Case 2: Motomart

Case 2: Motomart
INTRODUCTION
The Motomart case is designed to supplement your managerial/
cost accounting textbook coverage of cost behavior and variable
costing using real-world cost data and an auto-industryaccepted cost driver. Unlike textbook problems, this data is
real. It won’t necessarily produce a clear solution when you
attempt to analyze cost behavior and apply scatter-plot,
high-low, and regression methods to separate mixed costs
into their fixed and variable components. This case also
illustrates that financial accounting decisions and methods
can have an influence on cost accounting and managerial
applications and decisions.
OBJECTIVES
When you complete this case, you’ll be able to
• Explain the importance of accrual accounting and proper
application of the matching principle for the computation
of contribution margins and break-even points
• Apply knowledge of generally accepted accounting
principles (GAAP) to a specific real-world example
• Integrate statistical analyses and scatter plots, line
graphs, and regression to determine the reliability of
financial information prepared for external use
• Use analytical review procedures to examine a firm’s
financial statements
• Apply critical-thinking skills to real-world
business circumstances28 Senior Capstone: Business
CASE BACKGROUND
This case is based on real financial data provided by a retail
automobile dealership (Motomart) seeking to relocate closer
to an existing retail dealership. You’ll examine the mixed cost
data from Motomart and apply both high-low and regression
to attempt to separate mixed costs into their fixed and variable
components for break-even and contribution margin computations. You’ll find that the data is flawed because Motomart
was a single observation in a larger database. Don’t attempt
to correct the data (e.g., remove outliers or influential outliers).
You’ll be producing a scatterplot and apply high-low and
regression methods to the extent practicable and writing a
summary report of the findings.
Motomart operates a retail automobile dealership. The
manufacturer of Motomart products, like all automobile
manufacturers, produces forecasts. It has long been an
industry practice to use variable costing-based/break-even
analyses as the foundation for these forecasts, to examine
their cost behavior as it relates to the new retail vehicles
sold (NRVS) cost driver. In preparing this financial information,
a common financial statement format and accounting procedures manual is provided to each retail auto dealership.
The dealership is required to produce monthly financial
statements using the guidelines provided by this common
accounting procedures manual, and then furnish these
financial statements to the manufacturer. General Motors,
Ford, Nissan, and all other automobile manufacturers
employ similar procedures manuals.
The use of a common format facilitates the development of
composite financial statements that can be used to estimate
costs and produce financial forecasts for future or proposed
retail dealership sites (Cataldo and Kruck 1998). Zimmerman
(2003) suggests that as many as 77 percent of manufacturers
divide costs into variable and fixed components, and that
managers arrive at these estimates by classifying individual
accounts as being primarily fixed or primarily variable (67).
For this case, you’ll examine mixed costs as defined by the
manufacturer. Using the scatterplot, high-low, and regression
methods, separate these mixed costs into their fixed andSenior Capstone: Business 29
variable components. The data is problematic, and a clear
solution won’t exist. Don’t attempt to correct the data by
removing outliers, but make observations based on any patterns you observe. The case will expose you to actual data
and require you to summarize your findings, including any
conclusions you’re able to reach and why the financial data
makes it impossible to separate the mixed costs into their
fixed and variable components.
Motomart: A Litigation
Support Engagement
The Motomart case evolved from a litigation support engagement. The lead author of this case was hired to analyze the
data and provide expert testimony. His report and testimony
was made available to the public (for a fee to cover reproduction costs). A broad description of the relevant points for the
Motomart case follows.
Motomart wanted to move their retail automobile dealership,
blaming their location for declining profits and increasing
losses. They provided financial projections, using variable
costing, to show that after relocation both Motomart and the
existing dealership would be profitable. They created these
financial projections using a database provided by the manufacturer, which included all North American retail automobile
dealerships. Motomart was one of the observations or retail
automobile dealerships included in the database used to create
these financial projections. You’ll be examining portions of
Motomart’s historical financial data.
