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RSCH600 Term Paper [4 parts]

 

 

See grading criteria at the end of this document

TERM PAPER PART 1: RESEARCH TOPIC: PROBLEM STATEMENT, PURPOSE AND RESEARCH QUESTION(S)

Due at the end of week 2 (Sunday midnight)

You need to conduct some research related to your own interests or to serve the interests of some organization (employer/client/sponsor). Before you start writing a formal proposal, you (or your employer/client/sponsor) would like to gather some information about the problem as well as understand its importance.

Choose your research topic thoughtfully, as this assignment will be part of your term paper.

HERE ARE THE KEY PARTS OF THIS TERM PAPER (PART 1):

Title of your research

Make it intriguing – BUT LESS THAN 120 CHARACTERS)

Introduction/Background

Provide a brief description of what the proposed research topic is about and how you came to be interested in it, following the Elements of a Proposal document.

Statement of the Problem

Detail the problem that you are considering. Write a Statement of the Problem following the Elements of a Proposal document. Make sure you address the following questions as well:

  •   Why is this topic important?

  •   Why does this research need to be conducted?

    Purpose of the Study

    Detail the purpose for your study. Write a Purpose section following Elements of a Proposal document. Make sure you address the following questions as well:

  •   How are you defining and delimiting the specific area of the research?

  •   What it is that you hope to learn by conducting this research?

  •   How might your research contribute to our understanding of the issue, or be useful?

  •   Discuss the anticipated outcomes and benefits to the researcher, the organization, or society.

    Research Question

    Provide focused research questions which will be the subject of your final Research Proposal. Draft the questions following section 4 of The Elements of a Proposal document. Also provide a back-up question in case the first one does not pan out. Make sure you address the following questions as well:

 What is the scope of your research? Is the scope of your research question reasonable?

Research Hypothesis

Depending on the nature of your proposed study, please state a couple of hypotheses that you are going to test. What type of information do you need to answer the research question(s)? Identify the sources that will offer the information that you need to answer the research question (journals, books, internet resources, government documents, people, etc). Make sure you address the following questions:

  •   Is your research question answerable? Is it easily and fully researchable?

  •   Do you have access to these sources?

  •   If you plan to collect data, what kinds of data will you need to collect?

    References

    You will need at least five sources for this part of your paper.
    Cite all ideas, concepts, text, data that are not your own. If you make a statement, back it up with a reference!

    Limit Part 1 to between 5 and 7 pages.

TERM PAPER PART 2: LITERATURE REVIEW and LITERATURE MAP

Due at the end of week 4 (Sunday midnight)

The purpose of this assignment is to develop skills in finding valid literary resources for your research proposal. You will develop an annotated bibliography by doing searches of the literature on your chosen topic of interest (Part I). You will also design a literature map of the sources you have found for your Research Proposal (Part II).

This part of your research proposal should be roughly 7-9 pages (excluding cover page and references) and written in paragraphs, report format. All citations and references for this course are to be done in the APA style.

Please note: Cite with in text citations all ideas, concepts, text, and data that are not your own. If you make a statement, back it up with a reference!

  1. Research a minimum of 15 relevant literature sources (focus on material available in digital format only for this course). Carefully choose your 15 "keepers" that are clearly related to your study. (Note: you might need to find 30 to “keep” only 15).

  2. Write a literature review section that summarizes what you found and evaluate the literature. State how the reviewed research results connected to your proposed study.

  3. Critique and analyze the similarities and differences among the articles (e.g. different or the same point of views? different or the same research methods? why? etc.). Identify the gaps in the literature and provide recommendations for what needs to be done to move forward in your research. You will be using the information in this section in the final research proposal as well.

  4. Design a literature map of the sources you have found for your Research Proposal. This map should help you organize your source materials in a way that will facilitate the organization and writing of your Literature Review.

Note: For the final research proposal, you need to review more than 15 literature sources. Aim for at least 30.

