BA300 Assignments Described


This online list is not exhaustive and is provided for student convenience only. For a complete list of assignments and due-dates, please consult the syllabus. 


Student Journals

Memo: Suggestion for Improvement

PowerPoint Presentation on Current Topic

Practice for the Grammar Quiz

Midterm Take-Home Exercises

Excel Graphing Exercise


Resume and Cover Letter

Web Page Assignment

Team Fact-Finding Presentations (4-person teams)

(Individual) Group Process Analysis Papers (4-5 pages, double-spaced)

Turn in your Journals


Optional Research Paper (Individual or Pairs)

Research Project Report



(You must have Adobe PDF reader to load some of the pages below)



Individual Student Journals (due at the end of the semester)

Over the course of the semester, please make the following entries into your journals:

a.  All individual student presentations (head with date and name of presenter; 5-line max, each)
        Make specific, constructive comments regarding content, organization, presentation, and/or PowerPoint slides; see Presentation Handout.

        ("Good organization" is NOT a specific, constructive comment; "Poor delivery" is NOT either.  See the Presentation Handout for examples of
        specific points about which you could offer specific, constructive comments (for example: "Sources were not cited during presentation")
b.  Each fact-finding team presentation (topic, date, names of group members, 10-line max, each group)
        Make specific, constructive comments regarding content, organization, presentation, and/or PowerPoint slides; see Presentation Handout.

        ("Good organization" is NOT a specific, constructive comment; "Poor delivery" is NOT either.  See the Presentation Handout for examples of
        specific points about which you could offer specific, constructive comments (for example: "Sources were not cited during presentation")

c.  Observations on Fact-finding team formation (date, topic(s), attendance -- appropriate length)

d.  Cogent, informed, analytical observations Fact-finding team meetings (date, topic(s), attendance -- appropriate length)
       (see resources listed here:   Four Resources for your Journal entries and Group Process Paper

e.  Your individual research efforts (interviews you conducted, with date, name, and title of interviewee
f.   Your Web and Hunter database search efforts (date, database, keywords used)

      Note reminders in syllabus schedule (blue text in online syllabus)

(TRACK:  group interaction issues [process] such as conflict management, feedback styles, leadership, listening, conducting meetings [scheduling/punctuality/attendance], gender communication issues (if any); and group contribution issues [content], that is, did team members share equally in the work load, did each member do the work assigned, was the final product well integrated? Address 3 or 4 of these aspects, NOT all of them.  For more, please see information under the heading "Group Process Analysis Papers."

(No need for entries regarding your newsletter production)

Do not lose your journal.






Memo, "Suggestion(s) for Improvement"


1. Reading Assignment


(These chapters are not unrelated to the memo assignment; pay attention to the end-of-chapter quizzes, as we will have a quiz on these chapters in class)

Introduction, “Manage Your Writing”

Ch. 1, “Find the We; Manage Your Relationship with Your Reader”

Ch. 2, “Make Holes, Not Drills; Manage with Purpose”


2. Memo Assignment ( “Suggestion for Improvement”)

I was going to title this assignment “Letter of Complaint” – but this is not a rant. Note Davis, Chapters 1 & 2. You may have a complaint, but you are writing not to vent, but to try and remedy the situation—in part offering a constructive suggestion or two on how the problem might be fixed.


Single line-space, but leave one line-space between paragraphs. The use of headings is optional, but the memo should be broken out into several coherent paragraphs, with sentences logically related, and paragraphs establishing the nature of the problem and flowing towards your suggested solution (or recommended review of the situation). Your memo should exhibit clarity and a logical progression of thought.


EXAMPLE: CAT-TRAN may be running great, but I’ll just use it as an example. Suppose the trams were not running on schedule, and you also thought the routing needed reconsideration. You would want to

a) identify the person responsible for scheduling

b) reference the purported schedule and routing

c) you might want to reference the declared mission of the tram service, or claims that the university should be living up to (e.g., “With CAT-TRAN, you're never more than a few minutes away from the center of campus.”)

d) you would then provide evidence that a problem exists. Citing a couple times the tram was late is okay, but not as persuasive at citing multiple dates and times and locations where the tram was late—and that some of your friends have had the same or similar experience.

e) having clearly established the nature of the problem, you now shift into a suggested solution or two—or, again, at least propose a careful review of the situation. And that you look forward to receiving a response from this manager that addresses your specific concerns by the middle of September (for example).

