When faced with a problem, what do you do to solve it? Assignment 2 asks you to apply a systematic approach to problem solving. This assignment is divided into two (2) parts. In Part I, of the assignment, you will read three (3) articles that present variations on step-by-step problem solving strategies and then select one (1) of these strategies; you will engage in pre-writing to develop a solution to a problem scenario. In Part II of the assignment, you will write a paper that presents a synthesis of your ideas about solving the problem. As Voltaire said, “No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking.”

 

Part I

Preparation and Pre-writing: Follow the steps below to explore a problem through reading and writing –

1. Choose one (1) of the problem scenarios as a topic choice for your paper (Note: Your professor must approve your topic choice before you begin work on the assignment.).

 

Scenario 1: You have worked at your company for eleven (11) years. You have returned to college to earn a Bachelor’s degree in order to increase your chances for a promotion. You are nearly finished with your degree; a supervisor’s position in a competing company becomes available in another state. The start date is in two (2) weeks, during your final exam period for your courses. The position offers a $15,000 per year salary increase, a car allowance, and relocation expenses. Your former supervisor works for the company and is recommending you for the position based on your outstanding job performance; if you want the job, it’s yours. All of the other supervisors at this level in the company have Master’s degrees. You know that you would be expected to earn your Bachelor’s degree and continue on to a Master’s degree. Your present company offers tuition reimbursement, but the new company does not.

 

Scenario 2: Your child comes home from school with an assignment sheet for a school project. He / she is very excited about the project and begins work immediately, doing research on the Internet and gathering materials. You read over the assignment sheet and notice that your child is not including all of the required items in the project, and you have some ideas for how to improve the quality of the presentation. You recently read an article in a parenting magazine about the importance of a child developing responsibility for his / her own learning. You recall the many ways in which your parents took over your school projects. You, on the other hand, want to encourage your child’s confidence in his / her ability to complete a project independently. The next day, you are at the grocery store when you see a parent of a student in your child’s class. That parent has spent over $30 in supplies for the science project and is taking a day off of work to put the pieces of the project together.

 

Scenario 3: You have two jobs—one during the week from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, and one on Saturday from 3:00 pm to 11:00 pm. You are taking two classes—one that meets from 6:00 to 10:00 pm, and one class online. You have two kids—one who plays soccer, and one who is in band. You have two elderly parents who no longer drive. You have two siblings—one who lives two (2) miles away, and one who lives in another state. You have two (2) papers due in your classes the same week that one (1) of your children has a soccer tournament, and the other child has a band concert. You are coaching the soccer team, and you are in charge of fundraising for the band. You have a goal to complete your degree in two (2) years. Your doctor tells you that your blood pressure, your cholesterol, and your weight are too high and recommends several medications that cost you nearly $200 per month after your insurance co-pay.

Scenario 4: You are a sales representative for a company that encourages staff to log time in the field and away from the office. You are expected to begin and end your day at the office. You notice that each day when you arrive and return another co-worker is already there, and you wonder whether this person spends most of his / her time at the office. At your weekly sales meeting, you are informed of your co-workers’ outstanding sales performance. You suspect that this co-worker is spending more time flattering the boss instead of working leads in the field, and as a result is getting the best client referrals. Your own sales numbers have steadily decreased since this other sales representative was hired.

 

2. Go to the Internet, and read the following articles:

? “Einstein’s Secret to Amazing Problem Solving (and 10 Specific Ways You Can Use It)”, located at http://litemind.com/problem-definition/.

? “The Problem Solving Process”, located at http://www.gdrc.org/decision/problem-solve.html.

? “Interpersonal Conflict and Effective Communication”, located http://www.drbalternatives.com/articles/cc2.html.

 

3. Select one (1) of the step-by-step problem solving strategies outlined in one (1) of the articles. Using the chosen problem solving strategy as a model, brainstorm ideas for each of the steps to develop a solution to the problem scenario you chose.

 

Part II

Synthesizing and Writing: Now that you have developed a solution to the problem by pre-writing about your ideas –

Write a four to five (4-5) page paper in which you:

1. Analyze the problem scenario that you have chosen, and organize your analysis into sections that correlate to each step in the selected problem solving strategy.

2. Apply each step within the selected problem solving strategy to related elements of the scenario that you have chosen.

3. Suggest alternative actions to the situation(s) within the scenario that correspond to each of the steps within the selected problem solving strategy.

4. Speculate on whether or not the same problem-solving strategy would be effective if used with different scenarios.

 

The paper should follow guidelines for clear and organized writing:

? Include an introductory paragraph and concluding paragraph.

? Address main ideas in body paragraphs with a topic sentence and supporting sentences.

? Adhere to standard rules of English grammar, punctuation, mechanics, and spelling.

 

Your assignment must follow these formatting requirements:

? Be typed, double spaced, using Times New Roman font (size 12), with one-inch margins on all sides; citations and references must follow APA Style format. Check with your professor for any additional instructions.

? Include a cover page containing the title of the assignment, the student’s name, the professor’s name, the course title, and the date. The cover page and the reference page are not included in the required assignment page length.

 

You should follow these submission guidelines:

? Submit the paper draft to Turnitin.com and then submit the originality report with the draft to Blackboard.

