“Conventional Research Paper”
This approach is best defined as a conventional research paper. The outcome of this approach is for the student to research and create a paper based on a topic that would assist someone in the security field on making a major decision regarding a real-life security situation or problem. This would typically be research information that is needed by the student or officials at an institution or organization. The requirements for this type of research paper are:
– Creation of a Premise Statement (what you will prove or disprove), Problem Statements (a numbered listing; not questions), and Definitions of Terms used in the Premise Statement.
– Written approval of the Premise Statement, Problem Statements, and Definitions from the SECR 6000 Instructor.
– Written approval from an official representing the institution or organization with which the research deals and from which Primary Research will be obtained.
– Comprehensive enough to encompass all components required of the research and a minimum of 30 pages in length. Excluded in this count:Cover/Title pages (Title pages are not numbered.); Table of Contents (also not a numbered page); Abstract (also not a numbered page); divider pages; or any pre-published information that would warrant being included in the research paper. This is an absolute minimum, as described. A paper that is not of sufficient length will not be scored.
Areas expected to be included in the Conventional Research Paper are:
– Situation Analysis
– Premise Statement (a statement that you will prove or disprove)
– Problem Statements (numbered list of sub elements of Premise Statement)
– Definitions of any terms that may not be commonly understood by a reader.
– Applied Research Methodology (to include participants, apparatus, and procedures being covered)
– Literature Review and Findings
– Premise Assessment
– Recommendations for the institution or organization being studied
– Appendices as appropriate
The Conventional Research Paper must include both Primary Research (real time such as survey/questionnaire) and Secondary Research (library, web sites, corporate documents, etc.) Primary Research should include either 100% of the population being surveyed or at least 30 surveys, if a random sampling is done. Secondary Research is to follow the current edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.
Upon completion of the paper, the student is expected to create a Power Point presentation (see Week 8 Assignment), articulating the need and purpose of the research, the methodology used, results of the study, and finally, recommendations that can be made from the paper.
Conventional Research Paper Format
This document outlines the general format for Conventional Research Papers for SECR 6000. While strict adherence to this format is not required, the reason for any deviation should be readily apparent to the reader. Deviations are to be approved by the SECR 6000 Instructor.
Abstract: The abstract is the first section of the paper. It is written to summarize the purposes, findings, and recommendations included in the paper.
General considerations: The abstract should be written in the past tense, be informative, not descriptive, and not more than 250 words. The first line of the Abstract begins at the far left margin. Do not indent. The Abstract is one single paragraph. It should be written in the following order:
1. Nature of the problem is stated.
2. Premise of the study is stated.
3. Procedures are summarized.
4. Results are summarized.
5. Conclusions are summarized.
6. Recommendations are summarized.
Situation Analysis: Describe the situation your paper will explore. It should begin with a broad general description of the industry/organization involved, culture, the environment, or other issues to be explored. The middle section of the analysis should narrow to the specific subject you wish to explore. The final section of the analysis should focus on why the specific details of your topic should be researched.
General considerations: The situation analysis should be written in the present tense.
Premise: Present a positive paragraph on what you propose to substantiate by the completion of research. It should be a natural outflow of the justification provided in the Situation Analysis for your research.
General considerations: The Premise should be written in the future tense. Incorporate a specific statement of what you expect to prove (or disprove) with your research. This should be approved by the Instructor in Assignments section.
Problem Statements/Hypothesis: There should be a numbered list of between four and twelve Problem Statements or Hypotheses. Contained in them should be at least one that is primarily addressed by Primary Research and one addressed by Secondary Research. Research students should gain knowledge and skills in how to find and use related information from studies that apply to the Premise. The hypotheses testing or Primary Research should give the research student experience and understanding of the facts that are measurable and will produce results from which conclusions can be reached.
General considerations. These should be approved by the Instructor in Assignments section. Remember, the more Problem Statements, the longer the paper.
Definitions: Terms in the Integrated Studies paper that are specific to the content must be defined. This includes all technical terms, legal terms, descriptive subject terms, and any other terms that your instructor would need to be familiar with. (Example: Human relations training will improve productivity. The definitions in this statement should explain what is meant by productivity, improved, and human relations training.) Any acronyms also need to be explained.
Study Limitations: Because the student realistically can deal with only limited variables, there should be statements of other variables not entertained in the study which could distort results or findings. (Example: The impact of unexpected massive layoffs.)
General considerations: Study limitations should be written in the past tense.
Applied Research Methodology: This section tells what research methodology was used in the conduct of the study and reflects both Primary Research and Secondary Research methods. This description should allow officials of the organization under study and the course Instructor to evaluate the appropriateness of the method and the reliability and validity of results. This section should be detailed enough to allow an experienced researcher to replicate the study. This section often has three subsections labeled participants, apparatus, and procedure. Specific details concerning these subsections can be found in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edition or later.
General considerations: The Applied Research Methodology should be written in the future tense for the Week 3 Assignment post and in the past tense for the Paper.
Literature Review and Findings: In this section the student logically presents all actions and considerations of the study. This section would usually begin with a transitional phrase from the final statement in the Situation Analysis section. Consideration of other studies and findings should be reflected in this section. Significant findings from the literature review should be logically reflected in this section. When reflecting on this material the student should do so in the historic present tense. It is essential that all findings in the study be accurately reported in this section. It should be stated in enough depth and detail that another researcher can review the findings and draw their own conclusions. Presentation of data summary information and statistical outcomes should be reported in this section. Raw tables in general should be presented in the appendices.
General considerations. The Literature Review and Findings could be as much as 20 or 30 pages in length and reflected in the past tense.
Conclusions: The logical conclusions of the study should be reflected in this section and reported in the past tense.
Premise Assessment: The information reflected in the Conclusions section is compared to the Premise and described in this section. Students should understand that good research may disprove the original Premise and not be discouraged if this happens.
General considerations. The Premise Assessment should be written in the past tense.
Recommendations for Future Studies: As students complete their research, they usually identify other areas or considerations for study. These are to be reflected in this section.
General considerations. This section should be reflected in future tense.
Recommendations for the Unit Studied: This section is the appropriate place to present implementation of findings. Here the research student has the opportunity to explain how improvement in the current organization can be implemented and what positive outcomes should be realized.
General Considerations. This section is reflected in the future tense.
References: References should be complete and reflected as outlined in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edition or later. Sources listed in the references should be only those used for documentation of sources in the content of the research paper.