A research paper about corruption risk compared between America and China. The paper should be 10-12 pages in length (excluding the title page, abstract,
bibliography, and any tables or figures), and stapled in the upper, left-hand corner.Paper should be word-processed / typed, and 1.5 lines spaced.Use standard 8.5 x 11 inch paper.Use Times New Roman Font with a font size of 12.Organize your paper clearly and logically, and label each section accordingly.Number your pages. The first (unnumbered) page must be your title pageThe right margin should be 1.5 inches and all other page margins should be 1
inch.More detailed requirement have been uploaded.
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ACCT 317-70 Winter 2016
Guidelines for Assignment
3 Research Paper
(Adapted from guidelines for preparing research papers and theses provided online by
E. Jammal, M. Bishop and G. Haskins)
Notice to Students
These guidelines are intended to assist you in preparing the research paper for ACCT
317:70 for Winter 2016. By observing the recommendations given below, you will meet
the minimum requirements for the writing assignments. Do not fall into the trap of
expecting that a paper that merely follows these instructions will receive an automatic
“A”. Rather, a paper, which merely meets the minimum standards set forth in this
document, is a “C” paper.
In order to receive a higher grade, the paper must distinguish itself as being substantially
above these minimum requirements reflecting competent research, clarity, and
imaginative analysis. It should be more than a series of reports on different journal
articles strung together. You should organize and synthesize the material in a meaningful
way. Ideas and statements should be supported as needed by properly citing the results of
studies, or with logical arguments. Inconsistencies between studies should be noted if
they exist. Sometimes it may be appropriate to critique the methodology of a particular
study. Much of this should be handled in the discussion, unless it is more appropriate to
address in the literature review.
Also note, that how convincing your overall argument is can be significantly affected by
the quality of your grammar and spelling. Poor spelling, incorrect usage of words, and
awkward sentences suggest incompetence and incorrectness of thought, which lead to
disbelief in an argument on the part of the reader. Try to ensure that you are saying what
you want to say clearly, and that any reader can easily understand your argument.
GOAL AND LEARNING OBJECTIVES
You will write an original paper related to an Accounting topic. This research paper
assignment is meant to provide a critical overview of the research topic and should
introduce the reader to the topic in a user-friendly way. The purpose of this assignment is
to allow you to: (i) learn more about a specific Accounting topic; and (ii) communicate
that information to a specified audience by writing a paper that conforms to specific
guidelines for content and style.
After completing this assignment, students will be able to successfully conduct research
into a real world accounting issue by (1) selecting and critically reviewing academic
(peer-reviewed) and professional (practitioner) publications appropriate to a research
topic; (2) citing and summarizing theory and findings regarding an accounting issue or
topic; (3) explaining the information collection and analysis processes and interpreting
the findings, and (4) assimilating and synthesizing accounting research and theory about
a real world issue and evaluating the implications for specified stakeholders.
General Expectations for the Research Paper
As you think about the research paper, imagine you wish to describe a controversy
surrounding a particular topic within some field of accounting, and its effects on society
or a specific stakeholder, to a person who has no preliminary knowledge of what you
wish to discuss. In addition, you are trying to convince this person that a particular view
is the more justifiable one by logically arguing for that view and then presenting and
refuting alternative arguments. You need to give accurate evaluations of the opposing
arguments and correctly and effectively refute opposing views. This is the way in which
the research paper for this course is to be written.
It is the responsibility of each student to select a research paper topic early in the term.
While you may choose one of the topics provided below, please feel free to use a topic
that piques your interest and or furthers your professional aspirations, as long as it deals
with some aspect of Accounting and is approved your instructor. You should be certain
of the availability of materials before you commit yourself to a particular topic.
Remember that this assignment requires original work (i.e., not something that you
already turned in or will turn in to another instructor). Each student will write an
individual paper (i.e., no group efforts) and, in as much as possible, avoid choosing the
same topic as another student. You cannot have the same topic as another member of
The following are examples of possible research paper topics. This is by no means an
exhaustive list. In most cases, the topics listed are too broad and would need to be
narrower in focus to be manageable. You may want to consider these as potential general
areas in which to start your research paper. Whatever topic you choose, you will need to
critically assess the issues involved and offer recommendations for addressing them or
generalizing associated benefits.
1. Corruption risk
2. Participative budgeting
3. Stock-based incentive compensation and other strategic performance management
4. Business case for corporate social responsibility, triple-bottom-line accounting,
environmental and social accounting
5. Earnings management by international public companies
6. Financial challenged government entities in the US and selected OECD countries
7. Financing higher education in the US and selected OECD countries
8. Financial viability of social security system in the US and selected OECD
9. Financial aspects of health care in the US and selected OECD countries
10. Tax management by multinational corporations
11. International transfer pricing
12. Professional accounting in a globally connected world
13. Carried interest in international tax policy
14. Balanced-scorecard and other multi-attribute performance management systems
in Multinational Corporations
15. International financial accounting and reporting scandals between 2009 and 2015
Students will submit their research paper in two phases: (1) proposed topic and
rationale, and (2) final paper, reflecting the instructor’s comments on the proposed topic
You must have your topic approved by the instructor no later than January 29,
2016. This is worth up to TEN (10) points. To get your topic approved you need to: (i)
propose a topic, backing it by relevant literature, identifying the gaps in our
understanding, and the relevance of the topic to at least one key accounting stakeholder;
(ii) email the instructor a tentative title and a one paragraph summary of and rationale
for your proposed topic (as a Word attachment); and (iii) meet with the instructor for
feedback on this document (prior to January 29, 2016).
