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Department of Accounting and Finance Essay Sample

Department of Accounting and Finance Pages
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You may work in your project groups to find relevant source materials and share information, but the actual essay must be your own work. There will be a workshop to discuss this coursework task in Lent term (week 1), but you may wish to start gathering source materials for this task in advance. 1. THE TASK You should write an essay on the following topic: Why is it important for external auditors to be independent? Relate your answer to the primary role of external auditors. Give examples of specific ways the lack of auditor independence may impact adversely on an audit. Your aim is to research this topic area widely by using resources available in the library, from course reading materials and on-line sources. Students wishing to score highly on this essay should aim to read as widely as possible, since a better appreciation of the issues will be reflected in your discussions/arguments in the essay if you have read a number of different sources. REQUIRED: Your word-processed essay should be between 1,250 and 1,500 words in length. Essays longer than 1,500 words will be penalised. The essay should be word-processed in Microsoft Word format. Your essay should include: a. a brief introduction b. main body discussion c. a conclusion which summarises the main argument/findings d. a reference list e. an appendix (if desired)

2. GUIDANCE ON REFERENCING A reference list should be provided at the end of your essay, which refers only to those sources, books, articles and website addresses you have actually used in writing your essay. The reference list is not included in the word count. The Department of Accounting and Finance has adopted the Harvard system of referencing. Here are a few specific guidelines about the Harvard system of referencing: a) When making the reference list at the end of your essay/report, use left alignment and make the author’s name stand out by using indentation of the text. b) The parts of other works e.g. chapters of books, articles in newspapers, reports in journals, parts of a websites: give in plain font. c) Complete works e.g. books, government reports, articles: give in italics newspapers, journals, stand-alone

d) If you can’t find an individual author, use the name of the organisation instead.

e) For printed work, give the place of publication if possible, then the publisher. Note the punctuation in the reference. f) For internet sources, as well as the author (or organisation if there is no clear author) and year, give the date you accessed it and the full URL along with the details of the material e.g. the title of the article, the name of the newspaper etc.

g) For a news report, give the exact date, not only the year. Check that the link you give actually works in that it would take your reader directly to the exact source if she wanted to read it for themselves. Giving a broad website such as ‘www.bbc.co.uk’ is not enough. h) If the same author has more than one publication in the same year, use a,b,c etc. i) Always make sure that the correct edition is referred to as pagination often differs.

Some examples follow:(For a book source) Horngren, C.T. (1972) Cost Accounting, A Managerial Emphasis, 3rd Edition, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall. (For a press release source) Baker, S. (2003) “Environment Agency Press Release: Repeat Offenders Take the Shine Off Pollution Reductions,” Environment Agency, 30/7/2003. (For a journal article) Bloggs, J. (2006) “Accounting is a Wonderful Subject,” Journal of Accounting Education, Vol. 20, No. 4, pp. 653-685. (For a report) Severn Trent Plc (2003a) Water and Waste. Birmingham: Severn Trent Plc. (For a web page) SAM Indexes GmbH (2003) Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes: Corporate Sustainability. http://www.sustainability-index.com/htmle/sustainability/corpsustainability.html [Accessed 25/9/2003]. IMPORTANT: Plagiarism is a SERIOUS ACADEMIC OFFENCE. Please ensure you appropriately acknowledge the source of your ideas and attribute quotations as appropriate, as these courseworks will be routinely checked for plagiarism using anti-plagiarism software.

3. GUIDANCE ON FORMATTING OF YOUR ESSAY Your essay should include a title page which includes your name and student number. You should also include a signed coursework declaration sheet with your essay. Your essay should be word-processed with 1.5 line spacing. The appropriate font size to use is Times New Roman size 12 (or similar) for the main body text. You may wish to enlarge the font size used for any headings/title of your essay. You should also clearly label any charts, tables or diagrams (and identify the source of information) used in your essay. To help the marker, you may also wish to leave an extra line between each paragraph and indent the start of each paragraph.

Ensure all pages are correctly numbered and include a word count at the end of the document. Please note: The reference list is not included in the word count, but citations within the text are included in the word count. There is no 10% allowance in the word count and if you go over the word limit at all, it is at the marker’s discretion as to whether you will be penalised for this.

4. DEADLINE: This piece must word processed in Microsoft Word and submitted in both electronic and hard copy. The deadline for all electronic copies (i.e. electronic submission via the AcF100 Moodle site is Wednesday 6th February 1:00PM. Please note: late mark penalties will be applied if the electronic copy of your piece is not submitted by this deadline. The hard copy must contain a signed coursework declaration sheet. Hard copies must be submitted to your tutor in your tutorial class of week 4 lent term (week commencing 4th February 2013). If you are unable attend your tutorial during week 4 of lent term, it is your responsibility to contact the course administrator (Andrea Quail) in advance of the deadline to make alternative arrangements to hand in your hard copy document. Please ensure your name is included on the hard and electronic copy of your essay. Please note: The Department reserves the right to adjust coursework marks after coursework has been returned to students in order to ensure that the coursework marks have an appropriate distribution.

5. SELF-HELP CHECKLIST WITH ACTIVE WEBLINKS TO STUDY SKILLS RESOURCES Format
Has the coursework declaration sheet disclaimer been signed? Does the cover sheet have all necessary information included? Are the font and spacing clear and legible? Does it follow the specifications for word count/number of pages?

Structure and argumentation
Is there a helpful introduction? (See also signposting) Is effective reasoning used? (Do you supporting points with explanation, illustration, justification, evidence?) Are the points in logical order? Does the paragraphing help the reader understand the argument and flow of ideas? Is there one topic per paragraph? Are there clear breaks between paragraphs to show where they start and end? Is it clear how the ideas link together? (both within and between paragraphs)

Style, appropriateness and accuracy of language Is a formal style used, including full paragraphs (not notes or bullet points) ? Is it clear and easy to follow (not too cryptic or overcomplicated)? Is English grammar used accurately e.g. tenses, word endings etc. Is the punctuation clear and accurate e.g. full stops, commas, semi-colons? Is the spelling accurate? i.e. have you run a spell check?

Referencing conventions: Within the text:
Are citations given in the text for all the source material used? Are direct quotations given in quotation marks with surname, date and page number where available? Are paraphrase, summary and quotation used appropriately (e.g. not too much quotation)? Are sources which the student has read for her/himself acknowledged clearly with surname and date? Are indirect sources – ones the students has not read him/herself but has seen mentioned by other writers acknowledged properly, giving the original source? E.g .(Kim and Lim, 2003 cited in Brown, 2004) Are websites cited in the text concisely (i.e. author/organisation and date only)? Are all the sources acknowledged within the text also included in the reference list at the end?

In the reference list at the end:
Are the references in alphabetical order of surname, with the surname first followed by the initial(s)? For books, are all the details included? (author, date, title, place of publication and publisher.) For journal articles, are all the details included? (author, date, journal title,
volume/issue number, page range.) Are journal titles and book titles given in italics? For electronic sources are all the details included? (author/organisation, date, full URL and date accessed)

Useful websites for academic writing and related issues http://www.uefap.co.uk/ http://owl.english.purdue.edu/ (US English) http://www.bradford.ac.uk/acad/management/external/els/informationsheets.php (for management students – excellent overall advice, especially on referencing:

http://www.brad.ac.uk/acad/management/external/els/pdf/refandbib.pdf) http://unilearning.uow.edu.au/main.html http://www.writing.utoronto.ca/advice/general/general-advice Sayjda Talib Version 10th December 2012

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