Your objective/goal in this assignment is to demonstrate to the professor that you have read and made an attempt to understand, comprehend, and master the various concepts of leadership as presented in Online Educational Resources (OER) up to this point in the course.


In grading an assignment, the challenge for the professor is to weigh content and style/format. As stated in NEWS, UMUC places a lot of emphasis on APA format — that is to say style/format.


Having said that, let me make a few comments from a purely self-interest perspective. After teaching this course a couple of times and grading the associated papers, two things became apparent: 1) Many of my comments referred to APA style (I have a list of the most common comments so that I only have to copy and paste); and 2) the more time I spent grading a paper, the worse the grade. In one of the Discussions I referred you to the two papers, “Writing Papers That Are Easy to Grade” and “Making an A.” I am attaching them again with this guideline. This is what your paper should look like!


At the end of this guideline is an Abbreviated Grading Rubric.  Pay particular attention to the checklist! When I grade papers I paste a copy of this rubric as page #1.


Background ~ 2


The readings point out that there are many definitions to leadership, and describes several “approaches” or “theories,” among them being traits (“Great Man Theory), skills, contingency/situational, path-goal, servant, transformational, etc.


For this assignment prepare a 4-6 page paper addressing the question “Are leaders born or made?” For what it’s worth, here are some “talking points” which you may or may not choose to consider:


  • What is leadership?
  • Is leadership a trait or a process?
  • Are there similarities between leaders?
  • Examples of “born” leaders or individuals who became leaders because of


  • Do leaders have certain skills? Can they be learned?
  • Is it possible to identify certain characteristics of an individual and then match

them to a leadership position?


Again, these are “talking points.” It is not necessary or possible to address each one in a 4-6 page paper.





Submit a paper of 4-6 double spaced pages (not including title page, abstract, and references) based on the topic of leadership.  Your paper is to follow APA format and guidelines.  Pay particular attention to the Discussion topic based on the paper titled “Papers That Are Easy to Grade” (Sharp, 2013).  As described below, include an outline in an Appendix at the end of the paper.




It’s an old cliché, but you wouldn’t start a cross-country trip without a map — OK, a GPS; nor should you start a paper without an outline. Develop an outline and include it in an appendix at the end of your paper.  Theoretically your headings could serve as an outline. For a paper of this scope you probably won’t need headings other than Levels 1, 2 & 3. In particular, use the table below for an outline; copy it and paste it as an appendix and the last page of your paper. This outline is to consist of your topic sentence or thesis statement which should be the first sentence of your paper, and 2 – 5 points which should be the Level 2 Headings of your paper. Refer to APA Guidelines and “Writing Papers That Are Easy To Grade” (Sharp, 2013) for guidance on headings.


Appendix: Outline
Topic sentence, aka thesis statement

Note: Normally this should be the first sentence of your paper.  However, some authorities, such as the UMUC Writing Center, will say it can be — repeat, can be — the last sentence of the first paragraph.  This takes skillful writing. Regardless, the first sentence of your paper is the most important, and for this paper, it should be your topic sentence/thesis statement, and should be your first sentence.


What is your 1st Level 2 Heading?

What is the 1st sentence following this heading?


(Refer to APA Guidelines or “Writing Papers That Are Easy to Grade” for guidance on headings):


What is your 2nd Level 2 Heading?

What is the 1st sentence following this heading?



What is your 3rd Level 2 Heading?

What is the 1st sentence following this heading?



Use other headings as necessary



Learning Outcomes


  • identify an issue and formulate a research topic that can be adequately covered in the required space
  • identify, examine and evaluate various aspects of leadership
  • demonstrate competence in using APA format, especially regarding citations and references.






  • APA format (title page, abstract, text, citations, outline, and references). This was a major feature of MGMT 610, so you should be competent in APA. You may want to refer to the paper in Discussions, “Writing Papers That Are Easy to Grade”
  • Submit as a .doc or .docx; No .pdf
  • 1” margins on all sides
  • Times New Roman, 12 point font
  • Double spacing
  • Avoid use of 1st person (I, we, our)
  • 4-6 pages
  • Include a simple outline as the last page. See above format.
  • Note: Wikipedia is not an acceptable reference
  • Give credit where credit is due. It is easy to plagiarize unintentionally. If you say things like:
  • all leaders must be resilient
  • discrimination against women is the very worst kind
  • genes are what determine behavior

Then you have made a claim and you must provide a reference to support it.








Grading Criteria (The professor will include this as the first page of your graded assignment)

Abbreviated rubric for Homework #1 (Leadership)


1 Submitted late: minus 5% per day    
3 Meets expectations for content and purpose of the assignment.

Title page, abstract, text, references, and outline.

4 Outline 10  
5 Develops a clearly articulated and original thesis and/or main idea that are consistent with expectations of content and purpose. Topic sentence and paper is FOCUSED. . 10  
6 Organizes ideas in clear and sequential paragraphs that logically reinforce the main idea. A paragraph is a collection of related sentences dealing with a single topic. Uses level 1, 2, and 3 headings as appropriate. 10  
7 Incorporates sufficient use of appropriate research, supporting evidence, and relevant sources (OER & module sources). 10  
8 Critically evaluates information and/or data within boundaries established by the main idea. 10  
9 Conforms to APA and/or additional guidelines from the instructor. (Refer to the paper in Conferences, “Writing Papers That Are Easy to Grade.” Your paper should look like this paper.) 20  
10 Displays sound grammar, spelling, punctuation and appropriate conventions. See *NOTE below. 20  

Where (depending on whether weight is 10 or 20:

1-6 or 1-12 = Not proficient

7 or 14 = Competent

8 or 16 = Above average

10 or 20 = Exemplary

Checklist (make sure you do the following):

  • A paper consists of: title page; an abstract; the text pages; references; and, for this paper, an

outline submitted as an appendix.

  • A strong first sentence which sets the stage for the paper.
  • Use Times New Roman 12 pt. font and 1” margins.
  • Double space (this includes the References).
  • Justify the text on the left margin with a ragged right edge
  • Indent all paragraphs ½”.
  • Use headings at least level 1 and 2 headings. See section on 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Level Headings.
  • Put a header at top left margin of page and page # in top RH corner (see above).
  • Include an Outline as an appendix
  • Use the proper APA format for citations and the Reference List (double space with hanging indent). Note: Sources not cited in the paper should not be in the References. Wikipedia is not an acceptable Reference.
  • Avoid the use of the 1st person (“I” and “we” and “our”).
  • Proofread. Edit. (See next two bullets)
  • Fewer words are better than more. Shorter sentences are better than long.
  • Do not plagiarize. Give proper credit where credit is due.

*NOTE: Papers that have a consistent misuse of grammar, punctuation (commas, semicolons, quotation marks) and spelling will not receive a grade higher than the low 80’s regardless of the quality of the content.