BA 655-E01: STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT/MBA Capstone Course (3 credit


Strategic Management, Concepts & Cases:  Competitiveness & Globalization.  13e (Electronic Text), Hitt, Michael A., Ireland, Duane R., Hoskisson, Robert E.  Mason, OH:  Southwest, Cengage Learning.  MindTap Strategic Management, 1 term (6 months) Printed Access Card for interactive E-book.  ISBN9781337916769.  Instructions for access to the electronic text can be found in the document How to access your MindTap course” which is located in the “Syllabus” tab on Canvas.

NOTE:  There are no MindTap assignments for this class!!!!! Any and all MindTap materials and resources are available as additional research and study materials for this course. 

  • Electronic access to/purchase of the course text is available at the MVSU bookstore or via the publisher of the course text.
  • Handouts provided by instructor via Canvas course tabs and via Canvas email.
  • Additional readings may be assigned from academic journals and business journals such as the Wall Street Journal, the Economist, Business, Fortune, Barron’s, MVSU library databases, etc.
  • Knowledge of APA Edition formatting for writing assignments.  You can find this information online (Internet).  You will be required to know and use this writing format.  In addition, additional Formatting & Writing Styles Guide documents and other helpful documents have been provided for you on Canvas in the Syllabus tab.


The instructor requires that graduate students take this course upon the completion of most or all MBA core courses:  specifically, the first five MBA core classes and several of the graduate electives (totaling 21-24 hours).  This is the capstone course for the MBA program that integrates core business knowledge across all organizational functional areas resulting in a comprehensive and strategic management assessment of organizations and their competitive business activities to achieve competitive advantage.


The Strategic Management Capstone course, BA-655, is a heavy writing and communications emphasis course and is designed to provide the student with a specific set of knowledge, skills, competencies, and the ability to strategically identify, analyze, and solve 21st century dynamic competitive environmental issues confronting 21st century CEOs and business managers.  In a strategic leadership, ethical and management framework, this course integrates core business knowledge across all organizational functional areas to arrive at economically sound, ethically principled, and value-adding solutions that add to the effectiveness of organizations and that also creates a sustainable competitive advantage for the organization.  All MBA students will take this capstone course as one of the final two or three courses toward the completion of the MBA program (See the above course prerequisites).


Upon completing the course, the graduate student will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate efficient and effective proficiency in the application of strategic and critical thinking, strategic leadership, and strategic analysis methods to produce a synergistic integration of applicable knowledge from organizational functional areas to create a sustainable competitive advantage.
  1. Demonstrate strategic, efficient, and effective proficiency in the use of information technology (IT) tools (computers, laptops, various business analytical, marketing, and statistics software, databases, and social media venues) that are commonly used and that are continuously evolving in 21st century competitive and dynamic global business environments.
  1. Demonstrate efficient and effective proficiency at communicating and articulating organizational visions, missions, and strategic goals via various writing styles and online graphical data and information presentations.


The reading assignments for each week (first seven weeks of the course) are shown in the accompanying schedule of topics, assignments, and activities (See the Tentative Course Outline).  Not surprisingly, those who take the readings seriously understand the course materials better and have less difficulty with the other elements of the course.  Completing reading assignments, online classroom discussion questions, and completing all written assignments are the responsibility of each student as part of their contractual obligation in the learning experience of this course.  The student is, also encouraged to read academic business literature and business news briefings of the day in preparation for class discussions.  MBA graduate students are expected to research additional materials and real world examples of the strategic management concepts to experience “experiential” learning.  Do not rely, solely, on the class textbook!  The online classroom discussions are designed to supplement and to elaborate upon the online classroom assigned readings and textbook content and additional external researched materials for an “outside of the text book” experience (experiential).


This course will be structured as an “asynchronous” online learning environment or virtual (without the video) classroom. ALL COMMUNICTIONS (EMAIL, DISCUSSION Questions (DQ) AND ADDITIONAL POSTS, AND ASSIGNMENT SUBMISSIONS (papers) FOR BA 655-E01 WILL BE STRICTLY WITHIN CANVAS!!   The success of the course is mainly dependent upon each student being prepared and actively contributing to the Canvas online discussion.  This is what I call the digital or online “CAMPFIRE” experience!  I want the students to talk to each other.  In my years of participating in the online learning environment, I have learned and greatly benefited from deep, meaningful, and informative discussions and debates amongst students.  Most of the students, if not all, were already working adults who were currently participating and competing in the workforce either working with an organization or operating their own enterprise or venture.  Your colleagues and you bring a tacit as well as explicit knowledge about the work environment: how business and government policies affect the competitive business landscape.  In other words, I want to know what the student thinks about the material that we will cover and how it all relates to their professional and personal lives! 

