- To complete this project, you will form small groups and choose a local problem affecting USF or in the local Tampa Bay community.
- Each group member will complete primary and secondary research on the problem and write a 2-3 page research summary report in memo format.
- Although you are part of a group working on a shared research problem, each group member will complete their own primary and secondary research and write their own research summary report memo.
- Your memo should include the following section headings:
- Memo header with Date, To, From, and Subject
- Section headings:
- Background Information
- Problem Description
- Impacted Populations
- Problem Causes
- References (Note: use APA format for references)
Project 3 Overview
Research in the workplace solves a problem. Tasked with a problem in the workplace, you may be asked to gather the information necessary to fully understand the issue at hand, solve that problem (or offer potential solutions), prove that your solutions are viable, and/or test your solution(s). Doing this work requires different types of research that go beyond simply querying (searching) a library database or using Google. Often, you will need to speak directly to target populations and audiences and directly contact resources and experts in different professions and in the community. You may also need information in addition to or instead of scholarly resources. Local and national journalism (newspapers and magazines) may add context and perspective. Professional experts, government agencies, and state and local authorities may serve as be relevant sources, as are individuals in target populations.
Essentially, research in the workplace requires you to think critically and creatively about:
- The type of information you need; and
- The best way to get that information.
Your job as a researcher is to address, explain, and/or solve a problem using the most relevant and applicable methods and resources. If a resource can supply information you need, then it is the right resource for the job.
It’s also important when thinking about a problem your researching to keep in mind that you probably aren’t the first person or organization to deal with this issue. Look at other organizations, groups, or communities negotiating the same or similar issue. Research how those groups describe and deal with the problem. The perspective of experience is invaluable to your work.
Project 3 Assignment Instructions
This project asks you to do community-based research into a local problem impacting USF or the surrounding Tampa Bay community. Your goal for this project is to describe a problem in detail using as much information as you can gather from as many different kinds of sources as are useful. This project requires a mixture of primary research and secondary research. This means you may look at research gathered by others (e.g., government agencies, non-profit organizations, professional and academic experts), but you will also gather your own data by contacting experts and asking impacted population for their perspective.
Once you have formed small groups and agreed on a local problem, you will conduct research using any of the following methods and resources, or anything else that helps you explain the scope of your problem. Remember that your report must include a mixture of primary (original) and secondary (published) research.
- Newspapers (local, university, national)
- Reports from government agencies, universities, and/or NGOs
- Scholarly research
- Facts and statistics compiled by government agencies and/or NGOs
- Interviews with experts and/or impacted individuals
- Surveys (social media makes doing surveys easy)
- Online audience analysis using Voyant tools: https://voyant-tools.org/ (Links to an external site.)
- See student example using audience analysis here: Project 3 Voyant.png
As a deliverable, you will produce a report memo approximately 2-3 pages in length that reports your findings and provides readers with a robust understanding of the problem you have researched.
Upon successful completion of this project, you will be able to:
- Identify and engage with a problem-based scenario similar to those found in the workplace
- Develop primary and secondary research skills appropriate for addressing a specific problem
- Integrate research into a written deliverable
- Develop professional writing and editing skills
- Practice writing for a specific (local) purpose and audience
- Produce a specific genre of professional discourse (research summary report in memo format)