Each student in this course is required to complete a comprehensive research, analysis and writing assignment.  This paper is to focus on a specific crisis and provide an in-depth examination of alternative means of how it might have been managed.  It will count for 30 percent of the student’s grade for the semester. 

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The following is designed to assist students carrying out this assignment.

  1. Students should identify and research a specific crisis that will serve as the general subject for this analysis.  Students are free to select a crisis of their own interest and choosing.  However, it is suggested that this crisis be sufficiently in the past and sufficiently well documented to allow for as much dispassionate analysis and assessment as possible.
  2. It is recommended that once research is completed, students select a specific participant and/or perspective on which to center their analysis and that they concentrate on one significant decision or turning point as the focus for this assignment. 
  3. Students should then explore what other alternatives might have been – or should have been – available to the entity involved.

The paper will then detail a number of such alternate scenarios and examine:

  • What would have had to have been different for that alternative to have been undertaken
  • What its implications would have been (both positive and negative)
  • Whether there would have been any ethical issues or decisions involved
  • How other participants in the crisis might have reacted to such an approach
  • What strategies, tactics and activities the entity might have taken to maximize its gains and minimize its losses within this scenario
  • An assessment of how effective such an alternative might have been in preventing, managing, and/or capitalizing on the crisis

There is no required length for this paper.  However, it should reflect the fact that students have almost an entire semester in which to work on it, that it will account for 30 percent of each student’s final grade.

Finally, as with all academic work, students must appropriately attribute all outside sources or material that is not their own original thoughts or work. However, it is left to the student as to the specific form such citations take (i.e. footnotes, end notes, parenthetical inclusions, etc.).


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