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These are the Compulsory Writing and Presentation Standards for IVORY RESEARCH LTD. It is very important that you read, fully understand and comply with all of the requirements. If you have any questions, please contact Amanda at writer.relations@ivoryresearch.com or call 020 7118 0808.

Operational Procedures

Please take note of the following operational procedures that you must adhere to:

  • Create a Gmail account (see Communication).
  • Always answer our phone calls and reply to our emails, ideally within 4 hours, however please ensure you respond within 12 hours maximum.
  • Please read the brief carefully and ask any questions before accepting it.
  • In emails, include a response directly to the client where relevant.
  • Ensure each paper is original, written by you alone and of the required standard.
  • Assess your ability to write to a 1st standard before accepting a piece.
  • Submit papers in .doc, .docx or RTF format.
  • Use Arial or Times New Roman, size 10 or 12, 1.5 spacing and ensure the paper is fully justified.
  • Check you have included contents for dissertations and appendices if required.
  • Provide Information For Internal Use (IFIU) section within each paper and amended paper.
  • Complete all amendments within 24 hours unless otherwise arranged.
  • Always meet deadlines. If you feel you may struggle to meet the deadline inform us immediately.
  • Take note of the penalties for late submissions.
  • Thoroughly check the standard of English, spelling and grammar.
  • Save the completed file using the order number (e.g., 12345.doc) and send it to us by replying to the email with the original assignment brief. Do NOT start a new email thread.

When completing a paper you must:

  • Comply with all client requirements in the brief – ask to clarify if you are unsure.
  • Answer the question.
  • Adhere to the client’s referencing request (or use Harvard if no specific request is made).
  • Write to the requested number of words (1% below and up to 10% above is acceptable).
  • Use all essential and many suggested sources.
  • Include quality sources.
  • Use all extra information sent by the client.
  • Check the type of assignment – essay, report, proposal, dissertation, etc.
  • Support everything you say with quality references.
  • Ensure the work is 100% plagiarism free.
  • Use no more than 25% Internet sources.
  • Include the minimum number of required references as detailed in this document

Communication

To ensure smooth and efficient communication between yourself and our company, we ask that you open a Gmail account. This is the account we will use to send assignments. You can set one up for free now by following this link:

We may sometimes forward on questions/comments from the client, which you will need to respond to. Please make sure you spell-check and proofread your responses carefully. Also, please make sure you address the client separately, e.g.,

Dear Zhanna,

Please pass the following to the client:

Thank you for your comments, they will all be addressed and you will receive the amended paper in the next two hours.

Communication is extremely important to us. If we call you, please answer the phone or return our call as quickly as possible and always reply to our emails. We are one team and it is important we keep communication open at all times. If you are running late with an assignment, do not avoid us as this will make it more difficult for us to help you. We will do everything we can (e.g., extend the deadline where possible) as long as you keep us informed. If you do not communicate with us – we reserve the right to reassign your work to another writer.

We understand that sometimes we may have difficult clients, which can be frustrating for all parties involved, but it is not acceptable to be rude to our Customer Service Advisors under any circumstances. Similarly, if you are sending a message addressed to the client you should read it back after you have written it to ensure that it sounds professional, no matter what the tone of the client, as this could aggravate any potential dispute.

Brief Compliance

When completing an assignment you must ensure that you comply with all the requirements of the brief. It is important that the brief is fully met as this will reduce the chance of amendments being requested and will ensure that the client is satisfied with the work. If the original assignment brief has not been met then we may need to refund the client and you will not be paid for the work. Some guidance on how to meet the assignment brief is included below:

  • Check that you have all necessary information

You should check to see whether the client has included any attachments and, if so, read them thoroughly. You should also check the ‘Additional Requirements’ field of the assignment brief as this may contain important information relating to the order.

