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Northrise University Student Handbook

Northrise University Student Handbook – COURSE STANDARDS/GUIDELINES

Northrise University Student Handbook – The following are course standards that are expected of each student that is enrolled at Northrise University. Instructors for each course will provide additional standards for specific courses where applicable.


Professionalism is expected at all times; respect for others is required. Common courtesy, including informing the instructor in cases of emergency absence, is a courtesy assumed.

Assessment of performance and assignments should be seen in the context of the course and workshop objectives. Evaluation is not based on quantity of effort, but quality of presented assignments.


Each student shall maintain a high standard of honesty and ethical behaviour. All assignments submitted in fulfilment of course requirements must be the student’s own work. All assignments except those designated as “group” or “team” are meant to be individual efforts. Group efforts are meant to be equal efforts of all learning team members.

Professional Style

It is assumed that students will perform professionally in preparing work required for each class. All papers must be submitted in writing by their due date; late papers will receive 5% off for each day past the due date (determined by submission date). Assignments must be completed according to the Northrise University Course Standards and written in Standard English.


All courses emphasize group interaction and class participation. If a student is absent, benefits received through class participation are lost as well as contributions to learning of fellow students. Consequently, students shall not receive any credit for class participation where they have been absent. Where feasible, absences should be pre-arranged with the instructor. All assignments are due at the assigned time/date despite any approved absences.

Late or Incomplete Assignments

All assignments must be signed for when they are handed in to the instructor to ensure that there is a record of the assignment being received.

Assignments which are submitted untimely will receive a deduction of 5% for each day past the due date. Late papers will not be graded after 2 days from the due date. The paper still has to be handed; otherwise, a failing “F” grade for the course will automatically be awarded.

Students not completing all assignments due to unavoidable circumstances will receive an “I” (Incomplete) grade and will have one week from the due date to turn in all assignments. Official documentation (such as sick notes) as to why students did not hand in the assignments will be required. If the omitted assignment is not received at the end of one week, the “I” grade will automatically change to reflect a grade as if zero points were awarded to the missing assignment. The assignment still has to be completed and handed in by the student before the end of the term. Failure to hand in the assignment will result in failing the course (“F” grade).

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Missing Exams

In the case of a student missing an exam, dates will be published for alternative exams. If the student misses the exam on the alternative exam date, the “I” grade will automatically change to reflect an “F” grade.


Students who are tardy or who leave class early deprive classmates of the benefit of the active participation in group activities. Students will receive a deduction of one Participation Point for each occurrence, i.e., tardy = – 1 Participation Point; leave class early = – 1 Participation Point.

Course Withdrawal

Withdrawal refers to a situation where a student has attended at least one class session and then decides not to continue with the course. Students may withdraw from a course by written petition to the Academic Dean at any time prior to the date by which all course requirements are to be completed (date of final exam or due date of final paper). This must be done by filling in the Request for Withdrawal form and must include the course name and number and the reason the student wishes to withdraw. Only following approval of the petition by the Academic Dean can the student withdraw from the course(s) or program. If the student wishes to continue with their studies, the course(s) must be repeated and does not qualify for financial aid.

Withdrawal Periods and Grades of W and WF

Students will receive a grade of W or WF for any class they withdraw from depending on whether or not they have exceeded their limit of withdrawals with a grade of W (see the section on Limits on Withdrawals with a Grade of W in this handbook). Specifically, students will automatically be awarded a W if they have not exceeded their limit and a WF if they have. Grades of W and WF appear on the student’s transcript. (Note: A

grade of WF is treated as an F for GPA calculation purposes).

NOTE: Students cannot make a voluntary withdrawal by and after the fifth week for twelve week courses; by and after the third week for six week sessions. A voluntary withdrawal is any withdrawal other than the ones addressed under “Hardship Withdrawal” in the Student Handbook or other University documentation. For more information, consult your Academic Advisor.

Refund Policy

For valid reasons acceptable to the University, a refund on tuition fee charges is allowed when a student withdraws from a course. A full refund is allowed in the first week, 90% in the second week, 50% in the third week, 25% fourth week, and none thereafter for all twelve-week courses.