You have knowledge and experiences that could contribute greatly to the online discussions.  In addition, because class participation is an important part of the online classroom instruction methodology, I give generous points for online classroom participation!  Therefore, it is imperative that each student is fully prepared, willing and able to offer analytical insights, constructive debate and critiques, and encouraging support to their colleagues concerning subject matter content.  This is a performance-based course in which the student is evaluated on his/her ability to sufficiently demonstrate the skills, ability, knowledge, and competence expected and required of someone pursuing a Master of Business Administration degree. 

I also grade subjectively, that is, I look at how the student is progressing through the course.  The student might start the course on a “low note” but end the course on a “high note”.  This indicates to me that the student showed that they were able to grasp the content knowledge for the course well enough to professionally and competently communicate this in written format and in a graphical display of information:  a Power Point. In addition, your character is displayed in how you respond to your classmates and to the discussion questions as well as the effort you put forth in this class.  Each student should strive to contribute actively and significantly to the discussion of each week’s scheduled topics (for the first seven weeks).  You will see this subjective assessment, in addition to the objective assessment, on the Excel sheet that I will provide with accumulated points for assignments and online virtual classroom participation points.  In addition, I will be providing detailed comments on your written individual and team assignment papers and I will be providing detailed comments on your level of virtual classroom participation within the discussion forums.

I will have two columns on the Excel sheet at the end of the course that state:  Grade Earned and Grade Given, respectively!  The grade earned will be the objective assessment (cumulative points from discussion questions and individual and team assignments); the grade given will be the subjective assessment constituting a holistic approach or assessment (refer to the previous sentences for clarity).  Every student, therefore, should make a conscientious effort to attend every online class discussion and to be sufficiently prepared to make meaningful contributions.  There will be no personal attacks during the discussion forums!  If you disagree, just simply state that you disagree and that you would like to offer a different opinion on the matter.  Be sure to back up your opinion with references (facts).   In addition, it is not your responsibility to “openly correct your colleagues on their writing ability or inaccurate formatting within the open forum” or at any time!    In the case of personal attacks, the student committing this action will have corrective actions taken against them by the instructor

The course materials will be dispersed/divided on a weekly basis, with a week being seven days:  Monday to Sunday.  There will be two discussion questions (DQs) per week and specified individual assignments (if any) for the first seven weeks of the semester.  You will be required to respond to each discussion question for each week for the first seven weeks. You will be required to make your OWN individual posts to the DQ questions and not as a team!!  Do not simply copy and paste your DQ responses.  In addition to responding to each DQ for each week for the first seven weeks, you are required to make two additional posts to any classmate on three (different days) of the seven days for each week (for the first seven weeks).  The two additional posts could be in response to a classmate’s DQ response or to a classmate’s response to another classmate’s response(s).  In addition, I (the instructor) will occasionally post questions or I will respond to student posts!  Each response to the DQs and your additional two responses to any of your classmates on three (different days) of the seven days (of the first seven weeks) should be 50 to 100 words (you do not have to post twice to every classmate, just to one or to several if you desire).  This will be considered substantive. 

Please do not post statements such as “I agree…” or “I like your answer…” or “Your answer is similar to mine…”.  Do not simply repeat your colleagues’ posts, stating that you agree with it; if you do, tell “Why” you agree with the restated post!  YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN!  In addition, do not begin your DQ posts or additional posts with “According to the textbook…” and other such “sophomoric” statements!  Your DQ posts and additional posts should not sound as though you are still in an undergraduate program; you are not, but you are at the end of a professional graduate business program! This is a graduate level capstone course and I want graduate level conversations and graduate level writing! You will not receive credit for these kinds of responses!  In addition, always use in-text citations to back up your opinions! This is to stimulate virtual classroom discourse and this will be your attendance record: THIS WILL BE CHECKED!!  This will promote, hopefully, meaningful online discussions.  Discussion questions and additional online discussions will continue for the first seven weeks of the course.

