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Guidelines for Writing Theses and Term Papers

Tua Ericsson-Knif

Hanken School of Economics Centre for Languages and Business Communication Vaasa February 2010

1

Contents

1 The Format of Theses and Term Papers
1.1 Title Page 1.2 Layout

2 2 2

2 Documenting Sources
2.1 Plagiarism 2.2 Citation in the Text

5 5 6

3 Preparing the List of References 4 Stylistic Features in Academic Writing References

9 13 16

Appendix 1 Sample Title Page of Thesis Appendix 2 Sample Title Page of Term Paper Appendix 3 Sample Table and Figure

18 19 20

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1 The Format of Theses and Term Papers
Most universities and departments have their own "house styles" with regard to the presentation of theses and term papers. The important factor is to follow a consistent pattern and organization, based on academic conventions. Some general guidelines are presented below.

1.1 Title Page Do not underline your title, put it in quotation marks or type it in all capital letters. For layout and details to be included on the title page of a thesis see Appendix 1 on page 18. For layout and details to be included on the title page of a term paper see Appendix 2 on page 19. 1.2 Layout Margins in a thesis manuscript   Leave a 2.5 cm margin at the top and a 2.5 cm margin at the bottom of the text. Leave a 4 cm margin on the left side of the text and a 2 cm margin on the right side of the text.

Margins in a term-paper manuscript  Leave a 3 cm margin at the top and bottom as well as on the right and left side of the text.

Spacing, character size and indents      Set spacing at 1.5 for the main text. Single space longer, indented “block” quotations and notes. Use Times New Roman 12 pt for the main text and Times New Roman 10 pt for footnotes. Indent the first line of a paragraph five spaces (about 1 cm) from the left margin. Do not use block paragraphs with white space between paragraphs. Indent long quotations in block format at the left margin.

Pagination     All pages, except for the title page and abstract, should be paginated. Also the list of references and supplements should be paginated. The list-of-contents page is generally counted but not always paginated. Thus, the introduction to a paper will often start on page 2. Place the page number in mid-position at the top of the page.

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List of contents Please note that the abstract should be written on a separate page or, in the case of a thesis, on a special form and placed immediately before the list of contents. Sample list-of-contents page (the list of contents page should cover the whole page from left- to right-hand margin): For Thesis Contents Abstract 1 Introduction 2 Theory and Previous Research 3 Method 4 Data 5 Results 6 Summary and Conclusion References Appendix 1 Questionnaire Appendix 2 ... 2 For Term Paper Contents Abstract 1 Introduction 2 Method 3 Results 4 Discussion 5 Summary and Conclusion References Appendix 1 Questionnaire Appendix 2 ... 2 4 5 14 15 20 23 24

Headings   Headings should be informative and concise. Readers should be able to read the text without the headings.

Tables, figures and formulas Finance students should follow the tables and figures layout of The Journal of Finance. Tables and figures should be commented on in the text. They should be placed close to the comments.  Tables should be consecutively numbered and be provided with a title and possible reference.

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The number and title of the table are generally placed above the table and the possible reference under the table (see sample table in Appendix 3 on page 20).

Figures are e.g. graphs, charts and drawings.   Figures should be consecutively numbered and be provided with a figure text and possible reference. The number, figure text and possible reference, including page number, should be placed below the figure (see sample figure in Appendix 3 on page 20).

In the text tables and figures can e.g. be referred to in the following ways: Table 1 shows... Table 6 provides details... The results of the experiment are given in Figure 7... As can be seen in Figure 5, ... Formulas are generally part of sentences.  Punctuation such as commas and periods are necessary.  Formulas referred to in the text should be consecutively numbered and the number placed at the right-hand margin, e.g. "Formula" (12)

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2 Documenting Sources
A bibliographical reference should contain sufficient information to enable the reader to find the source you have used. It is very important to be consistent and accurate when citing references. The same system should be followed every time you cite a reference. The following principle applies: (1) If a citation in your text refers to a whole study, it should give the author's name and the year of publication. (Hofstede 1989) (2) If a citation in your text refers to a particular idea or statement in a study, it should give the author's name, the year of publication and the page number(s) where this idea can be found. (Hofstede 1989:15-17) All references should be listed in alphabetical order in the References section at the end of the paper or thesis.

