More Information on Your Project for G492
(1) Even a draft paper should have a title page with
your name, the course number, a date, and your email address. It should also
an "abstract" or "executive summary": a one or two paragraph
summary of the paper that appears on the title page.
(2) Your paper should have every page after the title page
numbered (you can number the title page too if you like). The length should be
from 20 to 34 double-spaced pages including tables, or from 4,000 to 8,000
words. That is a wide range because quantitative papers will require a lot of
work to produce results that can be explained quite succinctly. Some particular
targets to aim at are: 27 pages and 6800 words if your paper is more verbal or
22 pages and 4500 words if it is more quantitative.
(3) Sometimes business writing does not indent new paragraphs
(that is, does not put a few blank spaces at the start of
each paragraph). I want you to indent your paragraphs. It
makes a paper easier for the reader to follow. You can put
blank lines between paragraphs or not, as you please.
(4) Quotations and citations of specific facts, including
in tables, should be given specific sources. Footnotes are a
good way to do that, or you can refer to a list of
references at the end, and give parenthetic citations like
this one to Jones (p. 233), which would say that a fact came
from p. 233 of the Jones book cited at the end of the
paper. Do not use endnotes-- footnotes are better.
Include general references in a list at the end of
your paper, if you haven't cited them already in footnotes.
Here is one way to write citations:
Langley, Monica "The Annual Frenzy over Buffett; Berkshire Hathaway's Report
Will Hit Investors' Screens; For Some, It's the Ideal Weekend," The Wall
Street Journal, 5 March 2004,
Make sure all the information is there, including the author and the date of
publication. If the publication has a volume number or page number, include
those too. The exact format of the formal style you use does not matter; the
following would also be suitable:
Wall Street Journal (2004) "The Annual Frenzy over Buffett; Berkshire
Hathaway's Report Will Hit Investors' Screens; For Some, It's the Ideal
Weekend," Monica Langley, p. C1, 5 March 2004
http://www.rasmusen.org/g492/buffett.wsj.htm, viewed 18 Jan. 2005).
The objective of a reference format is to allow the reader to find the
reference as easily as
possible and check the claim you have made based on it. Thus, if the reference
is to a particular fact in a book, cite the section or page number as well as
information about the book as a whole. If it is to some fact buried deep in a
website, tell the reader how you got to it. For example, you wanted to give a
cite for the fact that James Q. Smith is mentioned over 100 times on the
Internet, you might cite
"Google Scholar," http://scholar.google.com/ (searching "James Q. Smith" on 10
When it makes sense, include the date. In that last example it should be
the search results will probably change from day to day.
(5) When should you use quotations? The main uses are (a)
to show that someone said something, as an authority or an
illustration; and (b) because someone used especially
phrasing. Do not use quotations unless the exact words are
If they are and you do quote, give, if you have it, the
or section. If you paraphrase, note the source. If a quotation is long, indent
it and use a smaller font.
(6) Don't plagiarize. I am strict about that, and have used
the official procedures of the Dean of Students before.
Software is available to detect papers that copy existing
work. Most important, it is immoral in the context of this class. (When is it
moral? A hard question. I'd say it is okay to quote without attribution when
you are not claiming the result as your own work and what you are writing is
temporary and informal-- as, for example, 5 pages of excerpts from web pages
that you give your boss as background info for a sales meeting. But then the
behavior really isn't plagiarism.)
(7) Refer to companies as "it" rather than "they". For
example, do not say "Worldcom's problem was that they
falsified numbers". Instead, say, "Worldcom's problem was
that it falsified numbers," or "Worldcom's problem was that
its executives falsified numbers."
(8) Avoid the words ``to assert'' and ``to state''. It is
fine to say "He said that his company would be profitable"
and to repeat "He said" over and over. Don't vary to
"assert" just to avoid repetition.
(9) It is often useful to divide the paper into short
boldface headings, especially if you have trouble making the
clear to the reader.
(10) I would like both an electronic copy and hardcopy. The electronic copy
should be titled starting with your name like this: Smith.g492.doc. You may use
Wordperfect, Word, HTML, or any other wordprocessing format that I can read.