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 have 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, 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," (searching "James Q. Smith" on 10 January 2006)

When it makes sense, include the date. In that last example it should be included because 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 nice phrasing. Do not use quotations unless the exact words are important. If they are and you do quote, give, if you have it, the exact page 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 sections using boldface headings, especially if you have trouble making the structure 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.