Whatever topic you decide upon, I suggest that a very similar organizational sequence be used.

Tone is important; be direct, even forceful, but not obnoxious. You want this person to be motivated to fix the problem.


Please see the following link for a description of the memo, and formatting guidelines





PowerPoint Presentation on Current Topic

Prepare 4-minute PowerPoint presentation on a current, interesting, substantial topic with some relevance to business communication. (-1 for every 20 seconds off).


Simply put, failure to adhere to the guidelines discussed in class and provided by the links

below will result in a grade significantly lower than you might otherwise have earned.


TOPIC:  Identify one interesting, substantive, current topic on a business-communication related subject.  Find three current, informative, authoritative magazine or journal articles on this subject (no Web pages).  I encourage the inclusion of one current, relevant academic journal article.  Integrate the information you find smoothly into your presentation.  

TOPIC SELECTION:   There are many potential ideas in sources of current business news, linked here:

And, perhaps, for the more technically minded, here:

CITE your references during your presentation ("According to an article in the spring '07 issue of Business Communication Quarterly by Stanford University marketing professor Jane Smith...").  It may be that only a small portion of a journal or magazine article you find is relevant to your topic -- that's okay, cite the article and reference only that portion.  But SOME portion of the articles you cite must be relevant to your topic.

ORGANIZATION:   Please refer to your class notes, and the one-page resource at this link (PDF)In terms of organizational scheme, there are several.  An example of “Advantages/Disadvantage” is offered below.  One could also organize information chronologically, spatially or geographically, from least important to most important, or topically (three or four main features).  But do not offer your audience some disjointed laundry list of points – points should have coherence and be related to your overall theme or purpose.  Please avoid giving a sales pitch on some product or service.  Be sure and preview your main points -- as well as follow other the other primary guidelines outlined on the presentation handout and described by the professor in class.

POWERPOINT slides supporting your presentation are required.  For a five-minute presentation four or five slides would be the minimum, about 10 slides the maximum.  Review PowerPoint GUIDELINES in your class notes and at the link below:

EVALUATIONPlease click here for an example of the kind of evaluation rubric that will be used to grade your presentation.

Remember, you are not obligated to use in your presentation all the information you find in your articles.  To the contrary.  With the exception of a primary article that you might lean on most heavily you would want to extract just the bits of other articles that fit into your organizational scheme and contribute to your main points.  Remember also that scholarly sources are welcome but not required for this presentation.  Popular sources are fine as long as they come from a credible and reasonably unbiased source (the commercial site mentioned below,, is fine for some basic information or to use for illustrations of records—but would no doubt be biased on the question of “disadvantages of an ER Records system.  They have something to sell, after all).

When using quotes or statistics from these articles in your presentation remember to cite the article as your source ("...according to John Smith of Harvard Medical school in the March issue of New England Journal of Medicine..."  or  "... according to an article in the Sept. 11, 2006 edition of Newsweek...")

So you have the elements of your presentation.  Now you just need to NARROW it, and organize it.  Be sure take another look at the handout that describes basic organization.  Here, you could briefly introduce the topic, describe what it is 30 seconds), explain why it is important (30 seconds, see handout), preview main points (primary advantages and disadvantages, 20 seconds), transition, primary advantages (describe two, 90 seconds), transition, primary disadvantages (describe two, 90 seconds).  Conclusion (disadvantages are being addressed, so despite disadvantages, they are greatly outweighed by advantages to human health care...).   Again, please go to the link to organization, above, for more.

1.  Take ELECTRONIC MEDICAL RECORDS, for example.  If you search "electronic medical records" in Google SCHOLAR (not the general Google) you get over 100,000 hits.  The one below is just one potentially useful example.

If you go into Business Source Premiere through Hunter you get about 400 hits.

