GEN499 DQ’s

  1. Final Research Paper Topic and Plan

    The first step in the research process is selecting a topic that is both interesting and manageable. For this discussion, complete the following:

  • Review the Final Research Paper instructions in Week Five, and identify three potential research topics.
  • Describe methods that may be helpful in identifying and narrowing your research paper topic.
  • Examine two scholarly sources that may prove valuable as you seek to defend your claims.
  • Address why scholarly sources should be used to support your writing on the selected topic.
  1. Social Media

    The introduction of new technologies has significantly affected the social lives of many. These changes, which reflect how people use technology to interact, provide an example of trends that you might examine in your Final Research Paper. For this discussion, identify a significant change that has occurred in the way people communicate and share information, and reflect on the impact this change has had on individuals and society in general today (local and global). Keep in mind that not all social trends affect all groups in society to the same degree. In addition, examine the influence of social media on an individual’s personal and professional pursuits.

3.       Professional Resume and Cover Letter

Create a professional resume and cover letter for a position within your selected industry, and attach a copy to this discussion forum.

Respond to at least three of your classmates’ posts by Day 7, providing both positive and constructive feedback.

If you do not have a resume or cover letter, you may access helpful resources by logging into your Ashford University Student Portal. From the Student Portal homepage, locate Career and Alumni Services (look for the blue “Career” word cluster image) and click on the link to My Career: Career and Professional Development Center to review resume and cover letter resources.

4.      Social Capital

Read the articles, Bowling Alone: America’s Declining Social Capital and Still Bowling Alone? The Post-9/11 Split from the Project Muse database in the Ashford University Library. For this discussion, complete the following:

  • In your own words, describe what is meant by the term “social capital.”
  • Examine the influences of social connections and technology and civic engagement in academic and professional pursuits.
  • Evaluate the significance of social capital in the context of global citizenship and multicultural understanding.  
  1. Federal Policy

    In recent years, immigration, health care reform, and fiscal policy have emerged as key issues in U.S. federal policy. There are many sides to each debate, and research is proliferating.

    Using the Ashford Online Library, identify a scholarly article that answers research questions associated with the debate over immigration, health care reform, or fiscal policy (select one). Apply the principles of critical thinking to the selected issue. Cite the article or website that contains the research. Then, describe the findings of this research and provide your perspective on the validity of the findings.

  1. Call to Action

    Review The Surgeon General’s Vision for a Healthy and Fit Nation 2010. Then, locate a news article or video related to obesity. Identify the source and evaluate the impact of the report, in relation to the media attention and focus on the topic of obesity. How did the report and media coverage create a sense of urgency to move the audience from complacency to action? In what ways do persuasive arguments and presentations directed toward general audiences create a call to action for reform?

  2. Final Research Paper Progress

    At this point in the course, you should have a strong draft of your Final Research Paper. Share your progress on the Final Research Paper, including the following:

  • Identify the Final Research Paper topic. What influenced you to make this choice?
  • Describe your rationale for selecting that topic in relation to your academic and career pursuits.
  • Provide your thesis statement.
  • Discuss interesting finds and/or frustrations that you have encountered in your research.

Technology and Globalization

Examine the relationship between advances in technology and the responsibilities of global citizenship. Describe how technology has changed the way in which people pursue knowledge and how they address social concerns. Assess the challenges and benefits of a technical and global community, and recognize the impact of technological and global influences in your life.

Reflecting on General Education

Explain what you have learned about the principles guiding general education from this course and the courses you have taken in the past. What are the most important concepts you have learned (a) from this course and (b) throughout your time as a university student? What are your plans for putting your education to use within your community? How might your newly-acquired knowledge and skills shape your personal and professional development?



Batchelor, B. (2011, March). Digital technology and teaching American culture. Journal of American Culture, 34(1), 49-55. doi: 10.1111/j.1542-734X.2011.00763.x. Retrieved from Ashford Online Library EBSCO Host database.

Boyd, D. (2011). Dear Voyeur, meet Flâneur…Sincerely, Social Media. Surveillance & Society, 8(4), 505-507. Document ID: 2357417231. Retrieved from Ashford Online Library ProQuest database.

Foley, K. (2011, July 31). The net works for social students: Websites such as Twitter, Facebook and Google+ are valuable resources for academics who know how to use them, discovers Kathy Foley [Eire region]. Sunday Times, 14. Document ID: 2411856761. Retrieved from Ashford Online Library ProQuest database.

Putnam, R. D. (1995). Bowling alone: America’s declining social capital. Journal of Democracy, 6(1), 65-78. Retrieved from the Project Muse database.

Putnam, R. D., & Sander, T. H. (2010). Still bowling alone? The post-9/11 split. Journal of Democracy, 21(1), 9-16. Retrieved from the Project Muse database.

Scrutton, A. (2011, September 2). India’s social media ‘spring’ masks forgotten protests. News India-Times (New York, NY) 15. Retrieved from Ashford Online Library NewsBank database.

Zembylas, M., & Vrasidas, C. (2005, January/February). Globalization, information, and communication technologies, and the prospect of a ‘global village’: Promises of inclusion or electronic colonization? Journal of Curriculum Studies, 37(1), 65-83. doi: 10.1080/0022027032000190687. Retrieved from Ashford Online Library EBSCO host database.


Goldin, I. (Speaker). (2009, July). Ian Goldin: Navigating our global future [Video]. In TED Talks. Retrieved from

Qualman, E. (Producer). (2011). Social media revolution video 2011 [Video]. Retrieved from

Sweeny, F. (Reporter). (2010, August 26). What your post could cost you [Video]. In CNN. Retrieved from

Additional Resources

Ashford University Self Reflection (

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2010, January). The surgeon general’s vision for a healthy and fit nation. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General. Retrieved from

Recommended Resources


 Citizenship and Immigration Services (

Fiscal Responsibility (

Health Reform in Action (

Immigration Enforcement (