Online participation points will be nine points per week:  one point per DQ post (substantive post) and one point for each additional two posts on three (different days) of the seven days for each week (for the first seven weeks of the course).  On the seventh day of each week (Sunday) (of the first seven weeks), each student will post an “Implications and Conclusions” (IC) post.  Each week (of the first seven weeks), learners create a brief statement of how the week’s learning and interactions have affected their thought process and their understanding of the course material.  Do not simply repeat the concepts for the week, but state how your understanding of the concepts has been enhanced and your thoughts on the implications for real world application, professionally and personally! 

The student will receive one point for IC postings.  Do not post your Implications and Conclusions before the week is out.  Post on the last day of the week (Sunday)!  If this happens, I will send you an email indicating such and I will delete the IC post!  However, you will still have the opportunity to make the IC post on the appropriate day (at the end of each week-Sunday)!  Again, this statement will include suggested real-world manifestations of the week’s material and a plan for implementing the material in personal and/or professional settings. This statement can also include questions for the course facilitator regarding material that may still be unclear. This statement will be formatted with the heading, Implications and Conclusions (IC); and the statement will be posted in the body of the text box (not as an attachment) to the Main Class Room discussion forum under the thread provided by the instructor. Word length requirement for the (IC) is at least 50-100 words, per post.  Again, the (IC) post will afford each student an additional point for online participation. A total of nine points per week will be realized: (one point per DQ post: 2-points), one point for each additional two posts on three different days of each of the first seven weeks: 6-points), and one point for the IC post: 1-point).   

Supplemental Assignments

There will be five individual supplemental written assignments and instructions can be found in the Spring 2021 BA 655-E01 Supplemental Syllabus.  In addition, only individual supplemental written assignments, 1-4, will be submitted to TurnitIn to check for plagiarism.  Supplemental written assignment # 5 will not be submitted to TurnitIn.

Team Final Project (Product/Service Development)

You will be placed into teams later in the course (about week 7) and the teams will be designated:  Team A, Team B, Team C, Team D….  Each team will have their own tab on Canvas for communications on team projects.  The team project will consist of seven written sections accompanied by a Power Point presentation for each section.  Each section will be completed one section per week and this final team project will begin after midterms and will continue for the remainder of the semester.  Each of the written sections per week will also be submitted to TurnitIn for plagiarism checks and each team will post their final version of each written section of the team project to TurnitIn of the week each respective section is due.  One person from each team will be responsible for posting the team assignments to the designated “TurnitIn” portal at the end of each week the team assignments are due.  Therefore, if there are four teams, there should be only four posts; one post from each team to the designated final submission TurnitIn portals, and so on.  However, each team will have a designated TurnitIn portal to post copies and corrections for their team assignments before making the final post of their team assignments to a final team TurnitIn portal!  This will be explained in more detail later in the semester. 

For this team final project, the team(s) will introduce a new product or new service or the team(s) will improve upon an existing product or existing service.  The project will be carried out and completed in multiple stages that represent the functional business areas of an organization.  Please see the Final Capstone Team Project for BA-655, Spring 2021 document for further instructions which will be distributed during the first half of the semester.  The class will be divided into teams.  Students will be assigned to teams during Week 6 or during Week 7. The final team project will be completed in seven stages or in seven sections (one section per week) and will start after midterms.  Each section will be worth 50 points for a total of 350 points for the project.  A rubric will be provided. 

You will, also, provide a Power Point with each final team project section, but you will not post the Power Point to TurnitIn.  Power Points will be submitted to the respective Team Assignment’s Tab on Canvas. I will provide to you the login criteria to submit to TurnitIn.  You should look to achieve no more than a 5% similarity on your individual and on your team assignments via Turn-It-In.  Again, all individual and team written assignments will use the plagiarism checker, TurnitIn, via the MVSU Library.  You will be instructed as to which written assignments are to be submitted to TurnitIn and when to submit them to TurnitIn.  The assignments not being submitted to TurnitIn will be submitted to the respective assignments tab on Canvas. 

