Trimester  2023
Unit Code HI6032
Unit Title Leveraging IT for Business Advantage
Assessment Type Individual Assignment
Assessment Title Research Proposal
Purpose of the  assessment (with  ULO Mapping) Students will be expected to write a research proposal on a specific topic in  Information Technology. A student will be required to conduct research in regards to  their assigned topic and present his/her idea or question and expected outcomes with  clarity and definition.  

  1. Critically evaluate how technology can enable an organisation’s core business  processes and support the strategic goals.  
  2. Analyse and comprehend the issues that arise with the acquisition and adoption  of technology and recommend possible solutions.  
  3. Critically evaluate the ways in which information technology can contribute to  organisational innovation, efficiency and overall corporate performance.  4. Critically analyse and evaluate the key issues, challenges and opportunities  associated with the latest developments in Information Systems.
Weight 50% of the total assessments (3 components)
Total Marks 50
Word limit 2500 words
Due Date
  1. Outline of the paper (5%): Week 4 Friday 5pm 
  2. Draft version of the paper (15%): Week 8 Friday 5pm 
  3. Final version of the paper (30%): Week 12 Friday 5pm


  • All work must be submitted on Blackboard by the due date along with a completed Assignment Cover Page.  
  • The assignment must be in MS Word format, 1.5 line spacing, 12-pt Times New  Roman font and 2 cm margins on all four sides of your page with appropriate  section headings.  

      • Reference sources must be cited in the text of the report, and listed appropriately  at the end in a reference list using Harvard style.

Assignment 1 Research Proposal


This assessment item relates to the unit learning outcomes as in the unit descriptor. This assessment is  designed to improve student learning skills and to give students experience in researching the literature on a  topic relevant to the Unit of Study subject matter, critically analysing current academic papers then presenting  idea or question and expected outcomes with clarity and definition in a referenced written report.  


For this component you will write a research proposal on a particular topic. The topic you select must be  directly relevant to IT in Business. Your topic must include a specific information technology and a specific  business application, e.g., AI For fraud detection.  

All students must have a different topic. Students can choose to write about the same technology, but the  approach and the thrust of each paper must be different. For instance, you could look at cloud computing  from a security viewpoint, or from an environment impact viewpoint, or from the perspective of a manager  trying to reduce their hardware costs. There will be many perspectives to look at each technology and its  relation to Business IT.  

To ensure this uniqueness, each student must email their topic and title to their tutor within the first two  weeks. Your tutor will respond with an approval or with a message that you will either need to choose a  different technology or to change the thrust of your paper. Once it has been approved you should begin by  working towards the first deliverable.  

Note: It is important to realize, that you must have prior approval for a topic before you can submit. If you  submit something for assessment without approval for the specific topic, it will not be graded. Once you have  a topic approved, you cannot change it without consent from your subject lecturer.  

The Key elements of the research proposal  

The following elements must be included in your research proposal:  

  1. Introduction or background to the research problem or issue, including an identification of the gap in  the current research  
  2. Research question and, if possible, a thesis statement answering the question  
  3. Justification for the proposal research, i.e., why the research is needed  
  4. Preliminary literature review covering what others have already done in the area  5. Theoretical framework to be used in the proposed research  
  5. Statement of the contribution of the research to the general area  
  6. Proposed research methodology  
  7. Research plan and outline  
  8. Timetable of proposed research  
  9. List of references used in preparing the proposal  


The first deliverable is in week 10, and is the outline of the paper they intend to write so it is important that  students receive topic approval in time to fully consider the structure of what they intend to do. This  assessment is worth 50% and there are 3 deliverables which must be submitted 

  1. Outline of the paper (5%): Week 4 Friday 5pm 
  2. Draft version of the paper (15%): Week 8 Friday 5pm 
  3. Final version of the paper (30%): Week 12 Friday 5pm 

The outline will include the title and a description of the sections in your paper and the key topics in each,  along with at least five preliminary references and a note as to in which section they will be included.  You are required to address Elements 1,2,3,4,10 in your outline (200 words).  

The draft version is just that, a draft. The first draft can be messy, rough and amenable to change, allowing  you to re-mould your structure with successive drafts. You can avoid trying to write perfect sentences and  paragraphs (polishing). Additionally, you can include bullet points, sentence fragments, and temporary section  headings, but I would expect approximately half of the paper to be near complete at this stage. Don’t worry  about being repetitive or boring. Avoid making your writing eloquent, stylistic or succinct in the first draft: you  can revise and improve your writing as your rework later drafts. The idea of the draft is to get down initial  ideas and develop an overall structure of the paper.  

  • You are required to address Elements 1-10 in your draft (≥ 1250 words).  

The final version of your paper is the polished version, the approach should follow the same plan as your draft,  but obviously some change may have occurred from the draft. You should not use a lot of small sections and  bullet points in the final version. Your research proposal should be presenting the state of current knowledge  in a specific area and as such, should have a narrative that flows from one paragraph to another. You cannot  achieve this with bullet points and small disjoint sections. All references included with your paper must be  cited within the paper and be appropriate to the context of the citation.  

