The Position Paper Worksheet is a brief description of the first stage of research in preparing to write a position paper. A position paper is a research paper with your opinion included. In some organizations, this kind of paper is called a “white paper.”
In the worksheet assignment, include a thesis statement for the paper. A thesis statement is a one- or two-sentence statement that explicitly outlines the purpose or point of your position paper. You will research a particular topic on communication that is of interest to you from your own past or present working experience. You should use scholarly and professional sources to research theories and practices to understand different opinions on the subject, with the aim of explaining and arguing for a position you think is correct, and ways you believe communication can be improved in real-life situations.
As you research your position paper topic, keep notes on the sources of opinions that you will then distill and synthesize to put into a worksheet for the instructor. You will provide the APA style citation information and a brief description of the following types of sources on your specific topic:
1. Popular magazines (such as Forbes, Business Week, Psychology Today);
2. Newspapers (local papers, The Wall Street Journal, etc);
3. Peer-reviewed journals – for examples, use the Business Source Complete database;
4. Book (specific to the subject);
5. Personal interview with a subject matter expert;
6. Website, if appropriate;
7. Video on a topic about communication.
For the Position Paper Worksheet: In a paper that is up to three pages in length, you will describe, compare, and contrast four sources from the last three years that you have found for your Position Paper, one each from four different types of sources.
A. You will select, for example, a magazine article, a journal article, something from a newspaper, and a website, each about some aspect of the topic.
B. Describe each one. Consider the credibility of the authors; are their qualifications noted. Is each one an authority on the subject or a reporter on another person’s work? Compare the magazine article with the newspaper article. Compare those with a peer-reviewed journal article. Compare the journal article with the website information.
C. Compare the amount of information provided by each source and the depth of explanation on the topic.
D. Describe the kind of information that each contains. How helpful is it to you in understanding the subject?
The subject must be selected with the following two steps:
1) Step 1: Select a general area for research in the field of organizational communication. Ex.: Interpersonal Conflicts in the Workplace.
2) Step 2: Turn your general topic into a specific one using the criteria of:
Ex.: Interpersonal Conflicts Resulting from Role Confusion (Content) in Department A of Company B (Location) between 2007-09 (Time).
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