• 24 AUG 18
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    identify a problem or issue within your organization.

    Writing Assignment #5: Final Report, Part 3, Option 1: Problem or Issue within an Organization

    For writing assignment #5, we complete our Research Report Package for the class. Part 3 of this assignment is the main part.

    Option #1: For this assignment, you will write a report of 2000-3000 words on a problem or issue within your workplace or community.

    You will identify a problem or issue within your organization. This may be a current place of employment or a community group, such as a church, school, homeowner’s association, daycare, recreation center, soccer team, or other group.

    You will then include the following in the report:
    •    define the problem persuasively and accurately
    •    propose a solution or solutions to the problem or issue
    •    present that solution to a decision-maker or group of decision-makers who can implement the recommendation.
    The report will include the following components:
    •    executive summary
    •    transmittal letter or memo
    •    table of contents
    •    introduction in the form of an executive summary
    •    body of the report to include headings and subheadings
    •    conclusion stated as a recommendation for implementation of the solution
    •    References page, with references listed in APA format

    The complete report should be 2000-3000 words, not including the list of references. The purpose of establishing a word count is to ensure the topic chosen is neither too big nor too small. Also, writing within parameters is a common requirement in business communications.

    The complete report should also cite at least six sources. At least two of them should come from peer-reviewed, scholarly journals. Your sources can also include interviews. The sources will be integrated into the paper to explain the problem, provide evidence of the problem, and support the solution. If you are having trouble locating scholarly sources for your topic, you can let me know during the weeks leading up to the due date for the report. I can try to help you or work with you on integrating sources.

    Topics to Help You Come Up with Ideas on this Assignment:
    Some possible workplace research topics are the following.  These are just examples to help you get started.  Please do not feel that you have to select one of these topics.
    •    Going to a wireless network
    •    Going to a paperless office
    •    Switching from Windows to Linux (or other similar switch)
    •    Installing/upgrading company firewall
    •    Establishing a drug policy
    •    Establishing an employee leave donation program
    •    Establishing an equipment donation program for used computers, etc.
    •    Establishing a company recycling program (paper, etc.)
    •    Education/retraining for your employees
    •    Establishing a program for millennial workers (e.g., training on certain aspects of etiquette, on understanding other generations, etc.)
    •    Designing a training program for workplace safety issues
    •    Redesigning employee performance evaluations
    •    Developing a work-at-home (telecommuting) policy
    •    Developing a flex-time policy
    •    Establishing on-site day care or providing other child care benefits
    •    Providing gym membership or creating an on-site workout facility
    •    Creating or revising a charitable contribution policy
    •    Creating or improving a tuition assistance program
    •    Accommodations needed for employee/s with specific health issues (for example, migraines)
    •    Establishing a Habitat for Humanity (or other group) chapter at your organization
    Some students have chosen topics outside of their workplaces, such as the following:
    •    Starting a neighborhood watch program
    •    Starting a mentor program at your place of worship
    •    Getting additional lighting in the neighborhood
    •    Changing traffic patterns around your child’s school
    •    Starting a PTA website for your child’s school
    •    Installing a tot lot in your neighborhood
    •    Constructing a crying baby room at your place of worship
    •    Offering ESL courses at your church
    •    Increasing participation in a military Family Support Group
    •    Introducing a youth sports program to a school or community
    Length: 2000-3000 words, not including the list of references.

    Due Date: The first draft of this assignment is due by the due date in the course calendar.

    How to Submit the Report: Please submit this to Assignments.

    You will receive comments from me on this assignment.  Optionally, you may submit a final draft of the assignment to maximize the learning experience and your course grade.

    ________________________________________

    The following is option #2 for this assignment.

    WRTG 394
    Writing Assignment #5: Final Report, Part 3, Option 2: Literature Review

    For writing assignment #5, we complete our Research Report Package for the class. Part 3 is the main part.

    Option #2: For this assignment, you will write a literature review on an issue in business. You will review the scholarly literature on a topic in the business world. Your paper will integrate at least 10 scholarly sources.

    Organization:

    Your synthesis essay should be organized in the following manner:
    •    Introduction: Write one or two paragraphs in which you introduce the reader to your topic.
    •    Body — the categories into which you are dividing the literature: Divide your sources into a few categories.  A suggestion is that you divide them into three to five categories.
    •    Conclusion: Summarize what the literature says on your topic.

    Approach:

    This semester, you have completed a number of exercises in navigating and finding scholarly articles in OneSearch. You have evaluated several articles in the annotated bibliography. In this assignment you will synthesize the ideas of several authors in a literature review, sometimes called a synthesis essay.

