COM 400-Org – Fall, 2018
Research Paper Instructions
Program: Microsoft Word (For submitting to Safe Assignment. Please do not submit as PDF, RTF, or Pages.)
Length: Minimum of 3 full pages to maximum of 5 pages
Spacing: Double-space all lines, including all lines of reference list. Your name may be in an upper corner of the first page,
or on a cover page (optional). Page numbers should be in the header, not typed by hand on each page.
Margins: All should be one inch (not 1.25). Please do not right justify. (See Paper Format Sample document for visual.)
Times New Roman, 12-point
Citations: APA style required for in-text citations & reference page. Reference page is required. The APA requirement only
applies to citations; please do not include an abstract or running head.
1. Because this paper requires at least one interview, you will want to arrange your interviews as soon as possible. If
you think you will want to include direct quotes in your paper, you will want to audiotape an in-person interview, or do
the interview by email. (If you don’t have a record of the person’s exact words, you should not include direct quotes.)
2. Prepare a set of questions in advance of each interview. Think about what these people are likely to know about the
topic, what you hope to learn, and what we are studying in class. Then, for each person, compose a set of at least five
questions that you can have in front of you during the interview.
3. Do not attempt to avoid this requirement by locating an interview online, pretending that you asked the questions, and
copying down the online responses. A previous student attempted this, and Safe Assignment flagged the copied
responses, resulting in a low grade.
CONTENT REQUIREMENTS (with point values)
10 [B] BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON YOUR TOPIC. Remember that your paper concerns a problem related
to identity or diversity in organizations. What is the history of this problem, and how has it been dealt with over time?
What are some significant stories or cases in the history of this problem? Depending on your topic, this could be
research about the history of one organization, or about a particular type of organization (such as a business industry).
(The research sources for this section are in addition to your interviews and citation of academic sources.)
IMPORTANT: As you research particular organizations, do not restrict your research to P.R. produced by those
organizations (which is likely to be 100% favorable). While it is fine to include such P.R., you should indicate when
information originated with the organizations themselves, and also find information from outside sources.
12 [C] AT LEAST TWO CITATIONS FROM SCHOLARLY SOURCES
As indicated in the proposal instructions, you must include:
(a) at least one citation of communication theory from the Allen textbook, AND
(b) at least one citation from another scholarly source (i.e., a communication textbook; the articles posted to our
Blackboard site; other articles from peer-reviewed academic journals). [IMPORTANT: Many students have lost
points for failing to include a second scholarly source. Using only the Allen book is not sufficient.]
These citations should be used where appropriate in the paper (most likely the analysis section) and the sources must also
be included on your reference list.
6 [N] NAME, DATE, AND LOCATION FOR EACH INTERVIEW you conducted. If you conduct an interview by
email, list the dates when you sent the questions and the dates when the responses were received. (If an interview
subject prefers to be discussed with an alias, please indicate that the name is an alias.)
400-Org Research Paper instructions 2
10 [I] THE MOST SIGNIFICANT COMMENTS MADE BY YOUR INTERVIEW SUBJECTS. Did they make
comments that supported the research you did on this topic? Did their comments contradict your research in any way?
If so, what do you believe is the reason for this contradiction?
[IMPORTANT: This section should be written as part of the paper (i.e., “When I asked about xxx, Mr. Smith said….”).
Do not just create a numbered list of your questions and the corresponding answers. You are telling your reader
about the significant comments made by these people in order to connect their opinions to your other research. A list of
questions and answers does not do this and, in most cases, the exact wording of your questions will not be necessary.]
10 [S] SYNTHESIZE & ANALYZE YOUR MATERIAL AND DRAW CONCLUSIONS. Pull together your research
on the topic, your interview results, the communication theory from Allen, and any other academic theory you’ve chosen
to apply to this topic. What conclusions can you draw from all of this information? What recommendations can you
make in terms of dealing with this type of problem now and in the future?
6 [A] APA STYLE for in-text citation and reference list. List will include the Allen textbook, at least one additional
scholarly source, and the sources for your research on the topic itself (such as info about particular organizations, etc.).
Interviews should not be included on your reference list because they are not published and your reader cannot retrieve
them. Interviews should be cited in-text only (see below*).
6 [M] MECHANICAL ACCURACY, i.e., correct spelling, grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, formatting.
60 TOTAL POINTS POSSIBLE
PAPER SUBMISSION: Digital upload to Safe Assignment AND a hard copy in class on Thu. Oct. 18th
* APA style for in-text citation of an interview (from the APA manual, p. 179) should be structured as follows:
-- If the person’s name is part of your sentence: T. K. Lutes (personal communication, October 1, 2018)
-- If the person’s name is not part of your sentence: (T. K. Lutes, personal communication, October 1, 2018)
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