The Grand Finale!
Because we?re in an online environment and don?t have the opportunity to discuss this assignment in class, I wanted to provide you with in-depth information to guide you through the ?thinking & doing? process of this exercise. Don?t let the length of this document overwhelm you.
This document is divided into two sections as follows:
TIP: Mouse over the hyperlinks in the list below, Ctrl+Click to navigate to each section of the document)
? General Paper Information and Guidelines: This section summarizes general information about the assignment and its purpose.
? Specific Paper Instructions, Guidelines, and Writing Prompts: This section details what you will turn in for grading.
General Paper Information and Guidelines
From the Course Syllabus
This written assignment provides an opportunity to develop a culminating paper reflecting on the student?s learning in the Organizational Leadership major, examining the student?s personal perspective on leadership, and looking ahead to the student?s future. This paper, although reflective and personal in nature in many ways, must have an academic foundation. This means that the paper must be supported by information, concepts, theories, and ideas from academic readings?including past course textbooks and journal articles, articles and texts assigned or self-selected in this course, and/or other academic readings as needed. Additional instructions and requirements will be provided for this assignment.
Overview of the Paper
This paper will be beneficial in that it will help you formulate and understand your perspective on leadership and organizations, and it will also be a practical tool. Students may refer back to this document throughout their careers; and moreover, students can review this document before interviews to help prepare for questions about the knowledge and skills gained through their college degree. Students must be able to articulate in a concise, coherent manner the knowledge and skills they would bring to a workplace!
In this assignment, student will ?put it all together?; meaning they will put together their thoughts and insights from their college major learning experience into one final paper. After completing this assignment, students will be able to answer the following questions:
? What do I know?
? What skills do I have?
? Why does this matter? What is my purpose/mission?
? What future learning do I have to do? How will I accomplish this learning?
Citing Articles and Books
Students are expected to cite resources (specifically articles and books) in this paper using APA style. Students should always consult helpful tools, such as Purdue University OWL, resources on Steely Library, the NKU Writing Center (they work with online students), and the APA guidebook course text.. While you are putting one coherent paper together from all of your learning and your developed perspective on leadership and organizations, citations are important to indicate that you have a foundation from scholarly research and theories to support your knowledge. After all, a college degree is meant to help you learn what is available for understanding a subject, and then from there you grow and apply it in your own life.
? What should you cite in my paper?
You should cite readings from this course, including the self-selected and/or professor-supplied articles and books. Of course, you are also encouraged to cite readings from other courses that you have taken in college, and you are more than welcome to seek out other resources to cite in this paper.
? How many readings total should I cite in my paper?
You should cite a minimum of eight (8) different resources. At least half (4) of these should be scholarly journal articles, and the other half (4) may be books. You are welcome to cite more than 8 resources. Citing 8 resources in this paper should not be unrealistically challenging, this is a very reasonable number. In fact, when students try to write without consulting resources, it actually makes writing more difficult. After all, the readings are by the experts. Use their help to write your paper!
? How frequently throughout my paper should I cite a resource?
Students often ask how often they should cite a resource within the paragraphs of their paper. I provide the following rule-of-thumb: Typically an academic, college paper has at least one citation per paragraph, but two or three per paragraph would make for stronger, more supported work. Occasionally a paragraph may not contain citations. It is common for introduction and conclusion paragraphs to contain no citations (or just one key citation). It is also common for the first or last paragraph of a section within a paper not to contain citations (or only one key citation), because the writer is introducing the upcoming section in the first paragraph, and in the last paragraph the writer is discussing the conclusions to be drawn and key points to take-away. Overall, it is unique to each paper and person, but it is difficult to over-cite resources in a paper.
? PAPERS WITHOUT CITATIONS WILL NOT BE GRADED AND WILL RECEIVE A GRADE OF ZERO.
General Writing Instructions
Please follow these general APA style requirements:
? Double-spaced type
? 1-inch margins on all sides
? 12-point Times New Roman or Calibri font
? First line of all paragraphs indented
? No extra spacing between paragraphs or sections
? Use of headings/subheadings within paper for paper organization/structure
? Reference list (properly formatted) indicating the source of information cited within the text (does not count in page count)
? Parenthetical in-text citations (references) within the text
? Cover page, including title of document and the author (does not count in page count)
? NOTE: NO ABSTRACT
Grading the Assignment
I will grade the final paper as indicated on the grading rubric provided on Blackboard. If you have questions, please ask. My expectation is that this work will be well-organized, well thought-out, and polished.