The relocation site was quite close to the existing dealership
(which we’ll refer to as Existing Dealer), and Existing Dealer
felt that, if the relocation was permitted, one or both of the
dealerships would fail to break even and eventually go bankrupt, leading to poor service, or what the industry refers to as
“orphaned” owners of these automobiles.
Antitrust laws provided Existing Dealer with the means to
block the relocation requested by Motomart, but only if it
could prove that the relocation wasn’t in the best interest of
the consuming public. Generally, the only way to prove this30 Senior Capstone: Business
is to prove that there’s simply not enough business for both
retail automobile dealerships to break even (or generate a
reasonable return on investment, given the risks associated
with the industry). Again, the manufacturer, in support of the
proposed Motomart relocation, supplied financial projections
showing that both retail automobile dealerships would be
profitable after the relocation.
The expert witness hired to investigate the merits of the
relocation was given the Motomart data, but not the entire
database that included the Motomart data. The Motomart
data was in such poor form that it wasn’t possible to produce a
financial forecast. An alternative forecast, not included in this
case, was produced. This alternative forecast did not support
the relocation of Motomart to a site closer to Existing Dealer.
The alternative forecast showed that the market simply
couldn’t support two retail automobile dealerships. The implication was that, as the weaker of the two dealerships, Motomart
was losing business to Existing Dealer. In conclusion, the
relocation request by Motomart was denied.
Income and Expense Data
The following tables give you information such as income
statements, semi-fixed expenses, and salaries for Motomart.
Look for unusual entries or discrepancies in their records
and, where you can, note the cause of the problems.
Table 3 summarizes financial and cost driver information
produced by Motomart, where new retail vehicles sold (NRVS)
is the cost driver. The account classification method has
resulted in three cost behavior classifications: variable,
semi-fixed, and fixed costs. Semi-fixed is the automobile
industry-specific term used for mixed costs. We’ll assume
that Motomart’s classifications of variable costs (VCs) and
fixed costs (FCs) are correct, and focus our analysis on
Motomart’s semi-fixed or mixed costs.Senior Capstone: Business 31
Table 4 provides five years of monthly data (N=60) for NRVS
and the related semi-fixed or mixed cost measures. Semifixed costs were significant. Recall that they ranged from
nearly $1.2 million for calendar and fiscal year (FY) 1984
to almost $2.2 million for FY 1988 (see Table 3).
Recall the cost function applying to the high-low and regression
methods, which are provided in a variety of forms, depending
on the texts you used in your previous math, economics, or
accounting courses. Figure 3 is a brief outline of the high-low
and regression methods.
Table 3
SElECTED HISTOrICAl INCOME STATEMENT AND rElATED MEASurES
1984 1985 1986 1987 1988
Net Variable Revenues* 2,885,969 3,828,255 4,086,667 3,940,799 4,298,748
Semi-Fixed (S-F) Expenses:
Salaries 613,006 968,789 1,211,464 1,289,758 1,360,489
Vacation 600 26,705 19,468 19,059 18,268
Advertising & Training 210,226 288,347 281,219 309,608 371,314
Supplies/Tools/Laundry 31,473 46,141 75,468 65,935 81,252
Freight 5,719 5,987 6,528 5,731 4,663
Vehicle 22,913 23,718 23,664 20,370 19,483
Demonstrators 10,465 4,969 –1,513 4,192 707
Floor-Planning 278,531 301,113 276,201 156,129 305,044
Total S-F Expenses 1,172,933 1,665,769 1,892,499 1,870,782 2,161,220
Fixed Expenses:
Total Fixed Expenses 1,449,208 2,050,172 2,290,867 2,164,362 2,653,620
Operating Profit/(Loss)** 263,828 112,314 -96,699 -94,345 -516,092
New Retail Vehicles Sold 1,798 1,977 1,674 1,450 1,897
Notes:
* Revenues less variable costs equal Net Variable Revenues (or Contribution Margin, in
aggregate).