Also, for your group written assignments (papers, Power Points), you will be required to use APA formatted in-text citations and references: only peer reviewed references that you will be able to retrieve from the MVSU library.  If you use a web site, you should be able to find the information to format it into a proper citation and reference.  Do not simply list the web link, only!  For articles found on the Internet, if there is a journal name, make sure to use it as I will point this out on your papers if this is omitted in your reference section.  You will be provided with APA resource material that will be located in the syllabus tab in Canvas.  You can also find additional information concerning proper APA formatting on the Internet.  Remember, this is a graduate program and you are expected to know how to research what you do not know!  This is called being information literate! The formatting for the written assignments, citations, and references should be in APA  Edition format.  If you have questions or need access to resources, the MVSU library staff is available to assist you. 


The Department of Business Administration adheres to the University’s policy on academic honesty as contained in of the University catalog.  The University catalog contains some examples of unacceptable conduct including plagiarism, cheating on examinations, unauthorized collaboration, etc.


1. Word Processor and Spreadsheet (MS Office Suite)—make sure that you know how to        use the software programs.

2. Knowledge of the use of Canvas and Internet web browsers.

3. Knowledge of database access for research articles from peer reviewed journals.         Become familiar with your MVSU Library database of peer-reviewed journals.      The MVSU Library staff is available if you are in need of help.

4. Checking and reading your emails on a regular basis; every other day!  I also send           out emails containing job and internship announcements. Therefore, you should be watching and checking your emails.

5. TurnitIn Plagiarism checker will be used.  Access will be provided by the instructor.


The latest versions of Firefox, Chrome, and Safari are all good choices for working in Canvas. Important note: If you need help downloading one of these browsers or assistance with the functionality of Canvas,  the Online and Distance Education staff;  Mr. Huntley (662-299-1220) and Mr. Pendleton (662-299-1160)) will be able to assist you. Additionally, you may contact them via email at and

It is a good idea to have more than one browser installed on your personal computer. Many times problems you experience online can be fixed by switching from one browser to a different browser. 


  • Articles from peer reviewed journal databases (MVSU Library)
  • The company websites
  • The Wall Street Journal’s Annual Reports Service (800-654-2582)
  •  for company profile, key statistics, analyst opinion, etc.
  • Additionally, search online to find the most recent articles concerning these companies
  • Other web resources:  Auditing firms that include Deloitte, KPMG, Ernst & Young, and PricewaterhouseCooper


The MVSU Library staff have introduced the writing assistant tool, Grammarly, as part of the university academic resources that are provided to students, similar to the plagiarism checker, TurnitIn.  Because the MBA capstone course is a very heavy writing emphasis course, I strongly encourage ALL students to use the very popular and very helpful writing assistance tool for your individual and team papers.  You can use Grammarly for all of your various forms of communications, including your DQ responses!  I will be looking and expecting a high level of professional business graduate communications!  You should contact the MVSU staff for additional information concerning how you will be able to access Grammarly!

You have access to additional tools on the Internet that you can use to aid you with your ability to professionally communicate your thoughts and ideas.  There is no excuse for any professional graduate business student to not be able to achieve the level of professional communication of their thoughts and ideas for their graduate business program.  Remember, you are being taught “CEO” level skills to lead individuals throughout an organization!  You will be tasked with communicating organizational visions, mission statements, and organizational strategic goals and plans!  If you cannot communicate these effectively and efficiently, you will not be able to create the kind of organizational culture that is needed to obtain a sustainable competitive advantage for your organization nor the people who work with the organization!  Selah! 


