Research Notes + Executive Summary

The Research Notes + Executive Summary is an information-literacy exercise that aims to help students

  • work as a team on engaging in research so the final Recommendation Report is a substantive document;
  • avoid procrastination on the Recommendation Report and begin drafting
    • the executive summary
    • a paragraph in the body of the report
    • a citation;
  • improve information literacy competencies, particularly the ability to introduce a source so readers understand its credibility, and summarize, paraphrase, and quote the source.


Research Notes + Executive Summary is the sixth module in an eight-week long group project that involves a Consultancy Simulation. This assignment is a follow-up exercise to the Project Management Portfolio. The goals of this assignment are


Outcome #1: Begin Your Recommendation Report

First, in your PMP (Project Management Portfolio) create a document called Recommendation Report. Link to that document at your group’s homepage.

Second, review Required Content: Report Body at Recommendation Report.

Third, as an initial rough draft, create the following sections in your Recommendation Report:

  1. Title Page
    • Title of Recommendation Report
    • Names, Roles & Emails of Team
  2. Executive Summary = Abstract
  3. Introduction
    • Write one paragraph that
      • introduces a source, summarizes it, paraphrases it
  4. Research Methods
    • Write one or two sentences that summarizes your textual and primary research.
      • Optional: if you plan a questionnaire, submit a draft. If you plan interview questions, provide those questions.
  5. References
    • Reference the source for the paragraph noted above in either APA, MLA, IEEE, or Chicago.

Outcome #2: Draft a sample summary, paraphrase, quotation, and citation.

Outcome #2 has two deliverables:

  1. At the Group Level of your PMP, in your initial draft, perhaps as part of your introduction to the problem, provide a summary, paraphrase, quotation, and citation from a single source using either APA or MLA–or some other citation system.

    The goal here to demonstrate that you have a good sense of conventions regarding Writing with Sources, particularly Flow: Integrate Textual Evidence (Quotes, Paraphrases, Summaries).
  2. At the Bibliography Template, each group members should have at least two textual entries related to the project.
Excerpt from Body Paragraph

In Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation, the 2011 report from the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine, the disjuncture between underrepresented minorities and STEM education is apparent. Underrepresented minority groups comprised 28.5 percent of our national population in 2006, the report documents, yet just 9.1 percent of college-educated Americans are found in science and engineering occupations. To bridge this gap, the proportion of underrepresented minorities in S&E would need to triple to match their share of the overall U.S. population. However, as more recent demographic trends reveal, minority groups will continue to increase. A recent joint report of the Center for American Progress and the American Enterprise (Teixeria, Frey, Griffin, 2015) noted the following: “As a direct result of generational succession, every age group in the country will diversify substantially over time. Nothing shows this more dramatically than the superdiversification of America’s children. In 1980, children were 25 percent minority; today, they are 46 percent minority. And diversification will not stop in the future: In 2040, children are projected to be 57 percent minority, and in 2060, children should be 65 percent minority. Of course, some states will better exemplify this trend than others. At one extreme, children in a state such as Arizona are 60 percent minority today, and they should be 74 percent and 81 percent minority in 2040 and 2060, respectively” (11). Based on such trends, the proposed research is dedicated to broadening the participation of underrepresented groups in STEM education.

National Academy of Sciences (US), National Academy of Engineering (US), and Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Underrepresented Groups and the Expansion of the Science and Engineering Workforce Pipeline. (2011). Expanding underrepresented minority participation. Washington, DC: National Academies Press. Available from:

