Summary of the Assignment:
- Task: In this paper, you will write a briefing paper that provides information about a specific problem in an industry or field of study. The paper will also include a possible solution to the problem.
The problem can be a technical problem, a logistical problem, a human resource problem, a performance problem, or any other issue that the industry or field is dealing with.
You will respond to a discussion topic in week 3 about potential topics for the briefing paper, and you will post a memo to your instructor in a discussion topic in week 5 about your topic for the briefing paper. Your instructor should approve of the topic before you submit your first draft of the briefing paper.
- Length: 1200-1500 words, single-spaced
- Graphics: at least two graphics. The graphics can be original, or they can be borrowed from other sources, with the sources cited in APA format
- Format in Citing and Listing Sources: APA 7th edition
- Number of Sources: five or more sources, at least three of which have to be obtained through OneSearch
Brief Description of the Briefing Paper:
In the workplace, often employees are asked to write a briefing paper to higher-level administrators on a problem in their particular industry. The paper will also present some potential solutions to the problem.
Some examples are as follows:
- An employee working in the cybersecurity field might be asked to write a briefing paper on the security problems in using Internet of Things (IoT) devices for smart cities. The paper might make the point for blockchain technology as a solution to this problem.
- An employee working in the human resource management field might be asked to write a briefing paper on the problem of keeping employees engaged while they work remotely. The paper might argue that monthly town hall meetings on Zoom and some small face-to- face gatherings among employees who live in close proximity are a potential solution to this problem.
- An employee working at a community college or university might be asked to write a briefing paper on the problems of helping working students succeed in college as they navigate their demanding schedules. The paper might argue that flexible due dates on assignments is a potential solution to this problem.
- An employee in the information technology field might be asked to write a briefing paper on better ways to train employees on how to detect phishing scams in email messages at work. The paper might argue that infrequent online cybersecurity training is ineffective and that quarterly, face-to-face training sessions are needed as a solution to this problem.
Strategies to Consider for the Briefing Paper:
Please follow these guidelines:
Write to an audience in a particular industry or field with a clear problem to solve. The briefing paper can have a fairly broad audience, but the paper should focus on a particular problem that individuals are experiencing.
For example, you could write a briefing paper on better ways of training employees to detect phishing scams. The audience would be a broad range of managers and IT professionals.
However, the problem they all share would be clear: Employees have fallen for phishing email scams, and this trend has allowed hackers to access confidential data.
You could write a briefing paper on why blockchain technology should be used to improve security for smart cities. The audience would be a broad range of municipal leaders, both in IT and in administrative areas of city government. However, the problem they all share would be clear: With smart cities on the rise, the technology used in smart cities leaves residents vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks.
You could write a briefing paper on better ways of helping working students succeed in community college. The audience would be a broad range of community college administrators. However, the problem they all share would be clear: Current approaches to teaching working adults in community college are not helping a significant number of students succeed as they pursue their degrees.
Integrate research, both to demonstrate the existence of the problem and to illustrate the efficacy of the solution.
How to Organize the Briefing Paper:
Please include the following sections in your briefing paper:
- Executive Summary
- The Problem
- A Potential Solution
In the Executive Summary, summarize your research and your purpose in no more than 250 words. The executive summary should be a stand-alone document. It should be written in such a way that a busy executive could read the executive summary and have an overall understanding of what the paper is about without reading the rest of the paper.
In the The Problem section, you will describe the problem in the industry and why current approaches are not working to solve it. For example, if you are writing a briefing paper about a new way to train employees on how to detect and ward off phishing scams, you would review what training procedures are being conducted now by most companies to help them detect and ward off phishing scams. You could show the challenges or problems that the current training program has. You might show that employees are still falling prey to phishing scams despite this training, or that employees find the training uninspiring, boring, and routine.
In this section of the briefing paper, your use of sources will be important. You should integrate research to show that the problems you have identified exist. For example, in the situation described above, you would need sources to give evidence that employees find training ineffective.
In the A Potential Solution section, you will describe a new approach to addressing the problem you have identified.
For example, if you are writing a briefing paper about a new way to train employees on how to detect and ward off phishing scams, you would show why a new approach to training employees on phishing scams would be more effective than the current approaches. Perhaps the current approaches are boring online tutorials, and you are proposing exciting onsite training sessions complete with scenarios, role-playing, and group work.
You would want to integrate research to show that your new approaches might be superior. For example, you might cite a study that indicates that online tutorials are boring and that employees want more interaction. Overall, the more research, the more persuasive your argument will be.
In the Summary section, you briefly review what the problem is, how the research shows that is is a problem, and what the potential new approach is. This section should not be more than 200 words.
In the References, you will list your sources that you cited in the paper. You will list them in APA 7th edition format.
You are required to have at least five sources for your paper. In addition, at least three of them are to be from scholarly journals or from credible trade journals. This means that you will want to make use of the UMGC Library OneSearch function, which is demonstrated in the class.
Length of the Paper:
Your briefing paper should be 1200-1500 words in length. The paper should be single-spaced. You are required to use at least five sources, with at least three of them coming from scholarly or credible trade journals.
Your briefing paper should incorporate at least two graphics. Graphics can include tables, charts, or graphs showing some research findings. They can also be pull quotes that draw readers’ attention to an argument.
For example, using the situation described previously, you could integrate the following:
- a table that illustrates what percentage of companies use online tutorials to train their employees on phishing attacks
- a graph that shows how training on phishing has increased while successful phishing attacks have also increased, thus demonstrating the ineffectiveness of the training.
- a pull quote that highlights a point made by one of your sources on the ineffectiveness of current training methods
Your instructor will notify you of the due date. You will write a first draft, your instructor will comment on the first draft, and you will submit a second draft using the comments as your guide.
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