re write suraya

Research Paper Guidelines and Instructions

 

 

Purpose 

This term paper helps you gain skill in applying critical elements of the problem solving process.   In addition, it enhances your understanding of real business problems and opportunities, and how you can benefit from using a systematic approach in solving them.  While completing this project you’ll have the opportunity to choose a company that interests you, research that company in order to uncover and prioritize some of the strategic and tactical problems facing the management team, and use the problem-solving framework from class to develop some creative solutions to the chosen problem.  You’ll also enhance your long-term perspective and understanding of corporate sustainability by recognizing how economic issues interact with social and/or environmental issues in real business settings.

 

 

Expectations

Although the final report is due at the end of the term, I would suggest that you not wait until the last minute to complete this assignment.  As we review key elements of the problem-solving framework throughout the term, you’ll probably want to immediately apply them to your project (you can see that I’m an optimistic guy).  In this way, as you run into issues and concerns, you can discuss them with your group or with me.  This is a research paper, and good research takes time.  You will be required to provide a draft of your term paper to your group members at the end of the term for review.  It always helps to let others review and critique your work.  They can often see things that you can’t, sometimes just because you are too close to the material.  Early on in the term you will be required to provide a draft problem description for your paper as part of a homework assignment.  You will also have a chance to review this with your group.  This is a crucial part of the project.  If the problem is defined poorly or too generally, it will adversely affect the rest of your paper – and your grade!    

 

 

Problem Selection

 

I have purposely not selected the corporate problems for you, only a list of possible companies for your research.  Early in the course we will discuss Problem Description as a key step in the problem-solving process.  You can’t solve a problem if you can’t identify a problem.  Too often in past terms students have defined a problem as a goal, or an objective, or an issue.  Problem definition begins with identifying symptoms. Symptoms are indicators.  Find a gap between the actual and the desired or a contradiction between principle and practice.  We’ll talk more about this in class.  You’ll need to do preliminary research on your chosen company in order to uncover some of the problems they face in today’s global business arena, and then pick one that you specifically wish to explore further in the context of the term paper. 

 

 

Academic Honesty

The project is an individual project, and it is critical that you do your own work.  Some of you may choose the same company.  Although I would encourage you to discuss the project both inside and outside the class, the final work you submit must be your own.  Trust me, I’ll know.  And you will be penalized.

 

Final Report Structure

 

The final term paper requires a specific structure and format.  You might think that this is restrictive.  In a real business environment, you will often be faced with situations where you need to produce a work product that adheres to specific requirements.  Get used to it!  Express your creative energy in the content and quality of your thought process, critical thinking, research strategy and solutions.  Plus, a fixed format helps me to grade consistently.  The final paper should describe the problem you have addressed, the solution you propose, and the outcomes the organization can expect in implementing your solution.  The template provided on D2L clearly shows the format required for the paper.  Look that over early in the term.  

 

Write the paper as if I am the audience.  I will read and grade the paper with these questions in mind:

 

1.) Is the problem you describe actually a problem, is it supported by data that you have collected, and is it important to the organization?  

2.) Have you exhaustively generated a creative set of possible solutions?

3.)Will the solution you propose effectively address the problem, and have you chosen that solution using effective and proven decision-making techniques?

4.)Have you made a convincing, evidence-based argument for you choice?

5.)Will an allocation of corporate resources achieve the benefits you describe?  

 

Your report should convince the decision-maker that the solution you recommend can improve the firm’s multiple bottom line (we’ll discuss this in class if you’re not familiar with the phrase) and is worth pursuing.  

 

 Your final report should be very carefully organized and formatted – using the guideline found in the template on D2L.  Use subheadings and highlighting (italics, boldface etc.) as necessary to guide the reader through your work.  Use bullet points and numbering to draw attention to lists of important items.  Make sure that your formatting style, organizational approach, and level of detail are consistent throughout the report. Use a formal tone appropriate for business documents.  Be consistent with use of tense and person.  When presenting numerical data, use appropriate guidelines to present your data effectively.  Use 12-point Times New Roman for body copy, and 14-point Arial Bold for major headings (see the template on the course website).  

 

As for length, the term paper should be at least ten (10) pages long, not counting the Table of Contents, the bibliography page or any necessary appendices, and no longer than 20 pages.  And, if you fill the paper with charts and diagrams, make sure you have ten pages of text.  Use the font guidelines listed above, and make sure it’s double-spaced and one-sided.  I know that it seems like a waste of paper, but single-sided is much easier to grade if I’m reading many papers at the end of the term.  And you don’t want me to be cranky when I’m reading your paper.  

