AIB Style Assignments Guideline

AIB Style Assignments Guideline ,
Welcome to the AIB Style Guide! We hope you will find this to be a useful resource as you develop and improve your written communication skills during your study at AIB.

This AIB Style Guide articulates AIB’s expectations for the written work you submit for assessment. The modern workplace expects consistent and well-written communication, and use of a style guide is not uncommon. At AIB, some marks for assignments and projects are awarded for ‘communication’. Hence, it is important that we clarify the requirements for presenting your assignments and project work.

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AIB Style Assignments Guideline

INTRODUCTION AIB Style Assignments Guideline

AIB Style Assignments GuidelineAIB Style Assignments Guideline to the AIB Style Guide! We hope you will find this to be a useful resource as you develop and improve your written communication skills during your study at AIB.

This AIB Style Guide articulates AIB’s expectations for the written work you submit for assessment. The modern workplace expects consistent and well-written communication, and use of a style guide is not uncommon. At AIB, some marks for assignments and projects are awarded for ‘communication’. Hence, it is important that we clarify the requirements for presenting your assignments and project work.

We have tried to keep the AIB Style Guide as simple and straightforward as possible. The AIB Style Guide is divided into four sections:

  • Section 1 explains the principles of writing for AIB, including paragraph writing.
  • Section 2 explains how to present your assignment in report format, which is the standard format for AIB assignments.
  • Section 3 outlines how to style and present any documents you are submitting during your AIB study.
  • Section 4 provides you with guidelines on author/date style referencing, paraphrasing and quoting to help you reference appropriately for your AIB assignments and includes an appendix of examples on how to reference in-text and in your reference list.

AIB endeavours to provide you with the required guidelines for your academic success. Should you find any omissions or suggestions for improvements or additions, please contact AIB Support.

  1. WRITING PARAGRAPHS

This section is designed to help you develop your writing skills. In particular, it will help you to understand the different styles of paragraphs that can be used within any written documents such as AIB assignments, reports, projects or exams (‘assessments’), memos or speeches. Understanding how to structure your paragraphs will enable you to express yourself in a logical way. It makes you more convincing as a writer and speaker because it forces you to be clear about the point you want to make and justify it. Therefore, people will not only understand what you think but why you think it.

1.1         What is a paragraph?

A paragraph simply breaks up writing into discrete points that contribute to the main argument. Therefore, paragraphs can be seen as the building blocks of an assessment answer. If you look at journal articles and books, you will see that most consist of a series of paragraphs, one after the other, and each paragraph consists of three to eight sentences. Paragraphs can also be seen as units of meaning. Each paragraph focuses on an idea and contributes to the overall message or argument of the piece of writing. A key point to understand is that a paragraph is not a collection of unrelated sentences.

1.2         The basic structure of a paragraph

As you might know, many documents (including essays, reports and journal articles) are divided into three basic components: introduction, body and conclusion. A paragraph works in a similar way. Thus, there are three main components to a paragraph: the topic sentence (introduction), a number of support sentences (body), and a conclusion sentence (conclusion).

A good way of understanding a paragraph is to think of it as a mini essay. The topic sentence states the point the writer wants to make. The supporting sentences expand on that point by referring to or discussing evidence and the concluding sentence tells the reader the significance of the point. In this way, the reader knows not only what the point is, but also what evidence there is to make it, and importantly, why that point is being made.

Table 1: Example structure of a paragraph

Topic sentence

  • Supporting sentence 1
  • Supporting sentence 2
  • Supporting sentence 3

Conclusion sentence

Source: developed by AIB for this guide.

In AIB assignment/project/report writing, in-text referencing must be included. Here is an example of a paragraph that would be typical for the body of an AIB assignment/project/report:

Self-awareness is a critical skill/ability for leaders. Self-awareness is the capacity to be aware of emotions and feelings, moment to moment (Goleman 1995) . If one is not aware of one’s own emotions in an interaction, it would be impossible to regulate one’s emotions, which is the second component in Goleman’s model (Goleman 1995) . For example, if one is not aware of rising anger in oneself in an interaction, the effectiveness of communication may be impeded by inappropriate outburst of anger. Thus, self-awareness is not only imperative for communication but is also considered the foundation of emotional intelligence (Goleman 1995; Mayer, Salovey & Caruso 2008).

AIB Style Assignments Guideline

1.3         Types of paragraphs

Students often only write descriptive paragraphs in their assessments. This is the easiest kind of writing because you are repeating what you have read (hopefully) in your own words (paraphrasing). However, more is required to achieve higher marks.

For this guide, paragraphs are divided into three categories:

  • description (explain and describe)
  • analysis (compare and contrast)
  • persuasion (argue a proposition).

A particular emphasis is placed on the difference between descriptive paragraphs and those that analyse and argue. This is because it is important to understand the difference to achieve marks in assessments.

Using descriptive paragraphs may get a pass; however, for higher marks students must write analytically and academically. This is also important for documents used within organisations where these skills can also be applied.

Of course, not all paragraphs have the same function and/or purpose. For example, the paragraphs you use for introductions and conclusions will be different to those you write in the body. Introduction paragraphs will tell the reader what you will do. Conclusion paragraphs will tell the reader what you have done. Therefore, the introduction and conclusion paragraphs are a little different to the main kind of paragraph you will be writing – the body paragraph, which will be the focus of this guide.

Most often for assessments, you would show how you can apply theory to a practical example or situation. Therefore, paragraphs should also demonstrate the application of theory. The difference between paragraphs that merely describe theory and paragraphs that contrast/analyse and apply theory will now be discussed.

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