In this project, you will search for information that enables you to identify three top trends in your profession or field. Over the course of the project, you will exercise information literacy skills as you locate and evaluate information, and develop well-reasoned conclusions. You will choose six articles that best illustrate the top trends, and provide a summary of the main points and an analysis of the value of the resource to your conclusions about trends. This project will prepare you for longer research projects, requiring you to search for relevant information and convey your conclusions succinctly and clearly. Each step of this project should take no more than two hours to complete.
There are four steps that will lead you through this project. Begin by watching the video above, which introduces the project as it might occur in the workplace, and then continue with Step 1: Search Techniques.
In this step, you will become familiar with search methods and tools. Your deliverable will be similar to most annotated bibliographiesand should follow this template. This method of organizing research allows you to share resources while providing your own understanding of the resource. The tools will primarily be various kinds of search engines.
First, you should perform a brief industry analysis. This should improve your search results and help you identify trends relevant to your own possible career paths.
Second, use the UMUC library functions to locate journal articles, books, and other sources for your reference list. You may need to familiarize yourself with methods and tools for conducting research. Also, look at the UMUC library resources for business research, starting with the Industry Research section.
Now that you are familiar with search methods and tools, you will conduct your searches in the next step.
In the previous step, you reviewed NAICS and SOC codes, and the UMUC library resources for conducting research and business research. In this step, you will do some in-depth searching for industry trends.
You will probably have to scan through dozens of possible references before you choose the six works you will include. Try using both industry-specific keywords and industry codes from the previous step. Take notes on resources as you read; record your thoughts and the location of the resource so you can find it again. Only choose works that are relevant to trends you are researching.
If you get stuck, below are specific journals to search if you are in the MBA program. If you are in the Data Analytics program, see the list of topics further down.
Peer-Reviewed Sources for Business Topics
Academy of Management Journal Journal of Managerial Psychology
Academy of Management Perspectives Journal of Organizational Behavior
Academy of Management Review Project Management Journal
Business Horizons Organizational Behavior and Human Performance
Group & Organization Management Organizational Dynamics
Journal of Applied Psychology Organization Science
Journal of Business and Psychology The Leadership Quarterly
Step 3: Write Your Annotations
In the previous step, you performed many searches. Now you should be ready to start writing annotations for the six references that illustrate three trends in your industry or field. Annotating means ?to supply with critical or explanatory notes or comment upon in notes,? and you will provide a short, focused analysis of the articles that you have chosen in context to a trend you have identified. A trend could be one that any industry insider is aware of, an emerging trend, or it could be a trend that you feel is unrecognized or disputed. This is up to you. Just be sure to provide evidence for the trends you choose with references. It is possible that you will want to do some more searching after you begin to write. This is fine because after you begin to write and read resources more carefully, you might find a different trend or change your focus.
Each annotation will consist of a descriptive paragraph and an analytical paragraph. In the descriptive paragraph, summarize what the author is trying to say. The author might not mention the trend you are interested in, and that is OK. Save your insights into that for the analytical paragraph, where you will talk about how this resource supports a trend.
After you have finished writing and feel that you have a final product, take a break before you prepare your final deliverable in the next step. Many good writers let their writing sit overnight so they can review the next day with fresh eyes. This break often helps good writers spot errors and typos they overlooked while revising.