Application: Motivating Employees
Consider your current job, a job you have had in the past, or one you know well. Then, write a paper in your own words using APA Paper Guidelines (file uploaded). Read the Course Readings (files uploaded) and answer all of the questions in paragraphs 2-5 in your own words. Your reference should only be the Course Readings (Jones, G. R., & George, J. M. (2015). Essentials of contemporary management (6th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.).
PARAGRAPH 1 (at least 5 sentences): Thesis statement and Introduction. PARAGRAPH 2 (at least 5 sentences): What motivational techniques, methods, or strategies does (or did) your current or past employer use to try to keep employees productive, satisfied, or motivated? PARAGRAPH 3 (at least 5 sentences) : What worked and didn’t work to keep you productive, satisfied, and/or motivated? PARAGRAPH 4 (at least 5 sentences): What motivational theories explain why your employer’s efforts worked or didn’t work to keep their
employees productive, satisfied, or motivated? PARAGRAPH 5 (at least 5 sentences): Based on your experiences and the readings, what would you recommend that your current or past
employer do to try to keep their employees productive, satisfied, and/or motivated? PARAGRAPH 6 (at least 4 sentences): Conclusion.
PARAGRAPH 1: Thesis statement and Introduction (at least 5 sentences)
Construct a thesis statement, which lets readers know how you synthesized the literature into a treatise that is capable of advancing a new point of view. This statement provides readers with a lens for understanding the forthcoming research presented in the body of your essay (after all, each piece of literature should support and apply to this thesis statement).
Sample: In this essay, I will argue that a Bowler’s (2003) autocratic management style, when coupled with Smith’s theory of social cognition (2007), can reduce the expenses associated with employee turnover.
The new revision here is still concise, as well as specific and arguable. We can see that it is specific because the writer is mentioning (a) concrete ideas and (b) exact authors. We can also gather the field (business) and the topic (management and employee turnover). The statement is arguable because the student goes beyond merely comparing; he or she draws conclusions from that comparison (“can reduce the expenses associated with employee turnover”).
Making a Unique Argument
Sample: Through a series of student interviews, I found that Kennedy High School’s anti-bullying program was ineffective. In order to address issues of conflict between students, I argue that Kennedy High School should embrace policies outlined by the California Department of Education (2010).
Words like “ineffective” and “argue” show here that the student has clearly thought through the assignment and analyzed the material; he or she is putting forth a specific and debatable position. The concrete information (“student interviews,” “anti-bullying”) further prepares the reader for the body of the paper and demonstrates how the student has addressed the assignment prompt without just restating that language.
Creating a Debate
Sample: Roderick’s (2009) theory of participatory leadership is particularly appropriate to nurse educators working within the emergency medicine field, where students benefit most from collegial and kinesthetic learning.
Here, the student has identified a particular type of leadership (“participatory leadership”), narrowing the topic, and has made an arguable claim (this type of leadership is “appropriate” to a specific type of nurse educator). Conceivably, a scholar in the nursing field might disagree with this approach. The student’s paper can now proceed, providing specific pieces of evidence to support the arguable central claim.
Choosing the Right Words
Sample: Ecologists should work to educate the U.S. public on conservation methods by making use of local and national green organizations to create a widespread communication plan.
Notice in the revision that the field is now clear (ecology), and the language has been made much more field-specific (“conservation methods,” “green organizations”), so the reader is able to see concretely the ideas the student is communicating.
Leaving Room for Discussion
Sample: The most effective treatment plan for methamphetamine addiction may be a combination of pharmacological and cognitive therapy, as argued by Baker (2008), Smith (2009), and Xavier (2011).
In the revised thesis, you can see the student make a specific, debatable claim that has the potential to generate several pages’ worth of discussion. When drafting a thesis statement, think about the questions your thesis statement will generate: What follow-up inquiries might a reader have? In the first example, there are almost no additional questions implied, but the revised example allows for a good deal more exploration.
Words to Avoid and to Embrace
When drafting your thesis statement, avoid words like explore, investigate, learn, compile, summarize, and explain to describe the main purpose of your paper. These words imply a paper that summarizes or “reports,” rather than synthesizing and analyzing.
Instead of the terms above, try words like argue, critique, question, and interrogate. These more analytical words may help you begin strongly, by articulating a specific, critical, scholarly position.
