Writing Plan Phases
Collecting Baseline Data
First Edition Writing Plan
Second Edition Writing Plan
Third Edition Writing Plan
  • phase completed
  • phase in-progress

The Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD) offers two Bachelor of Science degrees within the College of Education and Human Development. These undergraduate programs have 47 faculty who teach and serve over 500 majors with a focus on educational and organizational change in local, national, and international contexts. Their research, teaching, and outreach reflect a commitment to interdisciplinary and intercultural engagement with organizational and business leaders, educators, scholars, and policy makers seeking to enhance leadership, organizational functioning, and development around the globe.

Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development Writing Plan

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Writing in Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development

The Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development faculty generated the following list in response to the question, “What characterizes academic and professional communication in this discipline?”

  • Clear, precise, and unambiguous
  • Organized and formatted in ways that are familiar to the reader
  • Focused on a main idea or central argument
  • Convey an understanding of both theories of organization and the context of a scenario
  • Show sophistication and creativity in approaching complex topics
  • Include summary of relevant details and support its arguments with evidence and logic
  • Well researched and accurately documented in the APA style
  • Attentive to spelling, grammar, syntax, and desired form/length
  • Promote both analysis and self reflection

Writing Abilities Expected of OLPD Majors

The OLPD faculty generated the following list in response to the question, “With which writing abilities should students in this unit’s majors graduate?”

Minimum Requirements for Writing in the Major:

OLPD supports two undergraduate majors, Business and Marketing Education and Human Resource Development.

Business and Marketing Education (BME) Major:

  • Generalizes and transfers content knowledge across courses and contexts by drawing on and applying models and theories and by transforming ideas into practice; adds legitimacy.
  • Makes a clear point/develops clear ideas by succinctly and explicitly answering questions as posed, solving a problem, and articulating an identifiable main idea.
  • Provides adequate and appropriate support; takes a position and supporting that position with evidence such that readers are persuaded. Acknowledges support using APA content and citation conventions.
  • Summarizes complex information concisely and in their own voice in order to make its gist and application clear.
  • Is tailored to the audience and context (e.g. clients, personality styles and background levels).
  • Uses raw data to persuade.
  • Supports specific course of action or recommendation.
  • Presents visuals and data with the intent to persuade.
  • Attends carefully to the selection of media and digital identity.
  • Is glossy, professional, and looks appealing.

Human Resource Development (HRD) Major:

  • Generalizes and transfers content knowledge across courses and contexts (considers and applies relevant HRD knowledge to offer specific recommendations appropriate to client needs).
  • Provides adequate and appropriate support (uses evidence to provide adequate explanation and support to meet the expectations of a document’s purpose and audience).
  • Is tailored to the audience and context (speaks multiple organizational languages to produce effective client-facing explanations (whether executives, frontline workers, managers, etc.)).
  • Attends carefully to the selection of media and digital identity (selects appropriate format for addressing stakeholder needs (online module, memo, handout, email, etc.) as a means of maintaining client relationships).
  • Presents visuals and data with the intent to persuade (uses charts, graphs, images, and figures as evidence in support of recommendations).
  • Effective listening and diagnostic skills related to evaluation and solutions for clients (reflects detailed client consultation, effective listening, and strong diagnostic skills).
  • Is persuasive; provides appropriate explanation and justification to demonstrate the need and effectiveness of proposed solution to decision makers.
  • Is glossy, professional, and looks good (able to produce professional looking documents that meet client needs and are visually appealing).
  • Illustrates effective mechanics and edits for correctness such that the text contains few errors, in grammar, spelling, punctuation, and format.

Menu of Grading Criteria Used in OLPD Courses

  1. Is organized to feature the central question or problem and to articulate the main idea or central argument.
  2. Identifies, pulls out, and mirrors back the client’s critical questions.
  3. Makes explicit the connection to theories or information from other courses in the major, by providing brief definitions and explaining how the material from the other course either supports or weakens the topic under consideration.
  4. Draws on and extensively uses supporting material, derived from peer-reviewed resources, OR from reliable third party sources such as government statistics, white papers, trade magazines, industry publications, class slides and lectures.
  5. Presents a summary that is correct and complete.
  6. When present, conclusions integrate main arguments into a concise, powerfully worded statement.
  7. Identifies the level of audience (for example, executives, Board, frontline workers, managers, new hires, etc.) and the language used is appropriate to specified audience.
  8. Is delivered in the most appropriate written format of communication that is appropriate to the target audience.
  9. Employs word choice appropriate to the audience (level of English, the level of vocabulary, industry verbiage, etc.).
  10. Includes a reference list at the end of the written assignment.
  11. Contains no plagiarism; cites all sources.
  12. Employs Author/Date citation in the APA style throughout the written text such that author and date of publication are noted each time work is referenced, e.g., (Author, Year).
  13. Selects a layout that is appropriate to target audience.
  14. Uses design features (color, layout, etc.) to augment the persuasive effects of the message.
  15. Chooses font based on medium and audience.
  16. Shows evidence of proofreading and editing to catch mechanical errors. Uses consistent verb tense and voice.
  17. Clearly labels variables and axes and uses standard units of measurement.
  18. Titles reflect a thoughtful balance between length and detail.
  19. Appears visually appealing and is easy to read. No clipart.

Additional BME-only Criteria:

  1. Explores and analyzes client needs and solutions from multiple perspectives.
  2. Identifies customers, market share, demographic data, and articulates needs and potential problems.
  3. Is customized to a specific client, for example by mentioning names, industry, size, etc..
  4. Is written from the voice of a specific role in the interaction (ad agency, independent service provider, client, etc.).

Additional HRD-only Criteria:

  1. Presents brief, concise issue diagnosis.
  2. Describes the needs assessment process (or processes) and results.
  3. Offers recommendations based on diagnosis and model identified.

Highlights from the Writing Plan

We continue to integrate conversations about teaching with writing into our monthly undergraduate staff meetings and continue to draw more faculty into facilitating workshops during those meetings. For the implementation of the third-edition Writing Plan, seven instructors have agreed to join a pilot project in which teachers of core courses use the department’s desired writing abilities in their rubrics and survey students’ impressions of writing. These faculty members will report successes and challenges to the larger group.