Briefly describe the characteristics of the users of the system.

Start your introductory paragraph(s) here (i.e., delete all of my paragraphs of instruction after reading through them, and replace them with your own paragraphs for your essay).  Leave the font for your essay on Arial 10, double-spaced (except for the reference page, which is single spaced).  Leave the margins at 1 inch.  Leave page numbering set to automatically number each page of the body of your essay in the upper-right corner of the page (the title page and reference page should not be numbered).  The body of your essay should be 3-4 pages long (minimum of 1200 words), not including your title page and reference page.
Write free flowing text (allow your writing to automatically wrap around to the next line as you type – do not hit Enter at the end of each line within a paragraph).  Organize your essay into paragraphs within each section, but make sure all writing is in prose paragraphs (full sentences and complete paragraphs).  Do not use lists in your essay and do not write in bullet statements.  The only indentations you should have in your essay is one tab at the start of each paragraph, just like I have modeled for you in the way I have written these instructions.  Do not put blank lines between paragraphs and do not put blank lines before or after section headings and sub-headings.  You may include images or tables in your essay, if you deem them appropriate, but they do not count toward the 3-4 pages of body text that you are required to write, so adjust the length of your essay accordingly to compensate for space taken up by the images and/or tables.
You should customize the title page by replacing the first two lines of text with your essay’s title and your name, respectively.  You should also replace the heading at the top of this page with your essay’s title.  However, do not modify or remove the section sub-headings that appear below, throughout the rest of your essay (i.e., “Characteristics of the Users of the System,” “Features and Usage of the System,” “Impact of the System,” “Conclusion,” and “References”) and do not add additional sub-headings.  Leave all of the section sub-headings in your document to keep it organized.  Everyone is required to write the same sections in their essay.  You will analyze your own unique approved information system, filling in each section of this template appropriately.
Write in your own words and remember that your similarity rating must be 5% or less.  Try to paraphrase and explain information you learn from your sources in your own words, rather than quoting from your sources.
Your introductory paragraph(s) should provide an overview of your information system by briefly describing your information system and explaining the purpose of the information system. You can also provide an overview of the primary users of the system, and the primary features and functions of the system. However, try not to be overly redundant in your introduction with what you have written (or will write) in the main sections in the body of your essay.  Rather, give the reader an overview and whet their appetite to learn more about your information system.
Characteristics of the Users of the System
In this section, briefly describe the characteristics of the users of the system.   Who are the users?  If it is a work-related system, describe the employees or employee groups who use the system.  If it is a personal web-based system, what types of people use this system?
Features and Usage of the System
Note that this section of your essay is worth 25% of your grade on this essay.  Together, the “Features and Usage of the System” and the “Impact of the System” sections of your essay comprise half of your grade on this essay.  So make sure these two sections of your essay are through and well-developed.  These two sections together should be the main focus of this essay.
In this section, describe what the system does, from a user’s perspective.  When you log into the system, what choices do you have for what you can do with it?  Look at the menu options in your system and decide which functions of the system are most important.  Choose several of these functions/features and describe each one in its own well-developed paragraph.  When describing a function, walk the user through that function, describing the interactions the user has with the system.  What data or information does the user enter into that function?  What does the information system do with that data?  Does it transform it in some way?  How is that data later retrieved or displayed (output)?  What is that data used for?
As an example, if your information system is Facebook, you might describe “Status Updates” as one function of the system.  You would describe the purpose of a status update and then describe how you use this function.  You would describe how the user enters a status update (i.e., click on status update box and type your post).  You would describe any options that the function has (i.e., add photos to your post, tag people in your post, add a location to your post, select the audience for your post, etc.).  You would discuss what the system does with the data you input and you would describe how that information is displayed and output again.  For example, for the Facebook “Status Update” function, you would describe how Facebook saves your status updates in its database, and how it displays it in your friends’ news feeds, as well as on your timeline.
Remember to describe each feature or function of your system in a separate, well-developed paragraph.  To continue with the Facebook example, other features could include the customizable settings, the News Feed, the Timeline, Messages, Groups, etc.  You would fully describe each of these main features in a separate paragraph, covering the purpose, information inputs, processing (what the system does with information you input into that feature), and outputs or displays.  For another example, if you are analyzing a work-related system, the output of some features of your system might take the form of reports generated for management, or automatically generated emails or notifications, or simply queries that you can run which display information on your computer screen.
(One final note on this section – remember to focus on the usage of the system, rather than on specifics of the hardware and software of the system.  You will go into more detail in analyzing the hardware and software requirements of the system in your second essay, so save your research on the server-side and client-side hardware and software requirements for your next essay. You will receive detailed guidance on those requirements later).
Impact of the System
Note that this section of your essay is worth 25% of your grade on this essay.  Together, the “Features and Usage of the System” and the “Impact of the System” sections of your essay comprise half of your grade on this essay.  So make sure these two sections of your essay are through and well-developed.  These two sections together should be the main focus of this essay.
In this section, you will describe the impact that your information system has on the organization that uses the system, and/or the individual users of the system.  If you are analyzing a work-related system, then discuss the impact that it has on your organization.  If the system is used by different groups of employees (i.e., lower level employees vs. managers), then you can discuss the impact the system has on each group of employees.  If you are analyzing a personal web-based information system (i.e., Facebook), then discuss the impact the system has on the users of the system.  In the example of a system like Facebook, you can discuss different groups of users, such as how it impacts individuals who use Facebook, businesses who use Facebook, and other types of groups and organizations who use Facebook.
Be sure that when you discuss the impacts of your system, you don’t simply talk about the features of the system again (which you covered in the previous section).  Instead, try to quantify the positive benefits in terms of how the system saves the users time, money, and/or effort.  For business systems, positive impacts will include how it makes your business processes more effective and efficient. For home and personal systems, positive impacts will include how the system makes some task or tasks in your personal life more effective and efficient. One way to quantify these things is to consider the time, money, and effort that would be required to accomplish the same tasks manually that you are able to accomplish using the information system.  For example, if you are analyzing an online shopping system, like, you can discuss the time and effort that is saves by not having to physically go out to the store to purchase something, or not having to physically visit many different stores to comparison shop.  If you are analyzing a work-related system, consider how you would accomplish the same tasks manually and how the information system saves you time, money, and or effort, compared to the manual process that would be required to accomplish the same tasks.  You might even consider how the business area that your system is used in actually did accomplish similar tasks in the days before there were computer-based information systems to automate that business process.
Be sure to discuss both positive and negative impacts of your information system.  Are there any potential disadvantages to using your information system?  Be sure to come up with at least one potential negative impact.  If your system is so great that you can’t do without it, then one negative impact could be that users are overly-dependent on the system and aren’t able to accomplish the same tasks when the system is down.  However, there are generally other potential negative impacts to any system, as well – see if you can think of several negative impacts, too.
Finally, write your concluding paragraph(s) in this section. Try to write a strong conclusion that both ties your essay together and makes a strong final impact on the reader.  Rather than simply re-stating what you have already discussed, try to use this section to take the reader one step further.  There are many ways to do this and I will leave it to your creativity to come up with an appropriate conclusion for your essay!

List your references in APA format on this page.   I have set this page to use hanging indentations (as required in APA references).

Also, APA references are single-spaced, but you need to leave one blank line between each reference, just like how my notes here are formatted.

Finally, make sure that you have at least one corresponding in-text citation, in APA format, for each reference that you list in your reference list.

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