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Topic X Coping with

Assignments

LEARNING OUTCOMES
By the end of this topic, you should be able to:
1.

Identify the steps of writing an assignment;

2.

Explain the structure of an assignment;

3.

Describe the principles of APA referencing style;

4.

Discuss the common faults found in an assignment; and

5.

Appreciate the ethics in writing an assignment.

X INTRODUCTION
Writing assignments is one part of independent learning at OUM. An assignment
is one of the important assessment methods in OUM. It directly influences
learners approaches to study. More importantly, writing assignments is a
process of finding evidence that the course learning outcomes have been
achieved when you have successfully completed this course.

5.1

STEPS OF WRITING ASSIGNMENTS

Testing by assignment is one of the most popular forms of assessments at OUM.


This is usually part of the coursework and assessment to gauge the level of your
understanding as well as your progress. An assignment differs from
an essay in format, in that headings and subheadings are used to denote
relationships or connectivity of issues. Writing an assignment does not mean a
mere presentation of facts. It is more like an academic exercise in which you have
a stand on certain issues, argue out the reasons and provide authoritative
evidence to support your argument.

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In this subtopic, you will be guided to how to write an assignment by following


the steps given. There are basically 10 steps to producing a good written
assignment:
(a)

Select a Topic
Choose one that you are comfortable with, one that you know something
about. Sometimes the lecturer or tutor assigns the topic to each individual.

(b)

Analyse the Topic


Ask yourself what the main issues and supporting issues are. Check what
the topic requires you to do: explain, comment, elaborate, account for,
analyse, etc. Understand what each term means (pIease refer to the
dictionary for explanation).

(c)

Search for Information


Use the steps in the OUM Information Trail (Topic 3). Use the search
strategy you know best and apply it to: OPAC, e-book database, e-journal
database and the Internet.

(d)

Evaluate and Select


Do you have enough information which is relevant to the main issues and
supporting issues? (Apply evaluation criteria in Topic 9).

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(e)

Take Notes from Resources


Make sure the notes cover all aspects related to the main issues and
supporting issues.

(f)

Plan an Outline
Make sure that the outline consists of introduction, body of content,
conclusion and accompanying information in the form of appendixes,
footnotes, etc.

(g)

Organise and Consolidate


Write notes for each part e.g.

Introduction,

Body of content,

Conclusion, and

Accompanying information.

(h)

Write the Paper


Be guided by the following: Language should be simple and clear. There
should be a smooth flow of ideas and arguments. Apply creative thinking.
Provide accompanying information in the form of appendixes and
references.

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(i)

Review Assignment
 Have I dealt with the main issue and supporting issues thoroughly?
 Is the content relevant and thorough?
 Is there sufficient supporting evidence to uphold my views, opinions
and ideas?
 Does the paper make sense overall?
 Is the language clear and precise, or vague and ambiguous?
 Do the paragraphs connect well?
 Are the quotations appropriately cited?
 Are the illustrations properly labelled?
 Are there spelling errors?
 Are all the references cited in the assignment properly recorded?

(j)

Present Before Deadline


It is important to present your assignment before the deadline. No matter
how good your assignment is, it shows poor time management skills if it
is presented after the deadline. You have to allot sufficient time for
completing your assignment. Avoid procrastination in order to produce a
good assignment. Do you know how to schedule time for completing
assignments? Visit the following website http://www.lib.umn.edu/
help/calculator/ and try the University of Minnesotas Assignment
Calculator. It will guide you to set your own deadlines in completing the
written assignment efficiently.

ACTIVITY 5.1
Go to the website (stated in the earlier paragraph). Based on your
findings from the website, list down your action plan and deadlines in
preparing an assignment.

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5.2

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STRUCTURE OF AN ASSIGNMENT

An essay has an Introduction, a Body and a Conclusion. Let us move on and get
some tips on how to begin your essay with the first component: an Introduction.

5.2.1

Introduction

When writing the introduction, you should state the scope of the paper, set the
scene or clarify what the main issue is and how you intend to approach it.
Writing the introduction is actually putting the topic into perspective and serves
as a preview of what you intend to say. It should be short, to the point and not
more than two paragraphs (see Figure 5.1).

