jump to navigation

Archive for August, 2010

Ready to turn in Comps

Sunday, August 29th, 2010

I re-read Dr. H’s tips note that he sent at the beginning of the course and one of the statements he made about APA formatting is a little confusing. I sent him a note asking for clarification on this point. I have my comps paper all ready to turn in but I will wait until I get back on answer on my question. Today is August 29 – I have 49 days to turn in the paper and I have finished in 29 days.

Now that I am finished the answers to the four questions, I think my papers will be acceptable. I have double-triple-quadruple proofread and checked formatting until I am cross-eyed. I had planned to have the paper finished by this weekend because I am planning a trip to Nashville with the children next weekend (Labor Day). I surely don’t want to be thinking about schoolwork next weekend!

The final period in Comps Q4 paper

Sunday, August 29th, 2010

After working most of the day on Comps Q4, “Ethical Considerations,” I added the final period to the last page just a few minutes ago. My desk is littered with journal articles and my eyes are bloodshot!

I worked on the four Comps questions as individual papers so that I could use StyleEase software for references. Tomorrow I will review all four Comps answers and consolidate them into one paper.

I just looked at the time…and it’s actually tomorrow already (12:16 AM). So I will take a nap and then get up in the morning and pull the paper together. My goal is to turn in my Comps paper tomorrow!

Day 22: 3/4 completed

Sunday, August 22nd, 2010

I finished up comps question #2 today. This question involved comparing qualitative and quantitative methodologies. The most difficult part of the question involved identifying ways in which a researcher would note that his selected methodology was incorrect. I found almost no references regarding that part of the question. I believe I answered it by using statements I found about how research is supposed to turn out, and turning those statements around. For example, I discussed inconsistencies between data collected and the problem statement. I think I worked about 30 hours on that question.

I have one more comps question to work on; this last one is about ethics. It involves perceptions about the fair and ethical treatment of employees. The question mentions the “concept of the fairness heuristic” as it is used as a “gauge of the potential success or failure of a corporate ethics program”…something I know absolutely nothing about! So it looks like most of this week will involve work to ground myself on the topic.

We actually went on a mini-date today. There is a new winery just down the road and we went for a tasting. Of course the wine was good but the best part was talking to the owners about their winery and the wines. For supper we enjoyed the homemade fresh tomato spaghetti sauce I made yesterday.

I have a busy week this week and so it’s pretty unlikely that I can devote a lot of time to writing. My plan is to work on collecting research so that I can complete the final comps question next weekend. Wish me luck!

Comps Q3 in process

Sunday, August 8th, 2010

I skipped Q2 and began work on Q3 right after finishing Q1. The Q3 scenario put me as a consultant to a firm in the service industry that needed to implement a quality program. It took a while to research quality programs and start the paper. I am almost finished – I just have to do the intro and conclusion.

I usually write a skeleton intro and then work on the paper, then come back and re-do the intro and conclusion. I find that this pulls my paper together. If I write a heavy intro first, I find that my papers are stiff and narrow. It also takes me forever to get going on the meat of the paper!

My brain is tired tonight from working hour after hour on these papers. I feel pretty good about my time schedule right now. It’s day 8 of 49 and I have one question finished and another almost complete. My plan is to finish Q3 within a few days (after work) and then start research on question 2. I will start writing Q2 (which is about quantitative and qualitative research) beginning next weekend.

Comps Q1 done, 3 more to go

Friday, August 6th, 2010

Today I finished my comps question #1 today, which was involved applying management theory to a scenario. The question was phrased to put “me” in as CEO of a company. However, I took a third-person instead of first-person approach to format the paper APA and academic style. My paper has 13 pages of text.

Some colleagues have told me that their mentors allow them to turn in their comp exam question by question, but my mentor says to turn in the complete paper (all four answers). I have 49 days to turn in the whole assignment and this is day 6, and the second of two vacation days dedicated to comps.

I am very happy that I have 25% of my comps exam completed!! YIPPEE!! I just celebrated by watching about 10 minutes of TV…yes, my friends, those of us in grad school can’t find time for TV. The final scenes of Max Payne starting Mark Wahlberg were on. I love the dark photography and stunts in that movie which is based on a graphic novel.

I am filing all the documents/journal articles I printed to answer the first question. I plan to work on question 3 next in which I am to assume the role of a quality management consultant and recommend a QM program to a heavy equipment company. I will start looking for journal articles and reading them today, and hopefully, begin writing tomorrow.

Comps begins today

Sunday, August 1st, 2010

The race is on…..the class starts today and I received my four Comps questions!!!!

Questions focus on a specific area:

– Theoretical and conceptual knowledge.
– Research methods and critique.
– Professional application.
– Ethical considerations.

The questions are supposed to related to my content area, management. However, I am only familiar with one of the four subjects addressed – the question about quantitative and qualitative research methods. There is a definite theme of information technology (IT) in two of the other questions, and the remaining question is about quality management (note: I have never had a course on QM). The first question imagines me as a CEO of a chip manufacturer, the third question assumes I am a quality management professional, and the fourth question dealing with ethics involves an IT department.

Each question has a reference included, and the most recent reference is dated 2005! That is 5 YEARS ago! I hope I can find more recent information regarding these topics…So it looks like I will be doing quite a bit of research to answer the questions. I had hoped (and had been led to believe) that the comps questions would be related to my coursework, but that is not the case!

Each question is to be addressed with an essay of 10-15 pages not including cover, question, or reference pages. I have to receive at least an evaluation of 80% on each of the questions. If I do not receive the minimum, I am allowed a rewrite. I will be graded on how well I address the topic, synthesize the research, and use it to support my ideas and interpretation of the answers. I have 49 days to complete all four essays. Yikes!

Today I began work on the first question that puts me as a decision maker for a chip manufacturer who must develop a new product. It involves understanding a particular theory that I have never heard of – so I am digging in the library for information.