Let's Move Medicine Into the Information Age.
Authors: Frist, Bill
Source: American Enterprise; Jul/Aug2006, Vol. 17 Issue 6, p38-40, 3p
Document Type: Article

3.  ACADEMIC SEARCH PREMIERE (about 470 hits)
High-tech answers.  [especially during an emergency like Katrina]
Authors: Robeznieks, Andis
Source: Modern Healthcare; 8/21/2006, Vol. 36 Issue 33, p22-23, 2p, 1c
Document Type: Article

Physician use of electronic records.
Source: Modern Healthcare; 8/7/2006, Vol. 36 Issue 31, p32-32, 1/5p, 1 chart
Document Type: Article

4.  The general search engines GOOGLE or Yahoo may also call up useful information.  However, make sure the source is credible before using it in your presentation.  For the topic under consideration, for example, there is a commercial site that would provide some nice screen-capture illustrations of what a few electronic medical records look like.  This would be helpful to insert early in the presentation.

(So you would embed this link into your PowerPoint at some early and appropriate spot in your presentation.  Unfortunately, the “Demo” requires registration.  Still, we would like to show our audience some specific, screen-capture examples of what we are talking about. Click on "Physician Records" and choose a couple screens to enlarge.  This portion of the presentation would take less than 30 seconds.

Four minutes, in and out.  Nothing to it if you plan, research, and practice.

[For more on search techniques, see the Search Examples I have posted here





Practice for the Grammar Quiz

See the Abell text

Note also the grammar quiz practice Web sites listed here (in CAPS):







Midterm Take-Home Exercises (to be described in class)

Related to Davis, Chapters 7, 8 & 9

As assigned in class; see syllabus.


Please see the following link for a description of the business letter, and formatting guidelines




Excel Graphing Exercise (as time might allow)

This assignment will be discussed in class. Start with Exercise 1, go to Exercise 2 for some basic help on the same problem.

1.  Chart exercise, spreadsheet (SAVE to your local drive to work on this file)
2.  Chart exercise (hints)  [from here, highlight all data & headings, then use the Excel Chart Wizard]

3.  Bar chart exercise, one possible (pretty good) solution (PDF) [Suggest you use this title for your bar chart]

Helpful Guidelines When Creating Graphs

Summary:  A graph (continuous variable on the X axis) or chart should be able to stand alone--to be self-explanatory. Provide a clear, descriptive title; if their meaning is not obvious, label your axes.  With a few exceptions, axes should typically represent only one metric, one unit of measure. Text should be readable, with no inappropriate overlap of visual elements. Contrast and color selection should be easy on the eyes (e.g., no red against blue). The meaning of a graph or chart should be very clear to your audience; the graphic should aid your explanation, simplify your message, not complicate it.  See Ober, Chapter 11, and below:

Graphing, Charting, and Presenting Data

Using Graphs (good basic information; note "Four Guidelines" at the bottom)

Gallery of Data Visualization (historical milestones; examples of good and bad graphs)


NOTE:  I am only asking for your graph; I don't need the Excel datasheet. Due as discussed in class (beginning of class).  You may want to emulate my solution, or devise one of your own.  If you try something along the lines of what I did, you need to make sure the "Drawing Toolbar" is visible so you can make use of the 'textbox' feature.  Otherwise, learning the graph function of Excel involves right-clicking on various graph elements (once created by the wizard) and examining your options.

Use of Graphs and Tables in Technical Writing





Newsletter (2-person team)


Simply put, failure to adhere to the guidelines discussed in class and provided by the links

below will result in a grade significantly lower than you might otherwise have earned.

Note especially Newsletter Example below, and Guidelines (bullet points).


Produce an actual newsletter that you intend to distribute to members of an organization (or could distribute if you had the printing budget).  One page, front and back (four pages for up to five bonus points, depending upon quality). Include newsletter name (masthead), date, and 'publisher' information. Two short articles required (300-400 words each, as discussed in class and shown in examples). Articles should be clear, coherent, and focused. Articles should have a specific and informative purpose (not a general mishmash of facts and details).  Two interviews of organizational personnel required (supervisory or management level. Compose resulting informative article in concise, logical, narrative format; do not compose in Q&A format.  Include at least one table OR at least one graph in your newsletter, of proportionate (but legible) dimension.  An organizational calendar may be included, but should be well formatted and not occupy more than one-third of a page.  Include a photograph; consider appropriate use of clipart. Short, informative insets welcome (e.g., brief and relevant calendar of events).  For an 'A' on this project, note the details of my example newsletters posted on the Web.  Final product should be one page, front-to-back; color or black & white, as designed (four pages for some extra credit, depending upon quality).