For 6-week courses, a full refund is allowed if a student withdraws from a course in the first week, 90% in the second week, and none thereafter.

For 2-week courses, a full refund is allowed if a student withdraws from a course on the first day, 90% on the second day, 50% on the third day and none thereafter.

For courses offered in 5-day intensive sessions, there is a full refund if the course is dropped by the end of the first day. No refund will be made thereafter.

Accommodation charges are made for the whole term. No refund will be made for a student leaving the hostel after the term has started.

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Grades on papers are based on 3 elements:

Organization — there is a beginning or introductory paragraph, several paragraphs make your points of importance, followed by a conclusion or summary. Use an outline and information you have learned about organization and structure.

Clarity — you show a good understanding of reading material and your own thoughts and ideas. It means that your analysis and conclusions flow from an orderly set of arguments or proposals, and is easily understood by a reader (the reader being a business group, not a professor).

Presentation — you have proofread, spell checked, and grammar checked the paper; the paper is visually appealing.

Oral presentations will also be graded on organization, clarity and presentation.

A note on non-discriminatory language

Examples of usages that may be better expressed by non-discriminatory language include;

singular pronouns such as ‘he’ and ‘she’ either imply a particular gender or, in the case of ‘he’, may on occasion be meant to imply both genders. The ambiguity that arises here can be avoided by rephrasing the sentence in the plural using they/we/us; using ‘he and she’ or ‘him or herself’; or by using an article instead, for example, ‘his opinion’ becoming ‘an opinion’.

‘Man’ when you mean the human species or people – for example, ‘Man developed tools and technology

…’ may be better expressed as ‘People developed tools and technology …’.

words that have sex-based endings can often be replaced by inclusive terms which mean the same thing; for example, policewoman by police officer, authoress by author, sculptress by sculptor.

Note: There is no resubmission of papers in an attempt to improve grades.

Grading for each course will be communicated to students by instructors at the beginning of each course or in some cases as the course progresses. The following are the grading procedures that have been endorsed by Northrise University. These grading standards are also included in the Student Handbook that is provided to all students.

85 – 100 (A) Excellent

Excellent indicates an outstanding performance in which the student demonstrates a superior grasp of the subject matter, and an ability to go beyond the given material in a critical and constructive manner. The student demonstrates a high degree of creative and/or logical thinking, a superior ability to organize, to analyze, and to integrate ideas, and a thorough familiarity with the appropriate literature and techniques.

75 – 84 (B) Good

Good refers to more than adequate performance in which the student demonstrates a thorough grasp of the subject matter, and an ability to organize and examine the material in a critical and constructive manner. The student demonstrates a good understanding of the relevant issues and a familiarity with the appropriate literature and techniques.

65 – 74 (C) Acceptable

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Acceptable means adequate performance in which the student demonstrates a generally adequate grasp of the subject matter and a moderate ability to examine the material in a critical and constructive manner. The student displays an adequate understanding of the relevant issues, and a general familiarity with the appropriate literature and techniques.

50 – 64 (D) Minimally Acceptable

Minimally acceptable means barely adequate performance in which the student demonstrates familiarity with the subject matter, but whose attempts to examine the material in a critical and constructive manner is only partially successful. The student displays some understanding of the relevant issues, and some familiarity with the appropriate literature and techniques.

0 – 49 (F) Fail

Fail indicates inadequate performance.

Northrise University Student Handbook – LEARNING TEAMS

Since each student must contribute equally to the outcome of the team, attendance at Learning Team meetings is mandatory. Only one absence is permitted for a legitimate reason. Students missing more than one learning team meeting will receive a “W” (Withdrawal) grade for the course and must meet with an Academic Counselor to reschedule.

Learning Teams are an essential part of the academic experience for students. In addition to providing a supplemental learning environment of mastery of course content, they provide students with an opportunity to develop and refine teamwork skills.

Students are expected to determine the location for their Learning Team meeting each week during the class session. The instructor must approve the location as appropriate and conducive to learning. Each week, each Learning Team must complete a Team Charter documenting each member’s attendance at the Learning Team meeting. Non-attendance or attendance for less than the required scheduled time of meetings by any student will be considered during the grading process for that student.