** Net Variable Revenue less Total S-F Expenses less Total Fixed Expenses equals Operating
Profit/(Loss).32 Senior Capstone: Business
Mo NRVS Salary Vacation Adv/Trng SplyTls/Lndry Freight Vehicles Demo's Floor-Plan Total
1 197 $ 52,951 $ - $ 22,561 $ 1,118 $ 382 $ 2,052 $ 1,881 $ (78,173) $ 2,772
2 133 $ 47,054 $ - $ 19,040 $ 3,573 $ 409 $ 1,405 $ 695 $ 28,456 $100,632
3 132 $ 55,372 $ - $ 14,373 $ 1,388 $ 742 $ 1,380 $ 469 $ 34,423 $108,147
4 141 $ 46,114 $ - $ 15,022 $ 2,894 $ 675 $ 2,057 $ 125 $ 5,697 $ 72,584
5 182 $ 48,309 $ - $ 19,966 $ 1,896 $ 572 $ 1,603 $ 131 $ 34,599 $107,076
6 156 $ 49,643 $ - $ 12,019 $ 1,188 $ 407 $ 2,524 $ 1,229 $ 53,737 $120,747
7 196 $ 55,784 $ 300 $ 13,217 $ 3,912 $ 643 $ 2,348 $ 1,206 $ 5,507 $ 82,917
8 178 $ 47,957 $ - $ 17,303 $ 2,012 $ 605 $ 1,208 $ 436 $ 32,436 $101,957
9 159 $ 53,743 $ - $ 16,535 $ 2,717 $ 209 $ 2,400 $ 1,476 $ 28,950 $106,030
10 141 $ 53,109 $ - $ 23,821 $ 1,102 $ 184 $ 2,076 $ 1,168 $ 20,876 $102,336
11 152 $ 45,491 $ 300 $ 14,146 $ 2,630 $ 331 $ 1,677 $ 635 $ 45,278 $110,488
12 31 $ 57,479 $ - $ 22,223 $ 7,043 $ 560 $ 2,183 $ 1,014 $ 66,745 $157,247
13 280 $ 49,049 $ - $ 19,992 $ 1,999 $ 582 $ 1,927 $ (477) $ (30,104) $ 42,968
14 136 $ 46,698 $ 300 $ 20,251 $ 1,192 $ 603 $ 1,156 $ 1,839 $ 50,583 $122,622
15 174 $ 59,790 $ 200 $ 20,082 $ 1,336 $ 492 $ 1,898 $ 1,260 $ 18,803 $103,861
16 171 $ 80,773 $ 600 $ 26,716 $ 3,873 $ 559 $ 1,808 $ 510 $ 23,080 $137,919
17 167 $ 71,130 $ 9,212 $ 25,223 $ 5,560 $ 356 $ 1,816 $ 2,350 $ 18,774 $134,421
18 161 $ 82,490 $ 6,007 $ 21,106 $ 1,737 $ 439 $ 1,384 $ (288) $ 23,802 $136,677
19 173 $ 98,172 $ 500 $ 17,799 $ 1,847 $1,628 $ 1,962 $ 1,591 $ 33,848 $157,347
20 161 $ 90,685 $ 2,690 $ 28,038 $ 4,415 $ (12) $ 2,446 $ (3,308) $ 13,480 $138,434
21 167 $ 97,771 $ 600 $ 37,284 $ 2,827 $ 480 $ 2,296 $ 1,709 $ 22,965 $165,932
22 153 $ 87,129 $ 1,740 $ 24,236 $ 5,836 $ 79 $ 3,175 $ 798 $ 18,898 $141,891
23 201 $ 95,910 $ 2,074 $ 27,244 $ 3,387 $ 188 $ 1,287 $ (2,025) $ 38,699 $166,764
24 33 $109,192 $ 2,782 $ 20,376 $ 12,132 $ 593 $ 2,563 $ 1,010 $ 68,285 $216,933
25 227 $ 89,041 $ 1,880 $ 26,719 $ 4,383 $ 769 $ 2,205 $ 2,493 $ (44,140) $ 83,350
26 150 $ 92,165 $ 3,602 $ 14,727 $ 10,231 $ 593 $ 2,289 $ (2,051) $ 36,311 $157,867
27 142 $ 88,981 $ 744 $ 27,880 $ 7,734 $ 414 $ 1,891 $ 386 $ 19,865 $147,895
28 104 $ 95,898 $ 960 $ 21,872 $ (684) $ 425 $ 2,288 $ 178 $ 19,013 $139,950
29 121 $ 96,245 $ - $ 18,705 $ 8,329 $ 483 $ 2,223 $ (262) $ 16,228 $141,951
30 99 $106,364 $ - $ 23,835 $ 2,540 $ 417 $ 1,683 $ (1,356) $ 37,637 $171,120
31 150 $ 90,564 $ 1,950 $ 25,605 $ 5,862 $ 222 $ 1,586 $ 486 $ (1,121) $125,154
