You will prepare an 8-10 page paper, font 12, double spaced. This project is an opportunity for you to describe
what you learned about the city you chose from reading the CAFR. You should also have a cover page, a table of
contents and a references page. It is much more important that this be your own analysis in your own words than
that it be especially well written. You can improve the writing by re-reading or editing (see writing
suggestions at the end of this document) but that is less important than it be your own words, ideas, analysis
and organization. You should use graphs and tables from the CAFR to illustrate your points and that will mean
the presentation will be more than 8 or 10 pages (the word count should be at least 2,000).
Your paper should include:
a. An introduction to include purpose of paper and intro to the city chosen,
b. Graphs or charts in the body of the report to compare topics, data, statistics and anything else that you
need to present to support your analysis of the data or to help the reader understand your point. Do not just
say it is there; give examples of the way it is presented and the implications.
c. Analysis that should be on two levels: Your analysis of the information in the CAFR. This can be whatever
seems important to you. It could include such things as where the money is spent, how healthy the current
revenue stream, the reserves, how well inter-period equity issues are addressed, etc. or it could include other
items that seem relevant from reading the MD&A or statistical section or notes.
d. Conclusion, that is, a summary of your main points which should relate to the purpose you described in the
introduction to your paper.
e. Reference page: make sure to reference your sources. Please note that Wikipedia is not a valid reference
source although it can lead you to other, more authoritative sources. Use the APA style guide for format of on-
line sources; just listing a URL is NOT a correctly formatted reference.
There is checklists below to help you make sure you’ve included everything to get the maximum grade. You must
turn in on date due or lose points for the assignment.
Project will be submitted using the Research Paper Dropbox with the following information in the file name:
Student last name and city name
Checklist for Students
• Purpose: Tell the reader what you will cover and why it is interesting; give the reader context (for
instance, say something about the city such as its location, weather, what it’s known for, etc..
Body – Organization
• Well organized; flow in a logical sequence from paragraph to paragraph, from sentence to sentence; the
reader isn’t surprised by a sentence that doesn’t seem related to the ones before and after. The best way to
check this is read it out loud, preferably to someone else (teenagers are the best; they won’t spare your
feelings with their feedback).
• Statements supported with appropriate tables, graphs, charts, or references.
• Transitions are easy to follow.
• Coverage of topic is complete.
• Layout is easy to follow.
• Findings consistent with purpose are summarized.
• Sufficient to support the conclusion.
• Appropriately cited.
USE of Visuals
• Use visuals, graphs, tables and charts to make points.
• Easy to read and appropriately place.
• Word choice and sentence structure are clear.
• Spell check and editing appears to have been done
• Logical sequencing of thoughts and analysis of topics;
• Use of examples and visuals
Writing Suggestions/Grading Criteria
All written work will be graded according to APA guidelines, as appropriate for the program. Grading will
consider style, content, and format, including such items as clarity of communication, sentence and paragraph
construction, punctuation, spelling, and grammar. Here are the details on written standards by which assignments
will be graded:
• All key elements of the assignment are covered in a substantive way.
• The context and purpose of the writing are clear.
• Content is comprehensive, accurate, and/or persuasive.
• Major points are supported by specific details, examples, and/or analysis.
• Research is adequate and timely for the topic.
• Where appropriate, the paper supports major points with theory relevant to development of the ideas, and
uses the vocabulary of the theory correctly.
• There is integration of theory and practice whereby the writer is able to link theories to practical
Sections of paper
• Introduction must be included to express the purpose of the paper; including any theories that the students
will prove or disprove.
• Summary or conclusion should include a summarization of the main points proved in the paper or analytical
conclusions supported within the paper.
• Body must have all references stated and build the theme to 1 or more conclusions of the writer.
• Reference section must include all sources used for the paper presented by APA standards.
• Visuals should be included in the paper to assist the reader to see the financial facts/data. They can then
be analyzed and explained in detail to support the point of the writer.
• The introduction engages the reader by providing an idea of the focus of the paper or the primary thesis of
the writer in a way that makes the reader want to read the paper.
• The structure of the paper is clear and easy to follow.
• The paper’s organization focuses on the central theme or perspective identified by the writer in the first
• Ideas flow in a logical sequence.
• Paragraph transitions are present and logical, and maintain the flow of thought throughout the paper.
• The conclusion is logical and impactful. It summarizes key points and flows from thoughts and analysis
presented in the paper. It is impactful in that it shares the perspectives of the writer, answers or re-enforces
the introduction, acts as a crescendo to the writer’s story, and makes it worthwhile for the reader to have read
through the paper.
• The paper, including citations and the reference page, follow program guidelines for format; double spaced
• The paper contains quotes and/or borrowed ideas from the text or other outside readings pertaining to the
course material and properly cites them within the paper’s body in APA format.
• The paper is laid out effectively and utilizes references appropriately.
• Proper formatting, as well as headings, the use of italics, and so forth, aid in the readability of the
paper and are not overdone.
Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling
• Rules of grammar, usage, and punctuation are followed.
• Spelling is correct.
• Sentences are complete, clear, and concise.
• Sentences are well-constructed, with consistently strong, varied structure.
• Sentence transitions are present and maintain the flow of thought.
• The style of the writing is engaging and makes the reader want to continue reading to the end.
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