Discuss the roles of ethics and trust in effective leadership.
• Choosing your essay / topic
You can choose one of the six topics for your essay.
You must choose a topic by week 3
What is an essay?
An essay is a structured argument in response to the question. Much like a high school essay it should contain an introduction, a body and a conclusion.
The introduction is where you inform the reader of your position on the question and it provides the reader with some idea of what the essay will cover in detail. It
is a good idea to paraphrase the essay question in the introduction.
The body is where you develop your argument over a series of paragraphs. Here is where you demonstrate your understanding of the topic, present alternate views perhaps
and provide evidence for this position. Here you provide evidence for the importance of what you are discussing. Keep in mind that the quality of the evidence is what
you need to consider and what makes a better essay. You will find articles to back up anything you want to say but id the evidence is weak than so is your essay.
Make sure that each new idea is contained in a new paragraph. This will help the reader to make sense of the essay.
The conclusion is where you can draw together the arguments you have made and say something about the topic.
The essay in relative terms is ‘small’ and therefore will NOT require subheadings, a table of contents or an abstract.
• In which ‘person’ do I write an essay?
It is better to write an essay in the ‘third’ person. Avoid saying “I think” because an essay is not about what you think (directly). It is about you immersing
yourself in the literature and finding arguments for and against and evaluating the strength of these arguments in order to reach a conclusion.
• Where do I find information to help in writing my essay?
Writing an essay requires you to be a detective. You need to find information and the textbook for this course is a good place to start. Remember that the textbook is
a summary (and a simplified account) of very detailed individual research articles and so you might start by looking up the references that can be found at the end of
The essay must be prepared using the Harvard Referencing System. See the section below “What referencing style do I use” (page 3).
• Do I need headings in the essay
This essay is 1500 words and it is usually best not to use sub-headings. The use of sub-headings makes the essay a little disjointed. Larger essays may require sub
• Essay layout
Keep in mind that someone needs to read your essay so please use a font size of about 12 point and about 1.5 line spacing.
Save your file as either .doc, .docx or .rtf. Do not use .pdf because we cannot easily make comments on this file type.
• What is a peer reviewed journal?
As beginning students it’s natural to refer to a textbook for help. However, a textbook is a generalisation made by the author after evaluating the research evidence.
What do you think of the author’s summary? The truth is that knowledge is far more complicated than what is reported in a textbook. Reading original sources gives you
much more information for your essay.
To say an article is ‘peer reviewed’ means that prior to publication they are reviewed by other academics. The reviewer’s job is to assess the article in terms of its
coverage of the relevant knowledge, the way in which the data were collected and assessed, and the conclusions drawn. In contrast, there are journals that do not
undergo this review process. These articles tell ‘a story’ but are light in terms of contrasting perspectives and will probably not contain justification for any data
they report. These articles are often written by freelance writers. As examples, check out the following journals; the ‘Journal of Organizational Behaviour’ is a peer
reviewed journal, while ‘Management Today’ is not. Try and locate these journals to ‘see’ the difference.
• How “big” should the essay be?
The course profile indicates the essay should be 1500 words. Further the marking sheet indicates you have an allowance of ± 10%. The word limit is exclusive of your
reference list. Keep in mind, the expectation is that the contents of the essay should be consistent with the topic.
• Why does an essay need references?
Since you are writing an academic essay you need to reference your essay using HARVARD author/date style. To reference, means to acknowledge where you have ‘taken’ the
ideas for your essay. For information on in-text referencing and how to construct the reference list please click on the link on referencing style in the next section.
Work that is not referenced may be construed as plagiarism and that word in academic circles means you have stolen someone else work! Plagiarism is frowned upon and
you will be penalised.
An essay is not simply your personal views on something. Intuition is fine but it needs to be backed up by evidence. This is foreign to students starting out but it
gets easier along the way!
Please be aware that all essays will be checked using software for plagiarism.
• What referencing style should I use?
The university uses the Harvard referencing style. You can find the reference guidelines in Power Campus.
• Where do I submit the essay?
Essays may be submitted from week 5 on line (no hard copies please).
Please also be aware that online submissions DO NOT require an assignment cover sheet.
• What is the similarity index (SI)?
Submitted essays are checked by Turn-it-in (TII) for possible plagiarism. TII is a program that checks the similarity between your essay and other documents stored in
the TII database. This process takes about 30 minutes but this time estimate varies greatly depending on the number of submissions being processed.
• When is the essay due?
The due date depends on which topic you chose (or were assigned). Make sure you check the course profile for your due date. If you chose topic 1, it is due in week 5.
• Essay feedback sheet.
The feedback sheet is designed to provide guidance for how marks are allocated. The big assumption in the guide is that you have demonstrated meeting these criteria by
using sound judgment. Please familiarise with the criteria below and following the table are some common questions from students.
Content: Does your essay demonstrate: Marks
Depth of knowledge and critical analysis of the topic 25
Knowledge and application of relevant theories and/or models in response to the topic question 25
Appropriateness of responses to the topic question 20
Relevant and accurate literature; AT LEAST 5 academic sources such as textbooks and peer-reviewed journals. Please note general (non-academic) websites will
NOT be considered to meet this criteria. 15
Presentation: Does your essay demonstrate:
Essay has clear introduction, body & conclusion. Clarity of expression/grammar and spelling 5
Referencing style strictly confirms with the Harvard Author-date style 5
Appropriate word length relevant to topic: 1500 words (+ or – 10%). This excludes the reference list. 5
Late Penalty where applicable.
Note: the last two criteria are to be given minus marks if applicable. Wherever the calculation produces minus final marks, “0” should be given
I used 5 references in my essay so why did I not get all the marks?
5 references is the minimum and therefore at best you will get about half the marks. I am sure you can understand that someone who has used 15 references and most of
these are journal articles would deserve more marks than someone with 5 references.
Remember that information taken from a website will not count towards the minimum requirement. You can use websites to search for information from say a journal site
The assessment feedback sheet is a guide. The marker needs to consider the quality of your arguments and the extent of your reading in making a decision.
• I wrote 1500 words so why did I not get all the marks?
The assumption is that you wrote 1500 words that are relevant to the essay topic. You do not get full marks because you simply wrote the required number of words.
• Can I use two or more editions of the same textbook in my reference list?
No. The changes between editions of the same textbook are usually minor.
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