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Transport Planning Assignment-


For this assignment, each student is required to write a research paper (minimum 1,200 words, maximum 4,000 words) describing potential solutions to address Melbourne’s transport needs and requirements by 2025. The research paper should first identify the current situation; the challenges facing Melbourne’s transport system over the next 8 years (up to 2025); the range of options available to address these challenges; and then focus on a particular potential solution and detail how it can be implemented and what the expected benefits would be. It is preferred to produce a well-researched paper on a narrow issue, than a shallow review of a broadly defined topic. The topic must be related to the transport planning material discussed in the lectures, but each student is expected to conduct his/her own independent research.


Submission Requirements

  • Individual submissions
  • An Assessment Cover Sheet must be submitted with your assignment. The standard Assessment Cover Sheet is available from the Current Students web site
  • Submit an electronic copy through the Blackboard plagiarism submission system (Turnitin). This is a mandatory requirement. You can submit on Turnitin multiple times until the due date/time. The last copy in the system is the one that will be checked and evaluated for plagiarism.


  • Submit a hard copy of your submission to the Convenor’s mailbox on Level 7 of the ATC Building

Assessment Criteria


■ This assignment is worth 10% of final mark


As a guide, the paper should include:


  1. Cover page, abstract and introduction/background including current situation, problem definition, aims and objectives (10%)


  1. Methodology for completing the research paper, critical summary of the literature and environmental scan of existing studies on the topic (30%)


  1. Results and general discussion of potential solutions and detailed discussion of ‘preferred solution’ (40%)
  2. Conclusions (10%)


  1. References (at least 5 references including journal and conference papers) (10%)

Extensions and Late Submission

Unless an extension has been approved in advance, you cannot submit an assessment after the due date. If this occurs, the mark will be deducted by 10% for each calendar day the task is late up to a maximum of 5 days. After 5 days a zero result will be recorded.



Referencing conventions required for this unit are:


Harvard Style.




A/Prof Hussein Dia


Due Date


Friday 24 March 2017 (by 11 pm)


1    Swinburne University of Technology | CRICOS Provider 00111D | swinburne.edu.au

Structure of Paper


Research papers generally comprise the following basic structure. Note that some of the details in the elements of the report described below may not apply to your topic. For example, you can ignore all references to sampling techniques and sample size determination if your research paper does not involve any data collection or surveys.


  1. Cover Page. The cover page includes a clear and concise heading for your topic. The cover page should also include your name and student ID number.


  1. An abstract (sometimes referred to as an Executive Summary in technical reports) is a concise summary of the paper to enable readers to quickly review the contents and directions of your paper. It is short, 250 words and it is generally written in a single paragraph. As an abstract is a mini version of your paper it should cover ALL of your paper: the scope and purpose of your paper, your research question or hypothesis, an overview of methodology, a summary of main findings or results, the principal conclusions or significance of the findings and recommendations made. The information in the abstract must be presented in the same order as it is in your paper. The abstract is usually written last when you have developed your arguments and synthesised the results. Leave some space towards the end of the abstract and include key words so that your work can be easily accessed by electronic methods.


  1. Why are you doing this? The introduction is a very important part of your paper as it sets the context for your research. This section of your paper should supply sufficient background to allow the reader to understand and evaluate the present study without needing to refer to previous publications. After reading the introduction, your reader should understand exactly what your research is about, what you plan to do, why you are undertaking this research and your preferred research methodology. Key terms should also be introduced and defined in this section. The introduction should also include the rationale for the present study (why are you interested in this topic? Why is this topic worth investigating?); an outline of your research questions and a clear statement of your research hypothesis; and what outcomes you expect to find from your research.
  1. Literature Review. What have others found? This section is usually presented separately and directly after the introduction. It is a critical survey of recent relevant material in a particular field, to enable the reader to gain understanding of the current state of research:
  • it provides a theoretical framework for your study;


  • it provides the reader with necessary background information to understand the context of your area of study;


  • it demonstrates that you’re familiar with research in your area; and


  • it establishes a link between previous research and your research, and can provide a rationale for your study.


The literature must be organised logically, usually by topics or issues, within the context of your study (the examiner of your paper will be looking closely at the logical structuring of the paper as this will demonstrate to a certain extent your understanding and appreciation of the subject matter – students will lose marks if they simply report findings without a structured approach). The method of organisation, the scope of your study and the main issues or questions examined in your review must be explicitly and clearly stated. The review is not simply a summary of all you have read. It needs to be analytical and to develop an argument or point of view to support your chosen methodology and research questions. Compare and contrast authors, evaluate the methodology of studies and highlight gaps in the research. Conclude your literature review by linking key findings to your study.


  1. Methodology. What did you do? The purpose of the methodology section is to detail how you conducted your research to allow others to understand and replicate your approach. If your paper was simply a literature review, then your methodology section will be a couple of lines describing which databases or resources you have consulted etc. However, if you had conducted experiments or surveys, then you need to briefly describe the subjects, if appropriate, any equipment or materials used and the approach taken. If the research method, or method of data analysis is commonly used within the field of study then it is appropriate to simply reference the procedure and not describe it in detail. If, however, your methodology is new or controversial then you need to describe it in more detail and provide a rationale for your approach. The methodology is always written in the past tense. As this section is a description of how you conducted your research


2    Swinburne University of Technology | CRICOS Provider 00111D | swinburne.edu.au


it is not usually marked highly and should be written particularly concisely.


  1. Results and Discussion. What did you find (results) and what does it mean (discussion)? This section is a concise, factual summary of your findings, under headings appropriate to your research questions. Graphs and tables may be used to reveal trends in your data, but they must be explained and referred to in adjacent accompanying text. Figures and tables do not simply repeat information given in the text: they summarise, amplify or complement it. Graphs are always referred to as figures, and both axes must be clearly labelled. Tables must be numbered and they must be able to stand alone or make sense, without your reader needing to read all of the accompanying text. Table captions appear above the table and figure captions appear below the figure. Each table and figure must have a caption (you will lose marks if the captions are missing!). Present your results in a consistent manner. For example, if you present the first lot of results as percentages, then present all of your figures in this way. It is confusing for the reader, and difficult to make comparisons of data, if later results are presented as fractions or as decimal values. Raw data, or details about the method of statistical analysis used should not be included here but should appear in the appendices. Also, note that tables and figures must appear immediately after the paragraph where they are cited or mentioned.


The discussion is a major part of a research paper and it is expected that you will demonstrate a high level of critical analysis. The discussion links strongly with the issues raised in the introduction and is of similar importance and length. This part of the paper is where you attempt to make sense of your results within the context of other research.


  • To what extent was your hypothesis supported?


  • To what extent are your findings validated or supported by other research?


  • Were there unexpected conditions/variables that affected your findings?


  • Was your research method appropriate for the task?


  • Can you account for differences between your results and other studies?


This is the place to discuss any disappointing results, the problems of making meaningful conclusions with limited samples (if this applies), or the difficulty of conducting the research.

  1. Conclusion. What are the implications? The conclusion is generally fairly short and should follow on naturally from points raised in the discussion. In this section you should discuss the significance of your findings. To what extent are they useful or conclusive? Is further research required? If so, based on your research experience, what suggestions could you make about improvements to the scope or methodology of future studies? Also, consider the practical implications of your results and any recommendations you may be able to make.


  1. References. For this research paper, students are asked to use the Harvard Referencing System.

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