Identify the verbs used in the question or description of the assignment task/s and the marking criteria to ensure the correct level of focus.
You need to analyse the question that you are going to answer. This is performed by a series of steps.
A. Read the entire question or description of the assignment task/s twice to ensure that you are interpreting the question or task correctly.
B. Identify topic words to ensure you are writing about the correct topic.
C. Identify restrictive words to
ensure that you remain within the stated scope. Examples used in health service management assignments include within the context of an acute health service, relevant to the selected health service, in relation to the selected standard and so on.
D. Read the marking criteria twice to ensure that you are devoting the right amount of effort to the relevant criteria.
E. Identify the verbs used in the question or description of the assignment task/s and the marking criteria to ensure the correct level of focus. Examples used in health service management assignments include describe, discuss, analyse, determine, compare and contrast, explain, outline, review, evaluate, predict, validate, consider, defend, justify and so on.
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The assignment convinces the reader that the student understands the question or topic area in the context of the subject and the current environment. There is evidence of wide reading, as this increases the depth of knowledge on a topic. The assignment demonstrates an Australian and international perspective. Outdated literature (prior to the year 2003) is not cited unless it is a seminal piece of work (and they are rare). Journal databases are interrogated such as Medline, CINAHL, Science Direct, Health Collection (Informit), Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Business Source Complete, Proquest Business, and so on rather than Google. Only primarily scientific peer reviewed sources are cited as they are reliable sources of information appropriate for academic writing. NB Scholarly peer reviewed (or refereed) journals mean that the work submitted is scrutinised by experts in the same field (in relation to its quality, the relevance and appropriateness) before a paper is published in the journal. Publications that have not undergone peer review are accepted based on the judgement of an editor or editors, and is therefore likely to be regarded with suspicion by scholars and professionals. These journals are accessed via academic databases (not Google), are visibly different from other journals, list their editorial board members in the journal, never have articles written by anonymous, use formal and technical language, report original research, and include the source of information. Minimal grey literature is cited.
NB Grey literature is informally published written material (such as reports) that may not be widely accessible via conventional channels.
For example, local health district reports, technical reports from committees, and so on. Newspaper and magazine articles are not cited, unless this information supports existing peer-reviewed literature. Articles in these publications are written by reporters and journalists who may or may not be experts in the field, and therefore may contain incorrect or biased information. Blogs, twitter feeds, and websites where the author is not considered an expert in the field are not cited. Lecture sessions are not cited. The original source is cited, rather than citing a secondary source. The introduction sets the scene of the assignment topic (first) and outlines the framework or approach that the assignment will take (second).
NB An introduction is a roadmap for the reader and allows them to prepare themselves mentally for the journey they will undergo as they follow the argument or points raised in the text.
If your ‘travel instructions’ are unclear or absent, the reader will be ‘lost’ The conclusion highlights the major points raised in the assignment or summarises the arguments presented in the assignment. The conclusion does not introduce new material. The introduction and conclusion are approximately 10% of the word limit for 2,000 word or less assignments. If the word count is more than 2,000 words, introductions and conclusions should be contained to no more than 2 paragraphs each. The introduction and conclusion are primarily of the student’s own words.
NB Introductions and conclusions should rarely contain direct or indirect quotations. All major terms and concepts are defined.
Short simple words are used rather than long obscure ones. Content is arranged in a logical order with clear flow, consistent with the framework outlined in the introduction.
NB Paragraphs need to be tied in with the major issues identified in the introduction All paragraphs consist of a topic sentence, a number of support sentences, and either a concluding sentence or a linking sentence to the next paragraph. Every topic sentence informs the reader of what is being discussed and why it is relevant.
Inadvertent plagiarism is avoided by citing your sources in the body of your assignment and reference list and using paraphrases and direct quotations correctly. Citations use the author’s last name only – never the author’s first name or initials. Additionally, the author/s are never referred to as he or she, only by their last name. Citations are integrated into the narrative of the assignment. Sources are not introduced in the same manner throughout the assignment – an attempt has been made to vary how they are presented.
Wasted words describing the author are avoided, such as Senge, an expert in the field of learning organisations, or Senge, in the article entitled Learning Organisations in the Journal Health Service Management, or Senge, who has written extensively about learning organisations. Indirect quotations are used more commonly than direct quotations. Indirect quotations are paraphrased words – that is, your own words reflecting the intent of the words of the author/s – with the acknowledgement of the author/s. Citations include the author/s and the year of publication, without any commas. The presentation format is either: ? (Author/s Year) ? Author/s (Year). Direct quotations are used VERY SPARINGLY.