 

You are expected to follow MLA style guidelines for all citations in the text and on your bibliography page.  Be particularly careful when citing materials collected through PSU Library online databases, such as EBSCO Host. The MLA has a web site but does not publish its guidelines there.  However, there are many other sources for citation examples, such as:

 

  http://honolulu.hawaii.edu/library/researchguides.html.  

 

You can also find printed MLA style guidelines in the library and at the writing center.

 

Final Thoughts

The term paper is 35 percent of your final grade.  It’s hard to get an A in this class if you don’t do well on this project.  Start early, particularly the background research and problem definition.  Outline your thoughts and update the outline as we cover the problem-solving framework in class.  As mentioned on the first page, the problem definition is critical, so make sure you spend some time on it.  Trust me, it will help the rest of the paper go more smoothly.  If you’re having problems, come see me with your questions.  I’m happy to help.

 

Lastly, good research is the backbone of the paper.  And, as I will repeat in class, this means more than just a Google search.  Google is a terrific resource, but the PSU Library website is a better one.  Experts claim that Google and other common search engines only give you access to less than 1 percent of the data on the Internet.  The rest of the information is in the “deep” Web.  Corporate and other private databases make up much of this data, and the PSU Library will give you access to some of this.  And I had better not see Wikipedia as a source in your citation list.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Term Paper Title

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your Name (14 pt Times New Roman)

BA 301 Final Term Paper

Section Number (e.g., Section 002)

Date

 

Table of Contents

 

Executive Summary3

Situation Analysis5

Problem Analysis & Description6

Solutions, Evaluation & Recommendation8

Implementation Plan9

Success Metrics10

Bibliography12

 

Executive Summary (this should be in 14 pt Bold Arial) 

 

This is the first paragraph of your executive summary.  It should be indented, it should be double-spaced, and it should be in 12 pt Times New Roman font (as should the rest of the body of your term paper).  An executive summary should be no longer than two pages (and preferably shorter), and should be written after your paper has been completed.  It is a complete summary of your recommendations, and the reader should get a clear picture from this section alone.  Assume that the reader reads nothing else.  The rest of this is just filler text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Nam et ante non nisi gravida hendrerit. Suspendisse potenti. Aliquam lacinia purus ac sem. Vestibulum lectus justo, cursus ac, dictum et, vehicula ut, augue. Aenean metus diam, suscipit sit amet, vestibulum nec, congue vel, augue. Mauris nonummy purus sit amet elit. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Aenean egestas condimentum risus. Integer nec dui. Etiam eu lectus. Morbi vel elit non erat auctor convallis. Praesent tempus varius neque. Sed enim ligula, tincidunt auctor, pharetra ac, convallis non, orci. Suspendisse potenti. Cras erat. In ultricies consequat lacus. Aenean ipsum tortor, dignissim eget, pretium id, ultricies non, lectus. Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos hymenaeos. Curabitur aliquet. Vestibulum nec quam. 

Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Donec semper, risus ut consequat egestas, sapien sem sodales augue, in blandit magna massa vel tortor. Aliquam erat volutpat. Pellentesque quis nisi eget urna condimentum egestas. Vestibulum justo lacus, varius sed, placerat vitae, placerat quis, pede. Praesent molestie interdum pede. Fusce semper posuere lectus. Nam vel metus nec risus accumsan semper. Curabitur a nibh. Cras quam. Morbi eu ante tincidunt lectus lacinia bibendum. Nullam justo ipsum, fermentum vitae, semper vel, blandit ut, quam. Fusce mauris mauris, venenatis pretium, interdum eu, imperdiet sed, elit. Phasellus hendrerit. Phasellus blandit volutpat felis. Donec sit amet nulla at erat ullamcorper volutpat. Suspendisse massa lacus, egestas vitae, ullamcorper sed, luctus id, est. Maecenas blandit, neque in varius varius, purus dui tempus dolor, nec elementum sem dui egestas tortor. Sed pretium ultricies nibh. 

Sed elementum. Donec tincidunt convallis leo. Morbi nec tellus. Phasellus elementum tincidunt tortor. Nulla facilisi. Nunc tempus mattis pede. Cras pretium interdum nulla. Mauris commodo aliquet erat. Integer pellentesque orci non nisi. In arcu. In mattis. Integer scelerisque orci at mi. Vivamus magna dui, accumsan non, suscipit et, consequat et, nisi. Curabitur iaculis. Morbi imperdiet rutrum turpis. Duis pharetra sem non lorem. Aenean lectus neque, adipiscing et, lacinia non, porttitor in, ante.

