct, but which one you chose depends on your personal preference:
    Young, S. (2015). Week 1 Preparation. Retrieved 25 February 2015 from http://ecampus.nmit.ac.nz/moodle/mod/resource/view.php?id=251440 Or Young, S. (2015). Week 1 Preparation. Nelson, NZ: NMIT [Course Materials]
    ....

    What if I have LOTS of Course Materials I want to reference?

    Each individual material needs a separate reference: your aim is to provide a map back to the source for reads your work. Now this gets a bit tricky when you are dealing with a whole load of resources that is written by the same person, in the same year.
    So, for example, if you wanted to cite several course materials, then you would list them in order and add a letter to the year, so that when you cited them in-text, you could draw on exactly the right one.
    In-text: (Young, 2015a)
    Bibliography (both correct - you choose): Young, S. (2015a). Week 1 Preparation. Retrieved 25 February 2015 from http://ecampus.nmit.ac.nz/moodle/mod/resource/view.php?id=251440 Or Young, S. (2015a). Week 1 Preparation. Nelson, NZ: NMIT [Course Materials]]
    The next one you would list as 'Young, 2014b' etc (and if you want to quote a particular slide, you use that as your page number).
    ....

    How do I add a page number in a Word 2007/10/13 Referencing citation bracket?

    To add a page number to an in-text reference, just select the reference that you want to add a quote to, and right-click. Select edit from the pop-up menu, then add the page number in the dialogue box that pops up. Hit OK.
    ....

    How can I easily find a citation?

    Watch the clip below for how to find citations using GoogleScholar:
    ....

    Help! I am using Word 2007/10/13 Referencing and my title is showing in my in-text reference brackets!

    You have probably entered your author more than once in your bibliography: that is usually why the heading comes up in the bracket (two identical items - ie, same author, same year). Delete one. If you want to add a page number for a quote, use the method above. Each source should only be added once.
    ....

    Why did my quote show up in my Similarity Score, even though I cited it properly?

    TurnItIn ‘sees’ quotes – and filters them from your similarity score – because you use double quotation marks to identify them. TurnItIn expects a pair of double quotation marks, with the close quote mark before a hard return (¶), including all the text between the two double marks. Reasons for your quote not showing properly are:
      1. If you start a quote and carry it on to a new paragraph (ie, have a hard return without close quote mark) TurnItIn ignores the first quote mark and does not count it as a quote. You must start and end a quote within the same paragraph for TurnItIn to treat it as a quote. Bullet pointed lists are an often mistreated example, where quotes should be cited in double quotation marks line by line.

  • You must use double quotes for TurnItIn to treat quotes as quotes, not singles (ie "x", not 'x').




  • If you wanted to cite Richard L. Daft who said that When most people think of leaders, they recall great historical figures such as Abraham Lincoln, Napoleon, and Alexander the Great, or think of "big names" in the news, and left the double quote marks around the words 'big names', you would turn off your quote. It is accepted academic practice to change existing double quote marks for singles when you are citing. Your quote would appear as:
    Daft (2008, p. 3) states "When most people think of leaders, they recall great historical figures such as Abraham Lincoln, Napoleon, and Alexander the Great, or think of 'big names' in the news


  • ".
    ....

    How much can I quote?

    You only use the author's own words for definitions, or for pieces that you cannot phrase any better yourself. Quote as infrequently as possible: a maximum of 10% of your work overall. Thus you will spend more than 90% of your writing time in paraphrasing (and citing) others, not in quoting.
    Quotes should NEVER be more than 100 words, and this length should be extremely rare. A normally accepted quote length is up to 50 words, but aim for around ten words as an average. The Daft quote in the section above ("When most people think of leaders, they recall great historical figures such as Abraham Lincoln, Napoleon, and Alexander the Great, or think of 'big names' in the news
    ") is 28 words.
    However, quotes should be short and punchy. The Daft quote would be better partly paraphrased as:
    Daft suggests that we associate leaders with "great historical figures" or newsworthy people such as prime ministers, military heroes or sporting legends (2008, p. 3).
    Wherever you use a quote, give me a lead-in sentence telling me why the coming quote is important, provide the quote in double quotation marks citing the page number (if from a numbered document), then give me your analysis of what it means. The conclude with a lead-out sentence. For example, again using our Daft quote:
    Daft suggests that we associate leaders with "great historical figures" or newsworthy people such as prime ministers, military heroes or sporting legends (2008, p. 3). By this I think that Daft is implying that we are naturally drawn to Great Man leadership, or to leaders as persons or personalities. A more balanced approach, in my opinion, is Grint's leadership lenses which explores not only leadership as a person, but also as a process which improves and strengthens us as leaders; as the results or the things we gain from of leadership
    leadership; and as a position, or the roles which we hold as leaders (2000, as cited by Jackson, 2009).
    Your work cannot consist simply of a list of quotes, as that doesn't show me the development of your own ideas. Quotes provided in a "dump and run" manner - ie, not contextualised - will not gain you marks.
    ....

