SOM Quick Read Improve Marks

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One way of improving your marks in course work and in       I: Can I think of a good ILLUSTRATION or example to
exams is to begin to be more critical of the ideas,         include in my answer? It can help your marks if you give
theories, models and practices you encounter on your        examples or illustrations of how a theory, idea or model
course. Don’t just describe them.                           is, or could be, applied in a real business situation.

Accurate description is important, of course, as it         O: What OPINIONS or conclusions can I draw
demonstrates to the tutor your surface understanding of     personally from this? What are the practical
the topic. But of more importance, and value, is your       applications or general implications for business of the
critical understanding of it, as this demonstrates your     theory/idea/model/practice? Are there any exceptions
ability to get below the surface and not just take things   to the rule, and if so, what, how and/or why?
for granted.
                                                            U: What are the UNIQUE points in all this?
HOW DO YOU DEMONSTRATE YOUR CRITICAL                        What are the key and new ideas emerging from the
UNDERSTANDING OF A TOPIC?                                   theory/idea/model/practice? Are there new points?
The A.E.I.O.U.S. system will help you analyse any new       Or is this something that has simply been‘re-packaged’
theory, idea, model or business practice that you           and presented as new and original by the author?
encounter. Keep this mnemonic in mind, particularly in
exams, and try to apply the idea to all your                S: SYNTHESIZE. Can I make connections between one
assignments.                                                idea and another, and synthesize or integrate ideas to
                                                            produce solutions to business problems? If you attempt
A: Are any ASSUMPTIONS being made by the author?            to do this, you are also taking a significant step to
Has anything been taken for granted or left out of the      becoming creative.
picture? Has the author used an isolated example to
make a generalised sweeping conclusion?

E: What is the EVIDENCE for this?
Can you trust the source? Is it really evidence that is
being presented – or just opinion? What other
explanations could there be for the result?

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