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Leadership in Your Major

Selecting Articles

Leadership in Your Major

Four- to five-page paper that analyzes, critiques, and reflects on a minimum of two peer-reviewed articles on leadership from researchers in your own major. 

If you have not yet declared your major, choose a field you think you might pursue. If you are a double major, you may choose either or weave together leadership themes of both of your majors. 

To complete the assignment, you will:

  1. Select two articles from a peer-reviewed journal or journals that are specific to your major.
  2. Briefly describe the articles in non-evaluative language(summary);
  3. Identify one or more strength and weakness of each article(evaluate);
  4. Compare and contrast what the articles have in common and how they differ(compare, then contrast);
  5. Synthesize the articles with course materials; and
  6. Reflect on the articles as they relate to your own skills, experiences, and perspectives.
  • Intro
  • Body
  • Summary and Evaluation of Article A
  • Summary and Evaluation of Article B
  • Comparison of Articles A and B
  • Contrast of Articles A and B
  • Synthesis of articles and course materials (Social Change Model)
  • Personal Reflection
  • Conclusion

In developing your paper, consider the following:

Selecting Articles: Before finding articles, think for yourself about the way you think your major will approach leadership. How will your articles describe leadership? What will the authors want to know about leadership? Write down some notes to refer to after you have selected and read through your articles.

In describing the articles, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Briefly, what type of article is it?
  • Report of research conducted by the authors? Theory testing, applied research, or both?
  • Review of literature?
  • Theory development?
  • Primarily opinion?
  • What questions are the authors trying to answer about leadership? What aspects of leadership are they concerned with? How do the authors go about answering their questions?
  • How is leadership defined?
  • What are their most important findings about leadership?
  • What conclusions do they come to about leadership?

Strengths and Weaknesses: What is especially well done about each article? How are the questions posed by the authors useful to everyday leaders in your field? How well does the type of paper (e.g., theory versus research) support the conclusions? How well are the authors’ conclusions supported by the literature and data they present? Are the articles accessible to a wide range of audiences? What could be made clearer in each article?

Compare and Contrast: What do the articles have in common? What does each do especially well in relation to the other? How do the authors agree or disagree with one another? How does each article inform the other? What are the different ways that leaders in your field can benefit from the unique lessons in each article, as they relate to one another?

Synthesize with Course Materials: Which of the leadership theories discussed in class are most closely related to the presentation of leadership in your articles? How are they related? Make the connections clear by introducing the class concepts, explaining the concepts, and explaining how they apply to the articles you have selected. In what ways do the authors in your articles agree or disagree with the materials discussed in class? Cite this section with extra care.

Reflection: Discuss new learning as a result of analyzing the articles. How were your assumptions about the approach to leadership and how it is defined in your major area confirmed or contradicted (look back at the notes you made before starting to look for articles)? What surprised you? How do the authors’ approach to leadership match your own views on leadership in your major or field? How has your understanding of leadership been deepened or changed as a result of reading and analyzing the articles? What new questions do the articles raise for you about leadership?

Although these questions are listed separately, this assignment is an essay. You are encouraged to include thoughts in addition to the questions listed above. You do not need to address the questions in exactly the order given, though your essay should be well organized, with an introduction and a conclusion, and a topic sentence at the beginning of every paragraph.

  1. How well students complete all sections above (selecting two peer-reviewed leadership articles relevant to your major, description, strengths and weaknesses, compare and contrast, synthesis with course materials, and reflection);
  2. Citation of sources (articles, course readings, and additional resources, plus proper APA style); and
  3. Quality of writing (organization, clarity, and succinctness, plus grammar and spelling).

Papers should be four to five pages in length. In addition, all papers must include a reference page that includes all sources cited: the two articles, any class materials, any additional materials, and if necessary, the APA style guide. Papers must be formatted in APA style, well organized, and use proper grammar and spelling. Papers should be typed in a professional-style 12-point font, double-spaced, with one-inch margins. Papers should be submitted electronically in a standard word processing file format (.doc or .docx) to the D2L drop box.

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