32 144 $ 98,418 $ 1,540 $ 17,763 $ 6,998 $ 49 $ 1,751 $ (1,924) $ 34,757 $159,352
33 154 $110,436 $ 2,693 $ 32,379 $ 8,131 $ 818 $ 2,082 $ 1,547 $ 26,419 $184,505
34 130 $102,042 $ 1,060 $ 19,324 $ 6,026 $1,015 $ 1,714 $ 132 $ 21,134 $152,447
35 202 $124,413 $ 3,519 $ 22,412 $ 9,120 $1,255 $ 2,173 $ (2,337) $ 18,578 $179,133
36 51 $116,897 $ 1,520 $ 29,998 $ 6,798 $ 68 $ 1,779 $ 1,195 $ 91,520 $249,775
37 148 $ 97,083 $ 1,080 $ 9,112 $ 6,627 $ 565 $ 1,324 $ 1,164 $ (73,753) $ 43,202
38 153 $104,727 $ 3,230 $ 38,616 $ 5,892 $ 369 $ 1,523 $ (1,839) $ 30,443 $182,961
39 83 $ 95,622 $ 953 $ 22,690 $ 3,450 $ (182) $ 2,087 $ 454 $ 17,725 $142,799
40 101 $ 96,438 $ 1,244 $ 14,703 $ 5,259 $ 709 $ 2,095 $ 868 $ 26,402 $147,718
41 140 $114,995 $ - $ 28,764 $ 2,294 $1,006 $ 1,304 $ (1,990) $ (3,789) $142,584
42 132 $105,337 $ 160 $ 27,253 $ 8,155 $ 521 $ 1,667 $ 1,869 $ 15,090 $160,052
43 112 $ 98,989 $ 2,480 $ 24,419 $ 1,621 $ 514 $ 1,040 $ 329 $ (945) $128,447
44 127 $124,352 $ 1,800 $ 26,011 $ 902 $ 917 $ 2,880 $ (1,897) $ 30,405 $185,370
45 139 $115,875 $ 1,417 $ 24,492 $ 5,158 $ (77) $ 1,281 $ 2,959 $ 14,781 $165,886
46 156 $113,035 $ 1,820 $ 31,158 $ 2,901 $ 450 $ 2,259 $ 417 $ 15,613 $167,653
47 126 $119,106 $ 3,338 $ 32,213 $ 14,426 $ 120 $ 1,394 $ (2,659) $ 40,968 $208,906
48 33 $104,199 $ 1,537 $ 30,177 $ 9,250 $ 819 $ 1,516 $ 4,517 $ 43,189 $195,204
49 209 $ 98,938 $ 1,866 $ 26,737 $ 1,694 $ 853 $ 1,657 $ 601 $ (20,127) $112,219
50 124 $108,606 $ 3,676 $ 31,084 $ 9,040 $ 498 $ 2,266 $ (284) $ 18,236 $173,122
51 131 $106,396 $ 1,197 $ 33,278 $ 2,099 $ 605 $ 1,952 $ 668 $ 15,176 $161,371
52 144 $106,778 $ 241 $ 32,657 $ 9,328 $ 483 $ 1,852 $ 1,409 $ 25,245 $177,993
53 93 $124,805 $ 500 $ 29,794 $ 4,268 $ 788 $ 1,704 $ (1,771) $ 6,493 $166,581
54 199 $110,153 $ 1,910 $ 38,431 $ 5,407 $ 529 $ 1,882 $ 453 $ 21,851 $180,616
55 170 $117,276 $ 800 $ 27,640 $ 9,305 $ (180) $ 977 $ 1,310 $ 7 $157,135
56 186 $112,055 $ 980 $ 28,657 $ 1,803 $ (242) $ 846 $ (2,844) $ 17,192 $158,447
57 200 $114,765 $ 1,695 $ 36,425 $ 8,839 $ 859 $ 2,856 $ 1,532 $ 14,864 $181,835
58 146 $128,007 $ 1,560 $ 27,720 $ 10,944 $ (492) $ 1,864 $ 1,400 $ 10,121 $181,124
59 222 $116,811 $ 2,249 $ 27,941 $ 5,775 $ 245 $ 1,141 $ (3,513) $ 7,946 $158,595
60 73 $115,899 $ 1,594 $ 30,950 $ 12,750 $ 717 $ 486 $ 1,746 $ 188,040 $352,182
Table 4
SEMI-FIxED (MIxED) ExPENSES FOr THE 60-MONTH PErIOD
(FY 1984 THrOuGH 1988)Senior Capstone: Business 33
Preparing Graphs
The single cost driver and nonfinancial measure in Table 4 is
new retail vehicles sold (NRVS or X in the above cost function).
There are eight financial measures (salary; vacation; advertising
