In this project, you will search for information that will enable you to identify three top trends in your profession or field. Over the course of the project, you will exercise information literacy skills as you locate and evaluate information and develop well-reasoned conclusions. Reviewing the many sources available to you, you will choose those that are relevant, timely, and helpful to your quest to understand the issues of your industry. Once you have identified the top trends, you will choose one that is particularly interesting to you or one that you think is the most problematic, and research more deeply to produce an analytical research paper for your team. Your project is intended to prepare the search committee on the issues so that it is well-prepared to interview candidates. This project will prepare you for more complex research projects, as you will refine and hone your ability to create a statement of the problem and find the information you need to produce a well-reasoned, well-supported analysis.
Step 1: Conduct Research to Identify Top Trends
In this step, you will refine your ability to conduct research for information in academic, public, and web domains. This project will require two different kinds of searches. First, you will perform a brief industry analysis to become more knowledgeable about your industry and how it is classified in national databases. From this initial research, you will learn the codes associated with your industry and you will learn where to find and use business research resources. This should enable you to find more specific search terms to help you find resources that will help you identify the top trends in your industry. Once you have identified the top trends, you will choose an issue in one of the three top trends and conduct more research to provide an analysis of the issue, its effect on the industry, and how an organization would address this issue – whether to mitigate or to promote – to its own advantage.
“Cybersecurity” will not have an exact match in the NAICS classifying system; however, look for activities that are part of cybersecurity, which could be computer systems, information security, or an industry that relies on cybersecurity to keep information secure (like the healthcare industry). Drill down to find the closest match for the component of cybersecurity that is most useful to you.
Once you have reviewed NAICS and SOC codes and UMUC library resources for conducting research and business research, you will research industry trends. A trend could be something that you, as an industry insider is aware of, an emerging trend, or it could be a trend that you think is unrecognized or disputed.
Use your resources to provide evidence for the trends you choose and understand that your initial choices may change as you continue to read more deeply. Scan resources that you find in periodicals, journals, newspapers, industry blogs, and websites to choose the best references. Use industry-specific keywords and industry codes and take notes on resources as you read because you will build on this research in the next step. Record notes from the resources and record the complete citation in APA format in your draft References page in accordance with the APA Style Guide Sixth Edition. Your resources should be recent and relevant.
Your search for relevant and timely sources and recording citation details may take up to three hours. After you have identified the top three trends in your industry, go on to the next step, in which you will choose an issue in one of them that is particularly important.
Step 3: Writing Your Research Paper
In the previous two steps, you performed searches, first to identify industry trends, and then for information about an issue in one of those trends important to your industry. Now, you should be ready to draft a paper.
This would be a good time to review organization in writing and paragraphs. You might also review the Effective Writing Center’s Online Guide to Writing, a valuable reference to students who seek to improve their writing.
Review your tasks. You are to provide a research paper that provides a summary of the three top trends in your industry (with associated NAICS codes). Provide sufficient background for your reader that the trend is clear and supported by resources you have found. Review resources in References and Citations to ensure that you are using “in text” citations to give credit for the ideas of other authors and to build your credibility as a researcher, neither ignoring sources nor quoting excessively.
You will develop a paper that accomplishes two objectives:
- It will identify the three top trends in your industry and your rationale for your choices based on the resources you found;
- It will discuss an issue within one of the trends that you deem important, based on the current state of the industry, and will be supported by your analysis of facts and a well-reasoned conclusion of what it means to the industry.
Start with an outline and flesh out the main themes with supporting statements. This will become a road map to an organized paper. Draft, sleep on it, and edit. Repeat.
Your paper will be five to seven pages, not including a cover page and References page(s), double-spaced, and set up in APA standards. It does not require an abstract.
Your citations, both “in text” and in references, will be in accordance with the APA Style Manual Sixth Edition. You may also find this sample APA paper helpful.
Your headings will follow this general pattern:
Paper Title (First-level position, not bold)
Findings (First-level heading, centered, bold)
Top Trends of the _____ Industry (Second-level heading, bold, flush left)
An important emerging issue in a trend (and what it means in context to the industry) (Second-level heading, bold, flush left)
Conclusions (First-level heading, centered, bold)
References (New page, first-level position, not bold)
Milestone: Many students are asked to resubmit their papers based on incomplete or inaccurate citation formats.
- a cover sheet in good APA format;
- a “template” for your paper that includes the headings;
- an opening paragraph that will introduce the industry, the top trends, the chosen issue, and the question that you propose to answer; and,
- a draft References page.
Before you submit, review the competencies below, I will use to evaluate your work. A good practice would be to use each competency as a self-check to confirm you have incorporated all of them in your work. To view the complete grading rubric, click My Tools, select Assignments from the drop-down menu, and then click the project title
- 1.1: Organize document or presentation clearly in a manner that promotes understanding and meets the requirements of the assignment.
- 1.2: Develop coherent paragraphs or points so that each is internally unified and so that each functions as part of the whole document or presentation.
- 1.3: Provide sufficient, correctly cited support that substantiates the writer’s ideas.
- 1.4: Tailor communications to the audience.
- 1.5: Use sentence structure appropriate to the task, message and audience.
- 1.6: Follow conventions of Standard Written English.
- 2.1: Identify and clearly explain the issue, question, or problem under critical consideration.
- 2.2: Locate and access sufficient information to investigate the issue or problem.
- 2.3: Evaluate the information in a logical and organized manner to determine its value and relevance to the problem.
- 2.4: Consider and analyze information in context to the issue or problem.
- 2.5: Develop well-reasoned ideas, conclusions or decisions, checking them against relevant criteria and benchmarks.