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Business Communication

Research Report

Topic:
Select a field of business in which you would like to work. Then narrow your focus to a specific job in that field. If you have difficulty selecting a field, you should speak to me early in the process.

Requirements:

Research:
Minimum of ONE personal interview as primary source

3-8 secondary sources such as websites and journals that are reliable, credible, and cited. Include one to two graphics as visual support. Use the graphics to SUPPORT your ideas, not as decoration.

Style:
3-4 pages within 1” margins (top, bottom, left, and right), single-spaced, Times New Roman font, 12-point type. Double space between paragraphs. Business writing style.

Title:
Specific job title on page 1, no cover page or folder

Headings:
Appropriate headings

Appendix:
Brief summary of interview or primary research on last page

Process:
Research your chosen field. Find out what career paths are within the field. Consider which jobs appeal to you, and then select one specific job that you would like to pursue for your career. You are welcome to be imaginative here. This is your chance to explore any job (as long as it is legal). Gather detailed information through secondary research. Interview someone within your selected field (ideally with experience in the specific job). Organize your data into clear, reader-friendly categories.

Compose a first draft and revise several times until you have a polished document that will answer a reader’s questions about the job’s requirements, salary, responsibilities, benefits, drawbacks, and opportunities. In addition, readers may want to know the education, skills, and experience required to get the job and become successful.

Format:
You paper should include: Title, Introduction, Body (organized around three to five categories), Conclusion, Works Cited, and Appendix. Title each section and use subheadings within the body of the report. Also, include at least one appropriate visual aid within the body.

Expectations:
This report should be a polished document that would be acceptable in a professional work environment. Ask yourself if you would be comfortable presenting this report in a portfolio to a prospective employer in your chosen career. Your report will be evaluated on both form and content. Please ensure that all sources are properly documented.

English 113A/Misaghi

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PROGRESSION 2: Super Freakonomics

 Progression 2: SuperFreakonomics

Analysis and Argument
Exercise 1: Chapter Summaries
Exercise 2: Analysis
Exercise 3: Letter to Authors
Essay 2 (in multiple drafts and peer-reviewed)

All of the exercises are part  of  the  “Homework”  grade  of  Progression  2.  Unlike Progression 1, there
will be no rewrites allowed and absolutely no late homework accepted.

Progression Overview: This progression will allow you to continue with the type of work you began in
Progression 1, with more challenging skills to be used. The first step is for you to read all assigned
chapters of Super Freakonomics. You cannot get by with just reading two chapters as we will be discussing
a variety of chapters, and you may be quizzed on any of the assigned chapters. This is an interesting and
sometimes challenging book (both in the vocabulary and ideas), so you should practice the SQ3R strategy
and  take  regular,  clear  notes.  Also,  make  a  note  of  words/phrases  you  don’t  understand  and  find the
definitions. These words will come up in class and on quizzes, so you need to learn them.

Library Day: As part of this progression as a way to prepare for the essay, we will spend one class
session in the library during week 7. Attendance is necessary, even if you have had a library session in the
past as this class will be focused on preparing you for your essay, and you will have time to work while in
the library. It is important to stay on task with your work in this progression as each part will help lead you
to your essay.

 Exercise #1: Chapter Summaries

The purpose of this first exercise is to help you review and understand the material in Super Freakonomics.
While you should read all assigned sections (you might be quizzed!), you will be focusing deeply on the two
chapters that interest you the most.

► Like you did in Progression 1, you will be summarizing parts of the assigned book, Super

Freakonomics. This is a good way to highlight what the book is about and ensure you understand it.
You will choose the 2 chapters you liked best from your reading of this book, and summarize each one
on its own page.

Manuscript Notes: Each summary should be on its own page and cover one chapter only. Each
summary should be one, full double-spaced page and in MLA format. Avoid quoting and evaluating;
put the chapter in your own words, and only include material from the chapter – your opinion is not in
the book so it should not be in your summary.

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 Exercise #2: Analysis
The purpose of this second exercise is to encourage you to practice an open-minded but cautious way of
explaining and evaluating the claims of other scholars.

► For this exercise you will use a curious and analytical view to learn what the authors are writing about.
What  are  the  authors’  positions? What is the book about and why did they write it? What claims do
they make, and do they make sense to you? Are they convincing, why or why not?

Manuscript Notes: Your response should be 1 full double-spaced page and in MLA documentation.
Avoid large block quotations and use this exercise as an opportunity to practice using short quotations
as well as brief summaries. Try to refer to both the book as well as the video clips you saw on Charlie
Rose, the Freakonomics movie, or the information and videos on  the  authors’  website,  
www.freakonomics.com.

 Exercise #3: Letter to Authors
The purpose of the final exercise is to once again, speak to the author of your current reading. However,
unlike in progression 1 where you just talk about what you liked or related to, here you should get deeper
into the content of the book as well as what it has encouraged you to write your own essay about.

You have all begun to think about your essay where you make an argumentative statement connected to
the book SuperFreakonomics by Levitt and Dubner. In your letter to the authors of this book, you can
decide what to  say  about  the  issues.  However,  don’t  think  of  this  as  just  “a  letter  my  teacher  is  making  me  
write,”  but  as  your  chance  to  voice  what  you  got out of the book, directly to the authors.

Use the bullet points below to guide you in writing your letter:

 What did the book make you realize/learn?
 How has the book affected the way you think about factors in your own life?
 What does the book lead to you discuss and research in your own essay?
 You may also bring up points from the interview on Charlie Rose, on the movie Freakonomics, or
on the  authors’  website  (http://www.freakonomics.com),  but  you  are  not  required  to.
 Give  detailed  examples  from  the  book;;  don’t  just  speak  generally.  You  need  to  prove you really
read the book to the authors and your instructor!
 Do not simply thank the authors for writing a nice book – get  more  involved  with  the  book’s  
information.