Week 1 Jan. 11-Jan 17  Chapter 1      Please read:  Strategic Management and Strategic Competitiveness   In addition to the Week 1 chapter reading:    Class Introductions:  Post to the Blackboard tab for Week 1 DQs, a short bio of yourself.  Post this to the appropriate tab for discussion questions for Week 1.  Do not post an attachment, place directly into the text box.    Respond to the Week 1 DQ questions according to the instructions given in the syllabus. Do not post an attachment, place directly into the text box.Post your IC for Week 1.  (Do not post this before the end of the week). Do not post an attachment, place directly into the text box.   (In addition to the chapter reading, study the APA 6th Edition format via the Web links provided below and other materials that you will be provided on Blackboard.) You will use this writing format for all of your written assignments (individual and team).  In addition, there are other resources on the Internet that you can access for APA 6th Edition in addition to formal and professional writing for graduate MBA programs.        For your first individual assignment:  See supplemental sheet for Assignment # 1.  Due Jan. 17, 2021 by 11:59pm.  Post to “Assignments # 1” tab on Canvas after posting to TurnitIn.
Week 2 Jan 18-Jan 24  Chapter 2       Chapter 3The External Environment: Opportunities, Threats, Industry Competition, and Competitor Analysis   The Internal Organization:  Resources, Capabilities, Core Competencies, and Competitive Advantages   In addition to the Week 2 chapter readings: Respond to the Week 2 DQ questions according to the instructions given in the syllabus. Do not post an attachment, place directly into the text box.   Post your IC for Week 2.  (Do not post this before the end of the week). Do not post an attachment, place directly into the text box.   For your second individual assignment:  See supplemental sheet for assignment # 2.  Due Jan. 24, 2021 by 11:59pm.  Post to “Assignments # 2” tab on Canvas after posting to TurnitIn. 
Week 3 Jan 25-Jan 31Chapter 4 Chapter 6          Business-Level Strategy Corporate-Level Strategy    In addition to the Week 3 chapter readings: Respond to the Week 3 DQ questions according to the instructions given in the syllabus. Do not post an attachment, place directly into the text box.   Post your IC for Week 3.  (Do not post this before the end of the week). Do not post an attachment, place directly into the text box.   For your third individual assignment:  See supplemental sheet for assignment #3.  Due Jan. 31, 2021 by 11:59pm.  Post to “Assignment # 3” tab on Canvas after posting to TurnitIn.   
Week 4 Feb 1-Feb 7   Chapter 5    Chapter 9Competitive Rivalry and Competitive Dynamics Cooperative Strategy   In addition to the Week 4 chapter readings: Respond to the Week 4 DQ questions according to the instructions given in the syllabus. Do not post an attachment, place directly into the text box.   Post your IC for Week 4.  (Do not post this before the end of the week). Do not post an attachment, place directly into the text box.
          Week 5 Feb 8-Feb 14          Chapter 7 Chapter 8          Merger and Acquisition Strategies International Strategy   In addition to the Week 5 chapter readings: Respond to the Week 5 DQ questions according to the instructions given in the syllabus. Do not post an attachment, place directly into the text box.   Post your IC for Week 5.  (Do not post this before the end of the week). Do not post an attachment, place directly into the text box.   For your fourth individual assignment:  See supplemental sheet for assignment # 4.  Due Feb. 14, 2021 by 11:59pm.  Post to “Assignment # 4” tab on Canvas after posting to TurnitIn.   
Week 6 Feb 15-Feb 21          Chapter 10 Chapter 11Corporate Governance Organizational Structure and Controls   In addition to the Week 6 chapter readings: Respond to the Week 6 DQ questions according to the instructions given in the syllabus. Do not post an attachment, place directly into the text box.   Post your IC for Week 6.  (Do not post this before the end of the week). Do not post an attachment, place directly into the text box.   For your fifth individual assignment:  See supplemental sheet for assignment # 5.  Due Feb. 21, 2021 by 11:59pm.  Post to “Assignment # 5” tab on Canvas. 
Week 7 Feb 22-Feb 28   Mid Term scores/grades will consist of Week 1 thru Week 7 of online participation points and 1-5 supplemental written assignments.       Chapter 13 Chapter 12  Strategic Entrepreneurship Strategic Leadership   In addition to the Week 7 chapter readings: Respond to the Week 7 DQ questions according to the instructions given in the syllabus. Do not post an attachment, place directly into the text box.   Post your IC for Week 7.  (Do not post this before the end of the week). Do not post an attachment, place directly into the text box.   Each team is to create a new product or a new service that they will introduce or create an existing product or service that can be improved upon or one that you can make better.  The teams will post their choice to their respective Team tabs on Canvas.  The teams should communicate in their respective Team Tabs on Canvas to discuss and finalize how they will proceed.  This is the product or service that the teams will use for their Team Final Project.   Please post your teams’ choice in your teams’ Tab Forum by February 26, 2021, midnight. 
Week 8 Mar. 1-Mar. 7  Section A of the Team Final Project You will be working on your team’s product or service.  Submit written section to the respective TurnitIn portal or tab.  Submit to TurnitIn by March 7, 2021 by 11:59pm.  Submit the final version of the Power Point to the appropriate team forum on Canvas.
Week 9 Mar. 8-Mar. 14  Section B of the Team Final ProjectYou will be working on your team’s product or service.  Submit written section to the respective TurnitIn portal or tab.  Submit to TurnitIn by March 14, 2021 by 11:59pm.  Submit the final version of the Power Point to the appropriate team forum on Canvas.
Week 10 Mar. 15-Mar. 21  Section C of the Team Final ProjectYou will be working on your team’s product or service.  Submit written section to the respective TurnitIn portal or tab.  Submit to TurnitIn by March 21, 2021 by 11:59pm.  Submit the final version of the Power Point to the team forum on Canvas.
Week 11 Mar. 22-Mar. 28  Section D of the Team Final ProjectYou will be working on your team’s product or service.  Submit written section to the respective TurnitIn portal or tab.  Submit to TurnitIn by March 28, 2021 by 11:59pm.  Submit the final version of the Power Point to the appropriate team forum on Canvas.
Week 12 Mar. 29-Apr. 4  Section E of the Team Final ProjectYou will be working on your team’s product or service.  Submit written section to the respective TurnitIn portal or tab.  Submit to TurnitIn by April 4, 2021 by 11:59pm.  Submit the final version of the Power Point to the appropriate team forum on Canvas.
Week 13 Apr. 5-Apr. 11  Combined Sections F & G of the Team ProjectYou will be working on your team’s product or service.  Submit combined written sections to the respective TurnitIn portal or tab.  Submit to TurnitIn by April 11, 2021 by 11:59pm.  Submit the final version of the Power Point to the appropriate team forum on Canvas.
  Week 14 Apr. 12-Apr. 18  Grading and Finalizing AssignmentsGrading all remaining assignments and finalizing grades for the semester.  Will Post Final Grades to the class by April 19-20.  Will post final grades to Banner by April 23.
Week 15 Apr. 24-Apr. 30  MBA Coordinator Stuff!!  MBA Coordinator Stuff!!!