  • Request more information if required

We ask all clients to provide us much information about their assignment as possible. For full details on the information we request from the client please follow this link. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have all necessary information to complete the assignment on time and to the required standard. You may, therefore; need to request additional information from the client. This request should be made within the first 24 hours of receiving the assignment brief. Please note that it is not acceptable to request additional information from the client on the day of the deadline.

  • Read and re-read the assignment brief

A common complaint amongst our clients is that the brief has been misinterpreted. This can be avoided by reading the assignment brief and then reading it through again before you start work. You should also refer back to the assignment brief regularly when working on an assignment to ensure that what you are writing is focussed and actually answers the assignment brief.

  • Use all additional information sent by the client

Clients will often send many attachments relating to their order, including assignment criteria, learning outcomes and lecture notes. The client will have sent these to help you so you must refer to them when writing the assignment. Failure to do so may result in the client being dissatisfied with the work completed.

  • Do not waste words

In our experience, some writers tend to pad out assignments with unnecessary words, just to meet the word count. However, this is not acceptable. Clients pay for their order based on the number of words and they expect these words to relate directly to their assignment brief. It is likely that if you are padding out the assignment with unnecessary words and phrases, it will not meet the assignment brief. Instead, you should develop clear and concise, focused arguments that are correctly referenced and use the word count wisely.

The guidance above should help you to complete good-quality, well-written assignments each and every time. Please be aware that in the majority of cases you will be given a word count (e.g., 2,000 words) and you can write 10% above that, but no more than 1% below. You can include as many appendices as you like, just make sure they are all relevant. The contents page, references, bibliography and appendices are not included in the word count. All graphs and diagrams must be relevant and explained.

Quality

Every paper you undertake must be 100% original, written by you and written to the standard required by the client. The client can choose to order a 2:2, 2:1 or 1st standard for their assignment and this will be clearly specified within the original assignment brief. You must ensure that you write to the standard ordered at all times.

If you are asked to complete a 1st standard assignment, you must assess your ability to complete it to the required standard as failure to meet the standard may result in reduced pay or pay being refused altogether.

You should ensure that you select and use quality sources when completing assignments. This means that you should not use sources such as Wikipedia and you should not use more than 25% website sources. Instead, you should mainly use good-quality books, journals and articles. By doing so, the paper will have a far greater value to the client than a paper that relies heavily on websites. For more information on where you can find good quality sources and for information about access to online databases you should refer to our Knowledge Base which can be found by logging in to the Writers’ Area on the website (using the username and password that is provided upon completion of your application).

Remember that our clients are paying for a professional piece of work to be completed so you should pay particular attention to the following factors:

  • Grammar and spelling – thoroughly check this before submitting the paper as these are simple mistakes to correct but impact greatly on the overall quality of the work.
  • Presentation – the work should be presented in accordance with our presentation guidelines.
  • Referencing – you should ensure that you use the correct number of references per 1,000 words, as set out in the Referencing section of this document. You should also double check that you have used the correct referencing style (e.g., Harvard or Footnotes) prior to submitting the paper.
  • Word count – you should check that the word count is not more than 10% above or 1% below the number of words requested by the client.

By making these few last-minute checks before submitting the paper, you can easily minimise the number of complaints and requests for amendments, which will in turn save you time and leave you available to complete more briefs for us.

Presentation

Unless otherwise requested, please submit your papers as a Word document. Please note that all completed papers must be sent in .doc, .docx or RTF format. Use Times New Roman, size 12pt, 1.5 spacing and make sure your paper is fully justified. Please ensure your work looks neat and professional with subheadings and chapter headings when appropriate

All dissertations, proposals and reports MUST include contents pages.

If you are in any doubt as to compile a contents page, please ask us and we will provide instructions. When you submit the completed paper, you must reply to the email thread containing the original assignment brief and ensure that the file is saved with the order number as the file name.

All appendices (if any) and the reference list and/or bibliography must be included within the word file containing the completed paper, unless they are completed in an Excel file or other software, such as SPSS. You should not submit the appendices in a separate Word file as this will lead to the paper being returned to you. You will be expected to include these within the file containing the completed paper.