NOTE “Effective Page Design” discussed in some of the links below.  Be sure and read through the tips and the general guidelines (linked below).  Not every single tip is relevant to this assignment (e.g., "publish regularly")--but most certainly are.

Do not use a template for your newsletter; you should learn the basics of the program--so you must start with a blank page.  (So, once you open the program, File, New, Publications for Print, Newsletters.)  Now you will see over 60 newsletter designs from which to choose (including the one I used for my Technology newsletter, "Pixel").

Feel free to explore various pre-defined templates and check out how they are set up.  Learn from these examples.  Finally, pick the one you intend to use.  Make sure the theme is in keeping with your intended organization and purpose (not too wild).

Now comes the hard part.  DELETE EVERYTHING EXCEPT THE MASTHEAD (the design at the very top of page one).  Delete the columns, the objects, the text boxes... everything.  Start from a totally blank page, except (as mentioned in class) for the masthead design.  The reason is that this assignment is about learning the basics of newsletter creation--including layout.  I would much rather see a mediocre layout that you created than a fantastic layout/design that Microsoft created.  If you are ever charged with creating or critiquing a newsletter out in the business world you will have a much better idea of what is going on because you once learned from a blank page.  For grading purposes I will put somewhat more emphasis on your writing than on your layout.  I'm sorry, but if I have doubts about your team starting from a blank page I will ask you to show me how you created your design.  Teams that use a Microsoft template will be penalized 33% of your grade--so it's not worth it. 

So, for our second class period on this project, bring to class on a disk or jump drive:

1.  Your MS Publisher file, with selected masthead, otherwise blank unless you have already begun to insert objects and text boxes. 

2.  A rough draft of at least one of your two articles.  Remember that these articles must include some information gleaned from interviews of non-student staff or management  involved with the organization of your choice.

 Interviewing (REQUIRED READING)

3.  It would help if you had some idea of what objects or images you plan to include in this newsletter.

For more, see resources below (required reading):

Seven Mistakes to Avoid

Ten (Short) Guidelines  (Note the 'Ten Tips' link)

Optional reading:

15 Tips on Writing and Editing

Some examples of good newsletter design and layout


Newsletter EXAMPLES:  

Best example for your purposes:

1.  Newsletter Example (Prof. Jones) April, 2005 (PDF)


[The organization chart printed well, but came out a little sketchy in PDF]
Comments:  Neat, clean, professional, and well-written. Very good attention to detail (every little detail). This newsletter follows guidelines. Grade: A.

2.  Student newsletter on the WCU Honors College (PDF)

Comments:  Although this student committed Mistake # 6 of the "Seven Mistakes to Avoid," this was nevertheless an excellent newsletter.  Four pages in length.  Grade:  A, plus bonus points.

3.  Student newsletter on the WCU parking situation (PDF)

Comments:  This topic of this newsletter was a situation rather than an organization, and so this effort did not really follow directions.  Only one article here (two required).  Story lacked a heading on page 2; the flow of the writing was somewhat choppy.  Grade:  Average-Minus.

4.  Student newsletter on WCU rugby (PDF)

Comments:  Poor design and layout.  Inconsistent font size.  Weak article; did not follow directions. No evidence of two interviews; no quotes of managers or supervisors.  Weak second photo; weak captions.  Overall appearance gives impression of a hasty and shoddy effort.  Grade:  F.


Newsletter example #1 (Jones, PDF, Feb. 2005)
Newsletter example #2 (April 2005, in Publisher)


Other examples:

Five examples by Prof. Jones from 2001 (As President of AAUP chapter, Truman State University)

Example by Prof. Jones from 2006 (PDF, as member of Exec Board of UNC Faculty Assembly)





Resume and Cover Letter

RESUME:  ·    Several online resources, w/ sample resumes, are linked from the course Web page.·    Do not make typos or spelling errors.·    I am asking that everyone use the right-flush tab to right-align the range of dates you were employed with various businesses (use of tabs & ruler discussed in class).    Be sure and state your degree objective and state it correctly (as contrasted with your Major; consult university catalog if necessary).·    Formatting should be consistent.·    Be aware of the various other issues that we highlighted in class.

