When faced with a problem, what do you do to solve it? This assignment asks you to apply a systematic approach to problem solving. This assignment is divided into two (2) parts. In PART I, of the assignment, you will read three (3) articles that present variations on step-by-step problem solving strategies and then select one (1) of these strategies; you will engage in pre-writing to develop a solution to a problem scenario. In Part II of the assignment, you will write a paper that presents a synthesis of your ideas about solving the problem. As Voltaire said, “No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking.” Problem Solving
Preparation and Pre-writing:
Follow the steps below to explore a problem through reading and writing –
1. Choose one (1) of the problem scenarios as a topic choice for your paper (
Scenario: You have worked at your company for eleven (11) years. You have returned to college to earn a Bachelor’s degree in order to increase your chances for a promotion. You are nearly finished with your degree; a supervisor’s position in a competing company becomes available in another state. The start date is in two (2) weeks, during your final exam period for your courses. The position offers a $15,000 per year salary increase, a car allowance, and relocation expenses. Your former supervisor works for the company and is recommending you for the position based on your outstanding job performance; if you want the job, it’s yours. All of the other supervisors at this level in the company have Master’s degrees. You know that you would be expected to earn your Bachelor’s degree and continue on to a Master’s degree. Your present company offers tuition reimbursement, but the new company does not.
2. Go to the Internet, and read the following articles:
“Einstein’s Secret to Amazing Problem Solving (and 10 Specific Ways You Can Use It)”, located at http://litemind.com/problem-definition/.
“The Problem Solving Process”, located at http://www.gdrc.org/decision/problem-solve.html.
“Interpersonal Conflict and Effective Communication”, located http://www.drbalternatives.com/articles/cc2.html.
3. Select one (1) of the step-by-step problem solving strategies outlined in one (1) of the articles. Using the chosen problem solving strategy as a model, brainstorm ideas for each of the steps to develop a solution to the problem scenario you chose.
Synthesizing and Writing:
Now that you have developed a solution to the problem by pre-writing about your ideas –
Write a five (5) page paper in which you:
1. Analyze the problem scenario that you have chosen, and organize your analysis into sections that correlate to each step in the selected problem solving strategy.
2. Apply each step within the selected problem solving strategy to related elements of the scenario that you have chosen.
3. Suggest alternative actions to the situation(s) within the scenario that correspond to each of the steps within the selected problem solving strategy.
4. Speculate on whether or not the same problem-solving strategy would be effective if used with different scenarios.
The paper should follow guidelines for clear and organized writing:
Include an introductory paragraph and concluding paragraph.
Address main ideas in body paragraphs with a topic sentence and supporting sentences.
Adhere to standard rules of English grammar, punctuation, mechanics, and spelling.