This assessment item gives you an initial impetus to organise your early ideas for your research proposal. This assignment is designed to initiate your thinking about what aspect(s) of tourism and hospitality you might be interested in studying. It is an important opportunity to put your early thoughts down on paper, and receive constructive input from your lecturer. He or she can help you refine your ideas into a project that has scholarly merit. Your ideas and thinking might change significantly after receiving feedback on this first assignment. That is ok, research is an inherently iterative process.
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Your research concept must include the following (using these items as section headings):

Working title: Provide a brief title that is reflective of your intended study.

Background to the research: A brief description, a couple of paragraphs explaining the main area of research. Provide contextual reasons as to why the study needs to be undertaken. You may need to cite some applied literature (i.e., newspaper articles, websites) alongside academic material in setting up the background to your research. It is expected that there will be at least some references cited in this assignment. You will need to do some reading around the issue(s) you intend to study.

Research aim statement: Provide a brief statement which explicitly states what your research aims to achieve. Most research aim statements being with a phrase such as “The purpose of this study is to … ” Your aim statement should not exceed two sentences. Precise wording is necessary and the marker will pay close attention to your wording.

Research objectives: Your research aim statement provides an overarching position on what your research aims to do. Research objectives are more specific statements that add up to the whole, and have a direct link to the research aim statement. Around three research objectives are optimal. Three numbered bullet points articulating your research objectives are required here. Each bullet point is not to exceed one sentence. Again, precise wording is necessary and will be closely scrutinised by the marker.

Data requirements: Outline the kind of data you will need to answer your question. For example, do you require quantitative data collected from hotel managers in Sydney? Do you require qualitative data from international flight attendants? What is the nature of the information you require? Justify why you have identified this type of information in light of your research aim and objectives. One paragraph is sufficient.

Proposed research methods: Explain briefly what research method or methods might be used to uncover the answer to your research question. e.g., do you intend to use an online survey questionnaire, or undertake in-depth interviews with tourists? Very briefly justify why your method(s) are appropriate for your intended study. One solid paragraph is expected for this aspect of the assignment.

Your research concept should be in Times New Roman font size 12, with 1.5 spacing and 3 cm left and right margins. Pages should be numbered and your name and student number should appear in the header or footer of each page.

The completed assignment can be submitted through the corresponding TurnItIn dropbox on the MySCU site. Your lecturer will advise which section of the site the submission box can be found.
Marking criteria for Assignment 1

In addition to judging the quality of each component of your Research Concept outlined above, the following will also be considered when your assignment is being marked:

  • Clarity of expression – This refers to your ability to write grammatically correct sentences, develop logical paragraph structures and use the most appropriate words. Be concise – don’t take 20 words to say what could be said just as well in two!
  • Accuracy – This refers to accurate spelling and the absence of typographical errors. Please proofread your work and use a dictionary or thesaurus where necessary.
  • Correct referencing – All sources of information and ideas must be acknowledged in full. There are numerous publications which provide guidelines for correct referencing using the Harvard style (refer to the MySCU site).
  • Logical sequencing – This refers to your ability to structure your assignment in the way that best develops your argument or makes your point. Always plan your writing so that what you want to say is tied together in a logical manner.
  • Independent expression of ideas – The written assessment items for this unit give you plenty of scope for using your own background, education, research and other sources and to use the material presented in this unit in a resourceful and innovative way. Remember to always acknowledge and reference the ideas of others.

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