Is there a clear short separate section on the sustainability challenge/opportunity at the start of the assignment?

Research analysis paper

Please see check list below :

Final Checklist for Research Analysis Paper

Background▪ Does the critical analysis clearly contain all the above three elements? (unless there is a good reason, it makes sense to have a separate section on each)

▪ Does the contextual analysis draw on a range of relevant sources e.g. benchmarking with other companies, wider stakeholder views, relevant legislation and policy etc?
▪ Does the contextual information actually help the analysis in some way?
o Does it help show the drivers for change / build the business case?
o Does it provide insights into how others are tackling the issue?
o Has the writer made these things absolutely clear to the reader?

▪ Does the review of existing knowledge/literature provide a reason for why those specific scholarly fields have been chosen?
▪ Is it clear how the chosen literature/research relates to the sustainability challenge / opportunity? Is this explicitly stated?
▪ Is there evidence of analysis i.e. not just a ‘diary’ of different authors and what they say, but an attempt to identify common themes, contrasts, similarities etc.

▪ Is there a clear attempt to relate the above insights to the writer’s particular organisation?
▪ Is there an assessment of current progress, potential barriers, possible risks and opportunities?
▪ Is there evidence of data gathered to inform this assessment? This could be interviews with key personnel in the company, a survey within the organisation, relevant documentary analysis (e.g. analysis of published reports, internal memos)
▪ Does the analysis conclude with some key priorities for action, which provide the foundations for the conclusion and recommendations?

If primary data has been collected for the analysis (in some assignments, insights collected through interview might appear not just in the critical analysis for the organisation, but also in early sections on the wider context etc):

▪ Has the writer made it very clear how many were interviewed/surveyed, who, how (semi-structured, informal etc) and about what (could be list of interview questions in the appendix) BEFORE any insights are shared?

Conclusions and recommendations

▪ Is there a short concise summary of the argument that has been made so far
o that does NOT introduce new ideas, new references, new suggestions for action?
▪ Are there 3-4 recommendations that are the obvious conclusion of the analysis that has been done
o that do NOT introduce new ideas or references?


▪ Does the overall argument flow?
o Is there a clear point in every section?
o Does each section help to address the sustainability challenge/opportunity?
▪ Has the writer made use of effective ‘signposting’ throughout the assignment (see example in Appendix 1)?
▪ Are graphics, graphs and tables legible, labelled and referenced?
▪ Are all citations appropriately referenced?
o “Surname (year) says that referencing is good”
o “Referencing is good (Surname, year)”
▪ Do all the citations then appear as a full, neat and consistent entry in the final bibliography (Harvard style)?
▪ Is the English (spelling, grammar) perfect?
▪ Is the formatting perfect?

Appendix 1

Purpose of signposting:

▪ Does the reader know at the start of each section what is happening and why?
▪ Does the reader know at the end of each section what the main contribution is and why it is relevant to the sustainability challenge/opportunity?

Example of Signposting

At start of section: In addressing this sustainability challenge on child labour in the cocoa supply chain, a vast range of literature could be relevant. Within the limited word count, this section critically reviews three areas of existing work. The first is around human rights-based approaches to business, as this paper explores explicitly the responsibilities of a large chocolate manufacturer. The second is around sustainable value chains, a growing field of work that is relevant for understanding how rethinking value can lead to new sustainable business models. The third is around effective partnerships and collaboration, which is relevant to examining how a manufacturer can partner with suppliers to bring about change.

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