Figure 5.1: An example of an Introduction

Let us analyse the Introduction shown in Figure 5.1. If you notice, the writer
started off by describing the need and the role of a library in the first paragraph.
In the second paragraph, the writer continued by explaining how the role of the
library can be determined by understanding the concept of education, aims and
objectives of education, etc. Then, the writer relates this idea to how OUMs
Digital Library also supports the concept of the democratisation of higher
education (which is also OUMs aim), OUM and its core activities. With that, the

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writer has successfully introduced the topic of the paper, Providing Equal
Opportunity in Distance Learning: The Role of the OUM Digital Library.

5.2.2

Body of Content

The main body of content should contain your ideas, opinions and facts,
explained and argued out systematically and logically, with each idea or issue or
argument flowing smoothly from one to another. Each paragraph should contain
only one main point or main idea, with supporting details.
The paragraphs should be interconnected, so that ideas flow smoothly throughout
the main body of content. Make sure that when an issue is raised in one paragraph,
it is carefully and systematically followed through in the following paragraphs
before raising another issue. Use a numbering system to show the relationship or
the interconnectivity between issues as shown in Figure 5.2. Illustrations
(diagrams, pictures, etc) should be used if they help in clarifying the issues.

Figure 5.2: An example of related topics in the body of content

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5.2.3

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Conclusion

Always refer to the topic when you write this section. Ensure that your
conclusion tallies with the introduction and the body of content. A good
conclusion should provide the reader with a sense of completion or closure  end
of a story. Do not repeat what you have said in the introduction. The conclusion
must show progress in the development of the topic from the introduction and
through the body of content (see Figure 5.3). The conclusion does not introduce
new ideas, arguments or opinions, but should represent closure of the issues or
ideas argued out in the main body.

Figure 5.3: An example of how to conclude a topic in the conclusion

ACTIVITY 5.2
In your previous experiences in writing an assignment, how many
drafts did you come up with? Do you think it is necessary to have
more than one draft? Post your comments in the Forum.

5.3

APA CITATION STYLE

In the process of completing your assignments, you need to document all the
sources used in your paper. There are many ways of documenting sources within
the text of a paper and in the reference section at the end of your paper. OUM
citation style is based on the American Psychological Association (APA) format.

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Components of Referencing

The main reasons for referencing are:


(a)

To enable your tutor to follow up the references and find the sources,

(b)

To demonstrate to your tutor you have read widely a range of opinions,

(c)

To enable your tutor to check the accuracy of the information you have
given,

(d)

Good referencing will assist in avoiding accusations of plagiarism, and

(e)

You will lose marks if you do not acknowledge sources.

There are two components of referencing:


(a)

In-text referencing, which acknowledges the parts that you cite from other
sources within the body of your work.

(b)

A reference list at the end of your work, which is a list of all the sources
cited in the text in your assignment.

Table 5.1 portrays types of resources or references with APA cited referencing
style.
Table 5.1: Types of Resources or References with APA Cited Referencing Style
BOOKS
(i)

ONE AUTHOR

In-Text Citation
Haig (2001) examined the effects..
..transform business globally (Haig, 2001).

Reference List
Authors Name. (Year). Title of book (Edition). Place of publication: Publisher.
Haig, M. (2001). The B2B e-commerce handbook: How to transform your businessto-business global marketing strategy. London: Kogan Page.

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(ii)

TWO AUTHORS

In-Text Citation
Boone and Kurtz (2001) explained the impact..
..environment and culture (Boone & Kurtz, 2001).

Reference List
1st Authors Name, & 2nd Authors Name. (Year). Title of book: Subtitle of book
(Edition). Place of publication: Publisher.
Boone, L. E., & Kurtz, D. (2001). Contemporary marketing (10th ed.). Forth Worth,
TX: Harcourt Colleges Publishers.
(iii)

THREE TO FIVE AUTHORS

In-Text Citation
Allen, Kania and Yaeckel (2001) assessed relationship marketing..
called mass customization (Allen, Kania, & Yaeckel, 2001).

