Make an Outline Before You Begin Writing:

Then, remember that the outline is there to help you.You can revise it as you go.

Things to Consider Including or Mentioning:

  • An interesting introduction--short and sweet
  • A clear, specific problem statement--what specific problem will you address? (make sure it stands out--consider putting it in bold)
  • A clear statement of purpose--why are you writing the paper?
  • A theoretical framework (how is your paper organized, and why is it organized that way? Or, what strategic planning process are you using and why did you choose that one?) You can insert some complex ideas into a clear, simple framework.
  • Who are you and what is your role--are you an internal consultant, part of an external consulting firm . . .?
  • A long-term strategic plan
  • Short-term organizational development and/or staff development plans
  • Internal and external scanning, which (will) reinforce your notions
  • A specific timeline--consider creating bullet points or making a flow chart
  • Organizational structure--consider making an organizational chart
  • If suggesting committees, clear committee assignments--approved by a board
  • A vision (or a discussion about how to create one)
  • A mission (or a discussion about how to create one)
  • Your leadership theory
  • Your change theory--be sure this is consistent with the mission, vision, and leadership theory
  • Climate and culture
  • Cultural diversity
  • Key theories from most (if not all) of your courses
  • Conflict resolution
  • What method of assessment or evaluation do you propose?

Proofreading Issues:

  • An APA Style title page
  • A clear, detailed Table of Contents (with page #s) that corresponds to your headings
  • APA Style headings
  • APA Style citations of all sources
  • APA Style reference page
  • Appendices, as needed (a glossary of operational definitions, charts, graphs, etc.)
  • Be sure to hire an editor if you need one. Plan ahead so that the editor has enough time to read your paper before you submit the final draft.

Defending Your Work:

  • Make a list of important names and theories to remember--especially the leadership theory you advocate for this situation
  • Be able to describe and defend your theoretical framework, personal vision, shared vision for the organization, change theory, leadership theory, etc.
  • Consider your audience members and their areas of interest. Who will be reading your work? Be prepared to answer their questions.
  • Put your paper in a three-ring binder for your presentation. Put tabs in a few key sections so that you can refer to them easily.

Just KNOW YOUR PAPER, and review the concepts listed above. Get a good night's sleep, and try to relax. If you've written a strong paper, don't worry. You'll do just fine! :-)