Critical Investigation: Finding a job after graduation

Critical Investigation

Use Paul and Elder’s (2012) intellectual standards to find a topic or problem that is clear, relevant, significant, and precise. Select an issue that you wish to investigate critically (social, professional, or personal). Examples of topics:

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  • This is my topic: Finding a job after graduation

IMPORTANT: The Final Portfolio is not a traditional “term paper.”

Your final portfolio submission should include the following sections:

  1. Title page
  2. Introduction
  3. Engagement with issue or problem using scholarly sources and the intellectual standards proposed by Paul and Elder (2012): What is the issue? Why is it significant? Why is this issue relevant to you (and/or your community)? What have you learned about the depth and breadth of the issue or problem from scholarly sources?
  4. Engagement with your own assumptions or thinking about the issue. What assumptions do you bring to this subject? What concepts are “at work” in your mind as you investigate this issue? Why is this subject of interest to you and how might this skew your investigations? These questions constitute some of the issues covered by Paul and Elder (2012) in their “elements of reason.”
  5. Engagement with scholarly sources: How do the scholarly sources aid you as you think about the issue fair-mindedly and with depth? What have you learned from the scholarly sources that have helped you analyze the issue?
  6. Conclusion: Reflect on your issue or problem and how the sources informed your thinking. What have you learned? How can you apply the intellectual standards and elements of reason to this issue or problem to come to creative solutions? What critical questions remain?
  7. References Page


  • You may write in the first person for your Final Portfolio Project.
  • Your paper should engage a minimum of six scholarly sources that are not required or recommended readings for this course. The is a good place to find these sources.
  • Your paper should be 7-8 pages in length and formatted according to the
  • Refer to the  for an overview of items to consider as you add final polish to your draft.



Watson, S. A. (2016). CHALLENGES FACED by OLDER JOB SEEKERS in a TECHNOLOGY DRIVEN AGE. Career Planning & Adult Development Journal32(3), 38–44.


Bianchi, S. M. (2011). Changing Families, Changing Workplaces. Future of Children21(2), 15–36.


Rao, H. (2015). Workers Can’t Find Jobs, Jobs Can’t Find Workers: Solving the Talent Paradox. Journal for Leadership and Instruction14(2), 12–17.




Stonebraker, I., Maybee, C., & Chapman, J. (2019). Undergraduate students’ experiences of using information at the career fair: A phenomenographic study conducted by the libraries and career center. Journal of Academic Librarianship45(4), 358–367.


Callanan, G., & Benzing, C. (2004). Assessing the Role of Internships in the Career-Oriented Employment of Graduating College Students. Education + Training46(2), 82–89.


Wartel, M. (2015). “What Can I Do with this Degree?” Change47(5), 28–34.









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