 

? Recognize the hindrances to the decision-making process in order to apply problem-solving skills to a variety of situations.

? Write clearly and concisely about critical thinking using proper writing mechanics.

? Use technology and information resources to research issues in critical thinking skills and informal logic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grading for this assignment will be based on answer quality, logic / organization of the paper, and language and writing skills, using the following rubric. Points: 150  

Assignment 2: Problem Solving

Criteria Unacceptable

Below 60% F

Meets Minimum Expectations

60-69% D

Fair

70-79% C

Proficient

80-89% B

Exemplary

90-100% A

1. Analyze the problem scenario that you have chosen, and organize your analysis into sections that correlate to each step in the selected problem- solving strategy.

Weight: 20%

Did not submit or incompletely analyzed the problem scenario that you have chosen, and did not submit or incompletely organized your analysis into sections that correlate to each step in the selected problem- solving strategy.Insufficiently analyzed the problem scenario that you have chosen, and insufficiently organized your analysis into sections that correlate to each step in the selected problem- solving strategy.Partially analyzed the problem scenario that you have chosen, and partially organized your analysis into sections that correlate to each step in the selected problem-solving strategy.Satisfactorily analyzed the problem scenario that you have chosen, and satisfactorily organized your analysis into sections that correlate to each step in the selected problem-solving strategy.Thoroughly analyzed the problem scenario that you have chosen, and thoroughly organized your analysis into sections that correlate to each step in the selected problem- solving strategy.
2. Apply each step within the selected problem solving strategy to related elements of the scenario that you have chosen.

Weight: 20%

Did not submit or incompletely applied each step within the selected problem solving strategy to related elements of the scenario that you have chosen.Insufficiently applied each step within the selected problem solving strategy to related elements of the scenario that you have chosen.Partially applied each step within the selected problem solving strategy to related elements of the scenario that you have chosen.Satisfactorily applied each step within the selected problem solving strategy to related elements of the scenario that you have chosen.Thoroughly applied each step within the selected problem solving strategy to related elements of the scenario that you have chosen.
3. Suggest alternative actions to the situation(s) within the scenario that correspond to each of the steps within the selected problem solving strategy.

Weight: 15%

Did not submit or incompletely suggested alternative actions to the situation(s) within the scenario that correspond to each of the steps within the selected problem solving strategy.Insufficiently suggested alternative actions to the situation(s) within the scenario that correspond to each of the steps within the selected problem solving strategy.Partially suggested alternative actions to the situation(s) within the scenario that correspond to each of the steps within the selected problem solving strategy.Satisfactorily suggested alternative actions to the situation(s) within the scenario that correspond to each of the steps within the selected problem solving strategy.Thoroughly suggested alternative actions to the situation(s) within the scenario that correspond to each of the steps within the selected problem solving strategy.
4. Speculate onDid not submit orInsufficientlyPartiallySatisfactorilyThoroughly
whether or not the same problem solving strategy would be effective if used with different scenarios.

Weight: 15%

incompletely speculated on whether or not the same problem solving strategy would be effective if used with different scenarios.speculated on whether or not the same problem solving strategy would be effective if used with different scenarios.speculated on whether or not the same problem solving strategy would be effective if used with different scenarios.speculated on whether or not the same problem solving strategy would be effective if used with different scenarios.speculated on whether or not the same problem solving strategy would be effective if used with different scenarios.
5. Follow APA Style requirements for format, in-text citation of quotes and paraphrases, and references page.

Weight: 10%

Did not complete the assignment or had more than 9 errors in following APA Style requirements.Had 8-9 errors in following APA Style requirements.Had 6-7 different errors in following APA Style requirements.Had 4-5 different errors in following APA Style requirements.Had 0-3 different errors in following APA Style requirements.
6. Follow guidelines for clear and organized writing: include an introductory and concluding paragraph; address main ideas in body paragraphs with a topic sentence and supporting sentences.

Weight: 10%

Did not submit or incompletely followed guidelines for clear and organized writing.Insufficiently followed guidelines for clear and organized writing: did not include an introductory and / or concluding paragraph; did not address main ideas in body paragraphs with a topic sentence and supporting sentences.Partially followed guidelines for clear and organized writing: included a partially developed introductory and / or concluding paragraph; partially addressed main ideas in body paragraphs with a topic sentence and supporting sentences.Sufficiently followed guidelines for clear and organized writing: included an introductory and concluding paragraph; sufficiently addressed main ideas in body paragraphs with a topic sentence and supporting sentences.Fully followed guidelines for clear and organized writing: included an engaging introductory and thoughtful concluding paragraph; fully addressed main ideas in body paragraphs with a topic sentence and detailed supporting sentences.
7. Adhere to standard rules of English grammar, punctuation, mechanics, and spelling.

Weight: 10%

Did not complete the assignment or had more than 9 errors in grammar, punctuation, mechanics, spelling.Had 8-9 errors in grammar, grammar, punctuation, mechanics, spelling.Had 6-7 different errors in grammar, punctuation, mechanics, spelling.Had 4-5 different errors in grammar, grammar, punctuation, mechanics, spelling.Had 0-3 different errors in grammar, punctuation, mechanics, spelling.

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