ASSIGNMENT INSTRUCTIONS Assessment Essay Assessment element and code: Research Skills 1 –




Assessment element and code:

Research Skills 1 – 010

Academic Year:



1 (Tri 3 Resit)

Module Title:

Skills for Higher Education

Module Code:




Module Leader:

Word Limit:


This excludes bibliography and other items listed in rule 6.83

Assessed Learning Outcomes

e.g. 1 – 3

Submission Deadline:

Please refer to the deadline on the VLE


This assignment must be completed individually.

Your work must indicate the number of words you have used. Written assignments must not exceed the specified maximum number of words. When a written assignment is marked, the excessive use of words beyond the word limit is reflected in the academic judgement of the piece of work which results in a lower mark being awarded for the piece of work (regulation 6.74).

Assignment submissions are to be made anonymously. Do not write your name anywhere on your work.

Write your student ID number at the top of every page.

Where the assignment comprises more than one task, all tasks must be submitted in a single document.

You must number all pages.


In order to achieve full marks, you must submit your work before the deadline. Work that is submitted late – up to five working days after the published submission deadline – will be accepted and marked. However, the element of the module’s assessment to which the work contributes will be capped with a maximum mark of 40%.

Work cannot be submitted if the period of 5 working days after the deadline has passed (unless there is an approved extension). Failure to submit within the relevant period will mean that you have failed the assessment.

Requests for short-term extensions will only be considered in the case of illness or other cause considered valid by the Director of Studies Team. Please contact A request must normally be received and agreed by the Director of Studies Team in writing at least 24 hours prior to the deadline. See rules 6.64-6.73:

Mitigation: The deadline for submission of mitigation in relation to this assignment is no later than five working days after the submission date of this work. Please contact the Director of Studies Team –

See rules 6.112 – 6.141:


You have a reading list of 5 texts describing research into the general topic of ‘influence’. Investigate them and then write a 1500-word essay on the following task.

Task: Write an essay that examines the ways that research into the topic of influence can benefit professional workers and organisations.

Compulsory reading list

Sternard, D., 2020. Effective management. [Kortext custom pages 97-105]

Guirdham, M., 2015 Work communication. pages. 1-12]

Hayes, J., 2018, The theory and practice of change management. [Kortext custom pages. 1-21]

Carnegie, D., 1937. How to win friends and influence people. [Start with these pages 64, 110, 177, 211 on the VLE version]

Lee, S., Han, S., Cheong, M., Kim, S.L. and Yun, S., 2017. How do I get my way? A meta-analytic review of research on influence tactics. The Leadership Quarterly, 28(1). Pages 212-5, [Available through the ARU Digital Library]

All texts must be used.

Note: pages in the Custom edition texts on Kortext are different from the other editions. If you do not have access to Kortext and need the original pages, talk to your teacher.


This is a skills module. As a result, you will be assessed on how well you have developed the research and writing skills practiced each week in class and in homework.

Ensure that you have completed the homework and class activities to prepare you for the assignment.

Allocation of Marks

Your grade will be based on the quality of your:

Task response: a direct answer to the task, supported by explanation of relevant theory

Structure: organise your writing into clear and well-structured paragraphs

Use of information from sources in the reading list: including how evidence is used to support the ideas in your essay, and how accurately you interpret sources.

Clarity of expression


Make sure that you use the texts on the reading list and use no other sources.

Before you start writing

Recognise that this is a research and writing skills test. It is not about showing a general understanding of the topic. You need to pay close attention to your lecturers.

The first step in your research should be to recognise that the topic of ‘influence’ is quite general. Then, start identifying specific factors related to the general topic.

Then, start considering how the different factors and concepts from the topic can benefit individuals and how they can benefit organisations. Try to create a list, so that you have something that can guide your essay.

When you start writing

Focus on organising your ideas into paragraphs.

In most paragraphs, you should demonstrate that you can:

Identify relevant factors from the topic that can benefit either individuals or organisations

Identify evidence from the reading list to support your ideas. (It is expected that you will demonstrate the ability to quote correctly from the texts)

Interpret the evidence

Justify your idea with clear explanation in a way that convinces the reader

On the VLE, you will find guidance on the key writing skills from the module:

Writing in a clear and formal style

Paragraph structure (using the P.E.E.L. structure)

Breaking down general topics into specific factors

Selecting relevant and reliable evidence from texts

Using evidence from texts to support ideas in writing

Interpreting sources in your own words

Explaining ideas

Student Facing Marking Criteria

Grading Criteria

80% +

Achieving a grade of 80% is rare and truly outstanding.

The quality of the examination of the ideas goes above and beyond expectations of a level 3 student, creating a document that might be suitable for disseminating among the workplace. This might involve considering how the benefits might apply to different kinds of professionals and different kinds of organisations and some criticality may be included.

Note: you still need to demonstrate the skills present in an essay with 70%. A student that fails to organise their points in a way that clearly answers the task in well- structured paragraphs complete with convincing justification cannot achieve 80% even if they have attempted to be critical.

70% +

A grade of over 70% is considered an excellent grade. The quality and the clarity of the paragraphs really stand out here.

In almost all paragraphs, the student demonstrates that they can apply the skills taught on the module.

Ideas are typically specific and well-chosen. The explanation puts in effort to convincingly justify the point within the specific context of the task, not just describes the factor from research. Essentially, the student did everything they were taught to do in classes, demonstrating that they practiced every week.


A grade of over 60% is considered a good grade.

To achieve a good grade, most paragraphs need to be making points that are specific to the task set and developing them.

The essay should be structured in a way that is generally logical, with:

An introduction paragraph

At least 60% of main paragraphs structured the way you have been taught in class

An attempt to organise the paragraphs into a logical order, but it may not be consistently successful

A closing paragraph

There may be errors in English grammar or syntax, but in most cases, they do not impede the reader’s understanding.


This grade is considered ‘satisfactory’. There are some fundamental principles of research and writing taught on the unit. In order to achieve this grade, you need to demonstrate that you have understood these principles and can apply them in writing. But you may struggle to apply them consistently across a sustained 1500-word essay.

There is a clear attempt to structure the essay with

An introduction paragraph

Most main paragraphs structured the way you have been taught in class

A closing paragraph

The writing is clear and easy to follow. There may be errors in English grammar or syntax, but in most cases, they do not significantly impede the reader’s understanding.


This grade is considered a ‘marginal pass’ with the submission being ‘below satisfactory’, but still meeting the assessment criteria at a basic level.

In order to achieve a marginal pass, students need to have at least demonstrated that effort was made to understand the information in the texts at a basic level and to organise the essay into basic paragraphs that answer the task.

There needs to be a demonstration of a basic awareness of what classes taught about paragraph structure.

There may only be a basic level of success in organising the essay with around 40% of the paragraphs structured around a clear idea. The ideas may be overly general, but they should at least be clear and consistent.

The writing can be generally understood, but expression may be barely adequate for the task, and may cause strain for the reader.