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Amanda's comments

Writing in year 12 and first year

In regards to University assignments in relation to Year 12 assignments, I think there is a lot of difference between the two. For assignments that I've done this year, I've found that the depth required is a lot greater. It requires more research; you will need to be more succinct in drawing the main points. Whereas Year 12 assignments, although need to be succinct and of a reasonable depth; it wasn't the same standard as required in University. In relation to subjects, I found similarity between the marketing assignment and the ...which was a bio-social analyst, and the reasons that I found it similar was simply because of the kind of research that was required and how you had to get a variety of different sources to draw it all together to put the assignment together. In relation to University assignments and the criteria for assessment, most subjects that I've had so far have spelt out the areas that are going to be assessed in assignments, how much they're worth, but it hasn't necessary gone into detail of the criteria for each assignment that you got in Year 12 when you had your case and you knew what you had to do for an A or a B. I think that you know the general standard that's required to get a high mark, but for each assignment, you don't necessarily know what has to be included, what has to be discussed to actually get the high marks. So, it's a lot broader and I think it's a lot harder to work out what you...

Writing the conclusion

In the second part of the assignment for the two Marketing lectures, after detailing the Marketing...for both companies, I felt the need to have a contrasting section between Robert Timms and Nescafe. And the reason for that was simply to spell out the differences in the Marketing...between the two companies, and how they use the marketing...differently.

Comparing the two companies

The conclusion of this assignment was pretty much a very succinct condensation of the whole assignment. Basically, after writing the rest of the assignment, it was pretty easy to put together because I knew the main points and I knew what needed to be included. The Conclusion of the assignment wasn't so much pulling out the most important points, it was simply restating the variables of the macroenvironment, and how they can have a general affect on the industry. And then just making a quick mention of how different companies within the coffee market use their marketing mix to target different areas.

Structuring (part 2)

The reason that I ended up doing it under sub-headings, for the different parts of the Marketing index, was that that way I knew that I had addressed every part of the Marketing index and didn't miss anything. Also it sort of helped myself just to make sure that I could compare the two easier.

Relevance of one's own opinion

For the assignment, it wasn't really about putting your own opinion in. Although I think you did have to make a few judgement calls on the areas that were important to the industry. Also you had to do a bit of your own interpreting on how different parts of the macroenvironment were affecting the industry, because it wasn't necessarily spelt out in some areas. So for example for the political environment I couldn't go anywhere and find out what was happening in industry, that I knew there would be areas such as regulations on health and food safety that would have an impact, so that's the kind of thing that you need to make a judgement call...

Problems with referencing (part 1)

Personally my uncertainty with referencing comes from two parts: Firstly, "Have I got the right information for the reference, such as the year it was made, the authors and so forth? The second area comes with:

  • "Have I used it in the right spot?"
  • "Am I quoting the right part of the text?"
  • "Is it from that book or did they quote it from somewhere else?" and if so,
  • "How do I quote within another text?"

I think that when you're referencing, there is a grey area as to what is your view and what is the view in the book that you're reading and if I use that view do I need to quote them? But I think what I needed to do was if I was using an idea that had come from the book, I did quote and reference that because without having read that, I don't think that may necessarily have been my opinion. So the ideas from the start came from the text and so I think it needed to be referenced. For referencing, I use inverted commas when I've taken the words straight out of the book, whereas I might just in other instances just paraphrase and then just reference the whole area that I've put the paraphrase in. In deciding whether to paraphrase or directly quote, it depends on how I've put the paragraph that's going together. And often I start with direct quoting, but then find it doesn't flow and so I'll paraphrase that area and just...

Problems with referencing (part 2)

When I was referencing, what I did was, I put the quote in or the paraphrase in. And as I was doing it, I'd reference that straight away. I'd put in the book that it was from and the page and so forth; because what I found was that if I leave it to the end and have to go back and find where was that quote from, which article, what page, it's very time consuming, its frustrating and it's just so's just so much easier just to do it straight away.

Writing (part 1 and part 2)

In writing the assignment, firstly what I did was the research part. And then once I'd found the research, I moved onto the first part of the assignment, which was describing the macroenvironment of the industry and what was happening. Basically what I did was I started with textbook definitions of each macroenvironment variable, and then from that point I drew information from the articles on what was happening on each environment. Then basically finished that first.

Once I'd done the first part of the assignment, I moved onto the second part, which was describing the Marketing index of the two companies. What I did was just under headings of each part of the Marketing Index: product, price, promotion, and place. I started describing the information that I'd found on each of those variables and basically finished that, and then as a whole I read over it all, fixed up grammatical areas, did a bit of structural re-working and then just pretty much finished after a few more drafts.

Approaching the tutor and other students

While I was doing the assignment, I felt quite comfortable about approaching my tutor about it and getting a bit of help. I went and saw her during her consulting times, just to bounce a few ideas off her about the macroenvironment and just factors that were affecting the industry - just to get myself on the right track and get a bit of feedback on how I was doing and how my thought process was sort of working on the assignment to see if I was on the right track. And also I found that just talking to other people in my class and other people that knew about how they were approaching their assignment. What area they were doing and what kind of factors in the macroenvironment were they finding that were affecting, because possibly they might've discovered something that was relevant to their industry which I may not have thought of, but still...

Using information

Once I narrowed down the articles, what I did was go through and just with a highlighter, highlight the important points and just keep a mental note of all the different information that I found out. Then what I did was when I was writing the assignment, I just remembered those things and included the information in and referred to the articles at that stage. I didn't make any hand-written notes up until that point.

Researching the report (part 1)

The research that I got on the assignment was from going to the company's websites; from going to say Dow Jones Interactive, and so what I ended up with was articles from industry publications, world reports on the industry as whole, publications from say The Bulletin or Business Review Weekly, just a whole range of articles, because that actual database combines more into one. So you just do your search and then it just ...more in. The quality of the information that I got from the database definitely varied, the industry reports were very useful because they did give specific information about factors that were affecting the industry. The information that I got say from articles from say Business Review Weekly was more general and wasn't as specific, but it was still useful to give an overall trend or maybe little snippets on future events that were occurring.

Researching the report (part 2)

For the assignment, we were warned that you wouldn't be able to go to one book or one area to find all the information you needed. So I already knew that I was going to have to do a fair bit of research for this assignment, but I didn't really realize how many different places I would have to look. It wasn't that hard using the databases of the library because there was advice given in the lecture that told us how to use it; and we were also given a handout, but if you don't know what you're doing - when I tried to use it first semester I didn't know what I was doing and I went round in circles. The difference in my research process the second time using the databases was the fact that I had the librarian come and help us and give us a hand out and basically said "If you want to search for something, go to this site, type it in here, press this press that." And then you'd go off and narrow your search options a lot and find information

Researching the report (part 3)

To decide what was relevant, I already had in my mind, the kind of information that I was looking for, and so for each article I basically did a quick 'skim-read', looked for where coffee was written, read around those areas - to see if they were to do with anything of macroenvironmental variables or anything to do with the price of products, any kind of promotion that was going on in the industry. After starting the assignment, I found there were areas that needed a bit more investigation and that weren't really coming up to scratch. So at that point I had to go back and do a bit more specific research on different areas just to fill in the gaps.

Interpreting the question

Interpreting both parts of the assignment, I think the first part was a lot more straight-forward in defining the areas that affected new markets, such as all the macroenvironmental factors, but for the second part it was definitely a lot harder to find information on and to interpret because you couldn't just go to one place and say look up Nescafe and there they had their price and their products and all the information on it. So you had to look at it and say, well, if I'm going to do this company can I find this information and do I know what it means.

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