non for Profit Management
non for Profit Management
Your Research Paper is an important element of this course and it is hoped that you will consider choosing an area of NFP management that interests or inspires you. The Research Paper provides an opportunity to consider “best management practices” and an opportunity for you to draw on your own experiences and to look at NFP organizations that interest you or that you admire. If you work in or aspire to work in the NFP sector, this course and the Research Paper in particular can provide a unique opportunity to advance your knowledge and career in a meaningful way.
You will be asked to submit your Research Paper topic (or your possible ideas for topics) as part of the Module 4, the rough first draft as part of Module 6, and the final paper in Module 7. There are drop boxes included as part of this module.
In choosing your Research Paper topic please choose one of these two open-ended areas:
1.Pick an area of your choice on any topic, trend or problem of interest to you, within the arena of not-for-profit management. (Examples — emerging trends in NFP use of volunteers; new developments (including use of internet) in NFP fund-raising, or in recruitment and HR management; new developments in NFP governance and its effect on management systems; IT management in the NFP; grant writing; program evaluation; etc. There are nearly limitless possibilities.) Inspiration for your topic may come from our course discussions, readings, or shared references, or from your own experience.
2.Identify several characteristics of NFPs that distinguish them from for profit organizations and several that are similar. Describe and explore how these characteristics influence the management of non-profit organizations in ways that differ from or be the same as the management of for-profit organizations.
It is important that you pick a subject that will be meaningful to you. In many cases, if you are working in the NFP sector, or are even considering it, I would encourage you to pick a subject that will advance your own interests and have a connection to your own career and work life. For example, is there an area that you would like to know more about; is there a particular NFP organization that you admire and would like to learn more about in the context of a research subject.
As we move ahead in the course more ideas will occur to you. Try to balance waiting too long to choose a topic with choosing one early enough so that you can benefit from the readings and course material as we go forward. Once you have an idea of a topic, you can take notes and mark passages in the reading and accumulate reference material to support your paper topic.
The Research Paper should be between 5 and 7 pages in length, double spaced, with normal font size and spacing of letters. It should incorporate reference to course reading and content and to additional outside research from the many sources referenced in this course or from your own on-line research. You are encouraged to research best practices and current trends and to include reference and application to particular NFP organizations or sectors.
The Purpose of your Research – A research paper is more than the sum of your sources, more than a collection of different pieces of information about a topic, and more than a review of literature in a field. It is certainly more than strings of quotations from course materials. A research paper analyzes a perspective or argues a point. In an analytical research paper, you do research to become an expert on a topic so that you can restructure and present the parts of the topic from your own perspective. An argumentative research paper needs to support your stand on an issue. An argumentative research paper uses information as evidence to support a point. To learn more about “What A Research Paper Is” link to the Writer’s Complex’s Research Room.
Research Paper Format – Use the following format for the research paper as your “guide”. Note the word “guide” because you may find a need, given the specific topic you have selected, to modify. Remember that this is a research paper – not a longer version of an essay. The research paper should contain the following format: Title page, Purpose of Study, Opening Statement, Assumption or Hypothesis, Discussion of Findings, Recommendations, Conclusion/Summary, and Reference Page.
Title Page Should be concise and descriptive; creative wouldn’t hurt! Your names, course name and number, college and term should be listed. (This will not be counted when measuring the length of the paper.)
Purpose of Study Should include a succinct statement that explains why you selected the particular area of interest and why it lends itself to a research paper. State the purpose of your research and why it interests you. You should also identify the audience for your work.
Opening Statement, Assumptions or Hypothesis – The opening statement, argument or hypothesis focuses your ideas for the paper; it’s your argument, insight or viewpoint summarized into a sentence or two that gives the reader your main idea. It presents the rationale for your paper and clearly indicates why it is worth exploring. If you are not sure about how to refine, narrow or broaden your thesis, please visit “Finding Your Thesis” at the Empire State College’s Writing Resource Center.
Discussion Thoroughly and clearly discuss your topic, using everyday language. Feel free to include your own judgments and opinions, but do try to support these with evidence or reasoned argument. Also please respond to the topics of others; most find that there is a fascinating variety.
Recommendations Given your findings, what do you recommend be done? Use your findings to support your recommendations.
Conclusion/Summary – In this section, the emphasis should be on what has been learned about the assumptions, the limits of this particular inquiry, and the implications of the findings.
Reference Page – Documenting sources at the end of the research paper consists of listing all of the sources from which you quoted, paraphrased, or summarized. In APA style, the sources in a paper are listed alphabetically on a separate page headed References. It follows the final page of the text. (It will not be counted as part of the total number of pages.) By citing your sources you are letting your reader know that you’ve consulted experts whose ideas and information back up your own thoughts and ideas. You must cite your sources correctly so that your academic integrity is not called into question. If you don’t document, you could inadvertently be plagiarizing. Visit the Empire State College’s Writing Resource Center to get help with documenting sources or visit Diana Hacker’s Research and Documentation site.
There are excellent resources listed in the OnLine Resources folders of the course and there is also an excellent list of resources in the Edwards & Yankey text beginning at page 469. Some will be of direct benefit, while others will provide leads to further resources.
Works cited should include at least 10 sources, which may include web-based articles (be sure to include retrieval date), interviews and statistics.
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