Reference List
1st Authors Name, 2nd Authors Name, 3rd Authors Name, 4th Authors Name,
& 5th Authors Name. (Year). Title of book: Subtitle of book (Edition). Place
of publication: Publisher.
Allen, C., Kania, D., & Yaeckel, B. (2001). One-to-one web-marketing: Build a
relationship marketing strategy one customer at a time (2nd ed.). New York:
John Wiley.
(iv)

SIX OR SEVEN AUTHORS

In-Text Citation
Harrison et al. (2005) compared two records..
..in the bank (Harrison et al., 2005).

Reference List
1st Authors Name, 2nd Authors Name, 3rd Authors Name, 4th Authors Name,
5th Authors Name, 6th Authors Name, & 7th Authors Name. (Year). Title
of book: Subtitle of book (Edition). Place of publication: Publisher.
Harrison, W. T. Jr., Horngren, C. T., Ismail, Z., Chng, C. K., Samad, F., & Mak, Y.
T. (2005). Financial accounting in Singapore and Malaysia. Singapore:
Prentice Hall.

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EIGHT OR MORE AUTHORS

In-Text Citation
Barrett et al. (2012) listed all the..
..the title page (Barrett et al., 2012).

Reference List
The first six (6) authors names should be included follow by using ellipsis points
(...) before citing last
authors name.
1st Authors Name, 2nd Authors Name, 3rd Authors Name, 4th Authors Name,
5th Authors Name, 6th Authors Name, ... Last Authors Name (Year). Title
of book: Subtitle of book (Edition). Place of publication: Publisher.
Barrett, J. M., Smith, V., Wilson, R. T., Haley, V. A., Clarke, P., Palmer, N. B., 
Fraser, D. (2012). How to cite references in APA style. Christchurch, New
Zealand: University of Canterbury Library.
(vi)

EDITED BOOKS

In-Text Citation
Duncan and Brooks-Gunn (1997) related the poor..
..and poor people (Duncan & Brooks-Gunn, 1997).

Reference List
Editors Name (Ed). (Year). Title of book: Subtitle of book. Place of publication:
Publisher.
Duncan, G. J. & Brooks-Gunn, J. (Eds.). (1997). Consequences of growing up poor.
New York: Russell Sage Foundation.
(vii)

BOOKS WITH CORPORATE AUTHOR


(a) Corporate Author as Publisher (Without Abbreviation)

In-Text Citation
x

American Psychiatric Association (1994) outlined psychiatric mental..

..mental health needs (American Psychiatric Association, 1994).

Reference List
Corporate Authors Name. (Year). Title of book (Edition). Place of publication:
Author.
American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of
mental disorders (4th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

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(b) Corporate Author (Without Abbreviation)

In-Text Citation
x

Institute of Financial Education (1982) predicted the financial..

..managing funds personally (Institute of Financial Education, 1982).

Reference List
Corporate Authors Name. (Year). Title of book (Edition). Place of publication:
Author.
Institute of Financial Education. (1998). Managing personal funds. Chicago:
Midwestern.
(c) Corporate Author (With Abbreviation)

In-Text Citation
x

Ministry of Health [MOH] (2012) revised the policy..

..with thorough examination (Ministry of Health [MOH], 2012).

Subsequent citations
x

MOH (2012) stated ..

.. (MOH, 2012).

Reference List
Corporate Authors Name. (Year). Title of book (Edition). Place of publication:
Publisher.
Ministry of Health (2009). Guidelines for resuscitation training in Ministry of
Health Malaysia hospitals and healthcare facilities. Putrajaya, Malaysia:
Author.
(viii)

CHAPTERS IN BOOKS

In-Text Citation
Smith (2006) developed complementary methods..
..the conventional methods (Smith, 2006).

Reference List
Authors Name. (Year). Title of chapter: Subtitle of chapter. In Editors Name, Title
of book: Subtitle of book (Edition, pp. first pagelast page of the chapter).
Place of publication: Publisher.
Smith, M. L. (2006). Multiple methodology in education research. In J. L. Green, G.
Camilli, & P. B. Elmore (Eds.), Handbook of complementary methods in
education research (pp. 457-475). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

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ELECTRONIC BOOKS
(a) Without Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

In-Text Citation
Miller (2008) stated the careers..
..the nature lovers (Miller, 2008).

Reference List
Authors Name. (Year). Title of book. Retrieved from URL
Miller, L. (2008). Careers for nature lovers & other outdoor types. Retrieved from
http://www.ebscohost.com

(b) With Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

In-Text Citation
Chaffe-Stengel and Stengel (2012) compared the working..
..they are exploring (Chaffe-Stengel & Stengel, 2012).

