• Type of paper Essay (Any Type)
  • Subject Accounting
  • Number of pages 3
  • Format of citation Harvard
  • Number of cited resources  4
  • Type of service  Writing

Instructions will be uploaded later.

ACCO1084 A few ideas for your essay

Due date: November 21, 2018, 3pm

You have to read!

Module handbook pp.16-18

It is your responsibility to read these diligently and comply with the requirements stated there!

Use the information given to you!

Essay topic

“Does management accounting need to be ethical?”

Based on findings from academic and practitioner literature, discuss whether management accounting should be open to the possibility that decisions based on accounting numbers may be at odds with ethical behaviour.

Set article

Set article: Francis, J. (1990), “After virtue? Accounting as a moral and discursive practice”, Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, Vol.3, Iss.3, pp.5-17.

This is available via Moodle (linked to electronic database)

You HAVE TO USE this article (in-text and list of references – not forced!)


Key features & advice

Word count 1,000 words (+/-10%)

Not descriptive – you need to discuss!

Harvard Referencing

Minimum four academic journal articles used (set article included)

Practitioners literature use encouraged (does not count against four academic journal articles!)

Wikipedia and similar are NOT allowed!

Be careful! – Avoid penalties!

Penalties if criteria set out above are not met Marks deducted
Set article only listed in bibliography, but not used in-text (this includes use that looks “forced”) – 10%
Set article not used at all (neither in bibliography, nor in-text) – 15%
No referencing at all – 70% (i.e. straight fail)
Not used a minimum of four academic articles – 10%
Forgot to add word count – 5%
Not formatted as required (see above) – 5%
Using the first or second person (“I, we, you”) – 5%
Not used Harvard Referencing style – 25%

Support available to you

Library support as detailed in the lecture on September 27 (slides available on Moodle as PDF)

Essay pro-forma (optional) available on Moodle for advice from your seminar tutor (deadline Oct 15, 5pm – by email to your tutor)

Essay surgery seminar Nov 8 (short 1-2-1 appointments)

Essay lecture Nov 8 (last minute advice)

Some advice on planning and writing your essay

Answering the question

A lot of information – but is the question answered?

Don’t rush into researching straight away – make sure you know what to research!

Is the question closed or open-ended?

Make sure to be selective – what are you looking at, and what are you excluding?

Set the question in context – how does it fit?

Answering the question

Identify key words and key phrases

Re-read the question to make sure to stay on track

Your essay should be a coherent discussion, not a string of unrelated information

Break it down into sub-questions

Generating ideas

Note down initial thoughts, themes

What do you know already?

What do you still need to research (gaps)?

Predict the conclusion – where are you headed?

Mind-map your themes

What are you arguments/points? How do they relate to one another?

Is your preliminary conclusion changing? Why?

Plan your essay

Structure your essay – bring it into a coherent line of arguments

Always ask: Will the reader understand what I am saying?

Don’t hold yourself up finding the right expressions at this stage – this is for writing

Stick to the point – don’t stray

Link your material to the points you are trying to make


Introduction: Address the question, show why it’s interesting, how will you answer it

Main body: Build your arguments, put your groups of ideas in a sequence to make a persuasive argument, one main point in each paragraph

Conclusion: Summarise your arguments and evidence, and ANSWER THE QUESTION!

Planning methods

Spider diagrams/Mind map/visual plans

Bullet points/linear plans


If you know it’ll be too many words (or suspect as much), here is the point to cut down on points you want to make. Ask yourself: Are they all adding value?

No plan is perfect – prepare to be flexible

Writing your essay

At this stage, you have a plan, a structure, the main reading done, your arguments laid out, and an idea where you are headed

But be prepared to change bits and pieces, return to reading, find new literature, as you go along

Introduction and conclusion

Provide the conceptual framework the reader will need to understand your arguments

Sets the scene and summarises the findings

What do they need to know in the beginning so they become interested in your essay?

What is the main message you want to leave the reader with?

Writing your introduction

It gives your reader a way in, like consulting a map before a journey

What is the question about? What is your interpretation?

Why is it important?

How are you going to answer it?

If you want/need to narrow it down, this is where you do this

Main body

Develop ideas and arguments

Use transitional words, link points to one another

Integrate your ideas with the evidence, support your arguments

Don’t waste your time (and word count) on definitions

Write one main point per paragraph (like a mini-essay)

Keep your eyes on the question – how do your points relate to the topic/question?

Get started

Start with preliminary introduction – but good authors write the final introduction last!

In the main body, start with the paragraph you feel most confident about. It does not have to be the first one!

Is it a coherent line of arguments leading from A to Z?


Captures the essence of your discussion

Summarises the main points and relates these back to the question

Do not bring in new arguments here!

Outline your reasoned judgement based on the evidence and discussion before – what is your answer to the question?

The reader should not be left with confusion or questions, but a clear view on the topic

What do to last

Proof-reading (grammar)


No first person, second person, “newspaper” expressions, lingo, etc.

Checking if you would be able to explain your points if asked

Hardly if any direct quotes, secondary references, rhetorical questions

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