PUAD 700: Other topics are possible; just make sure to run the topic by me for approval. You must select and read THREE research articles on your...
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*I have pre-chosen my three articles. The topic I would like for you

to focus on is, "Managing Volunteers". The assignment is Due on October 17th at 5pm.
Thanks :)

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PUAD 700: CONCEPTS AND PRACTICES OF NONPROFITS Instructions for Midterm Assignment - DUE OCT 17th Understanding how to read and synthesize research is a critical skill for graduate students. For your midterm assignment, you must select one topic listed below to research in the academic journals that include nonprofit research. Other topics are possible; just make sure to run the topic by me for approval. You must select and read THREE research articles on your chosen topic. The articles can be empirical or theoretical (I would suggest a mix of the two). Book reviews do not count as articles. For the assignment, you must complete the following: 1. Bring together the main research findings of the articles in an integrated discussion—by integrated, I mean DO NOT summarize each article one at a time. Read across the three articles, determine what the main themes are, and then provide an integrated discussion of those themes. For example , you read three papers on outcome measurement in nonprofits. Perhaps three common themes across the articles include: why measure outcomes, the challenges associated with measuring outcomes, the benefits provided. You can use those three themes as organizing principles to present a coherent discussion of your topic across the three articles. One of the best ways to learn how to do this is to look at how this kind of discussion is presented in the literature review section of the articles you are reading—those sections are presenting large amounts of previous research findings in an integrated discussion. Suggestions: i. You need not incorporate every point made by the authors—make sure to hit the important points of the articles. The key here is to be able to highlight the most important points. ii. Pay attention to your introduction. A good introduction is like a strong backbone--it really helps give structure to your paper and prepares the reader for where you are going to go in your paper. Your introduction should set up what you are going to examine and present your central thesis--the main focus of your analytical argument that will be developed throughout the paper. iii. Again, you may want to review how the articles you read discussed previous research for guidance on how to best integrate existing research into a coherent literature review. This is going to be an important skill to learn for the Capstone Seminar later in the MPA program. 2. Explore how the research informs practice in the nonprofit sector. What are the useful findings for practice and, if the research is not useful for practice, explain why. 3. Explore what future research may be needed on the topic. What more would you like to know for practice? The midterm assignment should be between 7-10 pages (DOUBLE SPACED).
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Rubric for Grading: Excellent (A) Good (B) Fair (C/D) Introducing the topic: The topic is introduced, with a thesis concerning the three articles and the overall plan of discussion presented. A good introduction is usually between four to five sentences long (no more than a paragraph) and sets the stage for your plan of discussion. Body: The discussion goes from general ideas to specific conclusions within each paragraph. Transitions tie sections together, as well as adjacent paragraphs. Each paragraph clearly ties back to the thesis. The main focus here is making sure that your paper flows in a logic manner. My suggestion—after your rough draft, write an outline of the paper. This will help you identify any problems with the flow of the paper. Coverage of Content: The articles are explored in a manner highlighting the key points in appropriate detail. The articles are appropriate for the assignment. The articles are presented in an integrated discussion versus summarized one by one. Discussion of how this research informs practice is detailed and thoughtfully presented. Future Research: Thoughtful discussion and analysis of where future research could proceed on the selected topic. The student presents several strong ideas for future research that could inform practice. Organization and Clarity of Writing: The exam has a clear introduction with a thesis, main body with major points, and a conclusion. Writing is crisp, clear, and succinct. The writer incorporates the active voice when appropriate. The use of pronouns, modifiers, parallel construction, and non-sexist language are appropriate. The writer does not use the first person. The writer uses citations correctly and uses direct quotes from the research correctly. Conclusion: The paper summarizes key points, connects to introduction, brings the discussion together.
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