            Assignments (5×50pts)            250

            Team Final Project (7×50pts)            350

            Canvas Online Participation              64

            Total Points            664

Grading standard will be (total of 314 points):

Mid-Term Scale:  A: 283-314   B: 251-282   C: 220-250   D: 188-219   F: <188

Grading standard will be (total of 664 points):

Final Grading Scale:  A: 598-664   B: 531-597   C:465-530   D: 398-464   F: <398


Any student who believes s/he has been graded unfairly during a semester should work actively and positively with the instructor to resolve the matter informally. If the student believes that the grading issue has not been satisfactorily resolved should appeal the grade by following University procedures as outlined in the Student Handbook. When submitting a written complaint regarding grading practices, it is imperative that the student keep copies of supporting documentation (course syllabus, graded assignments, a portfolio of other graded work from the course, including homework, projects, tests, and other assignments, if available).


  1. Read assignments before class.
  2. Maintain knowledge of current management issues as reported in academic databases (peer-reviewed journals) such as ProQuest, EBSCOhost, and business publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Barons, Bloomberg.

        3.   Please complete project assignments on time.

  • You are responsible for knowledge of any administrative announcements that are made at any time regardless of whether you are in class attendance.  If you are absent, ask a classmate to keep you informed.
  • If all else fails, shoot me (professor) an email!
  • You are responsible for informing the professor of changes to your email address and phone contacts!


Mississippi Valley State University is committed to providing reasonable accommodations for students with a documented disability. If a student has a disability that qualifies under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) and requires accommodations, he/she should contact the Services for Students with Disability Office to obtain this service. Disabilities covered by the ADA may include learning, physical, psychiatric, vision, hearing, or chronic health disorders. Students who are uncertain if their condition/disability is qualified should contact the SSD Office.

Mrs. Kathy Brownlow/ ADA Coordinator
Social Science Building Office 105
Phone/e-mail: 662-254-3443,

Contact Hours for this Online Course

For this Spring 2021 semester, this is a 3-credit course with non-standard or asynchronous meeting times (the faculty-student interaction is virtual and is not a standard 3-day or 2-day meeting pattern).