TERM PAPER PART 3: RESEARCH METHODS

Due at the end of week 6 (Sunday midnight)

The purpose of assignment is to develop skills associated with selecting appropriate methods for your research, and to develop skills for drafting a work plan that will enable you to complete the research project successfully -- and on time!

This part of your Term Paper should be a maximum of 5 pages, and written in paragraphs, in report format. The key components and questions you need to cover here are:

  1. What methods do you plan to use to answer your research question? Why? What kinds of instruments, variables, materials, or sources will you use (i.e. will you use observations, surveys, interviews, case studies, focus groups, experiments, documents, media, data base searches, etc.)? If you plan to use mixed methods, will they be sequential, concurrent or transformative? Why?

  2. List the kinds of data/information that you plan to collect (e.g. testimonials, statistics, business/government reports, other research data, audio/video recordings, etc.). Also, consider two or three alternative ways you could gather data/information for this research.

  3. If you plan to use research participants, where will they come from? How will they be sampled? How many participants will you require? If you are not using research participants, who will you use as the target audience of your data? Who would most benefit from your research, and why?

  4. How will you analyze the data/information you collect? How will you validate your findings/conclusions?

  5. What ethical issues will your research project present? What biases might you bring to the research and how will

    you address that bias?

TERM PAPER PART 4: RESEARCH PROPOSAL

Due at the end of week 11 (Sunday midnight)

The final part of your Term Paper is your Research Proposal. It contains the first THREE parts of your Term Paper. Your final research proposal should include the following sections:

Title Page - The title page includes the title of the proposed project, your name, institution, and the date of submission. This is the entire first page.

Abstract - A brief summary of your proposed project, not to exceed 200 words. Present a brief introduction to the issue, make the key statement of your research question, and give a brief summary of how you want to address the research question with the possible implications of your work.
The abstract needs to be on a separate page.

Introduction - This section sets the context for your proposed project and must capture the reader's interest. Remember to start with a broad picture that eventually narrows in on your research question. You should briefly describe what the proposed project is about and how you became interested in the topic. State clearly the central issue or theme being addressed.

This section should be about 1 page in length.

PART 1: PROBLEM STATEMENT: Include here part 1 of your term paper.
Discuss the significant problems, opportunities and context that frame the research question. Explain what new knowledge the proposed project will produce that is not already known. Why is it worth knowing and what are the major implications? Describe who exactly will benefit from the knowledge. This section should conclude with the research question, purpose statement, and the research objectives.
This section should be about 5 pages in length.

PART 2: LITERATURE REVIEW: Include here part 2 of your term paper.
This section identifies the main concepts related to your research question. In this section you summarize what has been found in the past in your area of proposed study and evaluate the literature. Please state how the reviewed research results connected to your proposed study.
This section should be about 7-9 pages in length.

PART 3: RESEARCH METHODS: Include here part 3 of your term paper.

This section defines the planned study methods, and their rationale, in answering your research question. Begin this section by providing an overview your approach, materials, and procedures you are planning to use during the study. Be clear as to your choice of qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods. Explain how and why your mode of analysis will enable you to accomplish your objectives and/or answer your research question. If you plan to use subjects, state how many will you use, why, and how they will be recruited. You need to describe how the data will be collected, interpreted, evaluated and analyzed. Also address any foreseeable challenges, obstacles, or difficulties, and how you are prepared to address them. Also, outline the type of literature sources you will need to provide sufficient background to your research, with at least 5 examples of actual sources. Explain exactly how these literary sources will help you in answering your research question. Describe any ethical issues you need to consider and how you will address them. If you need prior approval to gain access to your research site and its sources, describe how and when you will obtain written permission. If your project involves participants, how will you go about getting informed consent? What specific role will you play in the data collection and what potential conflicts of interest may there be? Please use the following subheadings to frame this section: Participants, Methodology, and Ethical Issues. This section should be about 5 pages in length.
This section should be about 5 pages in length.

