Academic English Skills Coursework 1: Source Evaluation and Essay Outline

Academic English Skills Coursework 1: Source Evaluation and Essay Outline

Name:
A. Student
Class:
AES
Date: Mark:

Essay title or question:

Title:
Individual lifestyle habits have been identified as a factor in workplace productivity. Define healthy lifestyle habits
and discuss the reasons why some individuals
do not have a healthy lifestyle. Discuss the extent to which it should
be the responsibility of employers to encourage their workers to have healthy lifestyle habits.

Part 1: Sources
List a minimum of SIX sources which you have found to be reliable and appropriate for academic use which are
relevant to your essay title.
Asay, G.R.B., Roy, K., Lang, J.E., Payne, R.L., Howard, D.H., (2016) Absenteeism and Employer Costs Associated With
Chronic Diseases and Health Risk Factors in the US Workforce.
Preventing Chronic Disease Vol.13 pp.21 -35
Bond, H. (2014) ‘Food Fact Sheet: Fruit and Vegetables – how to get 5 a day’
BDA the Association of UK Dietitians
[Online] Available: https://www.bda.uk.com/foodfacts/FruitVeg.pdf [Last Accessed 31.03.2017]
Centre for Disease Control & Prevention (2013) ‘Workplace Health Promotion’ [Online] Available at:
http://www.cdc.gov/workplacehealthpromotion/model/control-costs/benefits/productivity.html [Last
Accessed 17.11.17]
Galvin, R. (2002) ‘Disturbing notions of Chronic Illness and Individual Responsibility: Towards a Genealogy of Morals’
Health: An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness and Medicine. April, pp.107-137.
Harvard School of Public Health (2017) ‘Environmental Barriers to Activity’. [Online] Available at:
http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/obesity-prevention-source/obesity-causes/physical-activity environment/ [Last
Accessed 25.11.17]
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (2012) ‘Workplace health’ [Local government briefing] Available
online at: https://www.nice.org.uk/advice/lgb2/chapter/costs-and-savings [Last Accessed 25.12.17]
National Institute on Alcohol abuse and alcoholics (N.D.) ‘Alcohol’s Effects on the Body’ [Online] Available at:
http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/alcohols-effects-body [Last Accessed 25.11.15]
NHS Choices (2013) ‘Why 5 A DAY?’ [Online] Available at:
http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/5ADAY/Pages/Why5ADAY.aspx [Last Accessed 25.11.15]
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (N.D.) ‘Work Life Balance’ [Online] Available at:
http://www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org/topics/work-life-balance/ [Last Accessed 25.11.15]
Stevens, M. (2013) ‘Rising sick bill ‘costs UK business £29bn a year’. [Online] Available at:
http://www.cipd.co.uk/pm/peoplemanagement/b/weblog/archive/2013/07/15/rising-sickbill-costs-uk business-163-
29bn-a-year.aspx [Last Accessed 25.11.15]
Wilkinson R. & Marmot M. (2003)
Social determinants of health: the solid facts. 2nd Edition. Copenhagen: WHO
Regional Office for Europe.

Weng, S.F., Ali, S. and Leonardi-Bee, J. (2013) ‘Smoking and absence from work: systematic review and meta-analysis
of occupational studies’. Addiction
, Vol 108, Issue 2, pp 307–319

Markers Comments:
Referencing: The references are almost accurate – there are minor formatting errors: missing inverted commas in
Asay et al. (2016), missing tab in Stevens, missing italics in Weng et al. (2013)
(Merit)

Part 2: Source Evaluation [Explanation of why you have selected the sources for use.]
Complete the table below for FOUR of the sources you have found.

EVALUATION 1
In-text reference:
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (N.D.)
Why have you chosen this source? Refer to the currency, authority, purpose, reliability of evidence or data,
objectivity, use of expected academic conventions.
Although no author is credited with writing this, it is a reliable source as the OECD is considered to be a reputable
organisation – it is an intergovernmental organisation which works internationally to advise on policies to improve
the economic and social well-being of people around the world.
The report discusses work-life balance in different countries and statistics are updated so it is very current.
There are no citations to external sources within the article which lowers its credibility somewhat- however the
OECD is generally considered to be a reliable source of comparable statistics and data.
How is the source relevant to your title? What are the useful points / arguments made in the text?
This source provides recognised reasons why poor work-life balance is detrimental to physical and mental health.
This information can help to support the point made in paragraph 3 that it could be considered impossible for
people to be solely responsible for their own health. By showing the difficulties of maintaining a healthy work-life
balance today and noting that government policies can help to alleviate these issues, this source suggests that
government schemes and also those implemented in the work place, can help in solving this issue so it is not all
the individual’s responsibility.
Useful points made in the text are:
Long working hours may have a negative impact on health and increase stress levels.
People are too tired when they get home after work- reduces leisure time and the benefits which are associated
with relaxation.
Government policies can help to support work-life balance e.g. UK child care subsidies.