 

 

Situation Analysis

This section explores the context and background of the problem solving situation for your chosen company, and it should start on a new page after the Executive Summary.  This is the only section that starts on a new page!  This is where you attempt to understand the organization’s goals, mission/vision and key stakeholders, and it will guide the rest of your problem-solving activity.  This is where you might include key historical financial information and a SWOT analysis.  Create relevant charts and graphs that will give the reader a concise, yet complete, picture of what happening with the company at this point in time.  This section should leverage from Homework Assignment #1, and might even be an edited and revised version of that assignment.

This section should be at least a page or two and could be longer.  The rest of this text is just filler and does not reflect actual length.  Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Nam et ante non nisi gravida hendrerit. Suspendisse potenti. Aliquam lacinia purus ac sem. Vestibulum lectus justo, cursus ac, dictum et, vehicula ut, augue. Aenean metus diam, suscipit sit amet, vestibulum nec, congue vel, augue. Mauris nonummy purus sit amet elit. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Aenean egestas condimentum risus. Integer nec dui. Etiam eu lectus. Morbi vel elit non erat auctor convallis. Praesent tempus varius neque. Sed enim ligula, tincidunt auctor, pharetra ac, convallis non, orci. Suspendisse potenti. Cras erat. In ultricies consequat lacus. Aenean ipsum tortor, dignissim eget, pretium id, ultricies non, lectus. Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos hymenaeos. Curabitur aliquet. Vestibulum nec quam. 

Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Donec semper, risus ut consequat egestas, sapien sem sodales augue, in blandit magna massa vel tortor. Aliquam erat volutpat. Pellentesque quis nisi eget urna condimentum egestas. Vestibulum justo lacus, varius sed, placerat vitae, placerat quis, pede. Praesent molestie interdum pede. Fusce semper posuere lectus. Nam vel metus nec risus accumsan semper. Curabitur a nibh. Cras quam. Morbi eu ante tincidunt lectus lacinia bibendum. Nullam justo ipsum, fermentum vitae, semper vel, blandit ut, quam. Fusce mauris mauris, venenatis pretium, interdum eu, imperdiet sed, elit. Phasellus hendrerit. Phasellus blandit volutpat felis. Donec sit amet nulla at erat ullamcorper volutpat. Suspendisse massa lacus, egestas vitae, ullamcorper sed, luctus id, est. Maecenas blandit, neque in varius varius, purus dui tempus dolor, nec elementum sem dui egestas tortor. Sed pretium ultricies nibh. 

Problem Analysis & Description

Use this section to explore the critical issues facing the organization and ultimately define and describe a problem that will be your focus for the remainder of the paper.  In other words, you will solve the problem identified and described in this section in the following sections of the paper.  Gather additional data, analyze that data, identify key symptoms, prioritize these symptoms and find connections and relationships between them, if any.  Symptoms are the indicators of the ultimate problem.  They are the “gaps” talked about in class.  Provide a clear, focused problem description by the end of the section.  Be specific.  Include numbers, if you can.  Back it up with data gathered during your research.  Use some root cause analysis to ensure that you aren’t mistaking symptoms for causes.  Refer back to the Situation Analysis section and note any new stakeholders and any conflicts with the corporation’s mission and vision.  As I finish reading this section, I should have a clear idea of the problem you are solving throughout the rest of the paper.  If there is no single cause for your problem, list the range of possible causes.  Use the next section of the paper to refine the problem in order to generate solutions.

The rest of this text is just filler and does not reflect actual length.  Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Nam et ante non nisi gravida hendrerit. Suspendisse potenti. Aliquam lacinia purus ac sem. Vestibulum lectus justo, cursus ac, dictum et, vehicula ut, augue. Aenean metus diam, suscipit sit amet, vestibulum nec, congue vel, augue. Mauris nonummy purus sit amet elit. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Aenean egestas condimentum risus. Integer nec dui. Etiam eu lectus. Morbi vel elit non erat auctor convallis. Praesent tempus varius neque. Sed enim ligula, tincidunt auctor, pharetra ac, convallis non, orci. Suspendisse potenti. Cras erat. In ultricies consequat lacus. Aenean ipsum tortor, dignissim eget, pretium id, ultricies non, lectus. Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos hymenaeos. Curabitur aliquet. Vestibulum nec quam. 

Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Donec semper, risus ut consequat egestas, sapien sem sodales augue, in blandit magna massa vel tortor. Aliquam erat volutpat. Pellentesque quis nisi eget urna condimentum egestas. Vestibulum justo lacus, varius sed, placerat vitae, placerat quis, pede. Praesent molestie interdum pede. Fusce semper posuere lectus. Nam vel metus nec risus accumsan semper. Curabitur a nibh. Cras quam. Morbi eu ante tincidunt lectus lacinia bibendum. Nullam justo ipsum, fermentum vitae, semper vel, blandit ut, quam. Fusce mauris mauris, venenatis pretium, interdum eu, imperdiet sed, elit. Phasellus hendrerit. Phasellus blandit volutpat felis. Donec sit amet nulla at erat ullamcorper volutpat. Suspendisse massa lacus, egestas vitae, ullamcorper sed, luctus id, est. Maecenas blandit, neque in varius varius, purus dui tempus dolor, nec elementum sem dui egestas tortor. Sed pretium ultricies nibh. Maecenas blandit, neque in varius varius, purus dui tempus dolor, nec elementum sem dui egestas tortor. Sed pretium ultricies nibh.

Solutions, Evaluation & Recommendation

Based on the problem described in the previous section, develop at least three possible solutions and describe them in as much detail as possible given the constraints of the paper.  This is the decision-making part of the paper.  Use some of the tools from class to evaluate the solutions and make an informed recommendation.  A weighted criteria decision matrix is a great tool to use in this part of the paper.  Use a Cost/Benefit Analysis as part of your decision-making, either comparing the net benefits of the various options, or to show the Net Benefit of your final recommendation.  By the end of this section you should make a clear choice, and present a strong case for why you made that choice.  Convince the reader.  Present a basic ethical screen of your recommendation as discussed in class.  

The rest of this text is just filler and does not reflect actual length.  Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Nam et ante non nisi gravida hendrerit. Suspendisse potenti. Aliquam lacinia purus ac sem. Vestibulum lectus justo, cursus ac, dictum et, vehicula ut, augue. Aenean metus diam, suscipit sit amet, vestibulum nec, congue vel, augue. Mauris nonummy purus sit amet elit. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Aenean egestas condimentum risus. Integer nec dui. Etiam eu lectus. Morbi vel elit non erat auctor convallis. Praesent tempus varius neque. Sed enim ligula, tincidunt auctor, pharetra ac, convallis non, orci. Suspendisse potenti. Cras erat. In ultricies consequat lacus. Aenean ipsum tortor, dignissim eget, pretium id, ultricies non, lectus. Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos hymenaeos. Curabitur aliquet. Vestibulum nec quam. 

Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Donec semper, risus ut consequat egestas, sapien sem sodales augue, in blandit magna massa vel tortor. Aliquam erat volutpat. Pellentesque quis nisi eget urna condimentum egestas. Vestibulum justo lacus, varius sed, placerat vitae, placerat quis, pede. Praesent molestie interdum pede. Fusce semper posuere lectus. Nam vel metus nec risus accumsan semper. Curabitur a nibh. Cras quam. Morbi eu ante tincidunt lectus lacinia bibendum. Nullam justo ipsum, fermentum vitae, semper vel, blandit ut, quam. Fusce mauris mauris, venenatis pretium, interdum eu, imperdiet sed, elit. Phasellus hendrerit. Phasellus blandit volutpat felis. Donec sit amet nulla at erat ullamcorper volutpat. Suspendisse massa lacus, egestas vitae, ullamcorper sed, luctus id, est. Maecenas blandit, neque in varius varius, purus dui tempus dolor, nec elementum sem dui egestas tortor. Sed pretium ultricies nibh. 

Implementation Plan

To the extent possible, prepare a brief discussion of how your solution can be implemented.  Describe the steps that will be required to put your solution into effect.  If you are able to define the steps with sufficient clarity, you can also include a timeline and budget for the implementation.   

The rest of this text is just filler and does not reflect actual length.  Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Nam et ante non nisi gravida hendrerit. Suspendisse potenti. Aliquam lacinia purus ac sem. Vestibulum lectus justo, cursus ac, dictum et, vehicula ut, augue. Aenean metus diam, suscipit sit amet, vestibulum nec, congue vel, augue. Mauris nonummy purus sit amet elit. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Aenean egestas condimentum risus. Integer nec dui. Etiam eu lectus. Morbi vel elit non erat auctor convallis. Praesent tempus varius neque. Sed enim ligula, tincidunt auctor, pharetra ac, convallis non, orci. Suspendisse potenti. Cras erat. In ultricies consequat lacus. Aenean ipsum tortor, dignissim eget, pretium id, ultricies non, lectus. Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos hymenaeos. Curabitur aliquet. Vestibulum nec quam. 

Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Donec semper, risus ut consequat egestas, sapien sem sodales augue, in blandit magna massa vel tortor. Aliquam erat volutpat. Pellentesque quis nisi eget urna condimentum egestas. Vestibulum justo lacus, varius sed, placerat vitae, placerat quis, pede. Praesent molestie interdum pede. Fusce semper posuere lectus. Nam vel metus nec risus accumsan semper. Curabitur a nibh. Cras quam. Morbi eu ante tincidunt lectus lacinia bibendum. Nullam justo ipsum, fermentum vitae, semper vel, blandit ut, quam. Fusce mauris mauris, venenatis pretium, interdum eu, imperdiet sed, elit. Phasellus hendrerit. Phasellus blandit volutpat felis. Donec sit amet nulla at erat ullamcorper volutpat. Suspendisse massa lacus, egestas vitae, ullamcorper sed, luctus id, est. Maecenas blandit, neque in varius varius, purus dui tempus dolor, nec elementum sem dui egestas tortor. Sed pretium ultricies nibh. 

Success Metrics

Develop a set of measures that can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of your solution in delivering proposed benefits.  Discuss when, how often, and how the solution should be evaluated.

The rest of this text is just filler and does not reflect actual length.  Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Nam et ante non nisi gravida hendrerit. Suspendisse potenti. Aliquam lacinia purus ac sem. Vestibulum lectus justo, cursus ac, dictum et, vehicula ut, augue. Aenean metus diam, suscipit sit amet, vestibulum nec, congue vel, augue. Mauris nonummy purus sit amet elit. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Aenean egestas condimentum risus. Integer nec dui. Etiam eu lectus. Morbi vel elit non erat auctor convallis. Praesent tempus varius neque. Sed enim ligula, tincidunt auctor, pharetra ac, convallis non, orci. Suspendisse potenti. Cras erat. In ultricies consequat lacus. Aenean ipsum tortor, dignissim eget, pretium id, ultricies non, lectus. Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos hymenaeos. Curabitur aliquet. Vestibulum nec quam. 

Cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Donec semper, risus ut consequat egestas, sapien sem sodales augue, in blandit magna massa vel tortor. Aliquam erat volutpat. Pellentesque quis nisi eget urna condimentum egestas. Vestibulum justo lacus, varius sed, placerat vitae, placerat quis, pede. Praesent molestie interdum pede. Fusce semper posuere lectus. Nam vel metus nec risus accumsan semper. Curabitur a nibh. Cras quam. Morbi eu ante tincidunt lectus lacinia bibendum. Nullam justo ipsum, fermentum vitae, semper vel, blandit ut, quam. Fusce mauris mauris, venenatis pretium, interdum eu, imperdiet sed, elit. Phasellus hendrerit. Phasellus blandit volutpat felis. Donec sit amet nulla at erat ullamcorper volutpat. Suspendisse massa lacus, egestas vitae, ullamcorper sed, luctus id, est. Maecenas blandit, neque in varius varius, purus dui tempus dolor, nec elementum sem dui egestas tortor. Sed pretium ultricies nibh.  Maecenas blandit, neque in varius varius, purus dui tempus dolor, nec elementum sem dui egestas tortor. Sed pretium ultricies nibh.

Bibliography

Note:  You should have at least ten sources, and two must be peer-reviewed.  Use MLA style guidelines. Here are some sample sources for format guidelines only. 

 

“2011 Annual Report.”  Halliburton Corporate Website.  6 June 2011.  Halliburton Company. Web.  12 July 2012.  <http://ir.halliburton.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=67605&p=irol-reportsAnnual>

“Energy:  The Pros and Cons of Shale Gas Drilling.”  CBS News  14 Nov 2010.  CBS.  New York.  Web.  12 July 2012.  <http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/11/12/60minutes/main7048737.shtml?tag=currentVideoInfo;videoMetaInfo>

“Halliburton Company SWOT Analysis.”  DATAMONITOR: Halliburton Company  (2011): 1-9.  Business Source Premier.  EBSCOHost.  PSU Library.  Web.  12 July 2012.

“Halliburton Provides Operational Update.”  Halliburton Corporate Website.  6 June 2012.  Halliburton Company. Web.  12 July 2012.  <http://ir.halliburton.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=67605&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1703165&highlight=>

Johnson, Jeff.  “Poor Management Led To BP Spill.” Chemical & Engineering News  89.9 (2011): 11.  Business Source Premier.  EBSCOHost.  PSU Library.  Web.  12 July 2012.

Nakashima, Ellen.  “KBR Connected To Alleged Fraud, Pentagon Auditor Says.”  The Washington Post  5 May 2009.  Web.  12 July 2012.  <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/04/AR2009050403283_pf.html

 

Appendix  

If you have arguments or data that are needed to support your recommendations, but are too lengthy to include within the body of your report, include one or more appendices.  If you use appendices, you must reference them in the body of your report.  

Assignment Solutions