  • You are required to address Elements 1-10 in your final proposal (2500 words).  

Some Notes:  

  • All references must use the Harvard referencing style.  
  • The length of the paper is to be 2500 words (excluding the references, contents etc.)  • The font of the body text should be 12pt Times New Roman font, 1.5 line spaced  • Section Heading should be in Arial Bold 12-point font  
  • At NO time should you use Wikipedia as a reference 

Research Proposal Marking Scheme

Criterion Missing or Unacceptable (0-39) Developing (40-49) Accomplished (50-7)
Introduction: Research question, and background (10%) Research question(s), definitions, assumptions and limitations were omitted or inappropriate given the context, purpose or methods of the study. Elements are poorly formed, ambiguous, or not logically connected to the description of the problem, purpose or research methods. Research questions are stated clearly and are connected to the research topic.
Literature review and  references (20%) Little or no evidence of a systematic approach, incomplete review; Little or no evidence of having read completely papers cited. Incomplete and not systematic, but adequate to identify part of the literature, very little evidence of critical evaluation of papers cited Evidence of reviewing, possibly incomplete but using appropriate approaches, Some evidence of critical appraisal or partial critical appra
Research design: theoretical framework, contribution, research methodology (10%) The research design is erroneous for the hypothesis states or has not been identified and or described using standard terminology. Limitations and assumptions are omitted. The research design is confusing or incomplete given the research questions. Important limitations and assumptions have not been identified. The research design has been identified and described in sufficiently detailed terms. Some limitations and assumptions have been identified.
Organization and neatness of the proposal (5%) The length of the narrative exceeds the suggested limit as indicated in the solicitation. The ideas are presented in a random manner with no focus. The content and length of the proposal are inadequate (i.e. there is some logic in the narrative part, but the ideas lack of clear focus and structural argumentation). Proposal format has been followed mostly. The narrative presents the ideas in an almost structural and logical manner.
Research plan and timeline (5%) Plan and/or timeline are missing or the timeline is beyond our suggested time. Plan and/or timeline are present but not adequate to support the project. Plan and/or timeline are present but not very well defined, not easy to understand.

How to write a research proposal?  

1.    Introduction  

  • The introduction should be as brief as possible (a paragraph or two). Whatever you do, don’t ramble on for  pages; you need to make this part of the proposal clear and crisp. In the introduction, you need to give a  sense of the general field of research of which your area is a part. You then need to narrow to the specific  area of your concern. This should lead logically to the gap in the research that you intend to fill. When the  gap is identified, a research question can then be raised. The answer to this question is called the thesis  statement.  

2.   The research question  

  • The research question may not be a question as such, but rather a statement of a problem to be  investigated.  

3.   Justification for the proposed research  

  • one page is usually sufficient for this. You need to tell the reader that the research can justified along four  main criteria: (1) The size of the industry/area involved; (2) The gaps in the literature that demand attention;  (3) The unusual or improved methodology being used; (4) The benefits in terms of policy and practice  4. Preliminary literature review  
  • This is where you provide more detail about what others have done in the area, and what you propose to  do. You need to write around 2-3 pages in which you cover the following: (1) The major issues or schools of  thought (2) Gaps in the literature (in more detail than is provided in the introduction) (3) Research questions  and/or hypotheses which are connected carefully to the literature being reviewed (4) Definitions of key  terms, provided either when you introduce each idea, or in a definition sub-section (5) Questions arising  from the gaps that can be the focus of data collection or analysis.  

4.   Theoretical framework  

  • The theoretical framework usually forms the final part of the literature review section. It describes the  concept/theory/model that you are using in the thesis to demonstrate your point.  

5.   Contribution of the research  

  • In this section, you outline how your research will make a change to an area of study. This is different from  the justification of your research. The justification explains why the research should be done. The  contribution section explains how what you will do will lead to certain outcomes. You need to outline: (1)  The importance of the research outcome(s); (2) The practical or theoretical nature of the outcome(s).  

6.  Proposed research methodology  

  • You do not have to describe the methodology to be used in great detail, but you should justify its use over  other methodologies. For example, you could explain the reasons for using: (1) a certain paradigm or theory  (2) qualitative or quantitative research (3) a case study of a specific kind (4) surveys, correlational  experiments, field studies, specific statistical measurements, etc. (5) certain dependent or independent or  moderating variables (6) a particular sampling frame and the size of a sample.  

7.  Research plan  

  • The research plan or outline can be discussed in conjunction with a research timetable. However, be aware  that they have a different function. A research plan helps you as well as the reader as: (1) it gives you a  framework for the direction your research will take (2) it shows the reader the project is well-organized and  achievable in the time available (3) it shows your detailed research activities.  