Reference List
Authors Name. (Year). Title of book. URL / DOI.
Chaffe-Stengel, P., & Stengel, D. (2012). Working with sample data: Exploration
and inference. http://dx.doi.org/10.4128/9781606492147

UNPUBLISHED DOCTORAL DISSERTATIONS AND MASTER S THESES


(i)

UNPUBLISHED DOCTORAL DISSERTATIONS AND MASTER S THESES

In-Text Citation
Maddigan (2010) found women in..
..of career development (Maddigan, 2010).

Reference List
Authors Name. (Year). Title of doctoral dissertation / master thesis: Subtitle of
doctoral dissertation / master thesis (Unpublished doctoral dissertation/
Unpublished masters thesis). University Name, Place.
Maddigan, P. (2010). Women and career advancement: A case study in the
Australian Federal Police (Unpublished master's thesis). Victoria University,
Melbourne, Australia.

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(ii)

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DOCTORAL DISSERTATIONS AND MASTER S THESES IN PROQUEST


DISSERTATIONS AND THESES DATABASE AND OBTAINED FROM UMI

In-Text Citation
Wehnert (2009) concluded that TQM..
..implementation of TQM (Wehnert, 2009).

Reference List
Authors Name. (Year). Title of doctoral dissertation /master thesis: Subtitle of
doctoral dissertation / master thesis. (Doctoral dissertation/ Masters
thesis). Available from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Database. (UMI
No.)
Wehnert, U. E. (2009). Implementing TQM cross-culturally: A mediated model of
national culture dimensions, TQM values and organizational performance.
(Doctoral dissertation). Available from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses
Database. (UMI No. 3361225)
ARTICLES IN PERIODICAL (JOURNAL, NEWSPAPER, MAGAZINE)
(i)

PRINT JOURNAL ARTICLES

In-Text Citation
Freeman (2000) supported the view..
..of Malaysian market (Freeman, 2000).

Reference List
Authors Name. (Year). Title of article in the journal. Title of Journal: Subtitle of
Journal, Volume(Issue), first page-last page of the article.
Freeman, S. (2000). Industry environment: Influence on performance of smallmedium sized enterprise in Asia-Pacific markets. Asian Academy of
Management Journal, 5(2), 96-113.
(ii)

JOURNAL ARTICLES IN PRESS*

*In press means that a paper has been accepted for publication by a journal.
In-Text Citation
Gary (in press) rated customer satisfaction..
..achieve higher rate (Gary, in press).

Reference List
Gary, J. L. (in press). An empirical study on the effects of job satisfaction on
behavioral intentions. Journal of Satisfaction Studies.

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ELECTRONIC JOURNAL ARTICLES


(a) Uniform Resource Locator (URL)

In-Text Citation
Kenneth (2000) investigated the issues..
..their human right (Kenneth, 2000).

Reference List
Authors Name. (Year). Title of article in the journal. Title of Journal: Subtitle of
Journal, Volume(Issue), first page-last page of the article. Retrieved from
URL
Kenneth, I. A. (2000). A Buddhist response to the nature of human right. Journal of
Buddhist Ethics, 8. Retrieved from http://www.cac.psu.edu/j
be/twocont.html
(b) Database

In-Text Citation
Dabney and Tzeng (2013) identified dimensions of..
..service quality dimensions (Dabney & Tzeng, 2013).

Reference List
Authors Name. (Year). Title of article in the journal. Title of Journal: Subtitle of
Journal, Volume(Issue), first page-last page of the article. Retrieved from
Database
Dabney, B. W., & Tzeng, H. (2013). Service quality and patient-centered care.
MEDSURG Nursing, 22(6), 359-364. Retrieved from Academic Search
Premier Database
(c) Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

In-Text Citation
Jurez (2014) contrasted the findings..
..financial statement analyses ( Jurez, 2014).

Reference List
Authors Name. (Year). Title of article in the journal. Title of Journal: Subtitle of
Journal, Volume(Issue), first page-last page of the article. DOI.
Jurez, F. (2014). Review of the principles of complexity in business administration
and application in financial statements. African Journal of Business
Management, 8(2), 48-54. doi: 10.5897/AJBM2013.7274x.

