Question Description

Portfolio Project

The Walden B.S. in Business Administration program includes a student portfolio project for each upper level course. The portfolio project is an evolutionary collection of work-related products specific to the subject of the course. Students organize their portfolios in a systematic manner for the purpose of communicating and demonstrating what a student has learned and achieved in the context of the course. This concept facilitates the application of theory learned in the course by providing the student with an opportunity to demonstrate mastery of the subject matter in the context of student professional goals and competencies. The portfolio also enhances the assessment of student practice-related skills, which are difficult to measure through traditional comprehensive examinations. Each portfolio project completed during the program will become one of the work samples in the Student Portfolio.

As a student in the B.S. in Business Administration program, you will have the opportunity to experiment in building a virtual personal business that will evolve as a portfolio of personal performance over the courses in the degree program. In each upper level course, you will have an assignment taken from the course theories and techniques and applied to the business project, building the portfolio component by component. The project will be reviewed from course to course by each faculty member, to ensure that the components flow into a cohesive portfolio project. The portfolio item for this course is an argumentative essay.

Argumentative Essay

You are to select an issue from the list provided by the instructor and formulate a written argument, using all the critical thinking tools studied during this class.

Use Chapters 7, 8, and 9 of your course text, A Rulebook for Arguments, by Anthony Weston, to guide you in formulating your paper’s argument.

The argument paper will be in APA format, and should be 1,750 to 2,250 words in length. Select an issue to argue. You must select an issue for the essay and post it by Day 3 of Week 2 to the Portfolio Project Topic thread in the Week 2 Discussion for your Instructor’s review and approval. You will also post a rough draft of your essay by Day 3 of Week 4 to the Portfolio Project Draft thread in the Week 4 Discussion.

You may also use that thread to discuss your issue with your classmates and receive ideas from them about your issue and the nature of your argument. You should build your portfolio project paper (argumentative essay) on a weekly basis as you learn the various techniques in class.


  • In Week 3 you will begin to research the literature concerning your issue.
  • In Week 4 you will prepare an outline of your paper.
  • In Week 5 you will prepare your first draft to share with the class for feedback .
  • And in Week 6 you will polish and refine your argument – and submit your final paper.

Writing Tips

  • Select an issue to argue – be sure to focus on a specific issue
  • Gain Instructor approval – during week 2
  • Outline your argument
  • Research the facts
  • Draft your essay
  • Receive Feedback from classmates
  • Polish and prepare your final paper

The Argumentative Essay will have:

  • A title page (cover page)
  • An introduction
  • The body of your paper
  • A conclusion (that summarizes the content of your paper)
  • A reference page

Note: Again, be sure and use your course text, A Rulebook for Arguments, as a guide in preparing your paper.

Parenthetical citations and reference page: Be careful when using direct quotations, paraphrases or terms suggesting absolute facts or values, as these must be supported by parenthetical citations in the body of the paper, and an entry on the reference page.

You must use a minimum of five scholarly sources, with citations and references formatted in APA Manual style, which are recent (within 5 years).

A superior paper will demonstrate breadth and depth of knowledge and critical thinking appropriate for undergraduate-level scholarship. The paper must be free of typographical, spelling, and grammatical errors, with good sentence and paragraph structure.

Learning Resources

Required Readings

Course Text: Kirby, G., & Goodpaster, J. (2007). Thinking (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.

  • Chapter 1, “What is Thinking?”
  • In this chapter, some of the great thinkers of the past and their definitions of thinking are presented. The chapter also discusses how thinking is demonstrated through communication, through writing, and through dialogue. “Misthinking,” or confusion, is also explored.
    Focus on the definitions provided throughout the chapter. Review and think about the examples and anecdotes provided in the chapter that illustrates the major ideas being conveyed. Consider how a manager uses critical-thinking skills. Ask yourself how a manager’s writing and dialogue demonstrate his or her thinking skills to others.

  • Chapter 2, “Personal Barriers”
  • In this chapter, the personal barriers that can influence a person’s thinking process are discussed. In addition, how different types of personal barriers and factors such as religion, bias, and emotions can alter a person’s thinking – and lead to different outcomes and reactions – is examined.
    Focus on the definitions provided throughout the chapter. Review and think about the examples and anecdotes provided about the different types of personal barriers in the chapter. Consider your own personal barriers. Ask yourself which of these barriers may hinder your critical-thinking skills as a manager.

  • Chapter 3, “Sensing”
  • Chapter 3 introduces sensory perception and examines how it is the first process in thinking. How the senses can influence your thinking as well as how they can be sharpened and honed to augment the thinking process is presented. Finally, the importance of listening is explored.
    Focus on the definitions provided throughout the chapter. Review and think about some of the examples regarding how thinking is affected by senses and about the different methods of sharpening sensory perception. Consider how listening skills impact critical thinking. How might a manager improve his or her listening skills?

  • Chapter 4, “Brain and Memory”
  • Chapter 4 examines those factors that impact brain function and the thinking process, including food, drugs, and sleep. Thinking and memory are also explored, along with the changing nature of memory. Long-term and short-term memory are discussed in conjunction with forgetting. Strategies for improving memory are also presented.
    Focus on the definitions provided throughout the chapter. Review and think about some of the examples that can affect the brain and its health as well as how the memorization process works. Consider those behaviors that impact brain function and memory. Think about personal choices you make that can help, or hamper, your ability to think critically.

Course Text: Weston, A. (2009). A rulebook for arguments (4th ed.). Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing Company.

  • “Preface,” “Introduction,” and Chapter 1, “Short Arguments: Some General Rules”
  • The preface, introduction, and Chapter 1 introduce the topic of persuasive writing and how arguments are used to for a variety of purposes. Chapter 1 provides an overview of strategies for presenting short arguments along with the important rules for using this type of argument.
    Focus on the definitions provided throughout the chapter. Review and think about some of the examples presented for composing a short argument. Consider when a short argument is desirable. When might a manager use this type of argument?