Once you have established your thesis, begin constructing the introduction. An easy template for writing an introduction follows:
1. Start with what has been said or done regarding the topic.
Sample: Since its publication in 1880, Constance Fenimore Woolson’s short story, “Rodman the Keeper,” critics have repeatedly described it as “epitomizing [a] sympathy and sensitivity to the South” (Weekes, 2002, p. 34).
2. Explain the problem with what has been said or done.
Sample: Belying this assessment, I would argue, is the make-up of Woolson’s Southern economy.
3. Offer a solution in a concise thesis statement that can be supported by the literature.
Sample: Therefore, I will focus not on the sympathetically depicted depravity of the Southern proletariat, as most critics do, but rather on the causes and effects of this depravity. This approach will reveal a facet of “Rodman” that many critics have ignored: the financial irresponsibility of the “thriftless,” “prideful” Southerner and the subsequent and repeated fault in his attempt to independently sustain his economy.
4. Explain how the thesis brings about social change.
Sample: Peppered throughout Woolson’s text, these charges of incompetence make it seem that Woolson is far less concerned with “preserving a record of the quickly fading southern values, society, and way of life” (Weekes, 2002, p. 37) than she is with establishing Northern superiority.
PARAGRAPHS 2-5: Body Paragraphs (at least 5 sentences for each paragraphs)
This text will be the beginning of the body of the essay. Even though this section has a new heading, make sure to connect this section to the previous one so readers can follow along with the ideas and research presented. The first sentence in each paragraph should transition from the previous paragraph and summarize the main point in the paragraph. Make sure each paragraph contains only one topic, and when you see yourself drifting to another idea, make sure you break into a new paragraph. Also, avoid long paragraphs (more than three fourths of a page) to help hold readers’ attention—many shorter paragraphs are better than a few long ones. In short, think: new idea, new paragraph.
1. Main Idea: Your topic sentence stating the concrete claim the paragraph is advancing.
1.1. Placement: The topic sentence does not have to be the first sentence in the paragraph; however, it should come early in the paragraph in order to orient the reader to the paragraph’s focus right away. Occasionally a writer may place a transition sentence before the topic sentence, to create continuity between topics.
Topic Sentence to begin paragraph: In the novel Sula, Morrison uses the physical bonds of female friendship to propel her characters into self-awareness.
Transition Sentence + Topic Sentence to begin paragraph: However, Morrison does not only use the emotional and spiritual bonds between her female characters to initiate their coming-of-age. In addition, the author uses the physical bonds of female friendship to propel her adolescent protagonists into self-awareness.
1.2. Specificity: Your topic sentence should be more narrowly focused than your thesis sentence, and you will want to make sure the claim you are making can be supported, argued, and analyzed within the body of your paragraph.
Example: In the novel Sula, Morrison uses the physical bonds of female friendship to propel her characters into self-awareness.
In this topic sentence, the essayist is arguing that physical bonds of friendship, specifically, make the female characters more self-aware. Because this idea can be refuted or supported by readers (based on how successfully the essayist persuades his or her readers with examples and analysis from the novel), and because the claim is narrow enough to address within a single paragraph, the above sentence is a successful topic sentence.
1.3. Direct Quotations (Are Best Avoided): Although it might be tempting to begin a paragraph with a compelling quotation, as a general rule, topic sentences should state the main idea of the paragraph in your own words. Direct quotations have a place later in the paragraph, where they may be incorporated to support the topic sentence.
Example: In the novel Sula, Morrison uses the physical bonds of female friendship to propel her characters into self-awareness. Pointing to the connection of eyes meeting and bodies growing together, Morrison makes coming-of-age an interactive physical process between the adolescent protagonists. Specifically, Morrison describes how Sula and Nel have used “each other to grow on…they found in each other’s eyes the intimacy they were looking for” (p. 52).
In this second paragraph, the topic sentence appears first, immediately orienting readers to the main focus (or topic) of the paragraph. The quotation is used later in the paragraph as a form of evidence or support for the topic sentence.
2. Evidence: Paraphrase from the source material you are using to support your topic sentence’s claim.
1. Paraphrased material must be cited. Even though paraphrasing means that you are restating information in your own words, you must give credit to the original source of the information.