Your completed research paper is due by April 21, 2016 at the beginning of class (one
printed copy hand-delivered to your instructor, and an electronic copy (in word format)
uploaded in the Assignments area of the course Canvas site). This is worth up to
NINETY (90) points.
A tardiness penalty of 10% of the points available on the assignment will be deducted for
each day, or part thereof, that the paper is late.
Since you know about this paper from day one, last minute problems (computer
crashes, sickness, vacations, other test/projects, weddings, athletic events, etc) will not
give you an extension.
*** WARNINGS ***
Make a “backup” copy of your paper frequently as you are working on it and before
turning in the completed paper, to insure against the possibility of a paper being lost.
The information for your paper will likely come from a variety of sources, but the vast
majority of it should come from the peer-reviewed literature (journal articles, edited book
chapters, etc.) and or professional journal / magazines. A great place to start searching for
available information is to use search engines such as Google Scholar, which is available
at www.scholar.google.com. Please consult the Librarian for additional guidance about
appropriate search engines and techniques for performing effective and efficient literature
You may use a combination of primary research papers, reviews, and other sources, but
must include references to at least:
3 peer-reviewed primary research papers published after 2004
2 professional / practitioner oriented articles each at least 4 pages long, and
8 papers / articles / books, etc. overall (i.e., including the peer-reviewed and
professional-oriented articles mentioned above.)
Style and Format:
The paper should be 10-12 pages in length (excluding the title page, abstract,
bibliography, and any tables or figures), and stapled in the upper, left-hand corner.
Your paper should be word-processed / typed, and 1.5 lines spaced.
Use standard 8.5 x 11 inch paper.
Use Times New Roman Font with a font size of 12.
Organize your paper clearly and logically, and label each section accordingly.
Number your pages. The first (unnumbered) page must be your title page
The right margin should be 1.5 inches and all other page margins should be 1
Organization: In almost all cases, the paper should have the sections described below, at
a minimum. If you would like to structure your paper differently, please get permission
from the instructor first. Within each section, you should include subsections and
subheadings as needed. Except for the title page, each section should be clearly labeled.
This is where you enter
the full title, and the sub-title if any, of the research paper;
the name of the author (student name);
your email address;
to whom the paper is submitted (instructor’s name);
the course (ACCT 317-70 Winter 2016);
the date of submission, and the following signed declaration:
“I declare that I have developed and written the enclosed research paper completely
by myself, and have not used sources or means without declaration in the text. Any
thoughts from others or literal quotations are clearly marked. The research paper was
not used in the same or in a similar version to achieve an academic grading in another
Abstract (200-300 words)
The abstract provides the reader with a concise summary of the contents of the research
paper. It should therefore be brief but contain sufficient detail, telling the reader the
motivation/rationale for the work, project objectives, techniques and methods
employed, main concepts and results, conclusions, and the significance of the paper.
The abstracts should not contain any citations / references.
Write the abstract last. The paper will be easier to summarize once all the sections are
in place. The abstract should help the reader answers these questions:
What did you do?
Why did you do it? What question were you trying to answer?
How did you do it? How did you get the information to answer your question(s)?
What did you learn? State the major results.
Why does it matter? Why is it important? Point out at least one significant
Introduction (~1-2 pages)
The introduction outlines the topic and/or question you are addressing, and a
justification of the importance of the topic. It should make clear to both the writer and
reader the scope of the paper and the major points to be covered.
You can’t write a good introduction until you know what the body of the paper says.
Consider writing the introduction after you have completed the rest of the paper.
Be sure to include a hook at the beginning of the introduction. This is a statement of
something sufficiently interesting to motivate your reader to read the rest of the paper, it
is an important/ interesting problem that your paper either solves or addresses. The
“hook” will help draw readers in and make them want to read the rest of the paper.
The next paragraphs in the introduction should cite previous research in this area. It
should cite those who had the idea or ideas first, and should also cite those who have
done the most recent and relevant work. You should then go on to explain why more
work was necessary (your work, of course.)
What else belongs in the introductory section(s) of your paper?
A statement of the topic, the controversy within the topic being presented, and the
goal(s) of the paper: why the paper was written (do not say “to meet the requirements
for ACCT 317-70” or anything similar), why it is important. Do not repeat the
A general description of the arguments for one side – and then the other – should be
cited to show that the paper is indeed addressing a real-life, debatable, non-trivial
accounting concern. One or two examples of actual cases that have occurred in the
real world (either for or against the rationale) can also be presented.