2.1 Plagiarism Elementary school pupils sometimes copy down whole texts from an encyclopedia, textbook or the Internet when asked to write a report on an assigned subject. Unfortunately, some students continue to use this or similar "research methods" at university. The most blatant type of plagiarism is to repeat, more or less word for word, someone else's thoughts as one's own without including a reference to the author and quotation marks around the quote. You may of course use other people's thoughts and words in your writing, but you must always acknowledge the writers/sources. Generally, you should rephrase other people's thoughts and include parenthetical documentation (Gibaldi and Achtert 1988:24). This rule is important, as the consequences of plagiarism may be failure in a course or expulsion from school. Swales and Feak (2004) list six approaches to writing where the first four approaches constitute plagiarism; only the two last approaches represent acceptable research writing. 1. Copying a paragraph as it is from the source without any acknowledgement. (Plagiarism) 2. Copying a paragraph making only small changes, such as replacing a few verbs and adjectives with synonyms. (Plagiarism) 3. Cutting and pasting a paragraph by using the sentences of the original but leaving one and two out, or by putting one or two sentences in a different order. (Plagiarism) 4. Composing a paragraph by taking short standard phrases from a number of sources and putting them together with some words of your own. (Plagiarism?) 5. Paraphrasing a paragraph by rewriting with substantial changes in language and organization, amount of detail, and examples. (Acceptable practice) 6. Quoting a paragraph by placing it in block format with the source cited. (Acceptable practice) (173; comments in italics added)

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Please note that translating a text as it is into your native language is also considered plagiarism.

2.2 Citation in the Text All statements and ideas taken from another writer's work should be acknowledged, whether the work is directly quoted, paraphrased or summarized. Cited publications are generally referred to in the following way: Single author Kirby (2003) has explored the metaphor of managing diversity.... In a study (Kirby 2003) the metaphor of managing diversity coping was investigated.... The "student as consumer" metaphor inappropriately compartmentalizes the education experience as a product rather than a process (Cheney 1996:15). When an author has published more than one cited document in the same year these are distinguished by adding lowercase letters after the year within the parenthesis. A primary business objective is being profitable, and managers must explain and justify business performance and decisions in light of this objective (Smith 1992a:10). ... (Smith 1992b:45) Organization as author The National Research Council (NRC) (1989) has found that... ... premature death ... is diet-related (National Research Council 1989). Two authors In Write for business by Johnson and Swift (2000)... High levels of job performance and job satisfaction occur when congruence of individual needs and job characteristics exists (Goris and Johnson 2000:348). Three to six authors If a study has three to six authors, write out the name of all the authors the first time the study is referred to. In subsequent references write the first author's name followed by et al.. ... (Putnam, Phillips and Chapman 1996:35-40) ... (Putnam et al. 1996:41)

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More than six authors Only include the name of the first author followed by et al. in the body of the text. Warner et al. (1995:5) define design as a process of problem solving. If more than one source is referred to within a sentence, list the references alphabetically or chronologically: Scholars of organizational and business communication have advocated problematizing...(Deetz 1986; McMillan and Cheney 1996; Morgan 1986). No author If no author name is given in an article, write the two or three first words of the title and the publication year. ...(Enlarging the EU 2002:28) Electronic sources References to electronic sources should be made in the same way as references to publications in paper format. If the electronic publication has an author and year of publication, these should be stated in your text. The author can also be an organisation. Li and Crane (1996) provide detailed guidelines for citing electronic sources. Because electronic media change rapidly, the guidelines for citing information from the World Wide Web are regularly revised (American Psychological Association). When referring to an electronic source without an author name and page number, use an abbreviated reference to the page title (include e.g. the first two or three words of the document title. Include enough information to help the reader find it in the alphabetical list of references. Job candidates today should expect to be asked behavioral questions during an employment interview. Sample questions can help candidates prepare. (Behavioral Questions) Quotations in the text When you quote directly in the text, use quotation marks and acknowledge the author's name, year of publication and page number of the quote in parentheses. Short quotations (e.g. up to two lines) can be included in the body of the text: Locker (2000) states that "bias-free language and bias-free visuals help sustain the goodwill we work so hard to create" (45).