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(iv)

NEWSPAPER ARTICLES

In-Text Citation
Romann (2014) commented on the..
..and Singapore government (Romann, 2014).

Reference List
Authors Name (Year, Month Day Published). Article title. Newspaper Title, first
page-last page of the article.
Romann, A. (2014, January 10-16). Mixed outlook for Asian currencies. China
Daily, p. 11.
(v)

NEWSPAPER ARTICLES (DISCONTINUOUS PAGES)

In-Text Citation
Schwartz (1993) wrote about the..
..and social problems (Schwartz, 1993).

Reference List
Authors Name (Year, Month Day Published). Article title. Newspaper Title, first
page, subsequent pages of the article.
Schwartz, J. (1993, September 13). Obesity affects economic, social status. The
Washington Post, pp. A1, A4.
CONFERENCE PAPERS
(i)

CONFERENCE PAPERS (PRINT)

In-Text Citation
Prayag and Ramjee (2009) related the research..
..in poultry production (Prayag & Ramjee, 2009).

Reference List
Authors Name. (Year). Title of conference paper. In Editors Name (Ed.), Title of
Conference/ Published Proceedings (first pagelast page of conference
paper). Place of Publication: Publisher.
Prayag, I. L., & Ramjee, R. (2009). The impact of Newcastle disease control on
smallholder poultry production in Mauritius. In R. G. Alsers, P. B.
Spadbrow, & M. P. Young (Eds.), Village chickens, poverty alleviation and

the sustainable control of Newcastle disease: Proceedings of an international


conference held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 5-7 October 2005 (pp. 132-134).
Canberra, ACT: Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research.

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CONFERENCE PAPERS (ONLINE)

In-Text Citation
Tunon and Jensen (2012) recognised the importance..
..effective web-based presentation (Tunon & Jensen, 2009).

Reference List
Authors Name. (Year). Title of conference paper. In Editors Name (Ed.), Title of
Conference/ Published Proceedings (first pagelast page of conference
paper). Place of Publication: Publisher. Retrieved from URL.
Tunon, J. &, Jensen. J. (2012). Free and easy web-based presentation and
classroom tools. In T. J. Peters (Ed.), Proceedings of the 15th annual Distance
Library
Services
Conference,
Mempis,
TN.
Retrieved
from
http://ocls.cmich.edu/conf2012/
(iii)

UNPUBISHED CONFERENCE PAPERS

In-Text Citation
Portman (2000) reviewed the effectiveness..
..playing computer games (Portman, 2000).

Reference List
Authors Name. (Year, Month). Title of conference paper. Paper presented at the
Title of Conference: Subtitle of Conference, Place.
Portman, J. (2000, May). Teaching learners English using video games. Paper
presented at the 3rd International Conference on Computer-Assisted
Language Learning, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
PERSONAL COMMUNICATIONS
(i)

The initials as well as the surname of the communicators are usually provided as
exact a date as possible. Personal communications such as e-mail, letter, memos,
personal interviews, telephone conversations are not included in the reference list
because they do not provide recoverable data.

In-Text Citation
x

J. J. Tommy (personal communication, November 15, 2013) described


university education ..

.. the undergraduate students (J. J. Tommy, personal communication,


November 15, 2013).

Reference List
N/A

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SECONDARY REFERENCED PAPERS


(i)

Secondary referenced papers are papers where the work of an author is learnt
from the work of other author(s).

In-Text Citation
x

Stake (as cited in Cano, 2012) pointed out the..

..and primary schools (Stake, as cited in Cano, 2012).

Reference List
Cano, E. V. (2012). Mobile learning with Twitter to improve linguistic competence
at secondary schools. The Educational Review, 29(3), 134-147.
QUOTATION OF SOURCES
(i)

A short quotation has fewer than 40 words and the quotation should be enclosed
with double quotation marks.

In-Text Citation
x

They stated, The four scales that can be applied to the measurement of
variables are the nominal, ordinal, interval, and ratio scales (Sekaran &
Bougie, 2009, p.148).

Sekaran and Bougie (2009) highlighted that the four scales that can be
applied to the measurement of variables are the nominal, ordinal, interval, and
ratio scales (p. 148).