Information For Internal Use (IFIU)

It is important that you provide IFIU with your paper. Please include the paper title, year, word count, paper description and several relevant keywords. For the paper description, please do not copy and paste from the original work.

Here is an example of IFIU:


SWOT, PESTEL and Porter’s 5 Forces analyses of & Spencer

2011

2,500 words

This paper looks at Marks & Spencer (M&S), one of the UK’s leading retailers and a very successful brand. It examines the environment in which M&S is operating with the help of the PESTEL analysis and then goes on to scrutinise the attractiveness and competitiveness of the retailing industry in the UK (Porter’s Five Forces analysis). Finally, a SWOT analysis is undertaken to highlight the company’s strengths and weaknesses and to reveal any opportunities it can capitalise on and threats it may encounter in the process of further development (SWOT).

Marks & Spencer, SWOT; PESTEL; Porter’s Five Forces


This information should be included on the first page of the assignment, not in a separate document, and you should then insert a page break so that the actual assignment should begin on the following page. Please be aware that failure to submit the IFIU or an incomplete IFIU may lead to a penalty being applied.

Amendments Requests

With all of our orders, clients are entitled to a period of free amendments. For assignments clients are allowed to request amendments for 10 days, and for dissertations the time allowed is 31 days in total: for the first half of the dissertation, clients have 10 days to request amendments and for the second half they are allowed 21 days. We offer these deadlines to ensure that quality control and plagiarism checks can be completed to the highest level. We also want to make sure that the client has enough time to request amendments, especially if they are experiencing issues that means they need more time. We expect all amendments to be completed within 24-48hrs, unless otherwise stated. There may be rare occasions where clients will request amendments outside of this time. We would kindly request that you consider completing these amendments without additional charge so as to ensure client satisfaction. If you feel that an additional charge is fully justified, and we will ask for your justification, we will inform the client of the fee payable (Please see Amendment Disputes).

Ways to ensure amendments are not necessary

In an ideal situation, clients would not have to request amendments, and there are ways to make this a possibility.

  • Make sure you read every aspect of the client’s initial request before you accept the work. If you think that for any reason you will not be able to complete the work or there are parts you do not understand; then you can decline it or request clarification. For example if you haven’t got the time, if you haven’t got the right software or if you do not think you are suitably qualified, then you should not accept it.
  • If you do chose to accept the work, make sure you read every aspect of the client’s request. If you have any more questions that will help you complete the paper then ask them. This ensures that the work you provide will be exactly what they are looking for. If you stick to the client’s request, there should be no need for amendments.
  • When you begin work on the order, we advise that you send a short outline of your plan of action. If the client has any concerns or suggestions relating to your plan, then this gives them the opportunity to voice their concerns before you complete the work. This also reduces the likelihood of amendments.
  • Do not leave the work until the last minute, as you are likely to rush and this is when mistakes happen. It also means that you haven’t provided yourself with enough time to check the paper.
  • Before you send us the completed paper, it is essential that you proofread it first. Make sure that there are no spelling or grammatical errors, and ensure that the paper makes sense. Presentation is also important, as a poorly presented piece of work may make a client request amendments. Check that the reference list is correct and matches the content of the paper, and make sure that you have met each of the clients requirements.

When a client requests amendments, if they are unclear, we ask them to fill in an amendment request form (it will come to you in the same format as the original brief) where the client will list all of their concerns. Go through each problem raised and rectify them. When you receive notification of an amendment request, please confirm receipt of the request, and let us know when you will be able to return the amended piece of work (within 24 – 48 hours).

We may also require you to amend your paper if we feel your work does not meet our standards, or the overall quality is poor.

Amendment Disputes

Occasionally there may be situations where the writer and the client cannot agree on amendments. It could be that you feel the request is outside of the initial brief, and the client doesn’t agree. Or it could be that the client thinks the grammar and presentation is poor, but you don’t. In this type of situation, we will ask our Quality Control Officer to assess the case, and decide whether the writer or client was correct. If they deem that the client was correct, you are obliged to complete the amendments. If they deem that the client is incorrect, we will advise them of an additional fee should they wish to go ahead with the amendments.