Sufficient background information to allow the reader to understand the context
and significance of the question you are trying to address.
An explanation of the scope of your work, what will and will not be included.
A description of the methods/techniques you are using.
A verbal “road map” or verbal “table of contents” guiding the reader to what lies
Main part of your research paper (~5-7 pages)
The main part of the research paper consists of the following three sections: (1) literature
review and data collection approach, (2) analysis and presentation of key findings, and
(3) the discussion of the results. Each of these sections can be broken into subsections
to address specific aspects of the topic. However, the sections and subsections as a
whole must be logically organized.
Literature review and Data Collection Approach (~2-3 pages):
The Literature Review and Data Collection Approach section is there for you to (1)
provide details about the motivation for the project, (2) state why the problem addressed
by the paper is important, (3) set the scene for the work described in the paper, (4)
describe what others have done and hence sets a benchmark for the current project, and
(5)to provide anything else in the way of information (such as statistics) or arguments
that help to expound on the nature of the controversy being addressed. However, be sure
to adhere to the particular topic in your writing. Presenting information that strays off
the topic, or that does not address the debatable aspects of the subject is detrimental to
your overall argument, and will result in a lowered score.
This section should include
Detailed description of the issue(s) and current views of it, including at least eight
(8) different citations of those authorities within the field that hold these
views (see bibliography guide).
Information to allow the reader to assess the believability of your results,
Information needed by another researcher to trace your sources and to replicate
Description of, and justification for your data collection and analysis procedures
and theory, if applicable
Overview of the information sources; their limitations, bias and scope
Limitations, assumptions, and range of validity
It is called the Literature Review because the contents are based on published material. A
thorough literature review is essential because it shows that you have studied rigorously
what others have done. This lends credibility when you state the problem the paper is
addressing, and when you provide reasons as to why obtaining a resolution is important.
Where applicable, you should also include a critique of the available solutions to the
problem that your are tackling. This would implicitly provide justifications for the project
and, at the same time, establish benchmarks against which your contributions can be
assessed. Therefore, make sure that you seek out the most recent information relating to
your topic of study.
No quotes should be used in this section. Everything should be paraphrased in
your own words.
All material summarized from articles must be referenced and cited correctly
Good scholarly writing is not typically a paragraph with a citation at the end. Nor is it
useful to rely primarily on one article, or to use that article to find earlier ones and
then cite what you have just read in the first one without reading the earlier ones.
You will see plenty of examples of how to write in the articles you read. Pay close
attention to the writing in the introduction and discussion sections of those articles,
use them for ideas, and follow the style of the one(s) that you like the most.
Analysis and Presentation of Key Findings (Results) (~1-2 pages)
This section should include actual statements of literature review, statistics, tables and
Analysis of the key information and ideas presented in the literature.
Indicate information on range of variation.
Mention negative results as well as positive. Do not interpret results – save that for the
Lay out the case as for a jury. Present sufficient details so that others can draw
their own inferences and construct their own explanations.
Breakup your results into logical segments by using subheads.
Quarantine your observations from your interpretations. The writer must make it
crystal clear to the reader, which statements are observation and which are
interpretation. In most circumstances, this is best accomplished by physically
separating statements about new observations from statements about the meaning or
significance of those observations. This can be accomplished by:
Physically separating the information into different sections or paragraphs.
Not overlaying interpretation on top of data in figures.
Carefully using phrases such as “We infer that “.
Discussion (~1-2 pages):
This section should contain your synthesis of ideas presented in the literature. Minimize
restating earlier material, except with brief summaries or references. Give your opinions
in this section, BUT support them with facts! You opinions must be justified based on the
information presented. If appropriate, make judgments about the weakness/strengths of
studies you discuss. The Discussion must include a subsection entitled “Implications for
practice and or research” (or something along those lines).
Start with a few sentences that summarize the most important results. The discussion
section should be a brief essay in itself, answering the following questions and caveats:
What are the relationships, trends and generalizations among the results?
What are the strengths and weaknesses of the ideas / arguments presented in the
What are the exceptions to these patterns or generalizations?
What do the results mean? Provide several interpretations.
Interpret results in terms of background laid out in the introduction – what is the
relationship of the present results to the original question?
What is the implication of the present results for other unanswered questions in the
Include the evidence or line of reasoning supporting each interpretation.
What are the things we now know or understand that we didn’t know or
understand before the present work?
What is the significance of the present results: why should we care?
Explanation of the positive and negative effects of the issue on society or
specified stakeholders, as well as examples of these effects.
Valid argument in support of one view along with reasonable refutation of
Conclusions (~1 page)
The conclusion section should draw together and summarize the major points and the
take-home message(s) of the research paper.
You should present here a summary of the arguments you have made, as well as your
final statement as to the resolution to th …
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