Critiquing and assessing written work

Introduction

In writing an essay, a number of things must come out clear on the face of the essay, the most important of all being the structure which involves the logical flow of ideas from the beginning of the essay to the conclusion and finally the list of references - Critiquing and assessing written work introduction. This structure is divided into different parts, each of which serves a specific purpose

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The first part of the essay involves introducing the work in question, in this paragraph the work being analyzed is briefly outlined and the purpose of the essay clearly pointed out in a few words, for example in the essay on the advanced quality management technique of investors in people (IIP), one is expected to briefly introduce what advanced management techniques entail, then point out what the essay is meant to accomplish and give a brief outline of what Investors In People (IIP) is all about, (Investors in People. 2008)

The second part is the body; this section can be divided in several parts which hold the main contents of the essay, depending on the written work in question. Any information that is not common knowledge should be properly cited using in text citations. In our case the essay body is divided into 4 parts, i.e.

1.      The brief overview of the IIP technique whose content should include the history of the technique, the circumstances within which it was formed, founders of the technique and the way the technique is expected to work. This section seeks to answer the “what” question in the essay.

2.      Explaining how IIP fits with the principles and concepts of quality management, This section explains in detail how the IIP technique is structured vis-a-vis the concepts of quality management, this is the section that seeks to answer the “how” question in the essay

3.      How IIP is used with examples, this section explains the applicability of the technique, here one is expected to give real life examples of situations where this technique has been used successfully, it seeks to answer both “How” and “Why” it answers the how question by explaining how the IIP is used and the Why question by explaining why organizations should employ the technique instead of maintaining their status quo.

4.      Providing own personal critique of strength and limitations of IIP as a technique, this section is a point of establishing the strengths and weaknesses of the technique on an individual level, this part tests whether the writer of the essay in question has understood the idea in question.

The third part is the conclusion, this part should close the essay with the writer giving his brief closing remarks for or against the technique based on the information he has gathered from the essay.

The fourth and the final part is the references or bibliography, this section lists the sources of the information that the writer has used in the essay, this is the part helps the writer avoid plagiarism

This essay seeks to check if the three essays, essay 1, essay 2 and essay 3 on the advanced quality management technique of investors in people (IIP) are written based on the process explained above, point out based on notes for lecture 10 what the students have learned about writing quality essays as a result of doing this essay and attending lecture 10, and finally deciding what mark each essay should receive with an accompanying explanation.

Comparing and contrasting the three essays.

Introduction part;

Essay 1; for starters, as part of the essay structure, the word introduction should be centered, the first caption on the paragraph has a captive element to attract a reader however it doesn’t sound like an original element therefore in text citation is needed. This part of the essay should explain briefly the meaning of quality management in the context within which this essay is prepared, and also explain briefly what the tool of investors in people is? Plus what the essay seeks to explain. Finally on grammar, a paragraph should never end with a comma.

Essay 2; just like essay 1, the title of the introduction should be centered, this essay has a good start, the flow gives a brief description of what organizations are doing, what they seek to achieve and finally how they intend to do that, however it is advisable to explain in brief what quality management is, and what quality management principles are, one can list a number of them for clarity. It’s also advisable to explain in brief what “investors in people” is. Finally on grammar the second last sentence that reads, (organization are working to standards with in a proven framework) is grammatically incorrect.

Essay 3; same as essay 1 & 2, the title points should be centered, this is a relatively good introduction to the topic in question, the link between investors in people and quality management is captured correctly and there is an in-text citation, however the format of the in-text citation is incorrect, instead it should be cited as (name of author and year) if it’s a web page it should be (name of the organization which produced the web site as the author and the date the site was produced or updated) as shown on the Harvard reference style guide (Deane 2006)

Brief overview of the IIP technique;

In this section one is expected to give a brief history of the technique, mention the mission and vision, its approach to offering quality management solutions and in brief how it works in practice.

Essay 1; the first paragraph gives a brief history of the technique, and captures how the technique was developed and why as well as what the technique does. The in-text citation on the same paragraph is also not correct. Paragraph 2 should have been part of the topic how IIP is used with examples. The same paragraph is an extract that is not properly cited. It should have an in-text citation of a paraphrase so is the next paragraph (Deane 2006) paragraph 4 should probably be the only paragraph under this topic. It gives a brief description of the principles behind the technique. Generally there is too much wording under this title point that has no consistent flow of information. It also lacks correct in-text citations

Essay 2; this author has combined all title points after introduction with no clear titles on each point, it is very difficult to trace what paragraph belongs to what title point, the author has used direct extracts from sources which he has not used proper in-text citations, there is little original work from the author yet no citations to back the borrowed work and the citations used on paragraph 4, 5, 6, 10 and 13 are not in the correct format. On paragraph 6 the author could have used vertical numbering style to explain his strategies to make the work a little neater than it is. He is also referring to figure 1 that has not been provided. There are numerous grammatical errors on this essay for example the last sentence on paragraph 4 (once introduced, the standard has been reviewed every three years to ensure its up to date and still applicable). Generally the essay is below par as far as quality writing is concerned. Compared to the other two this essay will score the lowest mark.