    Using TurnItIn

    The Assignment dropboxes on the site is where your file goes (you just click on the particular dropbox link and follow the instructions). If you are worried about uploading to TurnItIn, go to the General Resources tab, and click the "How to" upload to TurnItIn & use Similarity Score link. I think that might give you enough information to help you upload your file (it might be a bit out of date).
    There is no charge for you to use TurnItIn: it is covered by NMIT in your tuition fee.
    ....

    How do I submit an assignment draft through TurnItIn?

    Ensure you have plenty of time to check your work before your assignment is due. I would be aiming to submit a day early so you have time to edit and resubmit your assignment before the deadline.
    Follow these instructions:
      1. Log on to NMIT Online. View the help page info at http://ecampus.nmit.ac.nz/moodle/mod/book/view.php?id=3786&chapterid=7345
  • Go to the Assessment tab, and go into the relevant assignment dropbox


  • Upload your assignment as a DRAFT


  • Once TurnItIn has processed your work, you can then check your similarity score (this may take an hour or more)


  • Once processed, a similarity score percentage will appear. Click on the percentage to access the report.


  • So you can make any required edits, download your Similarity Score report by clicking the print icon, and selecting download pdf, on the bottom left-hand footer of the report page


  • Edit your draft on your PC until you have your score as low as possible, actively noting where and how you have not paraphrased or treated materials appropriately so you add to your store of skill


  • Save your updated draft assignment with a slightly different name (eg "v 2" or similar in the title), so that TurnItIn will generate a new score.


  • Beside your existing submitted Draft, click the cross to delete it, and click OK on the "are you sure" message


  • Upload your new version as a DRAFT


  • Repeat steps 4-8 until you have a similarity score as low as you want it (NB: your score must be below 10%).


  • ....

    Argh! How do I delete my 'submit for marking' assignment from TurnItIn?

    If you have already selected "submit for marking" on your assignment, follow these instructions:
      1. Download your Similarity Score report so you can make your edits (click on your similarity score percentage to access the report, download the report by clicking the print icon, and selecting download pdf, on the bottom left-hand footer of the report page)
      2. Email me and ask me if I can "revert to draft" your submitted assignment because your similarity score is too high and you want to amend it
      3. I will email you back once done
      4. Beside your existing submitted Draft, click the cross to delete it, and click OK on the "are you sure" message
  • Make your edits until the issues from your similarity score report have been dealt with. Give your assignment a slightly different file name (eg "v 2" or similar in the title), so that TurnItIn will generate a new score


  • Then upload your updated assignment as a Draft


  • Recheck your score once it has run to ensure that it is under 10%


  • Once you are sure your work is correct, click 'submit for marking'.


  • ....

     

    Writing Style Tips

    Following are some academic writing style tips:
      • Abbreviations: always have the abbreviation in full the first time you use it, followed by the letters in brackets - eg The Land Transport Safety Authority (LTSA). You can use the abbreviation only from that point on. If you are going to full stop abbreviations, do all of them: i.e., e.g., L.T.S.A., A.C.C., etc.; or none: ie, eg, LTSA, ACC, etc.
      • Apostrophe, possessive: to signify ownership, you use an apostrophe - ie, the 'grocer's apostrophe'. The apostrophe is used by the grocer.
      • Numbers: Always use words for single digit numbers, ie, one, two etc (unless being used with a measurement - eg, a percentage: 9%). For double digit numbers and upward, always use numerals (10, not ten).
      • Plurals, gender-neutral: Use the gender neutral plural ‘they’ (not ‘he/she’), and 'them' (not 'him/her'). These neuter plurals are much less clunky to read than items divided by a stroke, and align with the Oxford English Dictionary’s usage advice.
      • Plurals, general: ensure you do not apostrophise plurals - ie, "six bananas" not "six banana's". If you are talking about several of something, there is no apostrophe.
      • Proper nouns: capitalise proper nouns, but not normal nouns. Thus "leadership" does not have a capital unless it is the title of something, such as "The Leadership Experience". Conjunctions do not usually get capitalised in a title (a conjunction is a 'joining word' such as to, of, the, a, for, and).

    ....

    What do I do if I have a technical issues?

    Check out the Introduction to NMIT Online section of the programme home page for support materials and IT support contact details.
    ....

    I'm not sure I'm on the right track with a particular task - who can help?

    You can:

      • Post a question to Questions Forum
      • Bring it up with your peers on the course
      • Contact Sam directly in class or via email
    ....

    Who can help me find some resources for a particular task?

    Checkout the Support materials section of the course or the general Library resources listed in the Support Services section.
    Contact the library direct: Email library@nmit.ac.nz | Phone 0800 422 733 ext 780
    ....

    I'm finding all the writing, referencing, time management or other aspects of the course a bit of a challenge - who can help?

    Ask a question in Questions Forum - your fellow students may be able to assist before Sam answers.
    Checkout all the support services available in the Support services section of the programme home page.
    Contact the library direct: Email studentsupporthelp@nmit.ac.nz | Phone 0800 442 733 ext 655
    ....

    I need to enquire about an assignment extension or withdrawing from the course - what do I do?

    Check out the Policies and procedures section of the programme home page.
    ....