COVER LETTER:·    Cover letter and resume will be customized for the job described in the ad you found.·    Double-check Appendix B of text to make certain your formatting is correct (including alignment).·    Do not make typos or spelling errors.·    Avoid use of contractions.·    Better to use active voice in your sentence construction.·    Remember, what is important is what YOU can offer the company, not what the company might be able to offer you.·    Keep your bulleted lists parallel in construction (always start with a verb, [& keep tense consistent], or always start with a noun, etc.). Note the many resources available to you online:  





Web Page Assignment

1. Home page (file name = "index" -- no exceptions)

2. Page of Professional Links (related to your major)

3. Resume [From MS Word: Save As, Save As Type: Web Page (*.htm, *.html)]

Best to keep Home Page to one screen

Link Home Page to Resume and to Links (and back the other way)

As discussed in class...

READ the style guide. Layout your pages smoothly and professionally--as discussed in class.  Avoid poor contrast, broken links, misspelled words, excessive narrative or excessive images, anything that blinks, etc.

Sample Student Pages

Make sure you page is retrievable with standard CLAWS URL, as in:
(and as discussed extensively in class).

No exceptions.  If I can't retrieve it, you can't get credit for it.


OTHER INFORMATION REGARDING FRONTPAGE, NETSCAPE, & MOZILLA:  We will take class time to get started. Understand the use of Netscape Composer. Read the PAWS policies. Click on “Publishing” for a reminder of how to use the File Transfer Protocol software:      AND SEE MY: Creating a Web Page on CLAWS (includes links to FTP SETTINGS)


There are a number of good web page style guides on the internet. One of many is the Web Style Guide posted by Yale University. And here’s a nice little page on good and bad web design features.

See also, "5 Basic Rules of Web Design and Layout"


NOTE:  We will perform the basics of this assignment in class. The competed Web page, with links (including one to your resume) is due in two phases, as stated in class and/or on the syllabus. 

Make sure you page is retrievable with standard CLAWS URL.

FRONTPAGE:   MS Frontpage is not recommended for this project because the university does not support it.


The homepage file name must be "index" Other pages as assigned (resume page and professional links page are required, in addition to your home page). Web page file names should have no spaces.  What must the file name of your home page be?   Arrange to have them link to one another, and upload to your folder on the CLAWS server using FTP.   For those of you who would like to work on Web pages at home, get an FTP program – See “Additional Web Page Help” below:

Go to ADDITIONAL WEB PAGE HELP (for more on Web page editors; FTP programs; and FREE DOWNLOADS)

[Macromedia's CONTRIBUTE 3 (recommended for those of you who will need to manage Web pages in connection with a small business or entrepreneurial enterprise. On all lab computers; download 30-day free trial for home computers):

Read:  Contribute 3, Instructions  ]

Web-Ready Resume

You can cut-and-paste from MS Word to Contribute, or you can use MS Word’s File, Save As capability.  I recommend FILE,  SAVE AS,  SAVE AS TYPE: WEB PAGE, (*.HTM, *.HTML).

PDF file option:  If your resume has some elaborate formatting you would like to preserve, or even just some basic formatting you would like to preserve perfectly, consider saving your MS Word file as a PDF file.  The Adobe PDF file writer will cost you a lot of money, but there is a free version (free with advertising) that students tell me works well, PDFSuite995:
This will create a "resume.pdf" file. So you would link to resume.pdf (and upload that file) rather than a resume.htm file.





Team Fact-Finding Presentations


TOPIC. Topic selection is fairly wide open. As mentioned above, the topic should have a clear connection to some aspect of business or organizational communication, concerning internal or external audiences.  Your purpose is to identify a particular aspect of internal or external communication, analyze its process and effectiveness, and recommend specific, achievable ways to improve it.  If you choose some aspect of communication with an external audience (rather than internal), your purpose may well fall into the realm of better 'marketing and promotion', which is fine.  Choose a local organization to which you have some access--in Jackson county, a local city, or the WCU campus.  You will be expected to gather related information on the Web, through Hunter Library, and from the organization itself utilizing both interviews and hardcopy material. NARROW YOUR FOCUS.  Do not provide an overview of communication within an organization; rather, pick one aspect of organizational communication and provide an in-depth analysis of that issue.  "Recommendations" will likely occupy the last 2-4 minutes of your presentation. 