We take every amendment request very seriously, as we strive for 100% customer satisfaction. However, we assess each case individually and sometimes we will ask you to provide a quote for how much you will charge for amendments. This is only applicable in two situations:

  • The client’s amendment request comes after the amendments period applicableIf this does happen then it is within your rights to request a fee. This does not mean that you have to charge the clients, try to be fair. If you feel the amendments will not take long, or if you feel that it was genuine mistake, then try and make the amendments free. If a client is happy with your work and service, they are more likely to return and request you again. However, it is your choice how you choose to deal with this type of amendment.
  • The client requests amendments that are outside of the initial briefAt times, a client may receive a completed paper and realise that there needs to be major alterations outside the original brief, for example on receipt of supervisor feedback on dissertations. If these points were not in the initial request, then they are not eligible for free amendments. In this case clearly state why the requests are outside of the original brief, and explain how you will implement the changes and what the additional charge will include. Make sure you provide all the information the client will need i.e. delivery dates, charges, and what amendments you will be doing. This stops confusion and disappointment upon delivery of the amended paper. Again, it is your responsibility as a writer to ensure that you understand the initial brief and you know what is expected as part of it.

If the client requests a mix of valid amendment requests and additional / new requests, please inform us which points you are willing to complete and which ones you require an additional fee for. Please explain the reasons for the extra charges.

Additional Charges

We recommend that amendment charges should range between 10-30 pounds for smaller assignments, and 60 – 120 pounds for bigger projects and dissertations.

Not stated in the initial request

If you believe that the request for amendments was not stated in the client’s initial request:

  • Please clearly explain to us why you think this is the case. Quote from the initial request, so we can clearly see if that request was stated or not.
  • Please write a professional message to the client explaining why they are not eligible for free amendments

Despite the fact that the client has asked for more than they did initially, they are still our clients and we need to treat them with respect. If we do our very best for them, they are more likely to come back and ask for you to be their writer next time. To make sure this happens please:

  • Write a second message to the client explaining why the implementation of those amendments will incur an additional charge. You will need to provide: a detailed explanation of the work you are undertaking (to be confirmed with the client to avoid any confusion), delivery date(s) indicating when you can send the amended paper and your charge. For example:

Dear Client,

I am sorry you are not happy with your paper, however:

You did not state that you required primary research in your original request. This will take me a significant amount of time to do, therefore my price for this additional work will be XXX pounds and I can complete the work by 1st May.

The primary research I will do will consist of me constructing interview questions, interviewing 50 people and displaying the results in an Excel table.

Kind regards,

Writer

Deadlines

You must always meet your deadlines. By default, if you are given a date, you must submit your work by 10pm weekdays and by 5pm at the weekends at the latest. If you are given a specific time of the day, you must submit the work by that time.

It is crucial that you meet your deadline as if the client’s deadline is missed you will not be paid.

You must inform us immediately if you are running late. Please do not wait until it is too late to do something. If you believe that you will not be able to complete the work let us know and we will find another researcher to do the work or part of the work. This should only be requested in extreme circumstances and if we notice that it becomes a regular occurrence then the amount of work you will be offered will reduce significantly.

If you are struggling to meet your deadline and feel that you would benefit from some extra time then it may be possible to gain an extension from the client. However, you must request any extension at least 24 hours prior to the deadline. You may be asked to send us the work that you have completed so far so that it can be sent to the client in order for them to approve an extension.

If our operators are calling you, please answer the phone. If, on more than one occasion, it becomes apparent to us that you are not getting in contact with us, we will terminate your contract with us.

What penalties do you have?

