Assignments 2 & 3
Value: 40% each
Submit assignment via link in the Assessment section of the course home page
Due Date : Negotiable (suggested completion after Units 4 and 8)
It is becoming increasingly important for registered nurses to assume a leadership role in a changing health care system. Hence, registered nurses must be able to assess and act to fulfill their own learning needs in order to work to their full scope of practice. To complete this assignment, consider an issue or trend in nursing or health care and choose one of the options from the bulleted list below. Your papers must be scholarly in presentation, reflective of course content, and although they may be related to one another, they must not be duplications.
The following is a brief description of each type of paper/project. Please refer to the assignment expectations assessment section below for a detailed description of each type of paper/project.
Note: There is a 10 page limit for all written papers excluding title and reference pages. (with the exception of the professional portfolio):
Position Paper: presents an arguable position on an issue with the goal of convincing the audience that this position is valid. The position paper is related to course content; be clear as to difference between a position paper, discussion paper, and an issue paper
Discussion Paper: discusses a situation or dilemma representing a variety of views; consists of a reasoned defense of the recommendations. The discussion paper is related to course content; for example one could frame a question and then proceed with discussion of the answer.
Issue Paper: presents a balanced view of a situation or dilemma in which both sides of the situation are clearly articulated. The issue paper is related to course content that follows the framework from your textbook – Framing and Analyzing the Issue.
Literature Review: is an account of what has been published on a topic by accredited scholars and researchers; the purpose is to convey to what knowledge and ideas have been established on a topic, including the strengths and weaknesses. The literature review is related to course content.
Website Critique:: is a formalized, critical appraisal of a website; the goal is to turn critical reading into a systematic evaluation in order to deepen insight into that website. This is an analysis of several (5-7) interesting Web sites that relate to a particular issue and or take a position on that issue. Critique the verifiability of information in each web site including the authority of the Web site. Compare and contrast how the issue is presented, and provide an executive summary of each Web site.
Professional Portfolio: is a convenient system to tell the story of one’s career. It might include: original documents (e.g. resume/curriculum vitae, professional association memberships, license/board results), supporting materials (e.g. letters of recommendation, publications, presentations, certifications, job descriptions, evaluations), and collateral pieces (e.g. thank you letters, articles and books you have read). This is a beginning professional portfolio. Portfolio should not exceed a 15 page limit including title page and any appendices (this page limit is an exception to the 10 pages as stated above).
What is a Position Paper
A position paper presents an arguable opinion about an issue. The goal of a position paper is to convince the audience that your opinion is valid and worth listening to. Ideas that you are considering need to be carefully examined in choosing a topic, developing your argument, and organizing your paper. It is very important to ensure that you are addressing all sides of the issue and presenting it in a manner that is easy for your audience to understand. Your job is to take one side of the argument and persuade your audience that you have well-founded knowledge of the topic being presented. It is important to support your argument with evidence to ensure the validity of your claims, as well as to address the counterclaims to show that you are well informed about both sides.
Writing a Position Paper
To take a side on a subject, you should first establish the arguability of a topic that interests you. Ask yourself the following questions to ensure that you will be able to present a strong argument:
Is it a real issue, with genuine controversy and uncertainty?
Can you distinctly identify two positions?
Are you personally interested in advocating one of these positions?
Is the issue narrow enough to be manageable?
Analyzing an Issue and Developing an Argument
Once your topic is selected, you should do some research on the subject matter. While you may already have an opinion on your topic and an idea about which side of the argument you want to take, you need to ensure that your position is well supported. Listing out the pro and con sides of the topic will help you examine your ability to support your counterclaims, along with a list of supporting evidence for both sides. Supporting evidence includes the following:
Factual knowledge – Information that is verifiable and agreed upon by almost everyone.
Statistical Inferences – Interpretation and examples of an accumulation of facts.
Informed Opinion – Opinion developed through research and/or expertise of the claim.
Personal Testimony – Personal experience related by a knowledgeable party.
In considering your audience, ask yourself the following questions:
Is your topic interesting?
Can you manage the material within the specifications set by the tutor?
Does your topic assert something specific and propose a plan of action?
Do you have enough material to support an opinion?
Your introduction should lead up to a thesis that organizes the rest of your paper. There are three advantages to leading with the thesis:
The audience knows where you stand.
The thesis is located in the two strongest places, first and last.
It is the most common form of academic argument used.
Generic Sample Outline for a Position Paper
Introduce the topic
Provide background on the topic
Assert the thesis [your view on the issue]
Summarize the counterclaims
Provide supporting information for counterclaims
Refute the counterclaims
Give evidence for argument
Assert point #1 of your claims
Give your opinion
Assert point #2 of your claims
Give your opinion
Assert point #3 of your claims
Give your opinion
Restate your argument
Provide a plan of action
[Reference: University of Hawaii-West O’ahu. (1998). Writing a position paper. UHWO Writing Center]
Assignment Marking Criteria
All assignments in Nursing 438 are marked according to the following criteria:
Content of Paper or Project (70%)
Each element of the assignment guideline is addressed.
Analysis, synthesis, and critical thinking skills are demonstrated.
The paper integrates material from course textbook and/or other scholarly sources as appropriate.
Discussion is logical and clear; presentation of ideas is organized; evidence supports the discussion; writing style is concise.
Scholarly Format of Paper or Project (30%)
Paper/project is free of typographical, grammatical, punctuation, and spelling errors.
Paper/project adheres to APA (Current edition) format.
Paper/project adheres to page limits.
Critical thinking, scholarly writing and APA scholarly format, good writing, and critical thinking are the three most important criteria by which you will be judged in your papers. Each criterion carries equal weight in assigning marks.
Refer to the Student guide Student guide for more information on scholarly writing expectations and resources related to intellectual indebtedness.