ENGL 1050 Foundations in Written Communication Discussion

DescriptionPosition Paper Assignment Sheet
ENGL 1050: Foundations in Written Communication
Purpose and Directions
This major project asks you take the equity issue that you revealed in your
autoethnography and consider the power, privilege, and policy dynamics associated with
this topic. After you gather a wide range of information, you will form a position with
respect to the information and communicate a conclusion about the power, privilege, or
policy associated with this topic. You will build and support your position in a six-page,
double-spaced piece of writing, which will be written for an audience of your peers
unfamiliar with your position.
To develop your position paper, you will need to conduct secondary research that
identifies valuable pieces of information. Using this information, you will need to
develop a strong position statement in both its articulation and differentiation. You will
also need to structure your position paper, so that it follows a pyramidal, top-down
structure that works to support your position statement.
Formatting Requirements
Your position paper needs to be at least six (6), full, double-spaced pages along with one
(1) additional page that presents bibliographic information for your secondary research.
Your paper should include a title that indicates the topic of your paper as well as your
position. Your paper should be set in 12-point Times New Roman font and should
include a heading that provides your name, the course number, your instructor’s name,
and the date in its upper left-hand corner. You will submit this assignment as a Word
document through the dropbox on Elearning labeled “DROPBOX: Position Paper.”
Note: Due to ongoing assessment initiatives at Western Michigan University, your
position paper must be saved and submitted to appropriate Elearning dropbox as a
Microsoft Word file. All Western Michigan University students can download a free
desktop version of Microsoft Word from their W-Exchange portal.
This project helps achieve the course goals by providing you with an opportunity to:
• Develop a stance that successfully balances writer, reader, and topic
• Articulate a well-crafted position statement
• Support your position statement thorough research
• Use writing to speak to a real-world, equity-based problem
Most of the resources you will need to successfully complete this assignment can be
found in Chapter 5 of the textbook and in the Position Paper module on Elearning. Some
aspects of this assignment will also draw on textbook content found in Chapter 8, Chapter
9, Chapter 10, and Chapter 11.
Additionally, you will be required to register for and attend a 50-minute English 1050
Library Lab. The purpose of this lab is to help you deepen your research as you move
from your autoethnography to your position paper. The goal of this lab is for you to learn
new research strategies that you can use to identify relevant pieces of information and
chunks of knowledge that (1) move beyond those you used in your autoethnography and
(2) support your position on an aspect of power, privilege, or policy that intersects with
your topic. Labs will be led by Western Michigan University Library faculty members,
and attendance will be taken.
This project counts for 26% of your overall course grade and will be graded on how well
• Rhetorical stance balances audience, context, and purpose
• Position statement on power, privilege, and policy is clearly articulated and
• Paper follows a top-down, pyramidal structure
• Paper uses the introduction and conclusion to produce a bookending effect
• Paper documents research using a recognizable and accurate style (MLA, APA, or
Chicago; Chapter 11)
• Paper uses parallel structure to present equivalent ideas as grammatical equals
(Chapter 8)
• Writing avoids errors and promotes meaning-making, especially by avoiding the
use of vague words
• Position statement is supported with appropriate resources (Chapter 10)
• Sentences use verb tense to follow time consistently (Chapter 8)
• Information is synthesized, developing and demonstrating relationships among
Your position paper will be written for an audience of your peers who may not be
familiar with your position or the topic you selected.
Subject: Proposal for position paper
The Gen Z community faces a significant challenge of underrepresentation and a lack of
diversity in leadership positions. This issue has serious implications for the community, such as
limited opportunities, the perpetuation of systemic inequalities, and a lack of role models for
future generations. Diversity is not reflected in leadership roles, where individuals from
privileged backgrounds, particularly white males, occupy the majority of positions. This lack of
diversity can lead to a lack of representation of diverse perspectives and experiences, limiting the
potential for progress and innovation. This proposal was requested by ….. or approval before
moving on to writing my position paper.
Background Information
Research shows that individuals from underrepresented groups face significant barriers to
accessing leadership positions. In the United States, for example, studies have found that
individuals from marginalized racial and ethnic groups are less likely to be promoted to
management and leadership positions. Similarly, women face significant challenges in accessing
leadership positions, particularly in male-dominated fields such as technology and finance. This
underrepresentation and lack of diversity can lead to a perpetuation of systemic inequalities, as
individuals from privileged backgrounds may be more likely to hire and promote individuals
who share their backgrounds and experiences.
Description of Proposed Activities
To address the issue of underrepresentation and a lack of diversity in leadership roles, it is
crucial to advocate for policies and initiatives that promote diversity and inclusion. For instance,
organizations can implement mentorship and training programs that focus on developing
leadership skills among individuals from underrepresented groups. Additionally, companies can
prioritize diversity and inclusion in their recruitment and promotion strategies, including the use
of blind hiring practices and the development of diverse interview panels. Policy
recommendations can also include mandatory diversity and inclusion training for all employees
and the creation of more diverse hiring and promotion committees.
Inquiry Question
To address the underrepresentation and lack of diversity in leadership roles, the following
inquiry question is proposed: How can we promote diversity and inclusion in leadership roles,
and what are the barriers that prevent individuals from underrepresented groups from accessing
these positions? The proposed research will seek to explore the factors that contribute to
underrepresentation in leadership roles, as well as strategies and policies that have been effective
in promoting diversity and inclusion.
By March 18-find and print ten likely articles
By March 20-skim articles and assessment for usefulness
By March 22-read chosen articles and highlight useful quotes
By March 24-draft thesis and introduction
By March 26-complete the first draft
By March 28-revise draft based on input from Eli Review
By March 30-submit draft to Drop Box
Request for Approval
I propose to conduct research on the underrepresentation and lack of diversity in leadership roles
and its effects on the Gen Z community. The research will aim to identify the factors that
contribute to underrepresentation, explore the impact of a lack of diversity in leadership roles,
and identify effective policies and initiatives that promote diversity and inclusion. The proposed
research will provide insights that will be beneficial for policymakers, organizations, and
individuals seeking to promote diversity and inclusion in leadership roles. I respectfully request
approval to conduct this research.
_____________ _____________
signature date
Catalyst. (2018). Women in S&P 500 companies. https://www.catalyst.org/research/women-insp-500-companies/
Dobbin, F., & Kalev, A. (2016). Why diversity programs fail. Harvard Business Review, 94(7),
McBain, R. (2021). Diversifying leadership: Training programs for underrepresented groups.
Center for American Progress.
Pew Research Center. (2021). Generation Z looks a lot like millennials on key social and
political issues. https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2021/02/16/generation-z-looks-alot-like-millennials-on-key-social-and-political-issues/

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