PRESENTATION AND STYLE.   Your presentation should be well-researched, appropriately documented and referenced, and smoothly integrated. This takes work on the part of all group members.  You must meet and work as a group to craft how your different contributions integrate as part of the whole.   (These are 14-15 minute presentations, -1 for every 30 seconds off. Ideally, teams of four.

Please see the following link (*required reading*) for resources on making a good business presentation, and the proper use of PowerPoint:

ORGANIZATION.  Introduce group members; state the organization you analyzed.  Describe the organization, state its purpose, and offer a very brief history.  Briefly describe the nature of the communication problem you have identified (state your purpose; in almost every case you will want to provide an organization chart).  Preview your main points.  Transition to your background research (here is where you will cite most of your references).  Note examples of research below [relevant professional associations; library database search for journal articles; relevant books (start now!); Google search (see examples);  interviews with organization managers]. Integrate relevant aspects of your research into your presentation to shed light on the problem at hand. Transition to "Methodology" (or "Primary Research" or "Interviews" -- whatever you choose to call your primary fact-gathering method).  Then describe, briefly, how you gathered your specific information (your interviews).  Then describe what you found out.  Is the communication effort (or, even more specifically, a selected communication channel) effective in achieving stated goals? More broadly, in promoting the organization's mission? If so, how is that determined (how is effectiveness assessed)?  Then describe conclusions and recommendations.  Those of you who have done some undergraduate research will recognize this organizational format.  In fact, if you were going to submit a write-up of your project to a conference or a journal, it would follow this organizational scheme. Summary provided below (for more, if you are interested, see the links beneath the "Optional Research Paper Project"). 

Introduction   [~2-3 minutes]  (and see immediately above)
          Introduction of group members
          Statement of the problem (in our case, an organizational communication problem)
          Purpose (of your presentation): State communication channel examined; its intended audience)
                    e.g., Effectiveness of LMP's use of campus radio and TV to promote its events to campus audience
                    e.g., Effectiveness of WCU use of cell phone technology to transmit information in an emergency
                    e.g., Effectiveness of Manna Food Bank's promotion of community food drives (specifically) to help
                           achieve its mission
          Preview your group's main points
Background   [~3-4 minutes]
     State mission of the organization you examined / very brief history (one minute maximum for this)
     State how organizational communication channel is intended to foster the mission -- and how its effectiveness is measured and evaluated
     [Might make mention of top-level organizational structure (if relevant)]
     Literature review (again, see research examples below).  Useful information from your general background research
     on the subject goes here (but not excessively general).  Organizational web page information.
     [Again, see research examples below (on university tram system and restaurant management) for illustrations]
     Definition of terms (if any are necessary). You might also include some generally-known aspects of your research on
     the specific organization
Methodology      [~1 minute] (Your method for gathering original information is the interview; describe who you interviewed; title; why selected; date) 
Results               [~2-3 minutes]  (Your 'Findings').  Keep this part objective; here is where you report the results of your
     interviews and relevant aspects of the organization's web page or other publications.
     Do not organize this portion of the presentation by person interviewed:  Organize by main point
     (and support your main points, as appropriate by information gleaned from your interviews and your research of your
     specific organization).   Report any related numbers or statistics... (print run, distribution, number of web site hits per
     month, event-attendance figures, etc.)          
     Do not include opinions or recommendations here.
Discussion/Conclusions [~2-4 minutes]
     Summary (of what you found)
     Discussion (explanation/elaboration of findings)
Recommendations         [~2-3 minutes]
     Recommendations (based on your findings)

REFERENCES.   Your team presentation will be based upon at least two quality interviews and at least six quality references related to your stated purpose). You must integrate these references into your presentation in a meaningful way, and cite them appropriately. At least one reference must be scholarly (peer-reviewed, from an academic journal). You may count up to two interviews towards the six references required. Again, cite these references during your presentation; enter details of your individual search process in your journal (blue book; see Student Journals description for more details). Of course, you may not find many references on your specific organization--there wouldn't be much in the literature on the WCU tram system, for example.  So you would cast a wider net and search university tram systems generally; some of what you find would be relevant to WCU. Two detailed examples of research are provided below.


