Learning outcomes

After studying this unit you will be able to:

  • appreciate the historical development of ‘Europe’ as a political and economic entity;

  • understand the rationale for the emergence of the idea of ‘Europe’ in policy making;

  • see the difficulty in defining what Europe is and its limits;

  • understand the contested nature of the idea of Europe;

  • understand that ‘Europe’ is not coterminous with the European Union;


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3.3 Other disadvantaged groups

Information on other disadvantaged groups, such as older workers or people with disabilities, is even harder to come by. The problems faced by older workers in the labour market have become an increasing cause for concern in recent years. The nature of the disadvantage faced by older workers is, however, much harder to uncover and the evidence is often anecdotal. One trend that has become evident during the past three decades is the difficulty older workers have in obtaining any work and, in
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4.2.2 Network

In the same way as in the network shown in Figure 8, this network conveys the data to the receiver, selecting the most appropriate route for it to travel. In order to do this, the network may need to manipulate and store or retrieve data.

Your computer sends the FirstClass message
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7.4 Understanding RFID tags

An RFID tag consists of a microchip and an antenna and some kind of encapsulation, such as epoxy resin, to bind the two together and protect them. Tags come in a variety of shapes and sizes (Figure 20), and are generally one of two main types: active or passive. You
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7.3 RFID technology

There are three main components in an RFID system:

5.3 The speed of development

E-commerce consultants speak of a web year. This is the time which it takes to bring to implementation a conventional system that would normally take a calendar year to develop. Current estimates are that one calendar year is equivalent to seven web years. Nowhere is there more of an imperative for companies to develop products and services quickly, together with the computing infrastructure required to support them, than in e-commerce. In software engineering terms this has given rise to a n
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2.7 Other commercial websites

So far I have detailed e-commerce applications which are connected with very large organisations; to conclude this section it is worth looking at a number of smaller applications, many of which are distinguished by the fact that they are novel. They are in contrast to the applications discussed in previous subsections which mainly consist of standard functions such as order processing.

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1.8 Maintenance

Databases are one of the more enduring software engineering artefacts; it is not uncommon to find database implementations whose use can be traced back for 15 years or more. Consequently, maintenance of the database is a key issue.

Maintenance can take three main forms:

  • Operational maintenance, where the performance of the database is monitored. If it falls below some acceptable standard, then reorganisation of the database, usuall
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1.7 Testing

The aim of testing is to uncover errors in the design and implementation of the database, its structure, constraints and associated user and management support. Testing is usually considered to involve two main tasks – validation and verification. Without adequate testing users will have little confidence in their data processing.

Validation answers the question: has the right database been developed to meet the requirements? It attempts to confirm that the right database has been co
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1.6.4 Supporting data management strategies

Most of the development we've covered so far in this unit has focused on meeting specific user requirements – that is, ensuring the right data are constrained correctly and made available to the right user processes. However, other questions must also be addressed in order to support a data management strategy: How frequently should data be backed-up? What auditing mechanisms are required? Which users will be permitted to perform which functions? Which database tools and user processes wil
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5.2.2 Opening up ideas: analysing the question

What do you need to know about your assignment? Most importantly, what it's about (i.e. the topic). Once you have worked this out, you are in a better position to gauge how much you already know and how much you will need to find out.

Activity 9

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5.1 Estimating the time for the task

First you need to know how much time you have available for your assignment. The pacing of your studies comes outside the scope of this unit, but it can be very de-motivating when you no longer feel in control of your studies because – for whatever reason – you have fallen behind. So it is extremely important to meet the deadlines set by the course team in your course calendar whenever possible.

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4.3 Essays

Now let's turn to essays.

Activity 4

Note down what you consider to be the purpose of an essay.

Discussion

Michel de Montaigne, a French philosopher,
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4.2 Reports

Let's look at reports first.

Activity 3

Note down what you consider to be the purpose of a report.

Discussion

Your answer may well depend on the subje
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4.1 Writing requirements

Being a successful writer in one area doesn't always make it easy to know what is required in another. Here are some general questions that you can ask to help define the requirements for particular pieces of writing:

  • What will my tutor be expecting? (this is sometimes phrased as ‘think about the audience’)

  • What is the most appropriate format: report or essay? Do I have a choice, or is it stipulated in any guidance notes I've been
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2.2 Developing writing styles

If any of the statements on the previous page rings true, let us reassure you: many other students are feeling the same as you. Writing skills can be learned. We want to emphasise straightaway that this is a process that can be continually developed.

There is no single ‘correct’ way of writing: different academic disciplines demand different styles. This can be confusing if you feel that you've mastered what is required for one course, only to find that something different is
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2.1 Your feelings about writing

Think for a moment about your reasons for studying this unit. Is it perhaps because you don't understand what is expected of you in your assignments, or that you aren't clear about how to improve? What are your feelings about your writing skills? What previous experience have you had (if any) of essay or report writing?

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Learning outcomes

After studying this unit you should be able to:

  • understand what writing an assignment involves;

  • identify their strength and weaknesses;

  • consider the functions of essays and reports;

  • develop writing skills, whatever the stage they have reached.


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Acknowledgements

Except for third party materials and otherwise stated (see terms and conditions), this content is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Licence

Grateful acknowledgement is made to the following sources for permission to reproduce material in this unit:

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8.6 Research skills

This kind of work teaches some very valuable skills:

  • how to set about an enquiry

  • how and where to find source material and information

  • how to make your own investigations

  • strategic planning

  • time management

  • cutting corners and being pragmatic

  • analysing and interpreting primary and secondary source material

  • forming your own conclusions<
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