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ENG 165: Workplace Issues

1. Getting Started

Exclamation PointFirst Things First - Assignment Requirements

Before you begin work on any research project, examine the assignment closely for any requirements. 

Q. How long is the presentation? 

Your presentation should be 6-8 minutes with at least 5-8 slides. Confirm your requirements with your assignment sheet.

Q. How many sources?

How many total sources does your instructor ask for; are they all outside sources or does your textbook count as one of your sources? For this assignment, you will need at least three credible sources.

Q. What kind of sources?

Does your instructor specify certain types of sources? Are there other requirements such as how current/old the sources can be, or where the source should come from - the library, a database, a book/ebook, a peer-reviewed journals, etc.?

Q. How do you cite sources?

Cite your sources using MLA format for your citations. You may want to remind yourself what information you need to create the MLA Works Cited page and in-text citations.

Q. What is due?

What do you have to turn in? In addition to your PowerPoint, you must also create a narrated PowerPoint. You must create an audio-file for each slide. Are there other pieces like a rough draft, outline, summary, reading response, a tutorial, etc.  Make note of all the parts of the assignment and create a checklist to make sure you don't leave anything out.

Q. When is it due?

How long do you have to work on this project? Is there one due date for everything or are there multiple due dates for different parts of the assignment?  Plan out your time, so you don't get stuck doing all the work at the last minute. Plan extra time in case you have problems or get stuck.

Q. What other requirements should you make note of? 

Are there requirements to include a certain number of quotes or paraphrases? Do you need to have a certain number of paragraphs? Do you need visuals/images? current statistics? Make note of any other requirements on the assignment sheet, and ask your instructor for clarification on any parts you're not sure about.

Selecting a Topic

The first thing you need to do before you begin a research project is to select a topic that you're going to write about. Think about your major or future career field; what are issues you see as potentially problematic in the workplace? The following are potential topics, but there are many more to consider:

  • Impacts of layoffs
  • Generational differences at work
  • Employee burnout
  • Executive pay
  • Sustainability in the workplace
  • Employee recognition
  • "Green" office design
  • Mentoring in the workplace
  • Gender discrimination
  • Transgender discrimination
  • Bullying in the workplace
  • Healthy workplaces
  • Sexual harassment
  • Pay and benefit inequality
  • Workplace safety
  • Outsourcing
  • Dating within the workplace
  • Disability accommodations
  • Religious accommodations
  • Breastfeeding at work
  • Nepotism
  • Employee assistance programs
  • Family-friendly scheduling
  • Social media in the workplace
  • Drug screening in the workplace
  • Workplace transparency
  • Employee unions
  • Hiring veterans
  • At-will employment
  • HIPPA and the workplace
  • Racial discrimination in the workplace
  • Workplace bias
  • Open office design and productivity
  • Telecommuting

Before you start your paper, keep in mind...

Before you totally commit to a topic, you'll want to make sure that there are enough outside sources on the topic for your assignment. Not every topic is going to have information written about it. Newer topics or topics that aren't as well known may be harder to find sources for.  Do some searching in the library's databases to make sure there are sources, and Ask-A-Librarian to double-check if you're not sure there are enough sources for a topic you're really interested in.