and training; supplies, tools, and laundry; freight; vehicles;
demonstrators; and floor-planning [also known in the automobile retail industry as interest expense relating to new car
inventory]), as well as a total (aggregate measure) provided for
all eight financial measures (or the Y in the above cost function).
FIGURE 3—For the high-low method to work, the $H and #H and the $L and #L measures must be
from the same accounting period.34 Senior Capstone: Business
Using NRVS, the only available cost-driver, use Excel to
prepare nine separate scatter plots and cost function-based
trend lines and nine separate line graphs for each of the
financial measures provided in Table 4. See Figure 4 and
Figure 5 for a examples of completed graphs for salaries.
Now examine, on a preliminary basis, the pattern or trend
(or lack thereof) for each of the “X” (NRVS) and “Y” (financial
measure) data pairs and consider the following questions:
• You’re observing these data pairs for a 60-month period
(i.e., five years); are any annual or other seasonal
patterns or trends immediately apparent?
• Do the slopes of the trend lines (i.e., variable costs)
make sense?
FIGURE 4—A Scatterplot Graph for Motomart SalariesSenior Capstone: Business 35
In the case of salaries (see Figures 4 and 5), there’s no apparent trend or pattern. It’s odd that salaries decrease as NRVS
increases—in fact, this doesn’t make any sense. However, it’s
consistent with the high-low results, which also didn’t make
sense. But remember, since this data came from Motomart,
the firm attempting to relocate, it’s real and from an actual
litigation support engagement (not a textbook problem), so it
won’t necessarily work out perfectly.
The cost equation in Table 5 shows fixed costs (FC) at
$106,866.00 and variable costs to be used to “reduce” total
costs (TC) by $110.10 per NRVS. Compare the salary figures
and coefficients (in bold type) to Figure 4. Notice that if you
extended the trend line in Figure 4, it would hit the y-axis
intercept at $106,866.00 (the fixed cost). Also notice that the
R-squared (R-sq) measure in Table 5 equals 4.1 percent.
FIGURE 5—A Line Graph for Motomart Salaries36 Senior Capstone: Business
Your math and statistics courses probably reviewed the use
of the t-statistic, overall F-statistic, and related p-values, as
well as some of the other measures presented here. Our
application is a very simple one, so we’ll focus on only the
R-squared measure. The other measures are provided in
this example only for completeness.
Because the high-low technique didn’t work, it makes sense
that the regression technique wouldn’t work well, either.