Teams must complete one unified log for the entire team’s activity each week that is signed by each team member. A copy of that log should be provided to the faculty member so that one copy can be turned in for attendance and the other retained by the faculty member for grading and feedback.


The formats given in this document are for an assignment paper and a research paper.

1.Assignment Paper

Papers should be typed on A4 paper on both sides, spell-checked, and grammar checked. The text of the paper must be left indented to form a paragraph and 2.0 spaced, using standard fonts (Times New Roman, Courier or Arial), size (12) and 1 inch margins on all sides. Use Tab key to indent paragraphs and direct quotations.

The assignment paper consists of three main parts, which the student needs to carefully study and understand in order to submit an acceptable paper. Any omission will attract loss of points. The three main parts are; the preliminary or cover page, the main body of the paper and the bibliography or reference section.

a. Preliminaries

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Use an assignment cover sheet and resources page. The cover sheet should include the following information:

oCourse Code and Title (e.g., Course Code-HUM103; Course Title- Religions of the World) o Assignment Title (Summarised and well thought Title derived from the question)

o Your full name (Kondwani Nyirenda) o Your student ID number (0900111) oFaculty or Department (Business)

o Instructor’s name (Mrs. Mwaka Lubana) oDue date ( 02nd February, 2009)

o Your signature indicating that the work submitted is your own

Important: Always sign in for your papers or assignments when you submit them to your lecturer.

The title of a paper must be typed in upper and lower case letters in a summarized form rather than copying the whole question on the title page. The student is expected to form a summarized title out of any given assignment question instead of copying the whole question. Please note that students will be penalized

for indicating the wrong course code or course title on the cover page.

Each page must have a page header with two–to-three words from the title. The page header must be positioned in the upper right corner above in Italics.

Remember to insert page numbers on each page except the cover page. The page numbers must appear at the centre bottom of the page in Arabic numerals. (Page numbers should follow the following style of numbering, e.g. (1of 5). Such numbering helps to determine the number of pages done.

Grammar, punctuation, capitalization and spelling will be included in the grade, so please proofread your papers. Written assignments are expected to be organized in such a way as to convey your understanding of the material and its application to the situation you are analyzing. Papers must also include a list of reference or bibliography.

b. Main Text

The body of the paper is usually separated into well-defined divisions such as parts, chapters, sections, and subsections. The text may also include footnotes, and numbers keyed to a reference list.


The text usually begins with an introduction. It gives a background of your paper and highlights main themes, which form a basis of discussion. An introduction draws readers from their world into your world.

It focuses reader’s attention on the topic and arouses their curiosity about what you have to say.

It specifies your subject and implies your attitude.

Often it includes your thesis statement (thesis names the topic and asserts something specific and significant about it.)

It is concise and sincere

(Ref: Little Brown Book p54 in the library)

II.Section and subsection

In some papers the chapters are divided into sections. Such divisions are customarily given tittles called subheads or sub headings, which are differentiated typographically and designated first, second and third level subheads.

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The first level, sub-division should have greater attention value than the lower-levels;

Centred headings have more attention value than side heads (beginning at the left margin). Leaving some blank space above and below all but run-in subheads also enhances attention value.

First level: Level one headings are centered and bolded in upper and lower case letters.:

Traditional Controversy between Medieval Church and State

Second level: second level headings are placed at left margin and bolded in upper and lower case letters.

Reappearance of Religious Legalism

Third level: Level three headings are indented and bolded. Capitalize only the first word, include a period at the end, and continue the text without using a hard return.

The main discussion is therefore written into paragraphs. A paragraph is a group of related sentences set off by a beginning indention or, sometimes, by extra space. Paragraphs give you and your reader a breather from long stretches of text, and they indicate key steps in the development of your paper.

In the body of your paper, paragraphs may be used for any of thesis purpose:

To introduce one of the main points supporting your essay’s central idea and to develop the point with examples, facts, or other supporting evidence.

Within a group of paragraphs centering on one main point, to introduce and develop a key example or other important evidence.

To shift approach – for instance, from pros to cons, problem to solution, from questions to answers

To mark movement in a sequence, such as from one reason or step to another.