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Longer quotations should be indented in a separate paragraph. Quotation marks are not required. Ambler (1995) defines a brand as . . . a bundle of functional, economic and psychological benefits for the end user, it is the aggregation of all accumulated attributes in the mind of the consumer, distribution channels and influence channels . . . weighted by their importance, which will enhance future profits and cash flow (9). If part of the quotation is omitted, this can be indicated using three dots. Weir and Kendrick (1995) report that "networking is no longer solely within the male domain . . ." (88). Secondary referencing Secondary referencing is when you refer to the work of another and the primary source is not available. You should cite the primary source and the source you have read, for example (Johnson and Clark 1968, as cited in Burke 2000). List only the work by Burke in your list of references. If possible, secondary referencing should be avoided. Oral sources When data are collected through, for example, conversation or phone calls, the communication situation should be specified (personal communication, telephone conversation, interview) as well as the time. Richard Cheney (telephone conversation, 5 January 2008) stated that... The company needs to ... (John Kirby, interview, 8 January 2008).

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3 Preparing the List of References
After your summary and conclusion section, list references to documents cited in the text. This list is generally called References. References should be listed in alphabetical order by author's family name and then by date (earliest first). If an author has published more than one work during a specific year, the individual works should be specified by letter (1995a, 1995b etc). Whenever possible details should be taken from the title page of a publication and not from the front cover. Each reference should include the elements and punctuation given in the examples below. The title of books, journals and newspapers should be in italics. As there are several academic reference systems, you should always check the reference system of a particular journal before you submit a manuscript for publication. Two widespread systems in the discipline of business and economics are the Harvard System and the APA System, developed by the American Psychology Association. An example of a book reference according to the two systems is provided below: Harvard System Trompenars, A., 1998. Riding the waves of culture. New York: McGraw-Hill. APA System Trompenaars, A. (1998). Riding the waves of culture. New York: McGraw-Hill. The Harvard System is used in the guidelines below:

A book by a single author Locker, K., 2000. Business and administrative communication. 5th ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill. A book by two or more authors Swales, J.M. and C. Feak, 2004. Academic writing for graduate students: essential tasks and skills. 2nd ed. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. Penrose, J. M., R. W. Rasberry and R. J. Myers, 2004. Business communiction for managers: an advanced approach. Mason, OH: South Western. A book by a corporate author (e.g. a government department or other organization) Central Office of Information, 1985. Britain and the Commonwealth. London: Reference Services.

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An edited book Hickson, D.J., ed., 1997. Exploring management across the world: selected readings. London: Penguin Books. A chapter in a book According to some reference systems, the titles of chapters as well as the titles of journal and newspaper articles should be enclosed in quotation marks. In the examples below quotation marks are not used. Fairclough, N., 2001. Critical discourse analysis as a method in social scientific research. In: R. Wodak and M. Meyer, eds, Methods of critical discourse analysis. London: Sage Publications, 121-138. An article in a journal Wu, X., 1999. Business ethical perceptions of business people in East China: an empirical study. Business Ethics Quarterly, 9 (3), 541-558. Wu, X., 1999. Business ethical perceptions of business people in East China: an empirical study. Business Ethics Quarterly, Vol. 9, No. 3, 541-558. An article in a newspaper White, M., 1998. £68m to cut NHS waiting lists. Guardian, 18 May, 8. If no author name is given, the article should be listed alphabetically according to the first letters in the title. Schemes to boost dental care, 1998, May 18. Guardian, 8. A conference report UNDESA (United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs), 2005. 6th Global forum on reinventing government: towards participatory and transparent governance. Seoul, Republic of Korea 24-27 May 2005. New York: United Nations. A thesis or dissertation Andersson, T., 2008. Leadership and effective management. Unpublished MSc thesis. Vaasa: Hanken School of Economics. Hussain, S. M., 2009. Intraday dynamics of international equity markets. PhD thesis. Hanken School of Economics. Helsinki: Publications of the Hanken School of Economics No. 192.

