Design, Develop, Create

Monday, 23 October 2017

Term paper and presentation guidelines


Please acknowledge and reference all third party material, copyright etc.
University College Dublin policies on plagiarism apply. 

On the subject of Writing - A couple of general points may be useful.
Consider phrasing your investigation as a question.
Working Title: Initially, phrase a research question as the title of the paper (you can change it later).
Abstract: Restate and expand on the research question in the abstract (you can change it later when you have analysed your findings).
Research Access: Make good use of your personal access to your contacts, projects or companies, past or present for providing data.

The challenge is to design a study that adequately accesses the kind of data that can be analysed in such a way that you can make substantial inferences from the data. There are different ways of going about the work. I would expect you to juxtapose your proposal against previous studies of a similar vein in the area.

2. Term paper options

Three alternatives: written in the style of a journal research article.
A. Usability, requirements analysis, and feasibility study to update a digital business product/service. 
B. Understanding, applying and evaluating the use of XYZ research method: lessons learned evaluating a digital business product/service.
C. A company/project case study: lessons learned from a project to enhance/develop a  digital business product/service.
Research Methods: Use at least two different research methods to conduct the empirical study.

3.0 Deliverables: Term-paper plus video presentation
Term-paper: Approximately 5,000 words (not including cover page, figures, footnotes or appendix). Further guidelines below.
Video presentation: The video presentation can give a concise overview of the subject matter and impact of your term-paper in a short video format (4 minute duration).
You are expected to create your own original narration and/or spoken audio content, similarly you should utilise as much of your own visual/graphical material as possible. You can of course utilise various elements sourced elsewhere (subject to license) as background or linking pieces, e.g. diagrams, music etc. if needed as content or for artistic balance.
Grade deduction if the presentation/video has text-to-speech narration or uses 'canned animation.'
While not being graded separately from the term-paper, no presentation video results in losing half the available mark for the research project.

General pointers on writing...
Writing styles: The term paper is written in an academic style, presenting your background reading, method, research, analysis, theorising and critiquing aspects, for example of the the history, situation, processes etc of a particular sourcing context. Consider identifying an exemplary paper that you aspire to emulate or to compare your own paper with.
You must use the specified scientific conference template for the term-paper. Choose between either the LaTeX or Word template from the ECIS 2015 conference. Copies are available on (Google Drive link). By using the ECIS template your paper will conform with the scientific format guidelines for that conference.
Most important! Please ensure that any direct use of 3rd party material (particularly internal documentation) is presented within quotation marks or boxed or otherwise marked in some way and with the appropriate citation/identification. 

Term Paper Submission: Submit the term paper via SafeAssign in Blackboard.
Presentation Submission: Email a link to the video (e.g. from Vimeo or YouTube) or slides (e.g. from SlideShare).

Possible structure of a journal style paper - not all sections may be needed
The title and abstract should both capture the essence of the study.
Introduction / Literature (positioning)
Give a brief introduction to the literature and positioning for the study.
Research Design / Methods / Context
Outline your research design, and method.
Data / Findings
Tell the story, provide the evidence, findings, account or narrative.
Analysis / Discussion
Analysis and discussion allow you to draw out the significance of what you have discovered. This is where you can apply/trial various analytical models or produce your own interpretation of the data, in order to better understand the evidence.
Conclusions summarise the findings concisely, often in a page. This is a overall synthesis distilling your analysis and its relevance to theory and the literature.
The bibliography/reference section is crucial to get right as it is the index to prior research and literature that you have referred to previously.
Appendices (if needed)
Use appendices to provide additional detail if necessary. Usually data samples, or intermediate representations, for example a sample of the data analysis process, coding frames, stages in the coding and summary or intermediate categories from data.

Grading will consider the following criteria:
  1. Research area and method defined and explained.
  2. Critical understanding of topic/area and assumptions stated.
  3. Empirical work, data and evidence presented.
  4. Structure of argument, interpretation and conclusions.
  5. Use of literature and overall quality of the written document.

A brief explanation of letter grade descriptors is provided below.

Modular (letter) grades.

  • The report is suitable for submitting to conference, journal, or executive with little revision.
  • There is a compelling logic to the report that reveals clear insight and understanding of the issues.
  • Analytical techniques used are appropriate and correctly deployed.
  • The analysis is convincing, complete and enables creative insight.
  • The report is written in a clear, lucid, thoughtful and integrated manner-with complete grammatical accuracy and appropriate transitions.
  • The report is complete and covers all important topics.
  • Appropriate significance is attached to the information presented.
  • Research gathered is summarised in some way, research and analytical methods described and discussed, evidence linked to argument and conclusions.
  • The report may be suitable for submitting to conference, journal, or executive if sections are revised and improved.
  • There is a clear logic to the report that reveals insight.
  • Analytical techniques used are appropriate and correctly deployed.
  • The analysis is convincing, complete and enables clear insight.
  • The report is written in a clear, lucid, and thoughtful manner-with a high degree of grammatical accuracy.
  • The report is complete and covers all important topics.
  • Appropriate significance is attached to the information presented.
  • The report may be suitable as a discussion draft for further development or refinement.
  • There is a clear logic to the report.
  • Analytical techniques are deployed appropriately.
  • The analysis is clear and the authors draw clear, but not comprehensive conclusions for their analyses.
  • The report is written in a clear, lucid and thoughtful manner, with a good degree of grammatical accuracy.
  • The report is substantially complete, but an important aspect of the topic is not addressed.
  • The report may have used or presented some information in a way that was inappropriate. 
  • The report may be suitable as a preliminary draft but needs substantial revision in a number of areas to develop further.
  • The basic structure of the report is well organised but may need rebalancing.
  • The content of the report may be partial, incomplete or unfinished with important aspects not addressed.
  • The report used information that was substantially irrelevant, inappropriate or inappropriately deployed.
  • The report’s analysis is incomplete and authors fail to draw relevant conclusions.
  • The report may contain many errors in expression, grammar, spelling.
  • The report may appear to be preliminary, speculative, and/or substantially incomplete.
  • Whatever information provided is used inappropriately.
  • The structure of the report may be inappropriate or need substantial reorganisation and/or rebalancing.
  • There may be little analysis, evidence may not be founded, the findings may be inconclusive.
  • The report appears to frequently use information that is substantially irrelevant, inappropriate or inappropriately deployed.
  • The report may be poorly written, organised and presented.
  • Frequent errors of grammatical expression.