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Research about BlackBerries and their effect on the business world in terms of mobile phone/Web access/calendaring applications.

This second assignment in Writing 340 Advanced Writing for Business asks you 1) to inform an audience of educated business readers about an essential economic trend or business issue, and 2) explain how your audience could respond in specific fashion to the trend or issue. Research, analysis, and writing mechanics all will be critical to your paper’s effectiveness.


Here are examples of the kind of trends and issues that you might consider (and these are only examples):

If I had assigned my students this same writing project five-to-seven years ago, some of them would have researched BlackBerries and their effect on the business world in terms of mobile phone/Web access/calendaring applications. Further, if I had asked them to comment on what competition they envisioned arising to challenge BlackBerry and its parent corporation, Research in Motion, in the near future, few would have foreseen any credible threat to Blackberry’s domination of this market. In just the last couple of years, however, RIM has lost tremendous market share (and stock value) to newer-generation technologies represented by fourth- and fifth-generation smart phones and their manufacturers, so much so that RIM has begun to consult with outside financial advisors regarding the possibility of being acquired by a more competitive company. And in just the several months, RIM has released the Blackberry 10, changed its corporate name to Blackberry, and launched a concerted effort to regain its lost market share. As you view the short-term future, where is the overall mobile telecommunications industry going in general?

Exploring another recent development, online learning environments—distance education—mark a trend that many schools are now seriously discussing, including USC Marshall. Are we close to an era when brick-and-mortar campuses will be rendered obsolete and physical classrooms will be a thing of the past? Why might this occur? Why not? What would we gain and lose if this were to happen?

Also very apparent over the last several years has been extreme volatility in the price of crude oil on world markets. (Just how volatile this market is has been is shown by the rise in price to an all-time high of $147 + per barrel in 2014 and then several up-and-down adjustments to that. As I write this, the price is in the high-$50s/barrel but threatening to fall again.) Much of what drives this yo-yo movement is increased competition between the US, China, and India for large shares of the world’s limited petroleum reserves, US conversation measures, OPEC strategy to maintain some equilibrium price level, and the rise of better petroleum extraction technologies. Will this competition force many other nations to seek in accelerated fashion alternate sources of energy? If so, what alternative sources may reasonably be developed? Will underdeveloped countries find cheap, non-polluting sources of energy to harness for sustainable growth?


Here are the essential points to develop in your memo:

1) Define the trend explicitly for an audience that is business-savvy but unaware of the specifics of the issue that you are addressing.


2) Clearly establish the trend’s existence. (That is, what proof exists for it?)

3) Lay out precisely why it is significant.

4) Recommend in a compelling manner how your audience could best take advantage of this new trend or service. (E.g., should it buy stock in the technology or the company that owns it? Seek a career working with it? Buy the product or service?)


Accomplish this assignment in a three-four-page, single-spaced, blocked-paragraph paper. (You are free to adopt a memo format, or not, at your choosing.) Further, incorporate at least five substantive, credible sources. Also include visuals/graphics as you deem appropriate for clarification and persuasion.

Please let me know if I could assist you in selecting a topic and then suggesting sources to help you develop your paper.




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