Therefore, the results for high-low and regression are consistent. The advantage of the regression technique is that it
mathematically quantifies the level of the problem or difficulty with the data. In this case, one of simple regression, the
R-squared measure tells the story. Still focusing on the
salaries example in Figure 5, the R-squared measure tells us
that only 4.1 percent of the total or mixed or semi-fixed cost
is explained by NRVS. This means that that cost equation
developed from this historical data isn’t helpful in predicting
future costs, as nearly 96 percent of the cost behavior,
through use of this equation, remains unexplained.
Table 5
SAlArY = $106,866.00 – $110.10 NrVS
Predictor Coefficient Std Deviation t-statistic p-value
Constant 106,866.00 10,793.00 9.90 0.000
NRVS 110.10 70.17 –1.57 0.122
s = 25300 r-sq = 4.1%
Analysis of Variance
SOurCE DF SS MS F-statistic p-value
Regression 1 261,795 261,795 0.10 0.754
Error 58 152,801,120 2,634,502
Total 59 153,062,912Senior Capstone: Business 37
REQUIREMENTS
Operating Profits and
Semi-Fixed Expenses
Step 1
First, using Tables 3–5, note the pattern of operating profits
(or losses) over the five-year period. Then focus only on the
semi-fixed expenses contained in Table 3. Do any amounts
appear to be odd? Next, briefly comment on the five-year
pattern or trend for operating profit/loss measures. You
should be able to respond to this step in a few wellwritten sentences.
Step 2
Focus only on the detailed semi-fixed expense contained in
Table 4. Are there any unusual or odd patterns you might
note in this detailed financial data? There are eight expense
items. About five of the eight should immediately catch your
attention. You should be able to respond to this requirement
in a few well-written sentences. Briefly comment on only
the most obvious or apparent measures or patterns, by
expense item.
Step 3
Identify the high and low measures in each column, just as
you would in preparation for application of the high-low method
or technique. For example, in Table 4 the high measure for
the cost driver (NRVS) is 280 NRVS in month 13 and the low
measure is 31 NRVS in month 12. Repeat this process for
each of the eight separate semi-fixed expense columns and
also for the total expense column. (You could transfer the
figures to Excel to use the maximum and minimum functions
to assist you in identifying the high and low measures [N=60]
for each of the ten columns.)38 Senior Capstone: Business
After the high and low measures have been identified in each
column, try to match each expense column’s high and low
measure, separately, to the highs and lows identified in the
NRVS column. They won’t match. Don’t try to correct the
data, but comment on the potential for application of the
high-low technique. What happens when the high and
low activity level doesn’t match the high and low expense
measure? Does this prevent you from correctly applying
the high-low technique?
Don’t overanalyze this data, because there’s a problem with it
and you don’t have sufficient information to correct it. Merely
summarize your observations and unsuccessful attempts to
match the high and low NRVS months (identified above),
separately, with each of the high and low expense measure
months. You should be able to do this in a very few wellwritten sentences.
Finally, summarize your findings with respect to the application of the high-low method to separate mixed costs into
their fixed and variable components or the development
of a cost equation.
Step 4
Use Table 6 to compute the cost equations and R-squared
measures for each of the remaining eight expenses and total
expenses. Notice that there’s a computed total requirement
in the table. This just means that you must total these two
columns and compare the computed totals to the Excelgenerated measures in the row below. In effect, you’re being
asked to comment on whether the separate cost formulas
are “additive.”Senior Capstone: Business 39
Complete the cost equations for the table. Use the R-squared
as the single measure of “goodness of fit.” Don’t attempt to
improve your results with the elimination of “outliers” or
“influential outliers.” As you complete Table 6, answer the following questions:
1. What problems did you encounter?
2. Are the R-squared measures high or low?
3. Are the slopes negative or positive?
4. Are your conclusions consistent with those from the
high-low effort?
Step 5
Summarize your findings on a single page (250 words or less,
double-spaced). Can the Motomart data be used to prepare
a reliable financial forecast? Why or why not? If Motomart
is included in the very large database used to prepare the
financial forecast that supports the relocation of Motomart
closer to Existing Dealer, what concerns might present themselves with respect to the remainder of the database used for
this forecast? Would you rely on this forecast?
