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Business Writing: researching and referencing

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Tips for business students on how to write during both their academic and professional careers. This presentation covers some ideas on how to conduct research, and how to reference other peoples' works. How can you include ideas from other sources without plagiarizing?
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  • 1. Effective Written Communication Researching and Referencing Pat Brans [email protected] Sunday, September 15, 13

2. Research Primary research: Interviews Surveys Secondary research: Books Journals Sunday, September 15, 13 When you get the data directly from the source by conducting interviews, surveys, or experiments, you are said to be doing primary research. When you get information from books and articles written by other people who refer to data they collected or got from somebody else, you are getting the data indirectly and are said to be doing secondary research. 3. Interviews Open questions: What can you tell me about project management? Closed questions: How long have you been running the company? Sunday, September 15, 13 Open questions elicit opinions and feelings, and result in long responses. They tend to give control of the conversation to the respondent. Closed questions can be answered with a single word or short phrase. 4. Interviews Provocative questions Some of your employees think youre doing a bad job. How would you respond to those criticisms? Questions that will get you kicked out of the room. You dont appear to be doing a good job. How do you defend your performance? Sunday, September 15, 13 Provocative questions around emotion without reecting badly on you, the interviewer. But if you go too far, your questions might get you kicked out of the room. As the interviewer, you want to avoid the situation where you are the source of criticism. Always state opinions as if they were coming from somebody else. This will help the interview run smoothly. 5. Quoting Bill Gates says, Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they cant lose. Success is a lousy teacher, says Gates. It seduces smart people into thinking they cant lose. According to Bill Gates, Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they cant lose. Bill Gates says, Success is a lousy teacher. [Success] seduces smart people into thinking they cant lose. Sunday, September 15, 13 You can quote a person saying something in several ways. Here are some examples. You might choose one way over another to make your writing more interesting and avoid redundant use of words or sentence types. Which of these statements is stronger? 6. Paraphrasing Bill Gates thinks success is a lousy teacher, because it causes smart people to think they cant lose. Gates thinks people dont learn much from success. He says, It seduces smart people into thinking they cant lose. According to Bill Gates, Success is a lousy teacher. He says it seduces smart people into thinking theyre invincible. Bill Gates says success isnt a very good teacher, because it makes smart people think they are invincible. Sunday, September 15, 13 The same is true for paraphrasing. You can make your writing more interesting by selecting one of these structures over another. Think about which of these statements is stronger. Which one is more credible and why? 7. Plagiarism The practice of taking someone elses work or ideas and passing them off as ones own.1 1 Oxford University Press, Oxford Dictionaries Online, Copyright 2011, viewed on October 9, 2011, Sunday, September 15, 13 In your academic writing you need to avoid plagiarism, which is dened in this slide. 8. Referencing Referencing is a system that allows you to acknowledge the contributions of others in your writing. Whenever you use ANY words, ideas or information from ANY source in your assignments, you must reference those sources. This means that if you use the exact words of an author, if you paraphrase their words or if you summarise their ideas, you must provide a reference. Not referencing your sources means you may be charged with plagiarism and your work could be failed.2 2 University of South Wales, The Footnote / Bibliography or Oxford Referencing System, viewed on October 9, 2011, Sunday, September 15, 13 If you simply reference ideas that come from other people - and especially reference direct quotes or direct copies of sentences or paragraphs - you will avoid plagiarism. 9. Other reasons for referencing To show the reader where he or she can get further information. To make your work more credible. To allow the reader to check your interpretation of somebody elses work. Sunday, September 15, 13 Avoiding plagiarism isnt the only reason to reference other peoples works. You also want to reference your sources to show the reader where to get further information. Or you may want to use a reliable source, and show it to the reader, to build credibility. Finally, you may want to point to your sources so the reader can nd further information on the topic. 10. Referencing consists of two elements A mention in the text A bibliography or list of references at the end of the page, chapter, or paper Sunday, September 15, 13 You need two things to provide a proper reference. The rst thing you need to do is mark where in the text the ideas or direct quotes are. The second thing you need is to provide a bibliography, which is an unambiguous pointer to the work you are citing. 11. A mention in the text: Which system? Harvard : parenthetical referencing, for example, Jones (1987) Oxford : using a superscripted number or a number in parenthesis. Slides 7 and 8 serve as examples. If unsure which one to use, ask your professor. Many dont care as long as you are consistent. Sunday, September 15, 13 There are different ways of providing a mention in the text. The two most popular are Harvard and Oxford. 12. A bibliography: What to include? Authors name Name of article, book, journal, or URL (if web page) Editor or publisher Year published or last update (if web page) Chapter and page, if appropriate Date viewed (if web page) Sunday, September 15, 13 To unambiguously refer to a work you need the elements shown in this slide. 13. A bibliography: Which system? Harvard Oxford If unsure which one to use, ask your professor. Many dont care as long as you are consistent. Sunday, September 15, 13 Just as there are many ways of providing a mention in the text, there are also many ways of providing the bibliography. Again Harvard and Oxford methods are the most popular. Whatever you use, stay with the same system for all mentions and bibliographies. 14. Effective Written Communication Researching and Referencing Pat Brans [email protected] Sunday, September 15, 13

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