    The following are some examples of topics that might be feasible for this option.

    •    In the field of human resource management, you locate 10 or more scholarly sources on the topic of leadership and its influence on innovation in business.
    •    In the field of cybersecurity, you locate 10 or more scholarly sources on the topic of hackers and crackers and their potential risks.
    •    In the field of finance, you locate 10 or more scholarly sources on the topic of cash flow sensitivity in behavioral corporate finance.
    •    In the field of business management, you locate 10 or more scholarly sources on coaching scales to measure coaching results.
    •    On the topic of millennials, you locate 10 or more scholarly sources on some aspect of millennials in the workforces.  This could be the topic of training,
    •    In the field of gerontology, you locate 10 or more scholarly sources on managing training of older workers.
    •    In the field of human resource management, you locate 10 or more scholarly articles on the topic of influence tactics that subordinates use in working with management.

    In the literature review, will synthesize your findings.  You don’t take a stand or propose any sort of solution to any sort of problem.  You simply review what the literature says on the topic.

    Please note that when you find 10 articles on a topic, those articles represent the beginning, not the end, of your research. You might decide to disregard several of the articles you find because they don’t speak to the specific area on which you have decided to write your literature review.  You might select one article that is very promising for your topic, look up the articles cited in that article, and “snowball” your research in that way.
    In other words, this process is a recursive one. You might find reasons to hone in on and narrow your topic even further after you have found 10 articles.   You would then conduct a bit more research, peruse your additional articles, and eventually hone in on a topic for your literature review.

    How to organize the literature review:

    When you have focused on your topic, determine how you will divide the literature. In other words, consider the following examples we described above:
    You may have researched studies in human resource management.  You have decided to focus on the topic of upward influence, or the attempts that subordinates use to influence someone higher than they are in the hierarchical structure of an organization.
    In perusing the articles you have found, you notice that some studies focus on particular influence tactics, some studies focus on why employees choose particular tactics, and some studies focus on management’s response to subordinates’ influence tactics.

    You might divide the paper as follows:

    Introduction
    Body
    •    Category 1: The various influence tactics employees use
    •    Category 2: Why employees use particular tactics in different situations.
    •    Category 3: Management’s response to subordinates’ influence tactics
    Conclusion

    You may have researched articles on gerontology and found studies that answered three basic questions on how older adults respond to training in a corporate setting.
    You might divide the paper as follows:

    Introduction
    Body
    •    Question 1
    •    Question 2
    •    Question 3
    Conclusion

    You may have researched graphic communications and discovered that the integration of graphics in business report writing has evolved from the 1970s to the present because of advancements in technology.
    You might divide the paper as follows:
    Introduction
    Body
    •    Category 1: graphics in business report writing in the 1970s
    •    Category 2: graphics in business report writing in the 1980s
    •    Category 3: graphics in business report writing in the 1990s
    •    Category 4: graphics in business report writing from 2000 to the present
    Conclusion
    In order for you to see this concept with a real-life example, you can access a sample synthesis or literature review from a psychology student by clicking here. The student writes her paper on the following topic: Emotional Eating: The Perpetual Cycle of Mood-Food Influence. She divides her literature into the following categories:
    •    Influence of Mood on Eating Behavior
    •    Gender Differences
    •    Influence of Eating Behavior on Later Moods
    •    Chronic Stress Response Network
    Notice how she synthesizes and integrates the research into the different categories.

    Approach and Requirements
    Your literature review should be 2000-3000 words, not including your “references” pages at the end of the review.  In other words, the text of the paper should be 2000-3000 words.
    In addition your synthesis essay should include at least 10 scholarly sources in the “references” section.  As stated above, this means that you may locate many more than 10 articles as you pursue your topic. In addition, feel free to integrate more than 10 articles into your paper.
    Some helpful tutorials and guides from UMUC’s Effective Writing Center:

    Click here for a tutorial that features two short videos on writing a literature review.
    Click here for a tutorial on principles in synthesizing multiple sources.

    In synthesizing your research, you are analyzing the topic on which you have conducted research.  Click here for a helpful tutorial on analyzing a topic.

    Some helpful guides from other universities:
    Some very systematic advice from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill can be accessed by clicking here.
    Some helpful advice from the University of Wisconsin-Madison can be accessed by clicking here.

    Length: 2000-3000 words, not including the list of references.

    Due Date: The first draft of this assignment is due by the due date in the Course Calendar and in Course Content.

    How to Submit the Report: Please submit this to Assignments.

    You will receive comments from me on this assignment.  Optionally, you may submit a final draft of the assignment to maximize the learning experience and your course grade.

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