Paragraphs therefore have three main qualities:

1.Unit – is the paragraph unified? Does it adhere to one general idea (p42)

2.Coherence – does the text hold? Do the sentences follow a clear sequence (p43 -44)? Are the sentences linked as need by repletion or restatement, consistency, conjunctions etc.?

3.Development – is the paragraph developed? Is the general idea of the paragraphs well supported with specific evidence such as details, facts, examples, and reasons?(see p 48)

III. Conclusion

Your conclusion finishes off your essay and tells readers where you think you have brought them. It answers the question” so what?”

The conclusion is usually written in its own paragraph. The length of a paper determines the length of a conclusion. It may take one or more of the following approaches:

Give a note of hope or despair

Give a symbolic or powerful fact or detail

Recommend a course of action

Give a specially compelling example

Use a quotation

Echo the approach of the introduction

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Restate your theme and reflect on its implications

Summarize the paper

The conclusion should not have new ideas that the paper has not discussed, but it must briefly wrap up the whole paper with a convincing end.

c. Back Part or Reference matter


An appendix though by no means an essential part of every paper, is a useful device to make available material that is relevant to the text but not suitable for inclusion in it.

An appendix is a group of related items. Appendices, for example, may contain tables, technical notes on methods, schedules and forms used in collecting materials, copies of documents not generally available to the reader, case studies too long to put into text, figures and other illustrative materials.

All appendices go at the end of a paper, not at ends of chapters or sections.

Materials of different categories should be placed in separate appendices. When there’s more than one appendix, each is given a number or letter (app.1, 2 etc)

When photocopied documents, such as previously published as separate pages in appendices, a page number should be added to each copy.

II.Bibliography or Reference List

The bibliography or reference list is the last part of the paper. (Examples are given towards the end of this document).


A citation is the text, which signals that the material is borrowed; and it refers readers to detailed information about the source so that they can locate both the source and the place in the source where the borrowed material appears.

Therefore there are two main reasons for citing sources;

1.To show readers where you obtained the material

2.To offer readers a list of references for detailed reading It is important to cite sources in the following cases;

1.When giving the origin of facts or opinions

2.When using a direct quote

3.When paraphrasing someone else’s work

4.When stating a fact that is not commonly known

5.When stating controversial facts or opinions


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2.Research Paper

Research writing is a writing process, which gives the writer a chance to work like a detective solving a case. How you find the answer to the problem leads you to consider what others think about your subject, but you do more than simply reporting their views. Instead, you build and develop on other people’s ideas in order to support your own opinion, and ultimately you become an expert in your own right.

The minimum numbers of sources that must be cited and/or referenced for each essay or research project are as follows:

1)Undergraduate essays – 4 references

2)Undergraduate project papers – 15 references

3)Postgraduate essays – 6 references

4)Postgraduate project papers – 20 references

Documenting Sources

Every time you borrow the words, facts or ideas of other people, you must DOCUMENT the source, that is, supply a reference, telling readers that you borrowed the material and where you borrowed from. Every material is regarded as ‘Intellectual Property’ and as such, must be acknowledged without fail. Failure to acknowledge other peoples’ works is called PLAGIARISM (which is the same as “kidnapping”). Plagiarism is the presentation of someone else’s ideas or words as your own. Whether deliberate or accidental, plagiarism is a serious and often punishable offence.

Northrise University uses the APA Style of referencing. When citing sources in-text citation is required.

Writing Process

A research paper, like an assignment paper, has three major parts that are more detailed than an assignment paper;

1)The front part or Preliminaries

2)The main text

3)The back part or Reference matter

1.The front part or Preliminaries


You should be very careful choosing a title for your thesis. It should exactly describe what your thesis is about. You should avoid long title because it is difficult to remember. Also the title shouldn’t be too short and mention just about a general problem or a field.


Write to whom you dedicate your thesis if any. For example “I would like to dedicate this thesis to my mother and father…”


It’s good to acknowledge the people who helped or participated in direct or indirect way to your thesis. Here is the place to thank your supervisor and colleagues.


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Abstract is very important part of the thesis. It will be most read by people and should be written with a great care. The abstract should mention:

About the problem you want to solve

About your solution – how you solve the problem

Highlights about how good your solution is (e.g. achieves 70% better performance) referring to the results you obtained in your experiments (e.g. achieves 70% better performance).

