Professional Briefing paper

Each student is expected to pick a topic related to the course content and develop a professional briefing paper and presentation on the chosen topic. Those learners who are more interested in developing specific skills related to the course content should pick a topic that focuses on a professional activity or practice (e.g. conducting a SWOT analysis).

Once each learner has chosen their topic, they need to identify at least 2 recent (no earlier than 2005) articles that address the topic. Each learner is encouraged to identify both a research/scientific (academic) and a practitioner oriented article. The research/scientific (academic) article will assist in providing a comprehensive definition of the topic and a description of key aspects of the topic, whereas the practitioner oriented article will provide more how to information.

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Online databases of articles (research and practitioner) are available via the online library, and have search filters which allow you to restrict your searches to academic or practitioner oriented articles (trade publications).

Video review of professional briefing papers and presentations (click here)
Video on how to use the Southern University online databases of articles to identify both a research/academic and practitioner oriented article related to your chosen topic (click here)
Video review of 2 sample briefing papers (click here)

Each student is required to review the selected articles and develop a professional briefing paper and presentation that consists of the following sections:

(Section 1) Define and describe the topic using the information provided in the articles and other sources if necessary (try to secure a comprehensive definition of the topic and identify any classifications, typologies and dimensions e.g. a SWOT analysis is defined as … and has the following types … and the first type is made up of the following dimensions …, second type is made up of … etc.).
(Section 2) Identify the key points that the articles are making about the topic and present the information in a series of bulleted statements (e.g. highlight the key points that the articles are making about the topic, and then use the highlights to create a set of key bullet points ). If necessary, expand briefly on each point to assist the reader in understanding the point being made.
(Section 3) Briefly describe why the topic is important for organizations (what impact will the topic have on our society, organizations, environment etc. – e.g. why is SWOT analysis important for organizations). If no direct information is provided then you need to make thoughtful inferences.
(Section 4) Briefly recommend key actions that should be taken with regard to this topic (e.g. how might this practice/activity be executed e.g. generally, how should a SWOT analysis be conducted?). Provide some information about the key general steps required to execute this activity, and any other things that support efficient and effective execution. If no direct information is available then you need to make thoughtful inferences. Section 4 is only applicable if you chose a topic that is an activity or practice.

Paper must be structured using the 4 sections indicated above (unless section 4 is not needed) and must reference all sources on a separate page at the end (use either the Chicago or APA referencing format). The paper should be 3 pages in length (excluding the cover page and reference page), 11/2 line spacing, 12 point arial or verdana font, normal margins (typically 1 inch all around), cover page with topic title, course name, instructor name and student name and number. The paper must be saved in PDF format and uploaded into the associated Moodle drop-box by the time/date indicated in the course schedule/calendar (do not attach the articles). Additional information about the assignment, assessment process and assessment criteria is contained within the course website (Moodle).

The assessment of the professional briefing will take place using a rubric based on the criteria and assessment levels indicated below.

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