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SECTION 3. WRITING A DIPLOMA ABSTRACT

Guidelines for Writing Diploma Abstracts

A diploma abstract is an abbreviated accurate representation of a diploma paper. It must have the following:

  1. A beginning which describes the subject matter, i.e. lays out the problem and purpose or hypothesis, together with a short discussion of why the chosen topic is interesting or relevant.

  2. A section addressing the academic validity of the research, i.e. locating the particular problem you are studying within a wider theoretical framework.

  3. A discussion of the methodology that you have chosen to investigate the problem or hypothesis. The hypothesis test can be based on econometric and statistical methods on either publicly available statistical data or on survey data that come from the investigation. Alternatively, it can involve the use of historical evidence and/or case studies together with some logical deduction from the evidence presented.

  4. A literature survey of the existing theories and evidence (empirical literature) relating to the problem area, together with any conclusion that can be reached from the analysis of this literature.

  5. A discussion of the results of the research, i.e. any theoretical models being developed by you or any empirical evidence collected by you , or case studies developed by you.

  6. A formal conclusion. This ties the arguments of the previous sections and reaches some definite conclusion. The concluding section should contain no new evidence or arguments, as its function is to bring together the previous discussion or arguments and empirical evidence and take it to some logical end.

  7. All of you information sources such as books, magazine articles, newspaper articles, journal articles, working papers, lecture notes etc should be fully referenced in your bibliography at the end of your abstract. For example,

Smith C.W. (1985) The Determinants of Firms Hedging Policies. Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Vol. 20, 391-405.

The bibliography must be in alphabetical order both for the English language and Russian language sources. The Russian language sources should be referenced in the Russian language and follow the English language sources.

Task 1. Study the guidelines above and match the following Russian phrases with their English equivalents used in the text:

  1. определить проблему

  2. рассматривать теоретическую значимость исследования

  3. определить место исследования в общей проблематике

  4. изучение проблемы на отдельно взятом примере

  5. разработать теоретическую модель

  6. данные, полученные опытным путем

  7. внести источники в список литературы

Task 2. Read the following sample abstract and choose suitable headings from the list below for each section.

Subject matter Academic validity Methodology Literature survey Results

Conclusion Bibliography

A

The study of NAFTA’s impact on Canada requires to be analyzed in two different ways. One is based on econometric and statistical methods on publicly available data which helps determine quantitatively the existing degree of cooperation within this organization as well as qualify its major attributes. Secondly, historical method involving logical deduction from the evidence makes it possible to understand and explain the profound implications of this cooperation for Canada.

B

As a trading nation, Canada’s ability to meet future challenges and take full advantage of opportunities available in the global marketplace will increasingly depend on how competitive it is both domestically and internationally.

It will also depend on an open and more secure access to key export markets. In both respects, however, it is clear that NAFTA has brought tremendous benefits to the Canadian economy. Thus, increased employment, higher productivity, increased technology adaptation and diffusion, more choices for consumers at competitive prices and rising prosperity have been some of the key drivers behind Canada’s leading economic performance in recent years.

According to the Canadian government policy, Canada is going to enhance economic relations with its NAFTA partners, which means that, to some extent, its economic prosperity will continue to be determined by its role in the increasingly integrated and well-functioning North American market.

C

Notwithstanding some predictions of a future disaster, the study reveals that Canada’s membership in NAFTA has been one of its economic success stories of the past decade resulting in a rapid technological change, growing international trade and effective rate of employment. Canada has become a highly successful, globally competitive trading nation with exports over 40% higher than for any other major industrialized economy. Even in 2001 – a difficult year for the global economy – Canada’s exports and imports of goods and services with the world averaged about $1.7 billion (US) per day.

One of the benefits accruing from NAFTA was an opportunity to enter the Mexican market of about 100 million people. Today with bilateral trade reaching $15.1 billion (US) Mexico is Canada’s sixth largest export destination and fourth largest source of imports worldwide.

Since 1989 Canada-US trade has nearly tripled from $235.2 billion to $677.8 billion.

Similar to trade, Canada’s foreign direct investment in the USA has increased dramatically over the past decade, having grown an impressive 230% since 1990, to $198 billion in 2001.

Likewise, the total stock of the US investment in Canada grew by 150% over the past decade to reach $215 billion in 2001. This figure represents more than two thirds of the total direct investment by foreigners in Canada. On a proportional basis the Canadian investment in Mexico has grown even more impressively. It increased sixteen fold between 1990 and 2001, to stand at close to $4 billion.

From this study, it can be inferred that strengthening economic and political ties with the USA and Mexico, as well as promoting a broader agenda of trilateral cooperation can carry implications of greater economic success.

D

The last decade has witnessed an explosion in the number of regional trade agreements (RTAs) due to increasing cooperation between different countries of one region. The North American Free Trade Agreement is an example of such RTA, whose primary goal was to eliminate tariffs on almost all merchandise trade between member-states, i.e. USA, Canada and Mexico. With interest in such examples of regionalism, it would be useful to examine the history of and reasons for NAFTA formation. The present study attempts to infer NAFTA’s implications for the Canadian economy. Thus, the primary objective of the research is to develop a better understanding of recent changes in the FDI flows, trade, labour market, industry of Canada from an economic perspective, testing the working hypothesis that NAFTA has brought tremendous benefits to the Canadian economy.

