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Experiential Research Paper:
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An experiential research paper/ project, based on Kolb’s experiential learning cycle, is a formal paper that asks students to identify a particular experience (problem, challenge) at a service site (workplace, school, church, and so on) and analyze that experience within the broader social context in order to make recommendations for change; students are asked to identify an underlying social issue (problem) they have experienced at the service site. Students then research the social issue and read approximately three to five articles on the topic. Based on their experience and research, students make recommendations for future action. This reflection activity…provides students flexibility to pursue (examine/analyze) issues experienced(encountered) at the service site. – (Julie Hatcher, IUPUI).
1. Outline & Thesis:
Example: Would the implementation of an employee evaluation system or process at the XYZ Company improve organizational effectiveness, productivity, and employee morale and work attitude?
2. (I}. Description of company/organization/service site:a. Brief history and culture* (* see “Organizational Culture” handout). b. Location and related vital statistics c. Organizational structure, duties, responsibilities, and services:
Briefly identify and describe the mission, vision, and mandate of your organization or agency (service site). Why is your agency in business? What specifically does it do? Why does the company offer the services or products it does? What is the philosophy and assumptions on which the agency bases its services/products to clients?
(II). Description of the Problem or Issue:
a. Problem (Thesis Statement/Hypotheses) b. History (duration) c. Analysis:
Identify a current and specific problem/issue at your service site. Write about why you think it is a problem. Specify (or speculate) the factors or forces you think keep the problem in place or allow it to continue. Identify, both from within and outside (internally and externally) the agency, the key players and/or conditions that help maintain the problem or situation.
(III). Possible Problem Solutions (Alternate Course of Action):
a. Description/ Definition b. Importance/Significance c. Benefits, improvements, and so on d. Recommendations:
Discuss the specific changes you believe the agency/company should take in order to correct the problem/issue. If you could change the problem/situation, who/what would be the key personnel and/or resources on which you would focus your attention? Why? Discuss the kind of responses, challenges, or “resistance” you are likely to encounter as you attempt to initiate/implement change. Outline/discuss the specific steps you would take to bring about this change and the strategy or strategies you would use for each step. How would the process of initiating/implementing change at your service site impact you (make you feel)?
a. Revisit the thesis/hypothesis b. Personal anecdote/example that illustrates the thesis c. Interesting/arresting close
(V). Works Cited Page
(VI). Appendices? – (if applicable)
(VII). Glossary? Jargon/specialized vocabulary- (if applicable). Examples: Ecclesiology -doctrine about the church; eschatology – doctrine of the end times; homiletics – system of preaching.
Directions: This is a research paper/project; therefore, you are expected to use appropriate sources to substantiate your arguments, analysis, descriptions, and discussion. Must have a minimum of eight to ten (6-8) full pages (including your “Works Cited” page). Pages must be double-spaced, with a font not exceeding 12 points, and must adhere to MLA style formatting/documentation throughout (refer to MLA sample paper handout or recommended online citation resources). Must have a minimum of five (5) sources: at least one scholarly journal, one newspaper, and one Internet source. Additional sources may comprise books, personal interviews, magazines, Television programs, or any of the many types of sources available. Attach copies of sources used, with sections/portions quoted or paraphrased highlighted or underlined.
Remember to avoid plagiarism by “quoting” and citing allmaterial borrowed directly, as well as citing all paraphrasesfrom sources.
Paper must be turned in, as a Word document, on or before the due date: in class. No extensions.
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