 

EVALUATION 2
In – text reference:
Harvard School of Public Health (2017)
Why have you chosen this source? Refer to the currency, authority, purpose, reliability of evidence or data,
objectivity, use of expected academic conventions.
This source is reliable as it is published research from a reputable academic institution.
The article contains references to numerous other data and research, which adds weight to its academic
credibility. Synthesising from various studies, the article provides an overview of current research on
environmental determinants / impacts on healthy lifestyles.
How is the source relevant to your title? What are the useful points / arguments made in the text?
This source provides information which can be used to provide evidence towards the argument that there are a
number of environmental reasons contributing towards an unhealthy lifestyle and the obesity epidemic- it is not
merely down to individual preference and dietary choices. Findings from research show that a variety of
environmental factors, such as parental activity levels or the socio-economic background can be influential: poor
areas have fewer facilities and cost may play a role when facilities are available. In addition, people living in areas
where security is an issue also report decreased amounts of activity.
Physical exercise: Environmental factors which may determine / influence an individual’s activity levels
Influences can be:
– family
– work
– initiatives at school/ traveling to school/ using facilities afterwards
– neighbourhoods
– government policies
– use of space/ town planning/ access to infrastructure

 

EVALUATION 3
In – text reference:
Bond (2014)
Why have you chosen this source? Refer to the currency, authority, purpose, reliability of evidence or data,
objectivity, use of expected academic conventions.
This source is written for the general public and is not formatted according to academic conventions. However, it
provides the list of sources in a separate document
(https://www.bda.uk.com/foodfacts/food_fact_sheet_information_sources/fruitveginfo).
It is written and reviewed by named dietitians and published by a recognised organisation.
The information is reviewed every three years. The fact sheet uses data from the World Health Organisation
(WHO) which has worldwide recognition. In addition, the information used to provide the fact sheets is standard
accredited.
How is the source relevant to your title? What are the useful points / arguments made in the text?
The fact sheet details the benefits of healthy eating, which will help define contributing factors to a healthy
lifestyle. In particular, the text details the government’s 5-a-day target:
– Fruit and veg vital for good health (nutrients/ antioxidants protecting from disease)
– Lower risk of developing many diseases
– Greater protection against strokes/ some cancers.
This information can be used to add to the list of measures that an individual can employ to ensure their own
health. This information on the benefits of healthy eating will strengthen the other supporting points which detail
what is needed to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It can also show that individuals need to take a certain amount of
responsibility for themselves too as this can make a big difference to their health and well-being.

 

EVALUATION 4
In – text reference:
Asay et al. (2016)
Why have you chosen this source? Refer to the currency, authority, purpose, reliability of evidence or data,
objectivity, use of expected academic conventions.
This is an academic study which has been peer-reviewed and is published by the Centres for Disease Control
Prevention, an American governmental organisation which is accountable and reputable. The study is current,
relevant and the information is fully referenced to academic articles. It is written as a guide for the general public,
so it is not written in an academic manner. However, the CDC is a reputable organisation, working on behalf of the
US government, so it is reliable enough for use.
How is the source relevant to your title? What are the useful points / arguments made in the text?
This study focuses on the impact of chronic diseases and unhealthy behaviours on work productivity, by looking at
3 risk factors: smoking, physical inactivity and obesity.
Annual absenteeism increases with the risk factors- and costs over $2 billion a year.
This source provides evidence for the argument that obese/ unhealthy workers take more sick days, which costs
the companies and society money. The information supports the idea that companies would benefit from getting
involved and assuming some of the responsibility in tackling lifestyle issues since by reducing poor productivity
and absenteeism, they would gain financially.

 

Marker’s Comments:
Source Selection: This list contains useful and reliable sources of information: academic journals, government
information websites and books, indicating a significant amount of research has been done.
(Distinction)
Source Evaluation: All sources are clearly identified as being reliable considering a range of factors – currency,
authorship, purpose, academic conventions and objectivity.
(Distinction)

 

Marker’s Comments:
Understanding of Sources: The relevance of all sources to the topic is clearly and fully explained, and the
indication of how the source will be used to support points in the student’s essay is explicit. The student is able to
effectively identify and summarise key points of the articles.
(Distinction)

