Planning and Secondary Research

1. Think about, decide upon and describe a business-related problem you would like to resolve. If you wish, you may use this same problem-topic in your Week 6 “Write a Proposal” Assignment paper.  Both this Week 6 Discussion and the Week 6 Write a Proposal Assignment requires identification of a problem. The first step is to know and to clearly articulate a “Problem Statement” and a “Problem Question”. Page 398 of our textbook discusses this first step.  I will share with you (as a person who has been forced as an academic to conduct research, complete a dissertation, and write journal articles), this first step can be challenging. The problem needs to be narrowed down to the extent resolution is possible.  If problems are too general, you end up discovering all kinds of details and getting to a result, a solution, a resolution can be overwhelming. Keep it simple.  We do not need to be overwhelmed in our class.  For the Week 6 Discussion, you will define the problem, give consideration to analyzing the problem and the purpose and choose and conduct some secondary research.  The “Week 6 Write a Proposal” assignment includes identification of a problem and purpose, too and you can use information from this Week 6 Discussion in your Week 6 “Write a Proposal” Assignment paper.

Step one: Statement of the Problem

2. Describe in detail information about this problem, who cares about the problem, what people/roles are involved (see page 399 regarding “Anticipating the Audience and Issues”, why this problem needs to be resolved, what is the purpose of giving effort, time, and resources to address the problem.  In this section, also identify the scope and limitations (pages 397 – 402 in the textbook explain these requirements.  Sometimes this process is referred to as a “Work Plan” although we will add the considerations regarding Anticipating the Audience and Issues in Step 2.

Step two: Identification of the Purpose, Participants, Scope, Limitations

3. Describe what you need to know and how you can find out the answers. In this section, you can use a list or paragraph to identify all of the information needed.  Once you know what you need to know, then you decide to do secondary research to see if someone else has already answered your questions.  If the secondary research effort does not provide all of the information you need, then you do primary research (which we are not addressing in this Business Communication class). You should know the definition, the methods, and the reasons for primary research but we will not implement a primary research project (because we have no budget and depending on what type of primary research, specific approvals are necessary (e.g, IRB approval).

Step three: Describe the secondary research strategy including a description of potential sources and methods of collecting information (i.e., “data”).

4. Access two secondary research resources, see what you learned, decide if relevant to assist in resolving the identified problem and share your findings with the class.

Step four: test the secondary research waters.

5. Give yourself the gift of allocating an appropriate amount of time to think, research, and write. Follow the directions. Run spell and grammar check and proofread your crafted response (reading aloud is highly recommended because it slows down the review, indicates where pauses are appropriate, and suggests where editing is beneficial).  Discussion settings allow you to edit an already posted response without any change in date or time.

5. As noted above, postings should be made on four of seven days during the week.  A main response plus three additional conversational responses to other postings is a requirement.  Main postings should be present on or before Day 4 (Thursday night).

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