ACCT 320 Course Project Paper and Presentation

ACCT 320 Course Project Paper and Presentation



For this assignment you will select a case involving fraud, waste, and abuse with issues of both fraud detection and fraud deterrence. You will develop a PowerPoint presentation about the case you reviewed, your thoughts about the case, and any information you would like to comment on to your classmates.

The research paper requirement for ACCT320 is consistent with the UMUC’s objective to develop a student’s use of computer technology to perform research in his or her field and to develop written communications skills.

The course project paper due for this course is to be five to six pages in length, double-spaced, and followed by references. One inch margins are to be used with a 12-pitch font. The paper, including a reference list, is to comply with the American Psychological Association (APA) style rules. Times New Roman font is very readable and standard for APA formatting. Further information on APA style and formatting is available from the UMUC online library system and from the LEO classroom links. Completed papers are to be posted to the student Assignments folder.

Several typical issues are highlighted here to assist you with writing the paper. First, the first lines of all paragraphs in this paper are to be indented one-half inch. This can be done with the Tab key at the beginning of each paragraph or by paragraph formatting. Second, APA formatting uses in-text citations to identify the source you obtained information from in support of a statement in your paper. A reference list without citations to identify what source supports a factual statement in your explanation is not of much value. Third, there is a format to be used for listings in your reference list at the end of the paper. A list of hyperlinks is not a reference list. At a minimum, try to develop correctly formatted reference list entries for the articles or books you considered and base your statements on. Lastly, each item in the reference list is to have a related in-text citation within the paper or posting you provide. That means the reference list at the end of the paper should be pruned of sources you might have read, but do not have a statement in the paper where that source has been cited.

For the course project paper, include a minimum of six references. The references should be from reliable sources, like highly recognized publications, such as the Wall Street Journal or journal articles found with the UMUC electronic library. When using the UMUC library for your research, the two boxes should be checked for “peer-reviewed” and “full-text” articles. Using these criteria will assure you have well-respected sources supporting your work. Wikipedia and general information from the Internet do not meet this standard. It is best to retain a copy of the materials cited as sources in the submitted document. Links to cited documents could sometimes become unavailable for retrieval before a paper is completed. It also might be helpful to use the document copies to support the conclusions in a submitted paper. Documentation is an important aspect of developing a good investigation file. Textbooks are not appropriate references for this purpose.

Plagiarism is a form of academic dishonesty. Copying material from another source and pasting the words from that source into a paper is not acceptable. The objective of research and writing is to read source material, digest the content of that information, and then write a summary or persuasive presentation about the topic or case using the writer’s own words to support various opinions or conclusions.

Students are urged to paraphrase rather than to include multiple direct quotations from other sources in their papers. Papers with many quotations sometimes leave the impression the writer did not fully appreciate the content in the identified sources. When quotations are used, typically they are used because the words from another are unique or apply in a special way to the issue or opinion the writer is presenting. Quotations in papers must include an APA citation, including a page or paragraph number where the quotation can be found within the cited reference work. Statements based on sources that have been paraphrased typically do not require inclusion of page or paragraph numbers in the provided in-text citations.

To be clear, it is not acceptable to copy and paste sentences or a paragraph or more into a student paper, and then include an intext citation to the source at the end of the copied material. The objective of papers for the class is to develop student awareness of the content and to improve student ability to think and present material about fraud cases in a professional way. Use of the student’s own wording and explanations is very beneficial. That is the objective!

The UMUC Library Services Web is a good source for information about research sources and style. Access can be found at:

The course project paper will address a case involving fraud. waste, and abuse with issues of both fraud detection and fraud deterrence. The topic must be presented to and approved by the professor before you start to work on the paper. Propose your case for review during Week 1 or Week 2. Coordinating with the professor is not to be an impediment, but to ensure you have a fraud case you can be successful with. On one hand, the focus must be on a particular case; on the other hand, it is necessary the case be suitable to address with some specificity in a five to six page narrative paper.

Through the paper, demonstrate your mastery of the course material. Include key concepts in the presentation and discussion of the case selected and approved for the paper. Topics should be presented logically, bringing together the work of various authors who have written about the case presented. It is also fine to refer to sources about the nature of the crime involved (such as embezzlement).

As a suggestion, most successful papers have followed the general guidelines discussed for the current events papers, but in a longer format because the longer paper discusses a considerably more complex case. Successful papers will likely include the following:

  • Identification of the key issues posed by the case.
  • The applicable stakeholders and their rights and obligations.
  • Which choices were or are available and what were or are the costs or tradeoffs?
  • Comment on how the situation was or should be resolved.
  • Who (individual or group) was or will be impacted by the situation?
  • Any questions you believe should be considered by your readers about the case that will add substance to learning.
  • A paragraph to express your opinion about the case and issues involved. Be sure to back up your opinions. Remember, this is your opinion about the case and issues involved, not about how the article you are referring to was written.
  • Verify there is a reference with your paper to the article you are addressing. Usually that is referred to with an in-text reference in the sentence where you first refer to the article you selected.

The following topics are offered as possible types of cases for the class project paper. You are certainly encouraged to come back for a change in the case selected, if it turns out you find insufficient material published to work with. That does happen and is not considered a negative event. The professor’s objective here is to be helpful. This list is only provided as a sample of leads for the type of cases you might focus on for the paper. Some students have an interest in a particular case he or she is aware of and desires to research that case in greater depth. That is fine and will be accommodated where possible.

Past Topics

Accounting scandals

Identity theft case

Insurance fraud case

Financial statement fraud case

Bribery and/or corruption case

Check and/or credit card fraud case

Health care fraud case

Bankruptcy fraud case

Tax fraud case

Securities fraud case

Consumer fraud case

Computer and Internet fraud case

Contract or procurement fraud case

Asset misappropriation case



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