Note:
Remember that a letter to an author is different than a summary, a personal letter, or an essay. Also, letters
to the author are brief and to the point. Do not try writing a whole essay in your letter. Your letter should be
2-3 thorough paragraphs (or 1 – 1 ½ pages) at most.

Format:
The letter must be typed, printed, and follow standard letter formatting. Please use 12-point Times New
Roman font. And see this site about letter formatting: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/653/02/.

Extra Credit: For an additional 5 points, you will provide me with hardcopy proof that you submitted your
letter to the authors. Proof = attaching a stapled copy of the complete email with a dated header that you
submit to LevittDubner@freakonomics.com.
*You may wait until you get feedback on the letter before you send it to the authors (and I highly suggest
this!), but I need the proof no later than your Essay #2 due date. You can put the proof in your two-pocket
folder.

http://www.freakonomics.com/

http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/653/02/

mailto:LevittDubner@freakonomics.com

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Progression 2 Essay: Super Freakonomics!

 Essay Proposal (Outline with Thesis) due ____________
 First draft (at least 2 full pages with a Works Cited page) due ____________
 FINAL draft due ____________

The purpose of this assignment is to formulate a clear, argumentative thesis statement, and develop
support for it in an essay that  analyzes  others’  arguments  and  utilizes  academic  research. You will learn
and practice the following research skills: analyzing a text, applying the claims from the text into your own
argument, finding and evaluating sources, and citing sources.

Note: this is not a report-where you collect and then report information. Instead, you will develop and
argue a debatable position on your selected topic. You will not turn in a paper that puts together other
people’s  ideas.  Instead, you will support a thesis statement and use sources to back up your ideas.

After spending time in class discussing Levitt’s and  Dubner’s  work,  you  will  combine  what  you  have  read  
along with a minimum of 2 other credible outside sources to develop a 3+ page typed, and double-spaced
(MLA format) paper that addresses ONE of the following questions:
1. Does the recognition of differences (narrow your topic to something specific, like: ethnicity, religion,
culture, politics, socioeconomic status, geography, gender, sexual preference, appearance, etc.)
create an “us and them” mentality, or does it help maintain a fair society? You MUST use examples
from SuperFreakonomics to support your position.

2. In the first book, Freakonomics, Levitt proclaims, “Humans respond to incentives” (7). Write an
essay to explore the power of incentives by:
a. Analyzing one or two of the ideas/conclusions Levitt reaches in SuperFreakonomics, and
b. Showing examples of how incentives work in your world.

3. If you want to formulate your own question, you may do so as long as it is related to
SuperFreakonomics, you get my approval, and you can write an argumentative essay to answer it.
YOU  MUST  INCLUDE  A  “WORKS  CITED”  PAGE  AT  THE  BACK  OF  YOUR  PAPER  (See  chapter 29 of
COMP if you need more help); THIS DOES NOT COUNT IN THE PAGE COUNT!
WHILE YOU MAY USE WEBSITES AS SOURCES, YOU CANNOT CITE FROM WIKIPEDIA OR ANY
DICTIONARY/ENCYCLOPEDIA/QUOTES WEBSITES. YOU MAY USE THEM IN YOUR RESEARCH,
BUT DO NOT CITE FROM THEM AS THEY DO NOT COUNT TOWARDS THE 2 SOURCES REQUIRED.
YOUR ESSAY FOLDER DUE ON ______ MUST INCLUDE:
1. Final draft (100 points)
2. First drafts (all of them)
3. Outline
4. Optional: LRC slip (10 points extra credit)

DON’T  FORGET  TO  ATTACH  THE  ESSAY  COVER  SHEET  (ON  NEXT PAGE) TO YOUR FINAL ESSAY!

English 113A/Misaghi

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Student Name: Date:

English 113A Essay #2 Cover Sheet & Checklist
Please read and comply with all of the checklist points below. If you are not able to check off
every box, your essay should not be handed in. Your essay will NOT be collected or graded if
this form is not attached with all items correctly completed.

*Note:  this  cover  sheet  is  only  required  for  your  essay’s  final  drafts,  not  the  rough  drafts.

 My essay is in MLA format (12 point Times New Roman font, double-spaced  evenly,  1”  margins  on  all  
sides, upper left corner contains: my name, instructor name, course, date).

 My essay is at least 3 full pages – not counting the Works Cited – as stated on the assignment sheet.

 I wrote this essay for this class, on my own: I did not write it for a previous class, nor did I cut and paste
from  someone  else’s  essay  or  from  the  internet.
*Optional: for extra credit, I went to the LRC on ___________ (date) and worked
with ______________________________(tutor/instructor name). Attach pink form.

 I would like the most feedback on the following 2 specific areas:

 The essay contains at least 2 credible sources and a Works Cited page with each source listed on it.

 I have uploaded  my  essay  to  the  “Essay  2”  link  on  Moodle,  or  I  will  do  it  by  midnight  tonight.

 My essay is stapled with this Cover Sheet on the top and is submitted in a two-pocket folder.

 I know this essay is due at the start of class on the due date, and if it is not turned in then, I understand
that my essay will be docked points (a few points if handed in same-day, or a full grade for each day
late).

*When you have checked off and completed ALL of the above requirements, then you may hand in your
essay. If you have any unchecked boxes (or you checked them off erroneously), your essay will be
returned to you, ungraded (0 points). Please sign below to confirm you have read and completed the above
on your own, and that you understand the assignment requirements.

Student Signature:

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