Reference List
Sekaran, U., & Bougie, R. (2009). Research Methods for Business: A skill building
approach (5th ed). Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley.
(ii)

A quotation of 40 or more words should be displayed in a free-standing block of


typewritten lines and the quotation marks must be omitted. Start such a block
quotation on a new line, and indent the block about 0.5 in. (1.3 cm or five spaces)
from the left margin. The entire quotation should be double-spaced.

In-Text Citation
x

Sekaran and Bougie (2009) explained the following:


A Pearson correlation matrix will indicate the direction, strength, the
significance of the bivariate relationships among all the variables that were
measured at an interval or ratio level. The correlation is derived by assessing
the variations in one variable as another variable also varies. (p. 321)

Reference List
Sekaran, U., & Bougie, R. (2009). Research Methods for Business: A skill building
approach (5th ed). West Sussex: John Wiley & Son Ltd.

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AUTHORS WITH SAME SURNAME


(i)

The first authors initials have to be included in all text citations, even if the year
of publication differs.

In-Text Citation
x

C. Oliver (1990) and R. L. Oliver (1980) classified satisfaction as..

..customer satisfaction models (C. Oliver, 1990; R. L. Oliver, 1980).

Reference List
Oliver, C. (1990). Determinants of interorganisational relationships: Integration
and future directions. Academy of Management Review, 15, 241-265.
Oliver, R. L. (1980). A cognitive model of the antecedents and consequences of
satisfaction decisions. Journal of Marketing Research, 17, 460-469.
AUTHORS WITH TWO OR MORE PAPERS IN THE SAME YEAR
(i)

Lower case letters have to be used to differentiate between papers published in


the same year by this author.

In-Text Citation
x

Parasuraman, Zeithaml and Berry (1991a) and Parasuraman, Zeithaml and


Berry (1991b) proposed the model..

..of service quality (Parasuraman, Zeithaml and Berry, 1991a; Parasuraman,


Zeithaml and Berry, 1991b).

Reference List
Parasuraman, A., Zeithaml, V. A., & Berry, L. L. (1991a). Refinement and
reassessment of the SERVQUAL scale. Journal of Retailing, 67, 420-450.
Parasuraman, A., Zeithaml, V. A., & Berry, L. L. (1991b). Understanding customer
expectations of service. Sloan Management Review, 32, 39-48.
MALAY, CHINESE, INDIAN & SIKH AUTHORS
(i)

MALAY AUTHORS

For example, Raja Ahmad bin Ramli, Tun Zaidi Zainuddin and Datin Julilah binti
Harun (1999)
In-Text Citation

Raja Ahmad Ramli, Zaidi Zainuddin and Julilah Harun (1999) examined the
strategies..

..of diversification strategy (Raja Ahmad Ramli, Zaidi Zainuddin, & Juilah Harun,
1999).

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Reference List
Raja Ahmad Ramli, Zaidi Zainuddin, & Julilah Harun (1999)..
(ii)

CHINESE AUTHORS

For example, Ooi Kee Seng, Lew Fook, Wang Su-Ling and Jenny Saw Lian See
(2001)
In-Text Citation
x

Ooi, Lew, Wang and Saw (2001) distinguished between the.....

..humorous and silly (Ooi, Lew, Wang & Saw, 2001).

Reference List
Ooi, K. S., Lew, F., Wang, S., & Saw, J. L. S. (2001)..
(iii)

INDIAN AND SIKH AUTHORS

For example, Sharmila d/o Subramaniam, Ranjit Singh, Harvinder Kaur and
Balakrishnan s/o Arokiasamy (2000)
In-Text Citation
x

Sharmila, Ranjit, Harvinder and Balakrishnan (2000) related the material.....

..in your life (Sharmila, Ranjit, Harvinder & Balakrishnan, 2000).

Reference List
Sharmila, S., Ranjit, S., Harvinder, K., & Balakrishnan, A. (2000)..
ANONYMOUS AUTHOR
(i)

ANONYMOUS AUTHOR
Cite in the text as Anonymous when the works author is designated as
Anonymous.

In-Text Citation
x

Anonymous (1994) explained the needs..

..juniors and seniors (Anonymous, 1994).