E

Regional integration is seen today as a global trend which has some basic features determining both advantages and limitations for economic development of the countries concerned. A comprehensive detailed study of NAFTA’s impact on the Canadian economy can be a viable basis for proposing a generalized model of successful integration, which is of great importance to Russia, notwithstanding the distinction between NAFTA and the Commonwealth of Independent Republics. The assumptions and findings of the study can be useful for a variety of purposes whether academic or practical.

F

The role of NAFTA has been widely discussed in the literature. Some critics of the North American free trade believed that the Agreement would be an unmitigated disaster for the Canadian industry, Canadian workers, Canadian social programs, environment and, above all, Canadian sovereignty. On the other hand, a lot of proponents of free trade argued that the Canadian industry needed barrier-free access to North American markets to overcome the obstacles of a relatively small domestic market and strengthen the overall competitiveness of the Canadian economy.

The study reflects opinions of well-known Russian scholars specializing in the world integration processes, such as E. Komkova, L. Nemova, S. Komlev, as well as of different foreign authors, e.g. Robert A. Pastor, Edward M. Graham, James Rude and Sergio Marchi.

The research is based on statistical data provided by the World Bank and the Inernational Monetary Fund.

Task 3. Reread the Guidelines for Writing Diploma abstracts and rearrange the sections of the sample abstract to make up a coherent and logical diploma abstract. The first section is done for you as an example.

  1. D, Subject matter

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

Task 4. Translate the italicized phrases into Russian.

Task 5. Reformulate the following sentences to avoid the first person.

  1. We have used different methods to investigate the problem.

  2. My research has shown that the aerospace industry is one of the key world economic areas.

  3. In this report we look at Russia in the global context in order to draw out the unique facets of the market and set the scene for a longer-term strategic perspective.

  4. We show property, plant and equipment at their historical value.

  5. In accordance with Swiss law we treat dividends as an appropriation of profit in the year in which they are ratified at the annual General Meeting.

  6. In this analysis we seek to pin down in as much detail as possible what the particular drivers are and what value lies in Norilsk as an investment proposition at current levels given the macro and company specific dynamics which have never been stronger.

  7. When looking into actualities of the modern world, we should take into consideration socio-cultural, political, economic, religious, ethnic characteristics of the countries in question.

  8. This research will enable us to objectively evaluate the current political and economic situation in the Arab world.

Task 6. What is the difference between the words and phrases in the following sets?

  1. theme, topic, subject

  2. trend, tendency

  3. actual, current, vital, topical

  4. thesis, diploma, research, study

  5. define, determine, identify

  6. present, represent

  7. scholar, scientist

  8. example, case

  9. supervisor, leader, head

Task 7. The use of the verbs make and do often causes difficulties. As a generalisation, we can say that make means to bring into existence (like making things in a production department) or to produce a result (e.g. make a profit, make changes) and do means to perform an action (e.g. to do an exercise, to do your homework).

goods

an enquiry an application

an offer a deal

a request an excuse

money a profit or loss

an appointment arrangement or plans

a complaint make an apology

a decision a choice

a forecast a mistake

progress a phone call

an effort an attempt

certain/sure a business trip

changes, or an improvement

a contribution

Business

a job some work

good wrong

the accounts your duty

an experiment do research

well, or better someone a favour

damage/harm repairs

something to, or for, or with someone

something for a living

Complete the following sentences with the correct form of either make or do, and one of the words or expressions from the boxes above.

  1. For too long, manufacturing companies have been content to _______ for the domestic market.

  2. The huge fall in exports has ___ a great deal of ___ to the economy.

  3. She is ________ on the French economy between the wars.

  4. We ___ a lot of ___ in Japan, and since the profit margin is high, we ___ a lot of ___.

  5. It is too early to _______ about demand.

  6. Were you able to _______ to meet the area manager?

  7. This study ____ an outstanding ___ to our understanding of the recent changes in the market.

  8. Researchers need to ____ further ___ .

  9. The restructuring was part of an _______ by the management to boost the company profits.

  10. The leaflet will enable you to ___ an informed ___ about whether to buy this product.

  11. The subcommittee ____ some nice ____ on the document.

  12. Recently negotiators have ____ considerable ___ in the talks.

  13. An alarming number of ____ have been ___ against the bank.

14. The company is ___ much ___ than last year.

Task 8. Choose a phrase from the box to complete each sentence below. Several answers are possible each time, but one solution uses all the words in an appropriate way.

On the one hand …………. but on the other

At first……………but in the end

At the time……………….but in retrospect

On paper …………………but in reality

On the surface ………………..but deep down

Under normal circumstances ………………….but in the current situation

In the short term ………………………..but in the long term

  1. ___________________the quality is good, _________________ the price is quite high.

  2. ________________she was quite shy, _______________she knew what she wanted and was determined to get it.

  3. _____________Hong Kong Disneyland looks like it should be a great success, _____________it will be a challenge to adapt the Disney formula to such a different culture.

  4. ______________I found my MBA course very difficult, _____________I got used to the workload and started to really enjoy it.

  5. _____________we need to establish our presence in the market and increase the visibility of the brand, _____________profitability will of course be the number 1 objective.

  6. _______________I would agree with you, ______________ I just do not think we can afford to take any risks. Let’s put your suggestion on hold and discuss it again in six months.

  7. ______________It was difficult to leave my job at 28 and invest time and money in an MBA, ____________it was the best career move I ever made.

Task 9. These exercises will help you to review more of the important words that we use to join ideas in a piece of writing.

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