Assessment One – Essay 2 BRIEF

| August 21, 2015

Assessment One – Essay 2 BRIEF
Essay 2 (10%)
1.    The question and requirements
This assessment task is to be undertaken individually.
It is designed to assess your problem-solving skills, your capacity to source and analyse relevant information and your written communication skills.
While there will be no writing workshops provided for this assessment, there will be discussion boards on UTS Online.
The Task
In your lectures and tutorials you have seen numerous examples of examples businesses operating in the urban environment of Sydney. Using one real world business as a case study discuss how the business model canvas approach can provide researchers with a framework for assessing the viability of a businesses’ design.

Note: You are free to choose any business you wish for this assignment. It is suggested, however, that where possible you choose a business in the urban entrepreneurialism space as this will provide important links to your group assignment.

In preparing your response, you should:
a.     justify the statements you are making by referring to sources of information you have independently researched;
b.    provide examples to support your points;
c.    refer to at least ten sources from valid and reputable published literature (n.b. this does not just have to be academic literature);
d.    present your references using the Harvard system of referencing;
e.    limit your response to 1000 words – not including references (give or take 10%). The ability to present your point of view within a prescribed number of words is an important skill which will be assessed in this task; and,
f.    edit your work prior to submitting it to ensure it is written with accurate grammatical structure, spelling and punctuation.

You must submit your final work through Turnitin on UTS Online by August 31. Work will be assessed according to the criteria summarised in Table 1 (pto).

Some Suggested Readings
Business model canvas:

http://www.businessmodelgeneration.com/downloads/businessmodelgeneration_preview.pdf
http://www.businessmodelgeneration.com/canvas/bmc
http://www.businessmodelgeneration.com/downloads/business_model_canvas_poster.pdf
Krueger, N. F. (1993). The impact of prior entrepreneurial exposure on perceptions of new venture feasibility and desirability. Entrepreneurship theory and practice, 18(1), 5-21.

Osterwalder, A., Pigneur, Y., Oliveira, M. A. Y., & Ferreira, J. J. P. (2011). Business Model Generation: A handbook for visionaries, game changers and challengers. African Journal of Business Management, 5(7).

Thompson, A. (2005). Business Feasibility Study Outline. Enterpreneurship and business innovation: The art of successful business start-ups and business planning.

Trimi, S., & Berbegal-Mirabent, J. (2012). Business model innovation in entrepreneurship. International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, 8(4), 449-465.

2.    Assessment Criteria
Table 1 provides a detailed description of each assessment criteria.
TABLE 1
MARKING CRITERIA    Weighting    BELOW EXPECTATIONS    MEETS EXPECTATIONS    EXCEEDS EXPECTATIONS
/100    Z    P            ->               C    D           ->               HD
1. Discusses the central characteristics of the Business Model Canvas

20    No    Provides details of some or all of the characteristics with reference to supporting evidence    Characteristics are comprehensive and illustrated with supporting examples
2. Explanation of how the Business Model Canvas can be used to assess business feasibility.

30    No    Limited application to business issues and practice    Extensive analysis of the concepts in relation to business issues and practice
3. Uses a critical analytical approach
20    No / little evidence of a critical or analytical approach

e.g. The writing is often subjective; lacks logic; overlooks bias* inconsistencies, omissions of sources

Includes no/little interpretation    Yes, to some extent

Writing is mainly objective; logical

Minimal bias, inconsistencies and omissions reflected from sources

Attempts interpretation    Yes, to a great extent

Writing is objective; logical

Explicitly recognises bias, inconsistencies and omissions reflected in sources

Interpretation is comprehensive
4. Coherent format and structure; communicative effectiveness
10
Incoherent; paragraphs non-existent

Unrelated ideas/points

Sentences and/or paragraphs not sequenced logically

Irrelevant material detracts from the main argument    Yes, the writing is mostly logically sequenced

Mainly clear links between sentences and paragraphs

Material is relevant to the argument and supported with examples; paragraphs and topic sentences introduce, develop, and exemplify main ideas/points
The essay is very well structured, coherent, and easy to understand.

