The purpose of this paper is to simulate a real-world task: examining a professional person doing the work in their field and explaining in detail how and why it succeeds and/or fails. In simple terms, it’s just a big analysis paper, but it requires pacing and control and a clear sense of audience.
You need a subject to analyze—someone DOING something that you think could be a role model in a field you intend to eventually be in or at least learn about (if you don’t have a specific career path picked out). To some degree you are going to be on your own in terms of what this subject is, but the goal (as you’ll see below) is to evaluate the degree to which your subject is “doing a good job” in their field. One option, as with the EDU people, is to watch a video of the person in action, but this might not be applicable to all fields. Another option might be to simply research an important person in the field and evaluate why they are important. Read the rest of this assignment and, once you see what you’re going to DO with this subject, hopefully your options will become more clear.
Part 1: Introduction. Here you have to get the reader from knowing nothing to understanding what you are doing in this paper. You have to establish the fact that you are analyzing a person doing work in their field, which means establishing the concept of working in that field AND the identity of the particular person and what you analyzing about them.
Introduce the subject and what you are studying them doing. Explain who this person is and what particular activity you have chosen to analyze. Is it a video of them in action? Is it simply an overview of their career? Remember your reader has zero context for this, so your job is to (wait for it) introduce what you are going to do. Summarize the content of what you are going to analyzing: if it’s a video, summarize what happens in the video and provide us the background so we understand why it matters. If it’s something else, like a summary of their career and role in the field, give us the broad parameters of both the industry and this person’s place in it. (1-2 pages)
Part 2: Provide some background and context. Here, you are going to show some outside information that you think is important to think about before you can analyze the professional doing their job. That means you must do some research into the topics that inform how we evaluate this person’s work.
This research will be on whatever you think the reader needs to know to create some standards by which to judge this person. Presumably this will be information about the field in which they work and the most important things such a person is expected to do. This is NOT a summary of the field; it’s a choice (on your part) of a few key elements by which you are going to judge this person’s work. I can’t help you with this choice, but I can tell you how your reader will respond to it once you’ve come up with it. In essence, this is you teaching your reader how to think of the field, in broad terms, and what so-and-so must do in order to be successful. Remember that because you are going to analyze the person’s work, these elements must be things that you can SEE (or not) in whatever you are analyzing about them. In other words, if one important quality of being a lawyer is having a sparkling personality, it doesn’t matter if your overview of the person or your video of them doesn’t show that. (2-3 pages).
Part 3: Analyze the person working. This means breaking it down and explaining what does and doesn’t work, based on both what you said up front about its intention and what you said in the second section about your background knowledge. I can’t tell you how to structure this, because it will depend on your own thinking, but the key thing is that it must BE structured, and you need to decide how best to do that. This is the heart and purpose of the paper, and it requires putting together most of the skills we have worked on all semester, so we will spend time practicing, drafting, and rewriting this—but it is still up to YOU to come up with a plan that makes sense.
You have to come up with a structured plan for working through how this person does their work and how to evaluate them. If you have a video of them, you need a structure for working through what we see in that video; if you are analyzing a summary of their career, then you need a plan for discussing key elements of that career. Your job here is to judge the person against the research you did in Part 2, so the elements of the field that you identified THERE are the standards against which you judge the person HERE. If, for example, you said in Part 2 that “honesty” was an important part of being a lawyer, then you need to explain to which this person demonstrates honesty. You are doing more research in this section (that was the job of Part 2), but you have to refer BACK to that research. (4-5 pages)
Part 4: Evaluate the outcome. This is your “conclusion,” and it needs to do what good conclusions always do: provide a sense that this is an ongoing conversation, and you are ending YOUR part of it so someone else can take it up next. That means you want to summarize your basic argument (lay out the good and bad and whatnot) but you also want to make suggestions that answer the question “now what?” or “who cares?” This is where you make the claim that your analysis of the lesson MATTERS for some larger context. Consider, for example:
How might your analysis apply to other workers in the same field?
What might you predict about where this person will succeed (or not) in the future?
How does your analysis of the work—and in particular your use of the research—
suggest some larger issue in the field that other workers will need to consider?
Part 5: Provide references. This is the standard APA references page. I don’t want to force a particular number of outside readings on you, because it will depend on your subject, but for good practice and to suggest some grounding in whatever the lesson is, I can’t imagine that you can get away with fewer than about six sources, and it could be much higher (let’s say maybe a handful for the subject matter and another handful for some basic techniques of working in the field).