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 project you will be doing as it might occur in the workplace, and then continue with Step 1: Prepare to Think Critically.
When you submit your project, your work will be evaluated using the competencies listed below. You can use the list below to self-check your work before submission.
- 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.
- 1.3: Provide sufficient, correctly cited support that substantiates the writer’s ideas.
- 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 1: Prepare to Think Critically
In this first step, you will prepare to respond to your boss’s request for an analysis of a problem in your organization. You realize that this will require careful thinking. So, you take some time to review the process and to engage in Critical Thinking and Analysis.
When you have completed the critical thinking exercises, you will move on to the next step: identifying the problem.
Step 2: Identify the Problem
Now that you’re prepared to think critically, it’s time to analyze the situation. Remember the direction from your CEO is to analyze the situation and advise on the two lawsuits.
Suggested area to focus on is to determine if a conflict of interest would exist in handling the two cases that might be related, and advise how to proceed.
Outline the points that you want to make in the first two sections of your paper (introduction, explanation) and draft those sections.
Next, it’s time to analyze the information.
Step 3: Analyze the Information
Now that you have some understanding of the nature of the breach and the parties involved, it’s time to gather and analyze information. The Problem Analysis resources will further aid your analysis and development of the third section of your paper.
Outline the points that you want to make in Section 3: Analysis of the Information of your paper, and 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 analyze alternative viewpoints, conclusions, and solutions. To do this you will need to apply Ethical Decision-Making and Reasoning. Also highly recommended, 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, or Solutions of your paper, and draft that section.
When you are finished, move to the next step, which involves developing conclusions.
Step 5: Develop Well-Reasoned Conclusions
You considered alternative viewpoints in the last step. Now you’re ready to develop your personal conclusions and suggest remedies so that your boss is well-equipped to brief her leadership about the situation.
Remember, you may need to consult outside references but this is not a research paper. It is more investigative in nature about the facts of the case. Please cite outside sources carefully.
Now, outline your argument and draft Section 5: Conclusions and Recommendations, the final sections. Your boss is expecting to receive a concise, focused paper to prepare her for further meetings. Stay to the main points, although you may have more facts to answer any questions. You will submit your paper in the final step.