2. Citations for paraphrased material should always include both the author and the year. In-text citation can be placed within the sentence or at the end:
Example: According to Johnson (2012), mirror neurons may be connected with empathy and imitation.
Example: Mirror neurons may be connected with empathy and imitation in human beings (Johnson, 2012).
2.2. Integrate: In order for a reader to understand the impact of a paraphrased source material, you should work to integrate your evidence into your paragraph’s overall discussion. A strong way to integrate source material is to use transitions. Take a look at this example:
Paragraph with paraphrased material revision (revisions in bold):
The causes of childhood obesity are various. Greg (2005) found that children need physical activity to stay healthy. However, children’s inactive lifestyles and the time they spend in front of a screen seem to consume the time they could otherwise spend playing outdoors or involved in physical activities. In fact, this lack of physical activity has a direct effect on body fat index (BMI). One study found that the amount of time spent in front of the television or computer had a direct correlation to an individual’s BMI (Stephens, 2003). While screen time is correlated with high BMI, Parsons (2003) still debated whether nature or nurture affects childhood obesity more. Though Parsons admitted that scientists have linked genetics to obesity, he also explains that parents often reinforce bad lifestyle habits (Parsons, 2003).
Adding transitions allows the author to make connections while still presenting the paraphrased source material.
Examples of Paraphrasing
Here is the original source an author might use in a paper:
Differentiation as an instructional approach promotes a balance between a student’s style and a student’s ability. Differentiated instruction provides the student with options for processing and internalizing the content, and for constructing new learning in order to progress academically.
Here is an example of a better way to paraphrase the source. In this example, the author has taken the essential ideas and information from the original source, but has worded it in her own way, using unique word choice and sentence structure. The author has condensed Thompson’s (2009) information, including what is relevant to her paper, but leaving out extra details that she does not needed.
Teachers use differentiated instruction to help students learn, allowing the teacher to cater lessons to the way each student learns and each student’s skill (Thompson, 2009).
3. Analysis: Your explanation and evaluation of the evidence; explaining the evidence you provided and its relevance in your own words. See the example below.
Embryonic stem cell research uses the stem cells from an embryo, causing much ethical debate in the scientific and political communities (Robinson, 2011). However, many politicians use the issue to stir up unnecessary emotion on both sides of the issues. James (2010) explained that “politicians don’t know science,” (p. 24) so scientists should not be listening to politics. Instead, Robinson (2011) suggested that academic discussion of both embryonic and adult stem cell research should continue in order for scientists to best utilize their resources while being mindful of ethical challenges.
In the revision, however, that the writer clearly explained the quotations as well as the source material, introduced the information sufficiently, and integrated the ideas into the paragraph.
4. Lead Out: Concluding; preparing your reader to transition to the next paragraph (and the next claim).
PARAGRAPH 6: Conclusion (at least 4 sentences)
The conclusion section should recap the major points of your paper. However, perhaps more importantly, the conclusion should also interpret what you have written and what it means in the bigger picture. To help write your concluding remarks, consider asking yourself these questions: What do you want to happen with the information you have provided? What do you want to change? What is your ultimate goal in using this information? What would it mean if the suggestions in your paper were taken and used?
Conclusion Sample A:
In conclusion, we present ourselves through both face-to-face and online communication. Becoming a skilled communicator has a positive impact on our personal and social interactions. Ethical and effective communication becomes even more vital when our messages are conveyed around the globe electronically. By analyzing face-to-face and online communication skills, I identified my strengths and weaknesses and developed some ideas on how to improve my communication skills to become a more knowledgeable and skilled communicator. I plan to be an effective and ethical communicator by further educating myself in this area and practicing verbal, nonverbal, and active listening skills that I learned in the communication course.
The Writing Center’s Response: The function of a conclusion is to offer a sense of closure or completion for the ideas presented earlier in the paper. In this sample, the writer signals the end with the phrase “In conclusion” and goes on to summarize the main points of the reflection paper. The success of this paragraph lies in its final sentence, though. In this sentence, the writer looks beyond the circumstances of the paper and into the future. This can be an effective strategy for a conclusion because it widens the view, guiding the reader from the page out into the world.
Conclusion Sample B:
Reference: (only the Course Readings)
Jones, G. R., & George, J. M. (2015). Essentials of contemporary management (6th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
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