The author has however managed to critique some IIP’s strengths and weaknesses of the technique on page 3, he has also used a personal experience which is also remarkable.

Essay 3; the author points out clearly what the IIP is and gives a brief history of the same, he has explained how the technique is structured and how the technique can be used, this is exactly what is expected of him on this title point. However the citation used on paragraph 2 is not in the correct format.

How IIP fits with the principles and concepts of quality management.

In this section one is expected to explain what quality management is and how IIP is structured to fit in the quality management definition.

Essay1; the author has combined this point with point 4 (how IIP is used with examples) and has explained what quality management is and has even gone further to illustrated how IIP works as a quality management tool with a diagram (figure 1), he has also cited correctly on paragraph 1. He has pointed out benefits of using IIP however he should have cited the same on paragraph 2. The example of how IIP is used on the BMW plant should also be cited properly.

Essay 3; compared to the other 2 essays this author clearly explains how the IIP fits in the quality management concept, he has synthesized the points as opposed to the other authors and has used proper in-text citations. This author has explained what quality management is and how IIP fits into it.

How IIP is used with examples

Among the three essays, only essay 3, explains this point as a title on its own as expected on the instructions. This point is the back bone of the essay without which IIP has no meaning. The author shows how IIP is used from the construction of the BMW plant to improvement of the same leading to consistent quality management through recognition of successful employees without de-motivating the unsuccessful ones. He however should correct the in-text citation used.

Own personal critique of the strengths and limitations of IIP as a technique

Essay 1; this author lists and synthesizes the strengths of the IIP technique but does not include any limitation. The technique ought to at least have a limitation. The in-text citation is not correct. The strengths listed are not his original thoughts therefore cannot be used as personal critique.

Essay 2; although this author has no titles on his essay, he has listed and synthesized the strengths and a limitation of the IIP but he has not cited the same correctly. The strengths and limitations used are however not his original thoughts therefore not valid for the purposes of this section of the essay

Essay 3; The author as opposed to the other 2 has explained in his own words what he believes the strengths and limitations of the IIP are, he has used original thoughts to criticize the technique based on what he has learned from the IIP.

Conclusion part

It is important to conclude the essay with what the author finally believes this can be either for or against the technique.

Essay 1; concludes in support of the technique and its use as a measure of quality management.

Essay 2; although this author has not titled his last paragraph as a conclusion he has concluded in support of the technique. However this author and the author of essay 1 have used the same wording in their concluding argument meaning that these are not their original thoughts and as such have to be cited.

Essay 3; This author has presented an argument in support of the technique based on certain circumstances in which IIP can be used and has also presented an argument against the IIP based on other life circumstances within which IIP might not be applicable this is remarkable.

What the students have learnt about writing ‘quality’ essays as result of doing this essay and attending lecture 10

The author of essay 1; he is yet to learn the importance of avoiding plagiarism by properly citing any work used that is not his original thought, the methodology used and clarity of his work is another challenge that he needs to over come.

The author of essay 2; clarity, methodology and content is a major challenge to this student. He has not separated his points based on the title in discussion. He has no bibliography and his in-text citations are either incorrect or missing.

The author of essay 3; this student has learned all the major aspects of writing a quality essay he has structured his essay very well and has followed instructions to the latter. He only needs to get his citations correct.

Marks each essay should receive.

Essay
Mark
Reasons
Essay 1
50 – 60%
The essay contains extracts that are not properly cited, the bibliography is not correct and content has no clear separation of points
Essay 2
30 – 40%
The essay has no proper in-text citations, the content’s points are not separated, there are grammatical mistakes, and bibliography is missing, 90% of the essay’s work is not original and instructions are not followed
Essay 3
80 – 90%
The author has structured his essay correctly, he as separated the points as expected, most of his in-text citations are correct and his work has been done according to lecture 10.

References

Deane, M. (2006). Coventry University Harvard Reference Style Guide. Unpublished booklet. Coventry University.

Investors In People. (2008). Meeting your needs. Available from <http://www.investorsinpeople.co.uk/Needs/Pages/default.aspx> Accessed 13th July 2010

Investors In People. (2008). Key Facts. Available from < http://www.investorsinpeople.co.uk/Facts/Pages/default.aspx> Accessed 13th July 2010

 

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