Table 6
Column Expense FC VC r-sq
1 Salaries $106,866 –$110 4.10%
2 Vacation
3 Advertising and training
4 Supplies/tools/laundry
5 Freight
6 Vehicles
7 Demonstrators
8 Floor planning
Computed total
9 Total40 Senior Capstone: Business
It’s common for businesses to keep poor financial records most
of the year, because many are trying to reduce the cost of
financial record keeping (e.g., the salary of a CPA is higher
than that of a bookkeeper). Then, at the year’s end, these
businesses employ a CPA or accounting firm to make adjusting journal entries to correct data for the twelfth months of
the year, only to reverse the adjusting journal entries
immediately after the annual financials are prepared.
Examine your graphics to identify any seasonal (12-month)
patterns. Do any exist? Is there evidence to suggest that the
process described above was being employed by Motomart?
Writing Guidelines
Refer to the “Submitting Your Work” section at the end of
this book for details on submission requirements for the
Motomart Case assignment.Senior Capstone: Business 41
SUBMITTING YOUR WORK
Writing Guidelines
1. Type your submission, double-spaced, in a standard
print font, size 12. Use a standard document format with
1-inch margins. (Do not use any fancy or cursive fonts.)
2. Include the following information at the top of
your paper:
a. Name and complete mailing address
b. Student number
c. Course title and number (Senior Capstone: Business,
BUS 450)
d. Project number (see Format instructions)
e. Project title (Professional Development Activity,
Case 1, etc.)
3. Read the assignments carefully and complete each one in
the order given.
4. Be specific. Limit your submission to the questions
asked and issues mentioned.
5. If you include quotes or ideas from textbooks or other
sources, provide a reference page in either APA or MLA
style. On this page, list books, Web sites, journals, or
any other references used in preparing the paper.
6. Proofread your work carefully. Check for correct spelling,
grammar, punctuation, and capitalization.
Grading Criteria
Your assignments will be evaluated according to the
following criteria:
Content 80 percent
Written communication 10 percent
Format 10 percent42 Senior Capstone: Business
Here’s a brief explanation of each of these points.
Content
The student
• Fulfills each assignment completely, answering all
questions and fully addressing the topics and
issues presented
• Writes answers in complete sentences and
well-developed paragraphs
• Supports his or her judgment by citing specific information from coursework, textbooks, or other appropriate
references, using correct APA or MLA guidelines for
citations and references
• Stays focused on the assigned issues
• Writes in his or her own words and uses quotation
marks to indicate direct quotations
Written Communication
The student
• Addresses each section in complete paragraphs that
include an introduction, a complete answer or
explanation for each issue, and a conclusion.
• Uses correct grammar, spelling, punctuation, and
sentence structure
• Provides clear organization (for example, uses words
like first, however, on the other hand, and so on,
consequently, since, next, and when)
• Makes sure the paper contains no typographical errorsSenior Capstone: Business 43
Format
The paper is double-spaced and typed in font size 12.
It includes the student’s
• Name and complete mailing address
• Student number
• Course title and number (Senior Capstone: Business,
BUS 450
• Correct research project number for each submission:
Professional Development Seminar 50089400
Case 1: Purchase Point Media Corporation 50089500
Case 2: Motomart 50089600
SUBMITTING YOUR ASSIGNMENT
You can submit your research assignment online, following
this procedure:
1. On your computer, save a revised and corrected version
of your project.
2. Go to http://www.pennfoster.edu and log in.
3. Go to Student Portal.
4. Click on Take Exam next to the lesson you’re working on.
5. Enter your e-mail address in the box provided.
(Note: This information is required for online submission.)
6. Attach your file or files as follows:
a. Click on the Browse box.
b. Locate the file you wish to attach.
c. Double-click on the file.
d. Click on Upload File.
e. If you have more than one file to attach, repeat
steps a–d.
7. Click on Submit Files.
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