Find Trends in your Profession.
In this project, you will search for information that will enable you to identify three top trends in your profession or field. Over the course of the project, you will exercise information literacy skills as you locate and evaluate information, and develop well-reasoned conclusions. Reviewing the many sources available to you, you will choose those that are relevant, timely, and helpful to your quest to understand the issues of your industry. Once you have identified the top trends, you will choose one that is particularly interesting to you or one that you think is the most problematic, and research more deeply to produce an analytical research paper for your team. Your project is intended to prepare the search committee on the issue so that it is well-prepared to interview candidates. This project will prepare you for more complex research projects, as you will refine and hone your ability to create a statement of the problem and find the information you need to produce a well-reasoned, well-supported analysis.
There are three steps that will lead you through this project.
Step 1: Conduct Research to Identify Top Trends
In this step, you will refine your ability to conduct research for information in academic, public, and web domains. This project will require two different kinds of searches. First, you will perform a brief industry analysis to become more knowledgeable about your industry and how it is classified in national databases. From this initial research, you will learn the codes associated with your industry and you will learn where to find and use business research resources. This should enable you to find more specific search terms to help you find the resources that will help you identify the top trends in your industry. Once you have identified the top trends, you will choose an issue in one of the three top trends and conduct more research to provide an analysis of the issue, its effect on the industry, and how an organization would address this issue whether to mitigate or to promote to its own advantage.
Step 2: Choose an Issue to Research Further
In the last step, you used research to identify three top trends in your industry. That was the first part of the project. Now it is time to focus on an issue within one of those trends that you think is noteworthy in your field. This project requires that you review the trends and develop a plan to research the issue further, and synthesize the information you find into a coherent, well-supported analysis. But first, you have to develop a focused research question or statement of the problem. Consider this step similar to the starting point for solving any problem with the scientific method. You first have to identify the problem. Then, when you have researched a bit more, you will form a reasonable assumption (a hypothesis) of what you think might be a potential resolution/answer. You will look for more information that reflects different sides or viewpoints of the issue, and use analytical thinking to arrive at a well-reasoned conclusion. This conclusion may or may not bear out your original first estimate; however, your quest is to arrive at an answer that is well-supported and based on facts. Remember, your objective is to consider the impact of this issue on your industry, so this may be the first step toward a practical solution for your organization.
So, choose an issue from your research on a trend in your industry that has potential for great impact on the field, and then draft a preliminary question or statement of the problem. Your research should reveal if the question has already been answered, or if there is enough information on the topic. Refine your question or statement and submit it to the so what test. Will your answer contribute to knowledge about the issue you have selected? Is the question answerable? Remember that in academic work you would normally avoid normative or open-ended questions, which start with the words should or would, or any question that can be answered with a yes or a no.
Once you have chosen your issue and completed enough research to provide a well-reasoned answer (or solution), you will be ready to write your issue paper. In the next step, you will draft your research paper.
Step3: Write your paper
Your paper will be 5-7 pages, not including your cover page and References page(s), double-spaced, and set up in APA standards. It does not require an abstract.
Your citations, both “in text” and in References, will be in accordance with the APA Style Manual Sixth Edition. You may also find this sample APA paper helpful.
Your headings will follow this general pattern:
Paper Title (First level position, not bold)
Findings (First level heading, centered, bold)
Top Trends of the _____ Industry (Second level heading, bold, flush left)
An important emerging issue in a trend (and what it means in context to the industry) (Second level heading, bold, flush left)
Conclusions (First level heading, centered, bold)
References (New page, first level position, not bold)
MILESTONE: Many students are asked to resubmit their papers based on incomplete or inaccurate citation formats. This milestone will get you off to a good start with APA citations and enable your instructor to check your trends to make sure that you are off to a good start. By the end of Week 2, submit a shell of your paper with the following elements:
a cover sheet in good APA format;
a “template” for your paper that includes the headings;
your opening paragraph that will introduce the industry, the top trends, the issue that you have chosen, and the question that you pose to answer; and,
your draft References page.
Use the APA style guide or APA examples to draft your complete citations.