The Problem A significant proportion of students are not able to differentiate b
A significant proportion of students are not able to differentiate between the styles of writing appropriate to technical reports, journalistic articles and academic papers. When they do differentiate, (many students attempt the latter style) they may spoil what is basically a thorough piece of work, by inadequate structuring.
What style you should use? The best way to appreciate the genre is to experience it. Read a few! What is presented here is an attempt to provide guidelines for the gross structuring of such a paper. All ECON 1145 portfolio reports should have an introduction, a discussion section organised in some way or other and a conclusion.
The Proposed Solution
A skeleton framework for sectioning a coursework is given here, together with some suggestions for content. The major sections of a coursework should be-
The requirements of each section are discussed below.
The Identification Section
This simply consists of the title of the coursework, your student ID number the status of the document, such as-
‘An undergraduate level 6 coursework submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of ECON 1145.’
This may simply be laid out in print on a sheet of A4, or as some individual choosing, it may be ‘dressed-up’ with graphics but remember: Over-done, this can create the impression that this is a light weight journalistic article. The same goes for ‘over producing’ the design and layout of the document. Remember: restraint in the cause of taste may be exercised. Any illustrations used should be there to convey information, not as decoration. Also remember that any photocopy of the coursework is often in black and white for external examiner of your econometrics essay and not in colour so you need to be careful about contrasting colours in the original document when you are producing charts and graphs.
This is the whole paper condensed to a paragraph. (It could be longer, but one paragraph is usually most appropriate.) Please write this right at the end. It is important to include three things; the main problem addressed an outline of the solution offered, and any conclusions reached based on your group empirical research. Do not hold back on any of these — you are writing an academic paper, not a thriller, so giving the game away before the conclusion does not matter! You may also wish to include the name of diagnostic tests in the abstract
Here you present the question or the problem that the coursework attempts to solve. Formulate one question and that question is what your paper is all about. If it is not obvious what question your coursework answers, it will be difficult to decide what use it is (and at the end of the day, how to assess it.) You must be able to provide a clear statement of what the project seeks to achieve. If you are using software for quantitative analysis remember using Eviews is not the objective of the exercise. It is software, a tool that is used to answer the question. Obviously, the scale of the question must be constrained by the resources at your disposal, of which time is a major limitation. You are not required to be original at this level but it should be a piece of your own work. Simply demonstrate your competence at researching a topic within the domain of the learning outcomes of the module presented in the module handbook and presenting your findings in an appropriate manner. If the answer to a particular question would be interesting to you or even better useful to your future work then it is better for you, but do not assume, however, that the relevance or interest of the question is immediately obvious to other readers. In this section, you should also motivate the question, that is, explain why it is interesting and relevant. A final function for the introduction is to explain how the discussion has been structured. It may be that several positions in an argument are examined, or a couple of case studies are presented and analysed. The aim is to make sure the reader understands why you are giving any particular piece of information in the place that you do.
This is the main body of the coursework. You need to demonstrate your knowledge of the relevant literature by researching and identifying key debates; concepts and theories form a variety of academic sources. You must clarify how the paper fits into the debate within the times series analysis literature and how this literature will be used to develop the methodology. You must review the literature and put it in the context of your learning outcome of the course. Before submitting your coursework always read the main objectives of the module and use some of arguments presented in the lectures or some of the questions you reviewed in the in- class test. You need to explore the question that you have posed in the context of module learning and give a chain of reasoning that will justify the conclusions that you present. It should not be written as one block of text, but should be broken up into relevant sections. Each section should probably have a descriptive title, then explaining the question that this section answers and how it does this, discussion paragraphs that give the substance of the material, diagnostic tests, Eviews outputs and a conclusion that points out the detailed step that this section justifies — and which is going to be used in the overall discussion. You may wish to draw attention to these sub-sections by giving them individual headings, but more often, this becomes cumbersome and they are better left simply as paragraphs.
Footnotes should not be used in the Harvard system and at any rate always use them sparingly, if at all. Generally, all points should be made in the text of the discussion — and if they cannot, then you must ask if they need to be made at all.
The literature review leads into an appropriate section on the discussion of methodology
The Conclusion of your coursework
Here you present your answer to the question posed in the introduction, together with a justification indicating how the chain of reasoning flows from the discussion. You may wish to indicate any points that were not able to be resolved and suggest lines of further enquiry.
The conclusion section should be entirely your groups work based on what is presented in the paper. No reference is required for the conclusion section. The coursework conclusions should demonstrate a well-rounded discussion of any main recommendations or findings arising from the research undertaken.
The Bibliography and References
It is vital that you give full references to the literature that you have consulted. This is appropriate in a coursework and you risk accusations of misconduct or plagiarism if you do not! Use the Harvard System which is the most popular and fashionable at present time. To indicate a reference in the body of the text, the name of the author, page and date should be given. Explicit reference should be given for both quoted text, which must be distinguished by quotation marks, and any paraphrased text:
‘Financial time series, such as stock prices, interest rates, foreign exchange rates, and inflation rates, often exhibit the phenomenon of volatility clustering.’ (Gujarati, D.2011, pp.238).
You may choose to further distinguish quotations by indentation, change of type face, etc. Where you have abbreviated quoted text, the cuts should be indicated by three dots (…), called ellipsis.
Any source referred to must appear in the bibliography section, giving; the name/s of the author/s, the title, the date of publication, in the case of a journal paper — the name of the journal, in the case of a book — the publisher.
Topics of the coursework
The topic(s) of the 2000 word written document may be in one of the two options below :
Option 1 –
You need to conduct research and write an essay about efficient market hypothesis and behavioural finance. You must discuss, compare and contrast the behavioural finance and the efficient market hypothesis.
Option 2- choose any of the following topics:
Testing the expectations hypothesis of the term structure of interest rates
Testing whether Capital Asset Pricing Model or Arbitrage Pricing Theory
Testing whether spot or future markets react more rapidly to the news
Estimating time-varying hedge ratio for FTSE Stock index returns
Lead-lag and long term relationships between spot & futures markets
Please note that all your written work will be assessed according to its clarity, thoroughness, application to real world situations, and use of appropriate citation techniques you need to submit a document following the normal procedures of term papers at Greenwich. The work is expected to be your own work or work of other members of your essay group.
Important note: Coursework is marked on the understanding that it is the student’s own work on the module and that it has not, in whole or part, been presented elsewhere for assessment. Where material has been used from other sources, this must be properly acknowledged in accordance with the University’s Regulations regarding Academic Misconduct