? Outline your thoughts. For a paper like this, it will be difficult to write every paragraph perfectly for the first time. It will be very helpful to write out your general points and later fill in the details and include citations to resources that support your points.
? As you brainstorm your thoughts, see if you notice reoccurring themes or points that you seem to make. Think about a few themes or points per section of the paper. Although it may be tempting to try to say EVERYTHING, try to find common themes or points to tie everything together.
? Ask a friend, family member, or the NKU Writing Center to proofread and provide feedback on your paper. Do this early for suggestions and again later for recommendations to ?polish? up the final paper.
? Refer back to the paper instructions as you write to be sure that you are covering all aspects of the assignment in your writing.
? Remember to write an introduction to your paper and write a conclusion as well.
? Also, it is good writing technique to write an introduction to a section that previews what you are about to write about, then in the final paragraph, review and summarize what was just covered.
? As noted above, to reiterate?when students try to write without consulting resources, it actually makes writing more difficult. After all, the readings are by the experts. Use their help to write your paper!
? Successful writers revise their papers many times!
Specific Paper Instructions, Guidelines, and Writing Prompts
Outline of Paper
? Part 1: Knowledge
? Part 2: Skills
? Part 3: Perspective
? Part 4: Future Growth and Learning
Minimum Paper Length
? Each ?Part? should be should be 2-3 pages, although you may write more. So, the minimum page length is 8 pages. You should be able to accomplish this assignment effectively with 8 to about 12 pages of writing. Try not to exceed this page range because you might be writing too much at that point. More is not always better. In fact, often it is not!
Specific Writing Prompts for Each ?Part?
? Part 1: Knowledge
o In this section, you will answer the question: What do I know?
o Knowledge is the information, facts, and understandings that you have as a result of your learning. You certainly know A LOT as a result of your life, work, and college experiences. You should not try to writing about EVERYTHING you know, rather you should select about 3 of the most important or critical topics/subjects/concepts that you know about and explain what they are and why they are important.
o Finally, indicate specifically how this knowledge will benefit you in your career.
? Part 2: Skills
o In this section, you will answer the question: What skills do I have?
o Skills are the proficiencies and practical abilities that you have gained through your learning. They are things you are able to do. Examples of skills include, but are not limited to, the following:
? Written Communication, Verbal Communication, Computer/Technology Skills, Interpersonal Skills, Intra-personal Skills, Leadership Skills, Time Management Skills, Stress Management Skills, Critical Thinking Skills, Problem Solving Skills, Planning Skills, Emotion Management Skills, Ethical Decision-Making Skills, etc.!
o You have many skills, but pick about 2 that you think you are particularly effective at using. Explain what the skills are and why they are important.
o Finally, indicate specifically how these skills will benefit you in your career.
? Part 3: Perspective
o In this section, you will answer the questions: Why does this matter? What is my purpose/mission?
o ?This? refers to your college major, learning, knowledge, skills, perspective, etc.
o In Part 3, you will address your purpose, motivation, and mission (personally and/or professionally).
o Having nearly completed your college experience, reflect on you viewpoint, beliefs, and opinions about leadership and organizations. Describe your overall perspective?or your way of thinking and feeling?about leadership and organizations.
o Next, as we know, leadership and working in the professional arena is often not easy. Thus, it is critical to keep our purpose in mind, focus on what inspires us and keeps us going, and implement our personal mission statement each day. In the final portion of this section, describe your personal purpose and write a one to two sentence mission statement.
? Part 4: Future Growth and Learning
o In this section, you will answer the questions: What future learning do I have to do? How will I accomplish this learning?
o As you know, every person, professional, and leader must continue to learn, develop, and growth personally and professionally over his/her career.
o Reflect on the 2 or 3 things you think will be the most important to learn (or continue to learn) over the coming years.
o Finally, indicate specifically the strategies and approaches you will use to accomplish this learning.