Purpose: To provide you with an opportunity to expand your business acumen and writing skills by researching and developing a professional researched, business proposal or analytical report.
General Description: Research, develop, and carefully write, edit, and proof an interesting, evidence-based, properly researched business paper, single-spaced, using tools and methods that we will discuss in class, and which are also on Canvas, as well as referenced in the textbook.
The paper must be within the range of 1200-1500 words long, not including your ending reference page.
Regardless of your topic, your paper must meet the following four criteria:
- Be Research Based – Business reports and proposals must include evidence that is research based. You must use a minimum of five refereed secondary sources to compile a reference list. Any submitted paper that substantially does not meet this criteria will be at risk of not receiving a passing score.
Sources must be cited in the body of your paper, as well as in your references. Wikipedia and general web sites found through a Google search are not refereed sources. The sources need to be current; they should have been written during the past five years. You will be provided with resources and guidance on how to use the university’s research resources.
- Provide Analysis – You need to go beyond compiling and reporting out information. You must select and interpret your research in order to validate specific key findings and/or recommendations that you will be making later.
- Include Meaningful Visual Tools – Please use a minimum of two visual tools to summarize collected data. If you’re writing on a General Business Topic, you may use graphs found on Statista. If you’re writing an Internal Business Proposal, at least one of the tables is one you created yourself – it could be a simple Word table, or it could be a more sophisticated graph or chart. All visual tools should serve a clear purpose.
- Conclude with Findings and/or Recommendations – You must demonstrate that you understand your reader’s needs and interests by using your research and analysis to provide insightful findings and/or specific recommendations.
Who is your reader? For the General Business Topic, you may presume that the reader is someone who is potentially directly impacted by the topic of your paper. For the Internal Business Proposal, you should know exactly to whom you are writing; most likely an individual or group of relevant decision makers or influencers.
- Findings – Use of “Findings” is usually sufficient for researching your “General Business Topic” (see next page). Instead of providing actual recommendations, the expectation would be for you to look for patterns in your research during your analysis and to summarize the most important findings. You may, if you wish, also make recommendations with a specific type of reader in mind; this approach, if competently done, can potentially earn you a higher score, but it is not required.
- Recommendations – If you choose to work on an “Internal Business Proposal” (see next page) then you will be expected to make specific evidenced and criteria-based recommendations which clearly lay out the costs and benefits of your proposals.