Textual Research Summaries Exercise*

Assignment Guidelines

The Textual Research Summaries Exercise is an exercise for Project 2, Consulting Simulation in Professional Writing, an undergraduate course on workplace writing.

This is the 2nd week your team looked for additional Now that your research proposal has been approved, your team will have two weeks to complete your research. This week your focus is on secondary research–i.e., research already done by other people and existing out there in the world at the library, online, etc.

At the end of this week, your team will post a summary of its textual research findings.

For the Consulting Project, it’s not enough to just do a Google search and grab the first sources you find.

Nah, professional research requires some work, grit, self-regulation, and self-efficacy.

[ Information Literacy ]

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
  • Competing company websites
  • Search engines

Your mission for this week is to collect all of the secondary sources you’ll need to answer questions/provide support for the research questions/tasks outlined in your research proposal.


  1. The Project Manager will upload one 1-page to 2-page executive summary that is collaboratively authored.
  2. All students other than the Project Manager will upload a 1-page summary of their research findings. (See guidelines below). The audience for this document is your teammates.

Roles & Tasks

  1. Project Manager: Coordinate research assignments. Try to ensure that the tasks are equitably distributed across the team. Use a Gantt Chart to visualize individual team member’s responsibilities.
  2. Individual:
    1. Complete research on the topics assigned to you, and add your sources to your team’s shared bibliography.  For each source:
      1. Include a Citation: Paste a complete and properly formatted citation in the style your team is using. (You can use a citation generator like Zotero bib to generate citations if you wish.)
      2. Include a Summary: Write a brief (1-2 sentence) summary of the main idea of the article OR paraphrase the specific content/sentences you intend to draw on.
    2. Write a 1-page summary of your research findings and submit to your Research Director.
  3. Research Director:
    1. Draft a 1 to 2 page executive summary of your team’s research findings. This can be a high-level sketch, a draft. Use power quoting.
    2. Choose a citation style, such as MLA or APA.
    3. Follow conventions for writing with sources in business documents
    4. Share your executive summary with your team. Invite team to suggest revisions to revise your executive summary.
    5. Upload your executive summary.
Example 1 of Team Bibliography
Nutrition in school lunches / First Name & Last Name of Researcher“Fact Sheet: Calories in School Meals.” Nutrition Standards for School Meals | USDA-FNS, https://www.fns.usda.gov/school-meals/nutrition-standards-school-meals. Accessed 4 Aug. 2019.The USDA introduced new science-based “right sized” meal plans intended to reduce childhood obesity by providing more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, and lower-fat dairy and leaner meat options.
Food insecurity in the US / First Name & Last Name of ResearcherUSDA ERS – Key Statistics & Graphics. https://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/food-nutrition-assistance/food-security-in-the-us/key-statistics-graphics.aspx#children. Accessed 4 Aug. 2019.6.5 million children lived in food insecure households in 2017.