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An act of parliament Great Britain, 1990. National Health Service and Community Care Act 1990. Chapter 19. London: HMSO. Annual report Marks and Spencer, 2004. Annual report 2003-2004. London: Marks and Spencer. Electronic sources When referencing electronic sources, identify the author/s or source, document title or description, publication date, address and, if known, publisher and place of publication. Add the access date in brackets.1 Also Internet sources and other electronic media should be listed alphabetically in the main list of works cited; they should not appear in a separate section. Li, X. and N. Crane, 1996. Bibliographic formats for citing electronic information. http://www.uvm.edu/~xli/reference/estyles.html [Accessed 25 February 2005] Document created by an organization, publication date: American Psychology Association, 2009. Electronic References. Washington, DC: APA Service Center. http://www.apastyle.org/elecref.html [Accessed 6 February 2009] Document created by an organization, no publication date: Greater Hattiesburg Civic Awareness Group, Task Force on Sheltered Programs, n.d. Fund-raising efforts. http://www.hattiesburgcag.org [Accessed 10 November 2006] University of South Carolina, Career Center. Behavioral Questions. Updated 31 October 2002. http://www.sc.edu/career/pdf/behavioral.pdf [Accessed 25 February 2005] To make it easy for readers to locate the document in question, provide the directory path, not just the host name, in the address. For a detailed presentation of guidelines for citing electronic sources, see e.g. Anglia Ruskin University, University Library, 2008. Guide to the Harvard Style of Referencing. Chelmsford: Anglia Ruskin University. http://libweb.anglia.ac.uk/referencing/harvard.htm

In the compilation of this section, the BS ISO 6902:1997 has been consulted and details modified since there is no British Standard for electronic sources in the Harvard style.

1

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Oral communications If included in the list of works cited, oral communications should preferably form a separate section. Cheney, R., Managing Director, XYZ Group, telephone conversation, 5 January, 2008. Kirby, J., Export Manager, personal interview, 8 January, 2008.

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4 Stylistic Features in Academic Writing
A scientific text should be clear, concise and objective. Thus, needless adjectives and adverbs should be avoided and also the use of the personal pronouns "I" and "you." The indefinite pronoun "one" should also be avoided. In English in Today's Research World: A Writing Guide, Swales and Feak (2000: 1516) discuss cross-cultural differences in research languages. They point out that English, particularly American research English, has a dominant position and that American research English has been said to 1. be more explicit about structure and purposes 2. be less tolerant of asides and digressions 3. use fairly short sentences with less complicated grammar 4. have stricter conventions for subsections and their titles 5. be more loaded with citations 6. rely more on recent citations 7. have longer paragraphs in terms of words 8. point more explicitly to "gaps" or "weaknesses" in the previous research 9. use more sentence connectors (words like however) 10. place responsibility for clarity and understanding on the writer rather than the reader. (16)

Capitalization The first letter of all "meaning-carrying" words in the title of your paper, article or thesis in English is often capitalized. The Sampling Error in Estimates of Mean-Variance Efficient Portfolio Weights Corporate Ownership Around the World Articles (a, an, the), short prepositions (at, in, on, of) and conjunctions (and, or, but) are not capitalized unless they come first in the sentence or after a colon. Capital Structure and Corporate Control: The Effect of Antitakeover Statutes on Firm Leverage

Use of the passive The passive voice is used extensively in academic texts. It is most common in Methods and Results. Multivariate analyses were performed to...

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Use of active verbs with inanimate and abstract nouns The following nouns are often used with an active verb: analysis Article Data evidence Figure finding(s) investigation measurement Problem process report research result(s) study table technique test theory

Verbs used with abstract nouns The verbs used with abstract nouns generally express  Reason or effect: cause, produce, prevent, allow, result in  Change: change, reduce, increase, dissolve  Giving: provide, give, produce, contribute, present  Explanation: suggest, show, illustrate, exhibit  Research: examine, investigate, explore This paper examines... This survey explored... This study investigated... Table 2 displays... The findings suggest that... The results indicate that... The analysis revealed that... The interviews established that... Staff problems resulted in...