No irrelevant material

Paragraph and sentences are cohesive and coherent throughout
5. Usage (literacy)
10
Writing difficult to follow

Errors in spelling, grammar, sentence structure and/or punctuation make the     Writing can be followed throughout.

Occasional errors in spelling, grammar, sentence structure and punctuation have minimal effect on meaning    Minimal errors in spelling, grammar and punctuation. Uses a variety of clear and concise expression of ideas
6. Use of supporting material & Harvard UTS referencing
10    Little, inaccurate, or no citation

Material is identified and supported; citation is mostly accurate and appropriate; some omissions or uncited material    Consistent and accurate citation used throughout as necessary

Advice for Essay 2

Lesson 1: The Introduction is a vital component of any essay but one that is often very poorly done by students
In the essay writing class we discussed how essay introductions (regardless of how long your essay is) should do include material on context, thesis and structure.  You should always open with a sentence or two that are designed to place your argument in a wider situational context. No essay (particularly one of 1000 words) can cover everything; therefore you need to quickly articulate how what you are writing fits in to a bigger picture. Secondly we need to see your thesis or your argument very clearly stated. Thirdly you need to explain how your essay will address your thesis. In other words we need to see that your writing has a structure. Never write your introduction by simply turning the essay question into a statement.

Lesson 2: Paragraph structure matters
When you are putting together a paragraph you need to be mindful of its internal structure. Paragraph structure includes the following important components:
a)    A topic sentence at the front: This sentence provides a summation of the main ideas that the reader can expect to read throughout the rest of the paragraph. This sentence is very important as it gives the reader something to latch onto.
b)    Every paragraph should have one central idea/ theme that underpins it. Topics like sustainability, wicked problems, BMC are big parts of what you are writing about; don’t devalue them by meshing them all together.
c)    A concluding sentence at the end: This sentence provides something of a summation of what you have been talking about in the paragraph we have just read and very importantly links that paragraph to the one that will come after.

Lesson 3: Engage critically with material and don’t sit on the fence
When you are writing at the university level we want to see that you can develop an argument and justify it. It’s ok if your tutor disagrees with you. What is important is that you can justify your claims with evidence. Don’t waste the reader’s time with phrases such as “sustainability is an ambiguous term” or “it’s hard to give the share economy an accurate definition”.  Unless the purpose of your essay is to discuss the ambiguity in the usage of these terms phrases like this feel like a cop out. Develop a working definition and stick to it. Try also to not spend time providing a catalogue of characteristics of terms, but rather focus on certain characteristics of a term.

Lesson 4: Avoid colloquial and ambiguous phrases
In the essay writing workshop we saw examples of writing which included phrases such as “even though the majority of us have realized the existence of [phenomena x]” and “[phenomena y] has obviously posed some problems for business”. In addition to being characteristic of a very informal style of writing that academics should avoid, the phrases above are dangerous if they are not substantiated with evidence. They have the tendency to provoke a reader to say, “well that’s not always true, why haven’t you considered x, y or z”.

Lesson 5: Conclusions are the last thing your examiner will read before they settle on your mark
Too often writers, even professional ones, don’t really consider the importance of a conclusion. I have read so many conclusions over the years that simply go nowhere.  They often include a vague summary of the argument before leaving the reader wanting something more that the writer is just not giving. Imagine if you were a reader who was told in final sentence of the conclusion that a problem is significant and “it’s urgent for us to find out solutions for solving the problem”. If it were me I’d say great, and then be waiting for a suggestion. Every essay needs a strong finish. Think about what your main argument has been and then try and leave the reader with a powerful message to take away, perhaps something that relates to the bigger picture you have identified in your introduction. Never introduce new ideas in your conclusion. If it’s an idea that is important enough to mention, give it space in one of your body paragraphs.

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