Interviewing (*REQUIRED READING*)

Regarding research, one would typically (a) search relevant professional associations on the Web, (b) search appropriate databases through Hunter Library, (c) appropriate (recent) books, (d) Google search (general and 'Scholar'), and (d) interviews.  Regarding interviews, note that "they didn't call me back" is not an acceptable excuse for failure.  You may not find relevant references in all of the areas above ("a" through "d"), but you must record evidence documenting your attempt in your Blue Book

Regarding references, please see the following three Web sites for a Hunter Library update and search technique examples:


Research, Hunter Library, "Help, Tips & Tutorials"

On Peer Review

Hunter Library Database Update

RESEARCH--*REQUIRED READING* (Please note that if your presentation does not give evidence of the depth and breadth of research as demonstrated at these links, it will not be evaluated as "excellent").


Do not do a student survey.  Do thoughtful, probing, structured interviews of at least two managers/supervisors. You may want to interview a few students--but you must interview at least two non-student managers in any case. 

Search Example One -- RESTAURANT MANAGEMENT (emphasis on employee communication, kitchen/server)

Search Example Two -- UNIVERSITY TRAM SYSTEM  (emphasis on scheduling and routing management)

OBJECTIVITY.  Material included in the paper should fall within the defined scope and relate to the stated purpose primarily fact-finding about a specific organizational communication issue or issues). Content should be well-researched, from quality sources, and should reflect the 4-to-5 weeks of intermittent but persistent work that you have put into this effort. Note that your personal opinions are irrelevant, except in the Recommendations section of your presentation. Think of this presentation as a general briefing paper you are providing to the Chief Executive Officer of a company. The CEO is interested in an objective, factual, thoughtful presentation. Avoid filling time with information the CEO could have found by herself in a 60-second search of the Web; your information should go deeper than that. 

Individual Group Process Analysis Papers


Group Process Analysis:  Use selected concepts and terminology from the RESOURCES LINKED BELOW.   Turn in typed individual papers (4-5 pages, double-spaced) on the group process involved with putting together your team’s final presentation (e.g., group interaction issues [process] such as conflict management, feedback styles, leadership, & listening; conducting meetings [scheduling/punctuality/attendance], gender communication issues (if any); and group contribution issues [content], that is, did team members share equally in the work load, did each member do the work assigned, was the final product well integrated?  Some description is necessary and is part of this assignment, obviously--but be sure and provide substantial amount of thoughtful analysis in this paper.  In terms of the concepts listed above (and some considerations from the links below), what went well, and why?  What did not go well, and why?   Again, you are not asked to address every issue.  Use headings to help organize your paper.  I recommend patterning your analysis after the four stages of group process described below: "Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing" -- and including some references to "team facilitation roles" (below) and process and content issues mentioned above.


1.  All Together Now:  Team Presentations (Maher/O'Brien manuscript; PDF)

2.  A slightly more in-depth look at Forming, Storming, Norming, and Performing.
Note affective, behavioral, and functional considerations under each stage.

3.  Being a Valuable Team Member
Note especially the "team facilitation roles" described here (please include discussion of some of these roles in your paper, offering a few specific examples to illustrate)




Optional Research Project Report

·      See detailed guidelines posted on Web page

·       Note also:

·       Use clear, concise business writing style--grammatically correct, no typos

·       Use headings and subheadings (follow guidelines), footnotes, table of contents, appendix (if needed), title page, page numbers on each page.

·       Include an executive summary

·       Cite sources properly (APA style); make sure you also cite web sources properly

·       A more detailed description of requirements and expectations is posted on the Web, linked from my PAWS homepage. I also will have discuss details of this assignment in class.

·       Some links from my Writing Resources page will also prove helpful in this effort

·       A couple of (cautious) students have asked me to clarify plagiarism and how to avoid it. Here are some links you might find helpful (PDF)

·       Here is an example of a formal research report (PDF) I wrote a couple years ago. I had some help with the statistics. I don’t expect you to read it all, but if you look at it you do get an idea of formal writing style and organization

·       Additional Writing Resources here:

·       Finally, here are three resources provided by K. Locker regarding Research Reports

1.      Fifteen Common Errors

2.      Example of a TOC and Executive Summary

3.      Example of a Report based on a survey




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