Use of concise language Concise and precise language should be used in academic writing. Therefore, needless words should be eliminated. Preferred usage is then Several studies have shown that.... (instead of There have been several studies that show...). Other examples: Men were expected to have higher earnings than women (not It was expected that men would have higher earnings than women) Subjects taking part in the test...(rather than Subjects who took part in the test...)

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Use of hyphens Noun compounds are used extensively in academic texts because of their conciseness. Hyphens must be used if the first element comprises:  A noun plus verb ending in -ing or -ed modifying a following noun Examples: state-controlled companies, stock-based compensation, womenowned businesses, anxiety-inducing events, decision-making process An adjective plus noun modifying a following noun Examples: high-leverage firms, positive-feedback strategies, middle-income family A compound phrase modifying a following noun Examples: flow-of-funds model, buy-and-hold return A figure plus noun modifying a following noun Examples: 12-week period, one-year leverage increase, three-step algorithm, two-digit code



 

Hyphens should not be used in the following cases:  When the first element is (1) an adverb or (2) an adjective or adverb in a comparative or superlative form Examples: randomly selected group, higher scoring subjects, least improved scores  When the first word is a noun followed by a figure or letter Examples: Table 3 data, Study 2 findings

Words and expressions to avoid: nouns + like this/these and this/these type of Expressions such as "reasoning like this," this kind/sort/type of reasoning," "findings like these" and "these kind/sort/type of findings" are informal and should thus not be used in academic texts. The recommended practice is as follows: Such reasoning/Reasoning of this type Such findings/Findings of this type

Sentence connector to avoid: so The word so is informal and should therefore in academic texts be replaced by thus, therefore or consequently. Thus, it became difficult to obtain...

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References
American Psychology Association, 2009. Electronic references. Washington, DC: APA Service Center. http://www.apastyle.org/elecref.html [Accessed 6 February 2009] Anglia Ruskin University, University Library, 2008. Guide to the Harvard style of referencing. Chelmsford: Anglia Ruskin University. http://libweb.anglia.ac.uk/referencing/harvard.htm [Accessed 6 February 2009] Chen, H.-L. and W. De Bondt, 2004. Style momentum within the S&P Index. Journal of Empirical Finance, 11(4), 483-507. Day, R., 1998. How to write and publish a scientific paper. 5th ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Gibaldi, J. and W. Achtert, 1988. MLA handbook for writers of research papers. 3rd ed. New York: Modern Language Association of America. Grammig, J. and A. Schrimpf, 2004. Consumption-based asset pricing with a reference level: new evidence from the cross-section of returns. Discussion Paper No. 06-032. Centre for European Economic Research. Guffey, M.E., 2003. APA style electronic formats. http://www.westwords.com/guffey/apa.html [Accessed 4 March 2003] Indiana University Writing Tutorial Services, n.d. Plagiarism: what it is and how to recognize and avoid it. http://www.indiana.edu/~wts/wts/plagiarism.html [Accessed 4 March 2003] May, E.,1997. Akademisk engelska: en handbok i skriftlig framställning. Jyväskylä: Jyväskylän yliopistopaino. Riley, M., C. Wood, M. Clark, E. Wilkie, and E. Szivas, 2000. Researching and writing dissertations in business and management. London: Thomson Learning. Swales, J. and C. Feak, 2004. Academic writing for graduate students: essential tasks and skills. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. Swales, J. and C. Feak, 2003. English in today's research world. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. University of Sheffield Library, 2001. Harvard referencing guide.

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http://www.shef.ac.uk/library/libdocs/hsl-dvc1.html [Accessed 4 March 2003] Zilliacus-Roslin, K., 1992. Råd om tekniken i seminarieuppsatser. Unpublished compendium. Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration, Helsinki.

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Appendix 1 Sample Title Page of Thesis

Title of Thesis

First Name Last Name

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the degree of Master of Science/Doctor of Philosophy

Hanken School of Economics Department of . . . Vaasa
201X

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Appendix 2 Sample Title Page of Term Paper

Title of Term Paper

Hanken School of Economics Department of . . . Course Name Supervisor: Professor . . Author: First Name Last Name Date: April 20, 200X

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Appendix 3 Sample Table and Figure

Source: Chen and De Bondt 2004:488

Source: Grammig and Schrimpf 2004:17

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