We do not like to penalise writers, but we have to have some penalties in place to ensure we live up to our promises and deliver top-quality work on time. Please note the following penalties:

  • Plagiarism. No payment and instant dismissal.
  • Poor quality. 20% penalty plus a rewrite OR no payment (the work will be given to another writer to rewrite).
  • Requirements not met. 10–50% penalty plus a rewrite OR no payment (the work will be given to another writer to rewrite).
  • Late delivery. (You must give notice otherwise the work will be passed to another writer and you will not receive payment).
    1. 1–3 hours late – 15%
    2. 3–6 hours late – 30%
    3. 6–9 hours late – 45%
    4. 9–12 hours late – 60%
    5. more than 12 hours late – 80%.

Please note that in some cases late delivery may not be acceptable. If it is the case that an order is submitted late and we have to provide the client with a refund, you may not be paid for the work.

Plagiarism & Originality

We have a very strict plagiarism policy, so you must ensure that you correctly reference every source that you use within your work. Please be aware that we check every completed paper with our anti-plagiarism software and if it becomes apparent to us that you have plagiarised – you will not be paid. Your work with us will also be terminated with immediate effect.

Our clients pay us to write a 100% original and plagiarism-free piece of work. Therefore, it is imperative that you understand what plagiarism is and how to avoid accidentally plagiarising your work.

What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarising is defined as the unauthorised and unreferenced use of work by another author/writer, with the intention of representing it as your own. Plagiarism can include all of the following:

  • including a direct quote within the work but failing to put it in quotation marks
  • copying sections of other people’s work or ideas without giving credit
  • giving incorrect information about the source of a quotation, for example, if the author of a book has cited a source and you also cite this source without having read it
  • trying to pass off someone else’s work or ideas as your own
  • rewording a source but retaining the original ideas and not giving credit to the original source
  • rewording a source but copying the sentence structure without giving credit
  • mentioning an author’s name for a source but neglecting to include specific information about the location of the material referenced
  • providing inaccurate information regarding sources, which makes it difficult to locate them
  • copying parts of your previous work, whether it be from during your studies or something you have written for Ivory Research.

It is important that you do not use material from past pieces of work you have written, even if the question is very similar, or even identical to past briefs. Similarly, you should not heavily base your work on the ideas/structure of others or your past pieces of work.

If you would like to check your work for plagiarism before submitting it to us, please do not use Turnitin or Viper as these will store the paper. Instead, please use plagiarism detection software such as My Drop Box or Copyscape.

Referencing

To ensure that you do not plagiarise in your work it is imperative that you correctly reference every source that you use. Any material taken from other sources (e.g. books, journal articles, websites, reports, working papers, lecture notes) must be fully referenced according to the Harvard System of Referencing (unless specified otherwise).

There are several variations of the Harvard Referencing System. We use this as standard.

Some clients request that you use Harvard (page numbers – Direct Quotes only); this means that you only need to provide page numbers for direct quotes within the work. Alternatively the client may request ‘Harvard (page numbers – All Sources)’. This means that you must include the page number in the text e.g. (Smith, 2006, p.14) as well as at the end of the paper in the references / bibliography section.

If the client requests a different referencing system (e.g. APA, MLA, etc.) this will be specified in the order details when you receive the original assignment brief and you must ensure that you meet this requirement. If you are unsure, you can ask the client to provide details on the referencing required.

Each and every paper must contain a full reference list detailing all the sources you consulted for this work, both from which you quoted directly and ones that helped you to get an understanding of the issue. The list should be in alphabetical order and numbered. You should take note of the minimum number of references we expect per assignment:

Up to 5,000 words At least 10 references per 1,000 words
Over 5,000 words At least 5 references per 1,000 words

Please note that if the client specifies that a reference list is not required, we still need a full reference list to be included for internal purposes.

Please avoid taking material from the Internet, especially from sources such as Wikipedia. You should generally use the Internet for information regarding news, company information, market data, etc. If you do not have an Athens Account, we suggest you subscribe to an article database, such as ProQuest or Questia, to have access to academic resources. Resources such as Google Books and Google Scholar may also be helpful.