8.  Research timetable  

  • The timetable should indicate the weighting of each part of the proposed thesis in percentage terms, the  topics covered, approximate word limit and, importantly, the approximate length of time it will take to  complete them. You might consider providing a graph for convenience.  

9.  List of references  

  • This must be provided in the usual scholarly fashion. It helps to convince your reader that your proposal is  worth pursuing if you can identify literature in the field and demonstrate that you understand it. It makes a  very strong impact if you can identify where there is a research gap in the literature that your proposal  hopes to fill. This is your contribution to the scholarly conversation. You should use academic references  (peer reviewed articles), rather than web articles. 

Submission Guidelines  

Your submission document should be a single word document containing your report.  


The following submissions are not accepted and will be graded zero:  

  • Photos, screen shots or handwritten answers  
  • Emailed submissions  
  • Submission for a different assessment  
  • Submission for a different unit  
  • Submission not in Microsoft Word  
  • Submission without a name and Student ID Number  
  • Submission with a different student name / ID number listed (these submissions are treated as  academic misconduct and penalties may apply)  
  • Blank or empty documents  

All submissions are to be submitted through the safeAssign facility in Blackboard. Submission boxes linked to  SafeAssign will be set up in the Units Blackboard Shell. Assignments not submitted through these submission  links will not be considered. 

Submissions must be made by the due date and time (which will be in the session detailed above) and  determined by your unit coordinator. Submissions made after the due date and time will be penalized per  day late (including weekend days) according to Holmes Institute policies.  

The SafeAssign similarity score will be used in determining the level, if any, of plagiarism. SafeAssign will check  conference web-sites, Journal articles, the Web and your own class members submissions for plagiarism.  You can see your SafeAssign similarity score (or match) when you submit your assignment to the appropriate  drop-box. If this is a concern you will have a chance to change your assignment and resubmit. However,  resubmission is only allowed prior to the submission due date and time. After the due date and time have  elapsed your assignment will be graded as late. Submitted assignments that indicate a high level of  plagiarism will be penalized according to the Holmes Academic Misconduct policy, there will be no  exceptions. Thus, plan early and submit early to take advantage of the resubmission feature. You can make  multiple submissions, but please remember we only see the last submission, and the date and time you  submitted will be taken from that submission.  

Assessment Design – Adapted Harvard Referencing:  

Holmes will be implementing as a pilot program a revised Harvard approach to referencing. The following  guidelines apply:  

  1. Reference sources in assignments are limited to sources which provide full text access to the  source’s content for lecturers and markers. 
  2. The Reference list should be located on a separate page at the end of the essay and titled:  References.  
  3. It should include the details of all the in-text citations, arranged alphabetically A-Z by author  surname. In addition, it MUST include a hyperlink to the full text of the cited reference source.  For example;  

P Hawking, B McCarthy, A Stein (2004), Second Wave ERP Education, Journal of Information Systems  Education, Fall

  1. All assignments will require additional in-text reference details which will consist of the surname of  the author/authors or name of the authoring body, year of publication, page number of contents,  paragraph where the content can be found.  

For example;  

“The company decided to implement a enterprise wide data warehouse business intelligence  strategies (Hawking et al, 2004, p3(4)).”

Non-Adherence to Referencing Guidelines  

Where students do not follow the above guidelines:  

  1. Students who submit assignments which do not comply with the guidelines will be asked to resubmit  their assignments.  
  2. Late penalties will apply, as per the Student Handbook each day, after the student/s have been  notified of the resubmission requirements. 
  3. Students who comply with guidelines and the citations are “fake” will be reported for academic  misconduct. 

Academic Integrity  

Holmes Institute is committed to ensuring and upholding Academic Integrity, as Academic Integrity is integral  to maintaining academic quality and the reputation of Holmes’ graduates. Accordingly, all assessment tasks  need to comply with academic integrity guidelines. Table 1 identifies the six categories of Academic Integrity  breaches. If you have any questions about Academic Integrity issues related to your assessment tasks, please  consult your lecturer or tutor for relevant referencing guidelines and support resources. Many of these  resources can also be found through the Study Sills link on Blackboard.  

Academic Integrity breaches are a serious offence punishable by penalties that may range from deduction of marks, failure of the assessment task or unit involved, suspension of course enrolment, or cancellation of  course enrolment

Table 1: Six categories of Academic Integrity breaches 

Plagiarism Reproducing the work of someone else without attribution. When a student submits their own work on multiple occasions this is known as self-plagiarism.
Collusion Working with one or more other individuals to complete an  assignment, in a way that is not authorised.
Copying Reproducing and submitting the work of another student, with or  without their knowledge. If a student fails to take reasonable  precautions to prevent their own original work from being copied,  this may also be considered an offence.
Impersonation Falsely presenting oneself, or engaging someone else to present as  oneself, in an in-person examination.
Contract cheating Contracting a third party to complete an assessment task,  generally in exchange for money or other manner of payment.
Data fabrication and  falsification Manipulating or inventing data with the intent of supporting false  conclusions, including manipulating images.