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  • 6 Different Types of Homework Assignments in a Financial Management Course

    There are different types of finance assignments you will get throughout your financial management course that will test how well you have understood the different finance concepts taught, strengthen your knowledge in these topics as well as equip you with practical application of the different concepts.
    A financial management course will equip you with knowledge of financial planning, capital budgeting, and working capital management among others. The types of homework to expect in a financial management course include;

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    1. Essay writing assignments

    The most common type of assignment you will get at the college level is that of essay writing. Essays are assigned to students for them to defend or do a presentation on a topic with the help of evidence gathered in research. The essay assignment could require you to argue your case on a topic, persuade your reader on a certain topic or provide a description of a topic. Simply put, your essay could be argumentative, persuasive, or descriptive. The body of your essay should directly answer the question posed in your topic.
    For example, a topic like ‘Do risky assets have a higher rate of return’ is an essay assignment. It will require you to research the different risk levels of assets and how they affect the return rate and either corroborate or reject the assignment topic depending on the instructions. This could be a persuasive essay, where you convince your instructor how high-risk assets have a higher return or a descriptive essay on the same. Essays are a way to polish your research skills as well as your writing skills. Essay assignments require your perspective as the author on the respective topic assigned.

    2. Report Writing Assignment

    Another common assignment in a financial management course is report writing. Unlike essays which are more flexible with the structure and content, reports at the college level will tend to take a specific outline. You must read and understand the instructions issued with the assignment to ensure you do it correctly. A report writing assignment will require you to research a specific topic and use the findings to address the problem in the assignment. Comprehensive research is key here. Information presented in your report is either gathered from your reading, research, personal experience, or experiments.
    Reports are highly organized assignments and mainly follow standard formats. An example of a topic in financial management requiring a report would be say, discussing capital budgeting methods in organizations. This would not do as an essay since it is not a matter of opinion but facts. You would need to create a thesis statement for it, and create an introduction, body, and conclusion. Reports have to include references from where the facts presented in the body were derived from. It is a longer form of assignment and the most common at this level.

    3. Literature review assignments

    Literature review assignments may seem technical but they are highly similar to report writing. They require you to summarize a specific topic, gather research data on said topic, and explain why more research if any is needed on that specific topic. The first step in writing a literature review is to rewrite the topic assigned or chosen into a research question. For example, if your topic was ‘The relationship between the rise in the cost of equity as debt increases’, rewrite it to be, ‘how does increase in debt affect the cost of equity?’ This will ease your research time.
    If the literature review assignment was aimed at proving research gaps, then adjust your research question to be more specific to better address this. The next steps in literature review involve conducting your research, taking down notes on your findings, and then writing your literature review. Your review should answer the research question initially posed. The main format for this will be an introduction, body (where you include details gotten in your research), and then conclusion. Make sure that the body of your literature review clearly answers the research question that it explains and guides your instructor on how you got the answer to your research question, and the connections that exist through existing literature.

    4. Case studies

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    A case study assignment integrates what you learn in theory with practical real-life situations. The main purpose of taking a financial management course is to be able to apply the financial concepts to everyday management of the finance side of businesses. Case study assignments are aimed at seeing how well you have understood your course and teaching students how to apply the said concepts in real life. They aim to identify problems and offer recommendations on how to solve said problems. Always ensure that the recommendations given in the case study assignment are realistic and feasible.
    The format of the case study assignments is identifying the problems in the case, finding possible solutions, and offering recommendations for their implementation. An example of a case study assignment would be, ‘Advising on how portfolio restructuring can be done for ABC Ltd’. This would require you to look at the provided reports on the company’s current portfolio, identify problems in the portfolio of said company, and use the lessons on portfolio analysis in class to offer recommendations on how to restructure ABC’s portfolio.

    5. Problem sets

    As the name suggests, problem sets are assignments with a set of several problems that need to be answered. Normally, problem sets are issued regularly and can be due in between lessons. However, instead of having everyday homework as was the case in your former school years, most assignments are issued every week. Mainly for financial management, you may get an instructor who issues problem sets assignments after every topic. These allow you to further understand the topic before the class moves on to another topic. Commonly known as p-sets, they vary in difficulty. They mostly do not require further research and are a recap of what was previously taught.
    They are the easiest to complete since the questions are mainly from the previous week’s topic covered. Especially with mathematical topics which are many in financial management, problem set assignments will check how much you understand the topic by forcing you to apply theory to solve the mathematical problems as soon as the topic is finished. In financial management courses, an example of problem sets would be, application questions on portfolio analysis, requiring you to compare the rate of return between shares of different companies. These will also demonstrate what to expect in the final paper so they should be taken seriously.

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    6. Group assignments

    Your instructor may form the groups for you or instruct the class to select members themselves. Depending on your class size, your group may have anywhere from 5 to maybe even 10 students. Group assignments are a way for the instructor to help you develop collaborative and interpersonal skills. Group assignments may come in the form of group discussions with an essay or report to be written at the end or with a presentation to be done in the next class. Group assignments are also an easier way for you to understand difficult finance concepts by having them explained in easier terms by fellow students.
    The key to making group assignments work is to set some ground rules before the discussion example, no lateness or no use of phones while at the discussion table. You should also ensure that every member in the group has a specific task assigned to them, be it for them to research, type, or present in class. For a course like financial management that covers a lot of theory work, your instructor may opt for some topic to be discussed and presented in group work, to break the monotony of the classroom as well as to improve accountability among the students. Group works are some of the most common types of assignments at the college level.


    Very insightful! I would request you to post another blog for mentioning the different types of assignments for Corporate Finance

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