Reference List
Anonymous. (1994). Wheres the beef? College
undergraduate experience. Change, 26, 29-32.

seniors

evaluate

their

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ONLINE LECTURE NOTES / PRESENTATION SLIDES


(i)

(a) PDF
Use the abbreviation n.d. for no date when the date is not specified in the
source.

In-Text Citation
x Hallam (n.d.) reorganised the theories..
x ..of the theories (Hallam, n.d.).

Reference List
Authors Name (n.d.). Title [PDF format]. Retrieved from URL
Hallam, A. (n.d.). Duality in consumer theory [PDF document]. Retrieved from
Lecture Notes Online Website:
http://www.econ.iastate.edu/classes/econ501/Hallam/index.pdf
(b) POWERPOINT SLIDES

In-Text Citation
x Roberts (1998) compared the environment..
x ..of the regulations (Roberts, 1998).

Reference List
Authors Name (Year). Title [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from URL
Roberts, K. F. (1998). Federal regulations of chemicals in the environment
[PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from http://siri.uvm.edu/ppt/ 40hrenv/
index.html
WIKIS
(i)

In-Text Citation
x

Discrimination (n.d.) is defined as..

..group or category (Discrimination, n.d.).

Reference List
Title (n.d.). In Wiki. Retrieved Month Day, Year, from URL
Discrimination. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discrimination

March

10,

2014,

from

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BLOG POST
(i)

In-Text Citation
x

Ewing (2014) stated that women..

..poetry without inspiration (Ewing, 2014).

Reference List
Authors Name (Year, Month Day). Title of article /post. Title of Blog [web log].
Retrieved from URL
Ewing, K. (2014, March 10). Celebrating inspiring women around the world.
Google [web log]. Retrieved from http://googleblog.blogspot.com/

5.3.2

Plagiarism and Collusion

Plagiarism means to represent the words, thoughts, ideas, arguments or


expressions of another person as ones own. It is considered a serious offence and
is heavily penalised. You must cite all your sources in every academic work you
produce. However, there are some rule and conventions that you must abide by
for citing your sources in an appropriate manner. In this context, referencing
means to acknowledge all the sources you have researched and deemed right to
appropriate within your assignment.
Collusion is acting with another person with the intention to deceive. At
university, it can mean submitting the work of someone else, with their
knowledge and consent, to gain an advantage in an assignment. To avoid
collusion:
(a)

You must not borrow a paragraph or two from someone else. Make sure
you do not use any sentences or paragraphs from someone elses work, do
not share your work or allow anyone to copy any part of it  you could be
questioned about plagiarism and/or collusion.

(b)

You must not submit work that is identical to that another student (with the
exception of group work) in part or in whole. Sometimes you find yourself
writing on the same topic as a friend studying the same unit. This does not
mean that your assignments should be, or will be, the same.

(c)

You must not submit the work of someone who has studied the same unit
previously  even if that person gives you their work to submit under your
name and does not mind if you do so, or even if it is work from a couple of
years ago, or if you change a little bit here and there.

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(d)

COPING WITH ASSIGNMENTS W 159

You must not submit the work of another student under your name  even
if that student does not mind that you do so. You cannot hand in the work
of another student, or a friend, and pretend it is your own  even if that
person says they do not mind, or you cannot get someone to write an
assignment for you  even if you pay them well.

ACTIVITY 5.3
Cite the following book using OUM citation style based on the APA
format.
Book title:

The Writing Process

Author:

John M. Lannon

Place of publication:

USA

Publisher:

Pearson

Year of publication:

2004

5.4

COMMON FAULTS FOUND IN AN


ASSIGNMENT

Table 5.2 describes some common faults found in assignments.


Table 5.2: Common Faults in Assignments
Faults

How to Overcome

1. Unfocused treatment

Keep to the point, do not ramble. Always refer back to


the topic and leave out unnecessary points.

2. Shallow treatment of

Provide sufficient content. Read more, use more


examples, back up argument with evidence.

topic/subject

3. Badly organised content


(poor presentation)

Keep to the outline:

Introduction
Body of content:
x

Issue 1 + argument

160 X

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COPING WITH ASSIGNMENTS

Issue 2 + argument

Issue 3 + argument

Issue 4 + argument

Conclusion
References

4. Lack of fluency and flow

Keep language simple and to the point.