Teixeria, R., Frey, W. H., & Griffin, R. (2015). States of change: The demographic evolution of the American electorate, 1974-2060. Washington: American Enterprise Institute, Brookings Institution, and Center for American Progress.
Excerpt from a Body Paragraph
Research has shown that dogs can help humans cope with anxiety and stress, and a college campus would be a perfect place to implement these much needed puppies [Here is the place for a powerquote: a listing of multiple sources that support that claim.] Emma Ward-Griffin from the University of British Columbia conducted a study where she and her colleagues had 246 college students answer a questionnaire regarding their well being. After that survey, the same students partook in a therapy dog session, where they played and cuddled with 7-12 dogs. Ten hours later, they participated in the survey again, in which Emma found that the students’ mental health had increased after their short therapy session with the dogs. “The companionship of an animal can offer comfort, help ease anxiety, and build self-confidence for people anxious about going out into the world. Because pets live in the moment—they don’t worry about what happened yesterday or what might happen tomorrow—they can help you become more mindful and appreciate the joy of the present” (The Mood-Boosting Power of Pets).
Executive Summary 
The FDA reported vaping usage among minors had increased by 78%  between 2017 and 2018. Individuals of this demographic are more susceptible to the negative health implications of vapes. We sought to identify what motivations underlie teenage vaping as well as what preventative measures would be most influential to underage audiences. To identify potential solutions, a random auditory survey was conducted among 12th-grade seniors; the results identified that decreased perceived risk was the main reason for vaping usage among minors. The survey also identified economic and advertisement factors as the main factors of cessation when vaping. In order to decrease the number of teenage vapers, information on potential negative health consequences should be made evident through advertisement means.

A research study funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse identified a disparity between believed health profiling of vaping products and their actual effects on adolescent health. A staggering “60% of individuals surveyed identified vaping products to be safe or to have minimal health hazards”(Fadus). Particularly concerning is the fact that underage individuals are uninformed regarding the presence of nicotine within vaping products. Nicotine is by no means “safe” to the developing adolescent mind; in fact, the presence of such a chemical can permanently affect attention and memory recollection(Zoltán). It is imperative that youth be informed regarding the negative health consequences accompanying vape usage; especially if educating said audience will serve as a preventative measure. 

MLA Citation 
Fadus, Matthew C., et al. “The Rise of E-Cigarettes, Pod Mod Devices, and JUUL among Youth: Factors Influencing Use, Health Implications, and Downstream Effects.” Drug and Alcohol Dependence, vol. 201, Aug. 2019, pp. 85–93. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2019.04.011.
Zoltán Molnár, David J. Price. “Brain Development”

Bibliography link

Recommended Schedule

ScheduleAssignments & Suggested ActivitiesReadings
One WeekYour mission for this week is to collect all of the secondary sources and primary research you’ll need to answer questions and provide support for the introduction and research methods section of the Recommendation Report.

For this project, it’s not enough to just do a Google search and grab the first source you find. You need to find a useful, relevant, current mix of authoritative research that helps advance your understanding of the problem and/or possible solutions.

Sources that might be especially useful include
Industry journals,
Scholarly journals,
Annual reports,
Government websites,
Experts in the field, and
competing company websites.

You may find it necessary to interview potential customers about pains points related to the problem.

Or, perhaps surveys could help you identify possible solutions to the problem.

Depending on your background as a researcher, you may find it useful to review Information Literacy. The resources at Authority is Constructed and Contextual provide the background information you need to set the context for introducing textual research.

Be sure to carefully consider the articles on quoting resources as well as paraphrasing resources. Finally, the articles on Summary, Evaluation, and Synthesis and Flow: Integrate Textual Evidence (Quotes, Paraphrases, Summaries) can help you develop and weave into your text accurate summaries of the research you are citing.

Be sure to check out CRAAP (Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, Purpose)

Attribution, Citation, & References

Digital Literacy
Information Creation as a Process
Information Has Value
Information Literacy Tools
Research as Inquiry
Scholarship as a Conversation
Searching as a Strategic Exploration
Visual Literacy
Writing with Sources

Submission Guidelines

  1. Upload the memo, including these five deliverables, via the Course Management system
  2. Archive the memo to the folder labelled Research Folder @ your team’s Project Management Portfolio

When you share Google Folders/Docs with peers and your instructor, double check that all required documents are shared given Edit permissions (rather than simply share).

Your instructor may want (1) to provide feedback directly on your portfolio at the Google site; (2) share your team’s work with other teams/people; (3) assign peer review of student work across teams