Signature Course Project

There are two objectives for the Course Project.
To analyze a complex negotiation (work, personal, or historical)
To apply negotiation course concepts in your analysis.

These objectives, while straightforward, are critical to your learning. Application knowledge is the key. If you can apply what you have learned in the course to the project, you will also be able to apply what you have learned in other environments after the course has ended.

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Proposal Topic Ideas

The proposal (one page is due during Week 3) should describe the focus of the paper and your method. The negotiation can be one in which you were a participant or one in which you have been an active observer. Some examples of applicable negotiations include

a workplace negotiation, such as a complex contract, new position, or new salary (preferred);
a complex business transaction, such as a merger or acquisition;
a complex real estate purchase;
a union-management contract (including professional sports leagues);
a neighborhood group negotiating zoning concerns with a city government;
a negotiation between divorcing spouses who have complex settlement issues; and
a negotiation between a vendor and business over products and services.

The above are representative examples of possible topics. The important thing to keep in mind in your topic selection is that the negotiation should be complex enough that you can perform a thoughtful and critical analysis in your paper using concepts learned in this course.


Paper must be 10 pages minimum in length, not including the title, abstract, or reference pages.
Paper must apply APA formatting.
Paper may apply up to but no more than three pages in describing the negotiation.
Negotiation should be complex enough to challenge students’ analytic skills.
Paper Topic Proposal (for faculty review and approval) is due in Week 3 (approximate length is one page).
Paper is due in Week 7.
Recorded PowerPoint due in Week 8.

Grading Rubrics

Category Points % Description
Organization and Cohesiveness 66
Central theme or purpose is clearly identifiable and well developed; introductory comments provide sufficient background on the topic and preview major points.
Subsequent sections develop and support the central theme of the paper.
Conclusions and recommendations follow logically from the body of the paper and bring closure to the paper.
Structure is clear, logical, and easy to follow; smooth transitions between paragraphs help maintain the flow of thought.
Meets minimum assigned length.
No major errors in spelling, punctuation, or grammar.
Paper is laid out effectively—uses headers and/or other reader-friendly tools.
Paper is professional in appearance and demonstrates attention to detail; tone of voice is appropriate to the audience (academic is preferred).

Content 120 50%
Addresses all aspects of the assignment in sufficient depth.
Analyzes and discusses negotiations concepts by extending and elaborating with realistic examples
Exhibits a substantive and perceptive ability in analyzing and discussing negotiation topic that is focus of paper.

Documentation (References) 30 12.5% The majority of opinions, assertions and analyses are rigorously supported by primary and secondary research. Papers need to include a minimum of six sources with at least 50% of them being primary sources. Note: course texts are secondary research sources.
Formatting (APA) 24 10%
Paper conforms to APA format guidelines. All references are acknowledged and properly cited in APA format.
Total 240
An “A” quality paper will meet or exceed all of the above requirements.

Best Practices

The following are the best practices in preparing this paper.
Title Page: Include who you prepared the paper for, who prepared it, and the date.
Table of Contents: List the main ideas and section of your paper and the pages in which they are located. The illustrations should be included separately.
Introduction: Use a header on your paper. This will indicate that you are introducing your paper.

The purposes of an introduction or opening are as follows.

Introduce the subject and why the subject is important.
Preview the main ideas and the order in which they will be covered.
Establish the document’s tone.

Include in the introduction a reason for the audience to read the paper. Also include an overview of what you are going to cover in your paper and the importance of the material. (This should include or introduce the questions you are asked to answer on each assignment.)

Body of Your Report: Use a header titled with the name of your project. Example: “The negotiation between Company X and Company Y: An Analysis.” Then proceed to break out the main ideas. State the main ideas, state major points in each idea, and provide evidence. Break out each main idea you will use in the body of your paper. Show some type of division, such as separate sections that are labeled, separate groups of paragraphs, or headers. You would include the information you found during your research and investigation.
Summary and Conclusion: Summarizing is similar to paraphrasing but presents the gist of the material in fewer words than the original. An effective summary identifies the main ideas and major support points from the body of your report. Minor details are left out. Summarize the benefits of the ideas and how they affect the subject.
References: Follow the APA Publications Manual in using in-text citations and include a reference page.

Additional tips on preparing the best possible project:

Apply a three-step process of writing (plan, write, and complete).
Prepare an outline of your research paper before you go forward.
Complete a first draft and then go back to edit, evaluate, and make any changes required.
Use visual communication to further clarify and support the written part of your report. You could use graphs, diagrams, photographs, flowcharts, maps, drawings, animation, video clips, pictograms, tables, and Gantt charts if applicable.

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