Possible impacts of your work into the field (e.g. “The proposed solution can be used to offload the CPU by executing data parallel computation intensive code on GPUs and thus obtaining additional speedup for no cost”).

Table of Contents

Indicate titles and sub- titles with page numbers


Put a table of the abbreviations you used throughout the text and the meaning.


Define some terminologies used in the paper

2.The main text


This section should contain a little about everything. Introduction should be an overview of the contents of your thesis. The introduction should contain:

Information/introduction about the topic of your research (e.g. what you will talk about in your thesis.)

The practical and theoretical value of the topic (how and why this topic is important)

The motivation for your thesis (State with at least one sentence the problem you attack in your research work, why did you choose this problem and how it is interesting. State with at least one sentence your solution for the problem).

If you are basing your work on currently existing work, mention it here.

Mention the limitations of your solution (design and implementation – e.g. applies for real time systems, has error factor 25%)

Include information about your key results – e.g. we improve the performance with 70% in the general keys.

Finish the chapter with an overview about the contents of your thesis.

Motivation or Problem Definition and Proposed Solution

In this section you have to concisely explain the problem that you want to solve and the goal of your solution. This part should contain:

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Detailed analysis of the problem and its limitations (e.g. what is the bottleneck and difficulties).

Your research methods – how did you identify these problems (e.g. tools used)?

You should clearly state and explain your goal and objectives. You should provide analytical study (mathematical model) of your solution (What is the upper and lower bound of your performance or improvements). You should also mention about the qualitative benefit of your solution such as easy programming etc.

If necessary you may divide this section into subsections.

State of the Art (or Related Work or Literature Review)

In this section you should present the theoretical basis of your work and overview of the existing solutions. When discussing on the existing solutions you should relate and qualitatively compare them with yours. This part should contain;

The theory and concepts of your work without getting much into detail.

Existing state of the art solution. You may divide this part in sections (e.g. each for the different existing solution).

Background overview (optional)

If your work builds on top of an existing one, this is the place to describe the existing work in more detail, pointing out the parts that you extended or improved and why you extended or improved these parts.

Design and Implementation

You can divide this section in two categories: Design and Implementation.

a.Design – in design section you should describe your approach to solve the problem; the high level design of your solution and the modules, data structures and algorithms that you use.

b.Implementation – in implementation section you should mention the tools that you use to implement, the target environment Limitations.

If necessary you can add additional sections such as Discussion to discuss or emphasize on the interesting design points.

Experimental Results and Analysis

This section is better to be divided in the following categories:

a.Experimental Methodology – in this section you should describe the environment where you did the experiments, tools you used (compilers, libraries, profilers, simulators) and benchmarks that you used. Here you should tell what your evaluation criteria (e.g. speedup) are and metrics (e.g. throughput). Anything important that was made to conduct the experiments should be here (e.g. preparing traces for reproducing deterministic executions). If your experimental methodology has limitations you should mention them here (e.g. when using simulator you used small data input sets).

b.Experimental Results and Analysis – in this section you should show the quantitative results

charts and tables. Analyze the results by explaining and highlighting what is important on them in terms of your goals and what is bad. You should explain the strange results too.

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Northrise University Student Handbook – Additional Discussion (optional)

If you experienced technical problems conducting your research and these are important to be known you may dedicate a separate chapter for them. You can organize this chapter in sections, one for each problem. Problems may be relevant to changing your tools (e.g. profiler was crashing and your workaround, compiler was producing wrong binary and your workaround etc.) Also, in this section you can discuss an aspect from your solution that is very important.


This part should conclude on your contribution. It should highlight the key results from the research work. In this section you should avoid mentioning new terms and statements not discussed throughout the main text. Also general aspects of the research work shouldn’t be repeated here. Conclusion shouldn’t be the abstract written in past tense. The conclusion should derive the important facts out of your work and results that you obtained.

Future Work

What was left unfinished from your work? What are your future plans to develop your work?

3) The back part or Reference matter


Put a list of references.


At the end of your thesis you can attach resources such as source code (or something like ASCII code table) that would improve the completeness of your thesis.

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