Part 3: Essay Outline

Title:
Individual lifestyle habits have been identified as a factor in workplace productivity. Define healthy lifestyle habits
and discuss the reasons why some individuals
do not have a healthy lifestyle. Discuss the extent to which it should
be the responsibility of employers to encourage their workers to have healthy lifestyle habits.
Introduction:
[BACKGROUND] Modern lifestyles are very fast and hectic, hindering the adoption of healthy lifestyles. Therefore,
obesity and related health issues are now a common problem. Health is increasingly seen to be a factor in a worker’s
ability to work well and productively…. [OUTLINE] This essay will outline the key causes of an unhealthy lifestyle and
discuss arguments both for and against the assumption of responsibility for workers’ health by employers
[POSITION] and will conclude that employers should take some responsibility for the health of their workers.
Your position / thesis statement:
Employers should assume some responsibility for the health of their workers.
Paragraph 1: Purpose To introduce and define a healthy lifestyle.
Topic sentence: There are 5 elements to include in a healthy lifestyle.
Main Point /Supporting points / Evidence, example or data / in-text citation [information prominent]
1) diet – minimum of 5 fruit and veg (Bond, 2014)
2) no smoking (Centres for disease control and prevention, 2014)
3) limited alcohol consumption (National Institute on Alcohol abuse and alcoholism, ND)
4) physical activities – sports, walking, even gardening (US Department of Health & Human Services, 2008)
5) keep weight low. How? Diet and exercise. (National heart Lung and Blood Institute, ND)
If individuals follow the 5 points above, they will maintain and improve their health and thus lead a happier and
longer life.
Paragraph 2: Purpose To explain why an unhealthy lifestyle may be common.
Topic sentence: There are a number of reasons why some people nowadays do not have a healthy lifestyle
Main Point /Supporting points / Evidence, example or data / in-text citation [information prominent]
Too many people nowadays have too little time to cook healthy food due to:
1) long working hours (OECD, n.d)
2) tiredness when they arrive home after stressful day at work (OECD, n.d.)
3) very busy so buy quick meals (unhealthy / junk food) (OECD, n.d.)
Paragraph 3: Purpose To develop the argument that health is not solely the responsibility of the individual.
Topic sentence: The ability to maintain a healthy lifestyle may be affected by environmental factors which are out
of an individual’s control

 

Main Point /Supporting points / Evidence, example or data / in-text citation [information prominent]
It is very easy for experts to give advice about how to lead a healthy lifestyle but for many people the realities of
their work and daily life make it not always possible to follow the advice.
– Influence and guidance from parents/ family (Harvard School of Public Health, 2017)
– No facilities nearby for sports/ or financial limitations if they are available (Harvard School of Public Health, 2017)
– Possible effect of the local area in terms of personal security (Harvard School of Public Health, 2017)
Paragraph 4: Purpose To introduce and rebut a counter-argument.
Topic sentence: Neo-Liberal governments in recent years have argued that health is the responsibility of the
individual (Galvin, 2002). However, it is impossible to see health as the responsibility of the individual alone.
Main Point /Supporting points / Evidence, example or data / in-text citation [information prominent]
The social model of health reveals multiple factors influence individual health (Wilkinson & Marmot, 2003):
1) Social exclusion/poverty
2) Effect of early life on health and lifestyle
3) Work stress/ work-life balance (OECD, n.d.)
4) Transport options
It is clear that the individual cannot be held solely responsible for his or her good or bad health.
Paragraph 5: Purpose To introduce and rebut a second counter-argument.
Topic sentence: It could be argued that employers should not be made to assume responsibility for the health of
their workers. However, there is a business case for employers assuming some responsibility because this will save
the organisation money.
Main Point /Supporting points / Evidence, example or data / in-text citation [information prominent]
Economic argument for businesses taking an interest in employees’ health
Supporting points:
1) Saving on sick days: Smokers take more sick days than non-smokers
Obese people take more sick days than non-obese workers – Source: (Centre for Disease Control &
Prevention, 2013)
2) The yearly cost to the UK economy is £29 billion (Stevens, 2013)
Paragraph 6: Purpose To develop the argument for businesses taking responsibility
Topic sentence: Aside from the financial incentive, there are a number of sound business reasons for employers
assuming some responsibility for the healthy lifestyles of their employees.
Main Point /Supporting points / Evidence, example or data / in-text citation [information prominent]
Increased productivity:
– Healthy people are generally happier than unhealthy people they probably work harder (Stevens, 2013)
– Worker ill-health leads to reduces work output – Source: (Centre for Disease Control & Prevention, 2013;
Asay et al, 2016)
– In America, research shows that workplace health programmes reduce ‘presenteeism’, i.e. reduced
productivity when at work – Source: (Stevens, 2013; Asay et al, 2016)

 

Conclusions:
This essay has defined healthy lifestyle habits and shown looked at the reasons why ….

 

Marker’s Comments:
Development of an outline: The outline is incredibly detailed and is clear to follow. This is a fully developed essay
plan, including clear indication of how the sources will be synthesised and incorporated into the essay.
(Distinction)
Use of sources: The outline clearly indicates how sources will be used to support points. The student has included
counter-arguments as well as supporting his/her points, taking a reasoned and balanced approach to the essay.
Note: There are a couple of references cited as support which are not in the reference list – this needs to be
amended.
(Distinction)

 

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