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NSP: What is Business For? Catholic Social Teaching

Tips, hints and search strategies for completing the assigned research paper for this NSP course.

Finding Sources for NSP Research Assignment

Professor McCormick requires you to have:

  • 10 pages, double-spaced (New Times Roman 12 pt font)
  • Your paper must include a bibliography of all sources used and be cited using Turabian style

There are three major components fo this paper (seeing, judging, acting), each of which must be completed for the paper to receive credit.  These pieces are to be integrated into a unified paper.  Both The Vocation of the Business Leader and The True Cost of Low Prices should be utilized, as well as additional articles/resources.

The three components to consider as you begin searching for resources:

  1. Seeing (description and analysis): In this section, you will look at an issue and describe the problem as well as provide an analysis of key aspects.  In this section you want to describe the problem that you are looking at.   Research is directed toward analyzing the problem from a variety of perspectives.  Develop a list of initial questions that you want to see answered as you begin your research.  As you do so make sure to list any additional questions that arise and explore these as well.   What is the scope of the problem?  What are its social, economic, political, and cultural dimensions?  What might be possible ways to address it?  What factors need to be addressed in order to bring about a just transformation?  “Why is this happening?” should be a guiding question.  Another would be: “who benefits from the status quo?”
  2. Judging (engagement with Catholic social teaching): Examine the issue from the perspective of the principles of Catholic social teaching.  What principles help illustrate the concerns that one should have?  What principles must be respected for there to be a just solution? Our text book should be helpful in this regard.
  3. Acting: What kinds of actions would be useful in addressing the concern?  In this section you could look at groups that are already addressing this issue and describe how they work and why their contribution is important.

It's always wise to collect more than what you think you will need. Think about how many books and articles you think you might need to answer the research questions listed above and be able to write a 10 page paper. Planning to gather one or two more than what you think you might need is especially prudent if you have to rely on interlibrary loan (borrowing from other libraries) and don't have the book or full text article to consult immediately.

The information on this guide will help you to discover different types of resources.  Please ask your instructor or one of our librarians for help if you have difficulty using the sources or you just don't know what else to try!  We'd be very happy to work with you to discover the sources you need!