Direct quotations are not italicised – they should be presented in the same font as the assignment. Direct quotations include page numbers, either: ? (Author Year, p. x) ? Author/s (Year, p. x) Direct quotations that are lengthy (> 30 words) are rarely used, and if so, require: ? Indenting ? Quotation marks omitted ? Smaller font ? Single line spacing More than one author is cited in the text: ? an ampersand symbol (&) is used between the names of two authors (Duckett & Wilcox 2011). ? an ampersand symbol (&) is used before the last author name of three authors (Willis, Reynolds & Keleher 2012). ? et al. after the first author is used when there are four or more authors (Braithwaite et al. 2013) Quotation marks are not required for a few words in a sentence – they are only required when the majority of a sentence or a complete sentence is cited. Multiple studies are grouped either by: ? (Author/s Year; Author/s Year; Author/s Year) ordered by alphabetical last name ? Various studies (Author/s Year; Author/s Year; Author/s Year) have demonstrated / revealed / identified
There are enough sources to demonstrate that the topic is understood. NB There is no magic number of sources. The reference list commences on a new page. The reference list is single line spaced, with a line spacing between each source. The reference list contains only sources that have been cited in the text. NB A reference list and bibliography are not the same. Sources are presented in the Harvard UTS referencing system. NB It is recommended that all students use the Endnote program for referencing, storing, and organising references and citations. A free version of Endnote is available from the UTS Library. All referencing has been checked prior to assignment submission. NB Even if the Endnote program is used, it is the student’s responsibility to check that the program has presented the sources in the correct format. If the information about the source is not entered correctly into Endnote, it will not present the information in the correct format. If the sources are not presented in the correct format, it is never Endnote’s fault but rather the fault of the person who entered the information into Endnote. Sources are listed in alphabetical order by author last name. Sources in the reference list are not numbered. If multiple sources are authored by the same person/s in the same year, each source is assigned a letter – a, b, c, d, and so on. Edited sources are listed according to the author of the chapter, with details of the editors and text included. URLs are only included in the reference list for sources that are not available in print. NB URLs are RARELY REQUIRED in HSM assignments, as very few health-related sources are only available in a website format. The UTS Library Harvard UTS Referencing Guide states: Journals: Almost all online journals have a printed equivalent. When this is the case reference it as the print version. This is partly because URLs for online articles are usually very long, and change with time; and partly because not everyone will be able to access the online journal in the same way that you did. Book: 1. The online or electronic book has the same structure and page numbering as the equivalent print version, for example if the book is in pdf format. In this case, reference it as the print version. 2. The online book is essentially a website and is significantly different from the print version, or there is no print version. In this case, reference it like a website (i.e. include the full URL within angle brackets). 3. The electronic book is on an ereader, such as Kindle. In this case reference it similarly to a print book with the words ‘electronic book’ directly after the title. Do not put a URL or the type of reader.
The assignment is written in the third person, as formal language is required. NB All HSM assignments are required to be written in the third person unless the assignment requirements specifically state that first or second person is to be used. First person is using the words I, we, me, us. For example, I am aware of the challenges of performance appraisal should be expressed as There are a number of challenges associated with performance appraisal. For example, In this essay I will examine how organisational culture affects work satisfaction should be expressed as The relationship between organisational culture and work satisfaction will be explored. Second person is using the word you. The assignment is written from an objective perspective – emotive language is avoided. The assignment is written in an active voice (speech therapists collected data on the patients admitted to the unit) rather than a passive voice (data on patients admitted to the unit was collected by the speech therapists). The assignment is written in the present tense throughout the assignment, apart from when referring to past events and research that is not continuing (past tense) or the future (future tense). Non-discriminatory language is used – that is, the language describes all people, regardless of sex, race, ethnicity and physical or intellectual characteristics. Words are not shortened, including grammatical contractions (e.g. don’t, can’t, won’t, it’s, you’ll, we’re, and so on) and single word contractions (govt, dept, Cwth, and so on), as they are regarded as informal language. NB Latin abbreviations are never used – i.e., e.g., etc. Instead, use in other words, for example, for instance. Phrases are shortened according to formal writing rules. Acronyms (strings of initial letters of a group of words/phrase that are pronounced as a word) and initialisms (strings of initial letters that are pronounced letter by letter) appear in full on the first occasion followed by the acronym or initialism in brackets. From then, only the acronym or initialism is necessary. For example, acronyms such as the Agency for Clinical Innovation (ACI) and the World Health Organization (WHO) and initialisms such as the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US). NB Australian states and territories are abbreviated as NSW, ACT, SA, NT, WA (all upper case) and Qld, Vic, and Tas (all lower case after first initial). Multiple sentences do not commence with transition signals such as furthermore, moreover, however, because, and, on the other hand, but, in addition to, also, nevertheless, consequently, accordingly, additionally, as a result, more importantly and so on. NB Transition signals are better placed in the middle of sentences. Transition signals can be used at the beginning of a few sentences, but not sentence after sentence after sentence, or multiple sentences in the same paragraph.
If transition signals are used, they are separated from the rest of the sentence by commas. Numbers ten or less are written in words, while numbers 11 and greater are written as digits. NB Numbers 1 to 9999 do not require spaces or commas between the digits, whereas numbers 10 000 to 999 999 have a single space between the hundred and thousands. Sentences are not too long – that is, the sentence does not continue over five lines. Precise language is used. Instead of do, use more precise words such as perform, undertake, and complete; instead of people, use consumers, patients, and healthcare professionals.