Link points and paragraphs.
Check spelling and grammar.

5. Poor introduction

Make sure you introduce the topic and explain how you
are approaching the subject. Put the topic in perspective.

6. Poor conclusion

Make sure you conclude by providing the answers or


solutions to the issues involved. Refer again to the topic
and make sure your conclusion is consistent with the
introduction. Have you answered in the conclusion the
questions raised in the body of content?

7. Boring presentation

Be creative in your approach, be less pedantic in style. Be


open to other views and ideas. Be an active reader; do
not accept whatever is written at face value. Question,
question and question!

8. Irrelevant information

Make sure you read widely and gather enough relevant


information so that you do not need to pad your essay
with irrelevant information. Apply evaluation and
selection criteria to your reading and information
gathering.

ACTIVITY 5.4
Discuss in the forum how to overcome some of the common faults
when writing an assignment.

TOPIC 5

5.5

COPING WITH ASSIGNMENTS W 161

ETHICS IN WRITING AN ASSIGNMENT

According to wordreference.com, ethics is the philosophical study of the moral


value of human conduct and of the rules and principles that ought to govern it.
Based on this definition, we can see that ethics is about moral decisions, which is
based on a standard of conduct that indicates how one should behave based on
moral duties and values. It is based on a personal decision, universally accepted
values or ethical obligations determined by society.
In the context of an assignment, ethics refers to the set of values and standards
that guides your actions, thoughts and words when preparing your assignment.
Arguably, there are many different values pertaining to right or wrong
behaviour during examinations. We will look at some universally accepted ethics
related to assignment writing. These are as follows:
(a)

Copying the paper or work of another learner;

(b)

Permitting another learner to copy your work;

(c)

Possessing notes, crib sheets, additional sources of information or other


materials that are unauthorised by OUM;

(d)

Taking or attempting to do the assignment for another learner or getting


someone to do likewise for you; and

(e)

Altering or falsifying assignment results.

Below are some guidelines for ethical conduct in writing assignments, retrieved
from http://www.student.unsw.edu.au
(i)

Cite the published source (including, where relevant, the electronically


published), to acknowledge the originator of ideas upon which you are
building your work, and to acknowledge quotations by the use of quotation
marks.

(ii)

Refer to, or use unpublished scholarly materials only with the consent of
the originator and acknowledge the source of the materials if that consent is
given.

(iii) Refrain from plagiarism, which is the unacknowledged incorporation of


anothers work, into your work.
(iv) Ensure that the use of scholarly materials does not result in obstructing
access by others, in particular, where such materials are held within the
Universitys library or research centre.

162 X

(v)

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COPING WITH ASSIGNMENTS

Faithfully represent the views of the authors cited and do not misrepresent
authors views either by partial or censored quotation, or by quoting out of
context, or by misleading commentary.

(vi) Seek access only to scholarly materials to which you know you are entitled
or authorised, and not to attempt to access such material to which you
know you are not entitled or authorised (for example, by computer
hacking).
(vii) Respect the rights of other authors and refrain from tampering with digital
records (whether in text, image, sound, or other format) over which the
originator has copyright and/or has asserted the moral rights of ownership.
(viii) Refrain from manipulating digital records (whether in text, image, sound or
other format), whether in their original context or in a different context, so
as to mislead their audience.

Writing assignment is a process of finding evidence that the course learning


outcomes have been achieved.

The most common type of assignment is writing an essay.

Essay has an Introduction, a Body and a Conclusion.

In the process of completing your assignments, you need to document all the
sources used in your paper. There are many ways of documenting sources
within the text of a paper and in the reference section at the end of your
paper.

OUM citation style is based on the American Psychological Association


(APA) format.

Plagiarism means to represent the words, thoughts, ideas, arguments or


expressions of another person as ones own.

Collusion is acting with another person with the intention to deceive. At


university, it can mean submitting the work of someone else, with their
knowledge and consent, to gain an advantage in an assignment.

In the context of assignments, ethics refers to the set of values and standards
that guides your actions, thoughts and words when you write your
assignment.

TOPIC 5

COPING WITH ASSIGNMENTS W 163

APA referencing style

Ethics

Assignment

In-text citation

Collusion

Plagiarism

Essay