1. Where can I get relevant the background information on my chosen organisation?

 

  1. Various online sources including the organisation’s webpage and its accounts, as well as trade and newspaper/media articles. For instance, using the example of Waitrose:

 
Company website: http://www.johnlewispartnership.co.uk/about/waitrose.html
 
Company accounts and annual reports: http://www.johnlewispartnership.co.uk/financials/financial-reports/annual-reports.html
http://www.johnlewispartnership.co.uk/financials/weekly-figures/latest.html
 
Trade articles: http://www.retailgazette.co.uk/blog/2015/12/waitrose-expands-its-estate-both-at-home-and-abroad
https://www.retail-week.com/waitrose-to-open-first-overseas-stores-in-uae/411530.article
 
Newspaper/Media articles: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/7896314/Waitrose-takes-on-the-world.html
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/06/30/waitrose-profits-slide-on-higher-pension-costs/
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-37363076
 
Such sources should enable you to present some relevant background information on the organisation in terms of its size, financial performance, ownership structure/legal form and on its operations in other countries.
 
Q: Where can I get relevant the background information on my allocated country?
 
A: Again there are lots of possible sources, although these are obviously different to those providing information on your selected organisation. These sources include the statistics and reports produced by national governments and international agencies such as the OECD, IMF, World Bank or Eurostat. Their websites should also allow you to provide more specific details on particular features of the country.
 
Q: What analytical approaches should I include?
 
A: You will be introduced to several environmental techniques in the lectures and seminars. Therefore, it is up to you to decide which of these to utilise within your report.
 
Q: What types of graphs and tables should I include?
 
A: Again this is up to you. A range of tables, graphs, charts and maps could be included in the three main sections. Students can create bespoke tables and graphs using the underlying data. However, images can also be pasted so long as they are sourced appropriately and the image is clear when embedded within the report. Graphs and tables can also be included in appendices, especially if they are large or include a lot of information, but as with other tables and graphs, they should be referred to in the text if they are to be included.
 

  1. How should I structure my report?

 

  1. You should see the document that provides a basic template for reports. You should also bear the assessment criteria (and weightings) for the reports in mind:

 
Assessment Criteria and Weightings

  • Information on the selected business organisation (20%)
  • Discussion of the allocated business environment (20%)
  • Application of an appropriate analytical approach (20%)
  • Use and application of appropriate data and examples (20%)
  • Structure of and quality of writing in the report (10%)
  • Presentation and referencing (10%)
  1. How should I reference my report?
  2. Harvard (APA) referencing should be used. You should be familiar with this from your Academic Skills module, both with regards to in-text citations and the reference list to include at the end of your report.
  3. How many references should I include?
  4. It is difficult to suggest a precise number but you should really be looking to include a reasonable number (these don’t all need to be academic studies but could be reports/online articles etc). Accurate referencing is more important than having a huge number of references and referencing these incorrectly, especially for this piece of coursework. However, you should cite relevant studies/sources if useful ones can be included.
  5. Can I go over the word limit?
  6. The word limit for this assignment is 2500 words. This does not include the bibliography or appendix and you are able go 10% over (or under) without penalty. You should clearly state your word count and what exactly this number relates to on the first page.
  7. What is an acceptable Turnitin (Similarity Index) Score?
  8. It is difficult to suggest a particular number as a fairly high similarity index (e.g. 25%) could be fine and a relatively low similarity index problematic as it depends on a range of factors including the length of the document and the concentration of the match(es). But as a rule of thumb then obviously a lower number is better and something below 20% shouldn’t be a problem (although this isn’t necessarily the case, as indicated above, especially if complete ‘chunks’ are copied and pasted from other sources). If reports are completed well ahead of the deadline then you can have a look at the Turnitin reports on multiple occasions to see if there are any potential problems before submitting the final document. However, it can take up to 24 hours to generate a Turnitin submission report so if you want to check your score before submitting a final version then you should have a completed document ready well before the deadline. Moreover, as previously indicated, your report should be unique in many ways so a fairly low similarity index should be expected.