The Strategic Management Capstone (BA 655) course is a 3-credit online course taught over a 16 semester week period that requires that students spend at least six (6) to seven (7) hours participating and completing course-related work or activities each week of the 16 week semester. This includes answering online discussion questions, responding to students/classmates with additional posts (to simulate an online or virtual environment, a face-to-face lecture/discussion environment), time spent completing assigned readings, preparing individual and team written assignments and Power Points, in addition to other online or virtual course-related tasks.


The course syllabus provides a general plan for the course and is not set “in stone” or is not binding.  Deviations may be necessary at the instructor’s discretion.

  1. Formatting:  The format for the written assignments and any Power Points will be in APA 6th Edition.  Web links that contain resources for APA formatting have been emailed out to all students in your syllabus in week one.  Please use this time to re-familiarize yourselves with this format by following the web links. 
  1. The written papers should have a title page with:  Title, Student Names, Course Name, Date, and Instructor’s Name (Dr. Jimmie Warren—not Mr. Jimmie Warren).
  • For all pages of your paper, the margins should be 1-inch.
  • All sentences should be double-spaced (not multiple) and with the correct spacing between sentences and paragraphs.  (To ensure this, click on the “Paragraph” tab on your MS Word document under the “Home” tab.  In the section titled “Spacing”, the headings “before” and “after” both should be “0 pt”). 
  • The font face/style should be consistent throughout you papers:  please use the Times New Roman font face with “12” font style.  Make sure that your page numbers and headers are in this font face and type style. 
  • Make sure that pages are numbered in the upper right-hand corner and in the same font face and style in (e) above.
  • An abstract is not required for the papers, unless your desire an abstract.
  • Do not copy and paste charts that belong to another author into your paper or Power Point.  If you need a chart, make up your own chart with the data you wish to display and if the data belongs to another author, properly cite it.  If you use a chart, make sure that there is an explanation of what is in the chart and what the data in the chart means.  
  • Writing Style and Sources:  This is an area where quite a few students get into trouble. 
  1. Your sentence structure should be clear, with clarity, and should be easy to read.  You should be consistent with your “tense” (past tense, present tense, etc.).  Do not use first person pronoun (I) (Me) (We), (Us), (Our) or second person pronouns (you, your); use only third person pronouns, in a limited manner, such as (they, them).  I am not interested in your opinions!  State a fact that can be backed with a reference (properly formatted).  You can state an opinion without using first or second person by simply referring to yourself or your team as “the author” or “the authors” or “The team”.  Now, you may or may not have many references, but you should have references. 
  • In addition, a paragraph has between three to five sentences and the length of a sentence is no more than three lines long.  Some paragraphs will go over the maximum of five sentences.  This is ok.  However, the standard is three to five sentences per paragraph.  In addition, any number nine or less is written in “word” form, not in number form (three instead of 3, eight instead of 8, etc.).  Any number greater than nine should be written in “number form”. 
  • Do not use declarative sentences without a reference unless the statement is “common knowledge”.  A declarative sentence is a sentence stated as a fact.  If this is so, it must have a reference to back it up.  You must understand the difference between statements that are “common knowledge” and statements that are not “common knowledge”.  When in doubt about this issue, put a source (in-text citation).  If you use a declarative sentence without a citation, follow that declarative sentence up with two to three sentences with a reference or references to back up your non-referenced declarative statement. 
  • Make sure that the sources you use within the body of your paper appear on the reference page.  Please title your reference page as “References” and not “Bibliography” or “Works Cited”.  The difference between the two is this:  the reference page contains sources that you actually used within your paper where the bibliography page contains all of the sources that you used and did not use to help you research information to help you write your paper. 
  • Do not use colloquial or slang language (your everyday non-formal speech) in academic papers.  Be careful to find the correct words to form your sentences; these are formal papers and should written as such.  Do not use conversational language in academic papers. 
  • Words of Encouragement:  Do your readings and research and you should do ok to well on your papers.  This means that your social life will have to be put on hold so that you can achieve the highest level of academic performance for these assignments.  Peace!
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