Paper 7: Final Problem-Solving Researched Proposal (20%)
A persuasive researched-based proposal addressed to a specific, named decision maker (that is, a person who has the authority to implement a recommended solution to a specified problem), stating a REAL, managerial problem that affects a group in your local area (NOT a national or international issue of large-scale complexity with no single decision maker). This problem could be in your workplace or school, church, or volunteer organization, or any other entity governed by some specific decision maker who has the authority to approve and implement your recommended solution.
Your proposal must offer an ORIGINAL solution to the decision-maker (not simply endorse a solution some other person or group has advocated), and be presented, in this order:
Letter of Transmittal to the external decision maker OR Routing Slip to the internal decision maker via any required intermediate approval stops
Title Page (listing the decision maker’s name and title, the title of your proposal, your name and position, and the date)
Executive Summary (the revised and graded version of your Discussion Topic response)
Table of Contents (listing every section and beginning page number)
List of Illustrations (the illustration/graphics titles and page numbers where your illustrations/graphics appear –– NOT the actual illustrations themselves)
A series of Text sections separated by specific headings and including at least two integrated and sourced illustration/graphic aids (that is, incorporated on the same pages that discuss each) and in-text APA-format citations reporting at least eight external references that are listed alphabetically in the Works Cited page.
Recommendations – a series of step-by-step actions for the decision maker to take to implement your proposed solution
An APA-style References page (so titled) with at least eight alphabetically-listed references in APA format (must follow APA format guidelines and must consist of at least three different TYPES of sources such as web, memo, regulation, newspaper, journal, book, or magazine – no more than three of any given type, except no more than two personal interviews). ALL references MUST be used in in-text APA-style citations in the body of the report. In-text citations contain the first word of the References entry and the page number, in parentheses. Although APA rules specify otherwise, please source interviews on the Reference page for grading ease.
Graphics/illustrations MUST NOT be on stand-alone pages, only on the page with text that refers to them specifically. NO “clip art” accepted as one of the two required graphics/illustrations, but may be used in addition; graphics/illustrations must contribute something not explained by text alone. Graphics/illustrations created by you should be labeled “(Author)”; those created by you from another source, such as statistics you found in an article, should be labeled: “(Author, derived from Jones 3)” where Jones is the author and the 3 is the page number where input for that graphic is found. More than the maximum of any kind of reference can be used, if necessary – the additional sources just don’t count toward the total of eight in combination required.
“Internet” sources are references found ONLY on the Internet; a newspaper article obtained from the paper’s website counts as a newspaper article, not as an Internet reference. Internet sources MUST be included on the References page, with each entry stating the author (if available), selection title, the home page title, the date of your access, the date of publication, in addition to the URL (in the order specified by the APA guidelines). Researched sources in this proposal are used to (1) prove that there IS a problem, (2) prove that inaction will impact lives negatively, (3) prove that the proposed solution is feasible, and/or (4) prove that the recommended action will eliminate the problem.
Neither the Letter of Transmittal (or Routing Slip) or Title page contain page numbers.
The Executive Summary through the List of Illustrations are lower case Roman numerals.
The first page of the report is not numbered.
Page two of the report through the end of the document are labeled with Arabic numerals. Location on the page is up to the writer, but should be consistent. If the pagination feature of your word processor proves too troublesome, simply insert the page numbers manually (followed by a hard-page return to assure that the page numbers appear where they should).
PEER REVIEW of this project will be accomplished by your drafting an Executive Summary in advance of creating this report and sharing the draft Executive Summary in the corresponding Discussion Forum.
Contains ALL listed components in proper order, and developed according to the descriptions in the requirements.
Executive Summary addresses purpose (a PROPOSAL – not a “report” –– to address a problem), the problem, its impact, the proposed solution, and the decision maker’s required steps to eliminate the problem by implementing the proposed solution
Proposal written TO the decision maker, not ABOUT him or her
States a specific, REAL, managerial problem that requires correction by the decision maker
Written to express what is to be done to correct the problem, NOT suggesting what “will be written” at some later date
Offers a specific solution, not a request for the decision maker to do research and then decide what to do
Requests specific action from specific decision maker that will solve the problem by implementing the recommended solution, not by performing additional research
Does not use passive voice or terms such as “we” or “our” to mask the writer’s true role in producing the proposal (using those terms will result in a 75 percent reduction in the grade)
Contains at least eight external sources of three different types (but no more than two interviews), and uses all eight (or more) in APA-style in-text citations –– if no research is supplied, or only half the required sources, the resulting grade will be an “F”
Both in-text citations and References page are in APA format
Contains no spelling, grammar, structure, or usage issues
Contains section headings that match section titles in Table of Contents and occur on the page numbers specified in the Table of Contents
Because each problem-solution is unique and each decision maker uniquely placed, there is no “model” for this assignment. The list of components and the order stated form the model for all such approaches to this assignment. The form of your proposal should be tailored to meet the needs of the specific decision maker and thus this proposal becomes a test of your ability to write managerial correspondence designed to change lives.
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