Case Study

STEP 1:

 

In this project, you will address a case study that intentionally does not give you enough detail for you to quickly resolve the issue. This is meant to enable you to use the processes of critical thinking to reach conclusions. Given the gaps in information provided to you, you will identify what you know, what you don’t know, and what questions you need to ask as you start your investigation of the facts of the case. The process is designed to encourage clear thinking and to help you to identify potential cognitive traps that could derail well-reasoned conclusions.

There are six steps that will lead you through this project. Most steps of this project should take no more than two hours to complete. Begin by watching the video above, which introduces the fictional scenario that forms the framework for this project. Then continue with Step 1: Prepare to Think Critically.

Competencies

Your work will be evaluated using the competencies listed below.

  • 1.1: Organize document or presentation clearly in a manner that promotes understanding and meets the requirements of the assignment.
  • 1.2: Develop coherent paragraphs or points so that each is internally unified and so that each functions as part of the whole document or presentation.
  • 1.4: Tailor communications to the audience.
  • 1.5: Use sentence structure appropriate to the task, message and audience.
  • 1.6: Follow conventions of Standard Written English.
  • 2.1: Identify and clearly explain the issue, question, or problem under critical consideration.
  • 2.2: Locate and access sufficient information to investigate the issue or problem.
  • 2.4: Consider and analyze information in context to the issue or problem.
  • 2.5: Develop well-reasoned ideas, conclusions or decisions, checking them against relevant criteria and benchmarks.

 

Step 2: Identify the Problem

Now that you have reviewed the process, apply that to the problem by reviewing the case, Trouble in the Truss Construction Shop.

Your first task is to figure out how circumstances resulted in the problem. Remember the direction from your boss is to “apply your critical thinking and analytical skills to figure out what happened, what we know and don’t know, and how the organization might remedy this situation.”

So, what is the problem that resulted from the incident, and why might there be different interpretations of the facts?

Outline the points that you want to make in the first two sections of your paper (introduction and explanation), and draft those sections.

In the next step, you will analyze the information.

 

 

Step 3: Analyze the Information

Now that you have some understanding of the nature of the problem and the parties involved, it’s time to gather and analyze information. The problem analysis resources will aid your analysis and development of the third section of the paper.

Outline the points that you want to make in Section 3: Analysis of the Information, then draft that section.

In the following step, you will consider other viewpoints, conclusions, and solutions.

 

 

Step 4: Consider and Analyze Other Viewpoints, Conclusions, and Solutions

Once you have completed your analysis of the incident, the next step is to consider other viewpoints, conclusions, and solutions. To do this, you will need to apply ethical decision making skills. If you missed it earlier, we also recommend that you read Randolph Pherson’s “The Five Habits of the Master Thinker,” a paper written for intelligence analysts, but applicable to all analytical thinking and reasoning.

Outline the points that you want to make in Section 4: Analysis of Alternative Viewpoints, Conclusions, and Solutions, and draft that section of your paper.

 

 

Step 5: Develop Well-Reasoned Conclusions

Now that you’ve considered various viewpoints, you’re ready to develop your own personal conclusions and suggest solutions that your boss can bring to leadership in briefing them about the situation.

Remember, you may need to consult outside references, but this is not a research paper. It should be investigative in nature about the facts of the case. Cite any outside sources carefully.

Now, outline your argument and draft Section 5: Conclusions and Recommendations, the final section. Your boss is expecting to receive a concise, focused paper to prepare for further meetings. Stay focused on the main points, although you may have many facts that could be used to answer any questions. You will submit your paper in the final step.

 

 

Step 6: Submit Critical Thinking Paper

The final paper should be no more than five double-spaced pages, excluding the cover page and references page(s). Organize the paper in accordance with your preparatory steps, using these subheadings:

Title of Paper (centered and bold) There is no heading named “Introduction”

Explanation of the Issue (centered and bold)

Analysis of the Information (centered and bold)

Consideration of Alternative Viewpoints, Conclusions, and Solutions (centered and bold)

Conclusions and Recommendations (centered and bold)

If you have used any outside sources, you will include a References page in proper APA 7 format.

Here are some tips for success:

  • Consider outside sources if they inform your case. However, stay on task.
  • Use APA style for in-text and reference citations. At this point, your citations should be error-free.

Consider these best practices for a paper:

  • An effective introduction grabs the reader’s attention and sets the tone and direction for the rest of the paper.
  • Supporting paragraphs move the reader from the general introduction to the more specific aspects of your analysis.
  • Body paragraphs provide support for your argument.
  • A conclusion leads to a natural closing for what you have presented.

Check Your Evaluation Criteria

Before you submit your assignment, review the competencies below, which your instructor will use to evaluate your work. A good practice would be to use each competency as a self-check to confirm you have incorporated all of them. To view the complete grading rubric, click My Tools, select Assignments from the drop-down menu, and then click the project title.

  • 1.1: Organize document or presentation clearly in a manner that promotes understanding and meets the requirements of the assignment.
  • 1.2: Develop coherent paragraphs or points so that each is internally unified and so that each functions as part of the whole document or presentation.
  • 1.4: Tailor communications to the audience.
  • 1.5: Use sentence structure appropriate to the task, message and audience.
  • 1.6: Follow conventions of Standard Written English.
  • 2.1: Identify and clearly explain the issue, question, or problem under critical consideration.
  • 2.2: Locate and access sufficient information to investigate the issue or problem.
  • 2.4: Consider and analyze information in context to the issue or problem.
  • 2.5: Develop well-reasoned ideas, conclusions or decisions, checking them against relevant criteria and benchmarks.

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