PART 4: PROPOSAL COMPLEMENTARY INFORMATION

Project Work Plan and Deliverables - This section should describe time allotted to each portion of your project (e.g., week by week, or stage by stage), with as much detail as possible. It should provide a brief explanation of research activities and timetable for your entire project and the major milestones or deliverables at each stage. Any resources, facilities, or budget should be listed here as well.

This section should be about 2 pages in length.

References [FOR ALL SECTIONS] - Conform to APA formatting guidelines (http://www.apastyle.org/). All references cited in the text must be listed alphabetically, by the surname of the author(s) followed by date of the publication in parenthesis. This section begins on a new page. No limit.

Appendices – [FOR ALL SECTIONS] Provide a questionnaire contains some survey questions, draft some interview questions, and consent forms. Also, provide any relevant attachments such as relevant illustrations, diagrams, etc. No limit.

See grading criteria hereafter for each of the term paper parts.

 

GRADING CRITERIA

Part 1 Grading Criteria (15 points)

Exemplary (3)

Proficient (2)

Marginal (1)

Nil (0)

Totals

Student abided by page length specifications

3

0

0

0

3

Student has provided a valid problem statement

3

0

0

0

3

Student has written a valid purpose statement

3

0

0

0

3

Student has provided valid research question(s)

3

0

0

0

3

Student has provided valid research hypotheses

3

0

0

0

3

Totals

       

15

Percentage

       

100.00%

Part 2 Grading Criteria (21 points)

Exemplary (3)

Proficient (2)

Marginal (1)

Nil (0)

Totals

Student abided by page length specifications

3

0

0

0

3

Student has provided a literature map that organizes sources in an easy to assimilate way

3

0

0

0

3

Student has researched a minimum of 20 literature sources (articles, books, etc.).

3

0

0

0

3

Student has provided a one-paragraph summary for each source

3

0

0

0

3

Student identified sources that will offer info needed to answer research questions

3

0

0

0

3

Student has critiqued and analyzed the similarities and differences among the articles

3

0

0

0

3

Student has identified gaps in the literature

3

0

0

0

3

Totals

     

21

Percentage

     

100.00%

Part 3 Grading Criteria (18 points)

Exemplary (3)

Proficient (2)

Marginal (1)

Nil (0)

Totals

Student abided by page length specifications

3

0

0

0

3

Student addressed the following questions: What methods do you plan to use to answer your research question? Why? What kinds of instruments, variables, materials, or sources will you use (i.e. will you use observations, surveys, interviews, case studies, focus groups, experiments, documents, media, data base searches, etc.)? If you plan to use mixed methods, will they be sequential, concurrent or transformative? Why?

3

0

0

0

3

Student addressed the following questions: List the kinds of data/information that you plan to collect (e.g. testimonials, statistics, business/government reports, other research data, audio/video recordings, etc.). Also, consider two or three alternative ways you could gather data/information for this research.

3

0

0

0

3

Student addressed the following questions: If you plan to use research participants, where will they come from? How will they be sampled? How many participants will you require? If you are not using research participants, who will you use as the target audience of your data? Who would most benefit from your research, and why?

3

0

0

0

3

Student addressed the following questions: How will you analyze the data/information you collect? How will you validate your findings/conclusions?

3

0

0

0

3

Student addressed the following questions: What ethical issues will your research project present? What biases might you bring to the research and how will you address that bias?

3

0

0

0

3

Totals

       

18

Percentage

   

100.00%

Part 4 Grading Criteria (12 points)

Exemplary (3)

Proficient (2)

Marginal (1)

Nil (0)

Totals

Student abided by THE TOTAL page length specifications

3

0

0

0

3

Student included a valid work plan

3

0

0

0

3

Student included valid references

3

0

0

0

3

Student’s command of the English language is acceptable (reasonably good grammar, syntax, word choice, punctuation, etc.)

3

0

0

0

3

APA formatting of references is valid

3

0

0

0

3

Totals

       

15

Percentage

   

100.00%

***END*** 

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