City of Glendale

City of GlendaleRemember that you are writing about the city you?ve chosen based on the CAFR; you aren?t writing about the CAFR. You are likely going to be selecting information from the CAFR. You need to help the reader understand why you selected that information to present in your paper and what it means.These are some suggestions on how to approach this paper, to get some ideas of what you want to tell the reader of your paper.READ SELECTED SECTIONS OF THE CAFR 1. Read the transmittal letter 2. Read the beginning of the MD&A that describes the CAFR. 3. Read the tables in the MD&A and compare them to the related Basic Financial Statements (the government wide and fund financial statements) ? see pages 10, 12, 18 & 19 in the Jacksonville CAFR and the Basic Financial statements starting on page 24 if you?re not sure what to look for in your CAFR. 4. Read the Economic Factors at the end of the MD&A (Jacksonville page 20). 5. Read the beginning Notes in your CAFR ? the reporting entity and the accounting policies. 6. Read the last couple of notes, subsequent events and net assets (see pages 138-141 in Jacksonville?s CAFR). 7. Read the Statistical section, especially the demographic summary (see Jacksonville pages 304 to 311 for examples).DRAFT YOUR IDEAS Use outlines or other ways to describe the ideas you?ve gotten about things that you might want to mention in your paper and how your might organize the material to present. Maybe even select some of the charts tables or graphs or other information from the CAFR that you?ll want to include. It?s often better to start assembling material and ideas before trying to actually write the paper.FORMAT GUIDELINES ? The paper should be about 2,000 words regardless of the number of pages. ? The paper must be submitted in Word. ? Be sure to include your name in the file name before submitting to the dropbox. ? Use page breaks not returns to start a new page (for instance after the title page and before the reference page). ? Consider a table of contents which is basically an outline and then use those content items as section headings in your paper; it makes it much easier for the reader to follow the organization of your paper. ? Round the numbers in narrative paragraphs regardless of how they are presented in the source document. For instance, say $2.3 million instead of writing $2,284,678. Be consistent, doing this throughout the paper. Be sure you have the correct order of magnitude; large cities often round to thousands or millions. ? When you bring an illustration into your document, you can use the snipping tool in Windows Accessories or screen print. If you use screen print, be sure to crop down to the picture you want. You can widen the object to make it easier to read without taking up more vertical space in your paper. It?s OK if a pie chart is a little less than round. ? Be sure to check the APA guidelines for references; when it?s from an organization, such as a CAFR, the city is the author; be sure to include the year in the title ( for instance, Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the year ended June 30, 2012) THE PROJECT GUIDELINES You will prepare an 8-10 page paper, font 12, double spaced. This project is an opportunity for you to describe what you learned about the city you chose from reading the CAFR. You should also have a cover page, a table of contents and a references page. It is much more important that this be your own analysis in your own words than that it be especially well written. You can improve the writing by re-reading or editing (see writing suggestions at the end of this document) but that is less important than it be your own words, ideas, analysis and organization. You should use graphs and tables from the CAFR to illustrate your points and that will mean the presentation will be more than 8 or 10 pages (the word count should be at least 2,000). A. CAFR Your paper should include: a. An introduction to include purpose of paper and intro to the city chosen, b. Graphs or charts in the body of the report to compare topics, data, statistics and anything else that you need to present to support your analysis of the data or to help the reader understand your point. Do not just say it is there; give examples of the way it is presented and the implications. c. Analysis that should be on two levels: Your analysis of the information in the CAFR. This can be whatever seems important to you. It could include such things as where the money is spent, how healthy the current revenue stream, the reserves, how well inter-period equity issues are addressed, etc. or it could include other items that seem relevant from reading the MD&A or statistical section or notes. d. Conclusion, that is, a summary of your main points which should relate to the purpose you described in the introduction to your paper. e. Reference page: make sure to reference your sources. Please note that Wikipedia is not a valid reference source although it can lead you to other, more authoritative sources. Use the APA style guide for format of on-line sources; just listing a URL is NOT a correctly formatted reference. There is checklists below to help you make sure you?ve included everything to get the maximum grade. You must turn in on date due or lose points for the assignment.Project will be submitted using the Research Paper Dropbox with the following information in the file name: Student last name and city name Checklist for Students Introduction ? Purpose: Tell the reader what you will cover and why it is interesting; give the reader context (for instance, say something about the city such as its location, weather, what it?s known for, etc.. Body ? Organization ? Well organized; flow in a logical sequence from paragraph to paragraph, from sentence to sentence; the reader isn?t surprised by a sentence that doesn?t seem related to the ones before and after. The best way to check this is read it out loud, preferably to someone else (teenagers are the best; they won?t spare your feelings with their feedback). ? Statements supported with appropriate tables, graphs, charts, or references. ? Transitions are easy to follow. ? Coverage of topic is complete. ? Layout is easy to follow. Conclusion ? Findings consistent with purpose are summarized.References ? Sufficient to support the conclusion. ? Appropriately cited.USE of Visuals ? Use visuals, graphs, tables and charts to make points. ? Easy to read and appropriately place. Professional appearance ? Word choice and sentence structure are clear. ? Spell check and editing appears to have been done ? Logical sequencing of thoughts and analysis of topics; ? Use of examples and visualsWriting Suggestions/Grading Criteria All written work will be graded according to APA guidelines, as appropriate for the program. Grading will consider style, content, and format, including such items as clarity of communication, sentence and paragraph construction, punctuation, spelling, and grammar. Here are the details on written standards by which assignments will be graded: Content/Development ? All key elements of the assignment are covered in a substantive way. ? The context and purpose of the writing are clear. ? Content is comprehensive, accurate, and/or persuasive. ? Major points are supported by specific details, examples, and/or analysis. ? Research is adequate and timely for the topic. ? Where appropriate, the paper supports major points with theory relevant to development of the ideas, and uses the vocabulary of the theory correctly. ? There is integration of theory and practice whereby the writer is able to link theories to practical experience. Sections of paper ? Introduction must be included to express the purpose of the paper; including any theories that the students will prove or disprove. ? Summary or conclusion should include a summarization of the main points proved in the paper or analytical conclusions supported within the paper. ? Body must have all references stated and build the theme to 1 or more conclusions of the writer. ? Reference section must include all sources used for the paper presented by APA standards. ? Visuals should be included in the paper to assist the reader to see the financial facts/data. They can then be analyzed and explained in detail to support the point of the writer. Organization ? The introduction engages the reader by providing an idea of the focus of the paper or the primary thesis of the writer in a way that makes the reader want to read the paper. ? The structure of the paper is clear and easy to follow. ? The paper?s organization focuses on the central theme or perspective identified by the writer in the first paragraph. ? Ideas flow in a logical sequence. ? Paragraph transitions are present and logical, and maintain the flow of thought throughout the paper. ? The conclusion is logical and impactful. It summarizes key points and flows from thoughts and analysis presented in the paper. It is impactful in that it shares the perspectives of the writer, answers or re-enforces the introduction, acts as a crescendo to the writer?s story, and makes it worthwhile for the reader to have read through the paper. :

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