Research Assignment

Research Assignment

‘Acceptance is a definite and unqualified assent to an offer, on all of its terms. Any acceptance given conditionally will not result in a legally binding agreement.’

Discuss the accuracy of the above statement with reference to Australian contract law.

Your answer should include reference to a number of relevant cases, focusing on explaining the decisions of the court in each, rather than merely summarising the facts.  You should discuss the role acceptance plays in contract formation, including explanation and discussion of the way the courts have responded to conditional or qualified ‘acceptance’, citing the relevant judicial decisions.

You must use a number of reputable academic sources outside of the prescribed text and follow the AGLC guide for footnotes and bibliography.

Marks are specifically awarded for the above. Failure to conduct adequate research or to properly acknowledge sources may result in failing the assignment or further penalties.


Please read the following instructions carefully and ensure that you follow ALL instructions below.

1.    This is an individual research assignment – under no circumstances are students permitted to work together on the assignment. Students must use texts, scholarly articles and reputable online resources for their research, and these items, together with relevant cases and legislation, should be referred to in the assignment.

2.    The assignment is to be 2,000 words (+/-10%) in length. Students who fail to reach or exceed the word limit within the stated tolerance will have marks deducted. A word count (not including footnotes and bibliography) must be provided with hard copy of assignment.

3.    The assignment must be typed or printed on one side only of A4 paper with 1.5 or double spacing and leaving a left-hand margin wide enough for examiners’ comments and corrections.

4.    The completed assignment must be submitted in both hard copy and electronically via the Assignment Dropbox/Turnitin link provided on the unit’s VU Collaborate page.

5.    An electronic copy must be submitted by week 8 of the semester (see Assignment drop box or Calendar for due date).  Assignments submitted after the due date will incur late penalties of 10% of the total mark (3 marks) per day late.

6.    The completed assignment must be submitted with a scanned “Assignment Cover Sheet” (obtainable from the unit’s VU Collaborate space) and properly completed in all respects. Students must retain a copy of their own assignment.

7.    The assignment must include footnotes, a bibliography.  Students are required to adhere to the Australian Guide to Legal Citation (AGLC) for footnotes, references and bibliography and must not employ an alternative method (e.g., the Harvard method).

Marks will be deducted where students fail to adhere to the AGLC guidelines.  Failure to include footnotes and bibliography in the required format may constitute breaches of the VU plagiarism policy.

8.    You must study the notes on plagiarism contained in this guide. All assignments must be submitted electronically and will generate a Turnitin similarity report. Students must aim for less than 30% similarity. Assignments can be submitted on multiple occasions until the due date, so that students can amend the assignment as necessary in order to comply with plagiarism and originality requirements.

9.    Assignments will be marked out of a possible 30 marks. Students are assessed on their demonstrated understanding of the issues, legal principles and relevant case law and legislation. Marks are also allocated specifically for breadth of research and compliance with the AGLC.

10.    Students are expected to conduct research outside of the prescribed course materials and to use reputable academic sources.  A minimum of 6 sources is expected. Be very careful if using Internet sources, as many of these are not of academic standard. Consult the VU library site and links provided on VU Collaborate for reputable Internet sources. Sites such as Wikipedia,, student papers or notes available on the internet and similar are unacceptable.

11.    Whilst there is no prescribed number of footnotes required, students are advised that at least 20 is desirable. More may be necessary in order to properly acknowledge sources according to the VU plagiarism guidelines.

Important additional information for Students:

NOTE:  If it is established that the whole or part of the work of any student has been copied and submitted as original work by another student, neither student will receive any mark for the relevant work. Inevitably, both students will fail the subject and may, at the discretion of the examiner, be subject to other disciplinary processes within the University.

Please check the originality report on Turnitin and read the VU plagiarism guidelines to ensure that your work is not plagiarised.  It is solely students’ responsibility to ensure compliance with the above.  A link to the VU plagiarism guidelines is provided for students on VU Collaborate.

Footnotes must be used to acknowledge the source or sources of information contained in the assignment, whether using direct quotes or paraphrasing.

Relevant cases include:

•    Pym v Campbell
•    Meehan v Jones
•    Scammel v Ouston
•    Whitlock v Brew
•    Masters v Cameron
•    Souter v Shyamba
•     Leitch v Natwest Australia Bank
•    Attorney General v Humphries Estate

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