7. SPELLING YES ITEM
British spelling is used (e.g. organise, strategise, institutionalise) Spelling has not been altered when presenting a direct quotation from a US author or naming an entity. For example, World Health Organization is not changed to World Health Organisation. The spellchecker function is always used prior to assignment submission. NB The spellchecking function is not a substitute for careful proofreading – that is, the word that is spelt correctly but used inappropriately will not be detected by the spellchecker process. Single and plural forms of words are correct. The nouns staff and literature are both a single and plural word – do not use staffs or literatures for the plural – it is staff or literature. NB Common misused words are: Affect (verb: to influence) as opposed to effect (noun: result or consequence). Practise (verb: perform repetitive actions) as opposed to practice (noun: habit, regular exercise, professional business). Principle (noun: theory or rule) as opposed to principal (noun: first or most important) Health care (noun) as opposed to healthcare (adjective). There as opposed to their.
Apostrophes only occur to show ownership (Kotter’s theory of change, Prochaska and DiClemente’s Stages of Change model). NB Apostrophes also depict missing letters in words, but as words are not allowed to be shortened in assignments (See Grammar), there should be no instances of this, such as it’s. Only proper nouns have been capitalised – that is, all personal names and people’s official titles along with their names are capitalised (Doctor John Smith, Nurse Jane Jones, General Manager Bob Black) but generic names are lower case (the doctors and nurses at the health service supported the general manager’s perspective). Maximal capitalisation style has been used for headings (a capital letter is used for the first word and every significant word – The Mission Statement and Values of the Organisation) and minimal capitalisation style has been used in sentences (only the first word and proper nouns are capitalised – The mission statement and values of the organisation). NB The correct phrase is Department of Health, not the department of Health. No unnecessary commas are used. Commas only appear after sentence introducers (Until 2012, Recently,), with sentence coordinators (before and, but, for, or, nor, so, yet), for sentence inserters or interrupters (the most significant safety issues, sentinel events, are addressed OR the patients, mostly from the surgical units, were affected), and as linkers in lists (falls, medication errors, pressure ulcers and readmission rates are important events). NB No comma is required between items joined by and. Refer to the last example. Hyphens are used only in compound words (based on the most up-to-date information, medical payments are based on fee-for-service), to add prefixes (semi-official, preeminent, non-English speaking), in written numbers (fifty-five, three-quarters, 48-year-old male patient, pre-2000). NB The hyphen is generally omitted once a term is commonly used, such as evidence based, side effects Semicolons and colons are used sparingly. Semicolons are generally only used before conjunctive adverbs and transitional phrases (the instrument measures organisational readiness; however, not all organisations perform well in them), to separate complex items (There are four main faculties: Health; Law; Arts; Science) or to separate in-text references (Duckett & Willcox 2011; Taylor, Foster & Fleming 2010; Willis, Reynolds & Keleher 2012). Colons are generally only used to introduce a list, but they must follow a complete sentence (The major components of the report are: introduction to the local health district, service delivery models in existence, financial implications of each model, conclusions and recommendations). They are also used to separate the title of a text from the subtitle (Health care and public policy: an Australian analysis).
Student name and/or Student ID, Subject and Word Count appears on the front of the assignment. If the assignment asks for specific information to be stated on the front page, it is identified on the front page. For example, an assignment might ask to clearly state which option has been chosen, which question has been chosen, or the name of a specific health service plan. All pages are numbered. The font is Arial 11 point. Assignment is 1.5 – 2 line spaced. A blank line appears between all paragraphs. Margins are at least 2cm for top, bottom, left and right. The word count is no more or no less than 10% of the stated word count. Words beyond 10% of the state word count will not be read. NB Items not counted as part of the word count include the reference list, appendices and numbers and words within any tables, diagrams, graphs or pictures. Appendices are presented after the reference list, and the page numbers should continue on with the numbering for the assignment. NB Appendices provide information that is not essential to the assignment but supports your analysis or validates points of view or conclusions. The assignment should stand alone and make sense to the marker without having to read any of the appendices. Each appendix is labelled (A, B, C, and so on or 1, 2, 3 and so on) and commences on a new page. 10.FORMAT YES ITEM If the assignment is an essay, there are no headings, lists, tables, diagrams, graphs or pictures – only words. If the assignment is a report, there are headings, sub-headings, a table of contents, and depending upon the focus of the report, lists, tables, diagrams, graphs and pictures. If the assignment is a report and 2,000 words or more, there is an executive summary at the beginning. All paragraphs are reasonably even in length. NB Some variation adds value. All paragraphs contain MORE THAN 3 sentences. All paragraphs are not lengthy. NB There should be 2-3 paragraphs per page. Each paragraph addresses one theme. There are no words bolded or italicised in the text of the assignment.