Remember, your work may be of an outstanding quality but if it is poorly referenced then it will be almost worthless to the client. Without access to the sources that you have used, the paper will be of very little help to them.

Dissertation Topic & Outline Service

Service Description

Dissertation Topic and Outline will consist of 500 words (1,000 for an Extended version). More information is available here. The extended outline will be different in terms of depth of analysis.

See samples of Standard (black) and Extended (black and blue) Dissertation topics and outlines here. By using the colour, we have indicated the difference between both versions.

Your job will be to produce a detailed outline of the dissertation, taking into account all the client’s requirements.

The client will do one of the following:

  • suggest his own dissertation topic
  • select from a database of prepared topics (which will be available from our website)
  • request several custom-written topics

Once the topic is confirmed you will need to create a custom-made outline of the dissertation, including the following:

  1. A suitable structure for the dissertation, taking into account all of the client’s requirements
  2. Write down an outline of the dissertation incorporating:
    1. Research aims and research questions
    2. Areas to be covered in the literature review
    3. Research methods suitable for the client’s dissertation
    4. Appropriate data collection methods
    5. Data analysis suggestions
    6. Summarise and outline the value of the proposed research

Sometimes clients will provide additional requirements which should also be incorporated.

As an add-on, we will also be offering custom-made reference lists. In the reference list you will need to provide a list of sources, and each and every one should be relevant to the client’s dissertation topic. These should include academic articles, books, market reports, etc. We will be offering three reference list options of 10, 20 or 30 sources.

Delivery

Once you confirm you will undertake the work, it should be delivered to us within 36 hours maximum. However, as always, we always appreciate quicker deliveries.

Dissertation Topic and Outline Requirements

When completing a Dissertation Topic and Outline you will need to ensure the following:

Standard (500 words) Dissertation Topic and Outline

  • Clearly outline the topic of the dissertation and provide brief justification of the topic.
  • Suggest a clear dissertation structure.
  • Outline the research aims and briefly outline possible research objectives/questions.
  • List subject areas to be covered in the literature review and provide brief justification.
  • Suggest appropriate methodology, research philosophy, research approach, sampling and data collection methods.
  • Provide data analysis suggestions (e.g., use SPSS and do ANOVA analysis and Descriptive statistics).
  • Summarise and outline the value of the proposed research.

Extended (1,000 words) Dissertation Topic and Outline

  • Clearly outline the dissertation topic and provide in-depth justification of the topic.
  • Suggest a clear dissertation structure.
  • Outline the research aim and list two or three research objectives/questions. Provide justification.
  • List subject areas to be covered in the literature review. Provide detailed justification.
  • Suggest appropriate methodology, research philosophy, research approach, sampling and data collection methods. Provide justification of each.
  • Provide data analysis suggestions (e.g., use SPSS and do ANOVA analysis and descriptive statistics). Provide justification.
  • Summarise and outline the value of the proposed research.
  • Provide reference list of at least five sources.

If the client requests customisation in the order form – please ensure that you do it. If you are unable to fulfil any requirement, please let us know before you commence the work.

Reference Lists

By default, a reference list is not required to accompany the Standard Dissertation Topic and Outline. However, if you do include one, this will add value to your work and raise the chances of the client coming back to order a full dissertation, resulting in more work and additional fees for you. When writing the Extended Dissertation Topic and Outline you must provide at least five references.

If the client has ordered a separate reference list you will need to provide it. Please ensure that every source you supply is highly relevant to the client’s topic. Do not provide general sources (e.g., Armstrong, M. (2003) A Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice, 9th Edn., Kogan Page). Instead provide a specific source, which matches the client’s topic (e.g., Klaas, B.S. (2003) “Professional Employer Organisations and Their Role in Small and Medium Enterprises: The Impact of HR Outsourcing”, Entrepreneurship theory and practice, Fall, pp. 43–61).

When providing a reference list you need to provide the minimum amount requested by the client (e.g., 10, 20 or 30 sources).