Research Paper Instructions
The research paper will provide you with an opportunity to learn more about a topic of particular interest regarding information security systems. The technical focus and level of research for the chosen topic must be well planned and researched. With that in mind, be sure to choose a focused topic to ensure in-depth research.
The research paper will allow exposure to technical literature for exploration of the body of research as a whole, as well as practice navigating your way around it. Thus, a well-written paper will show your ability not only to research, but also to communicate via the written word. How well your document conforms to the required form and format will demonstrate your attention to detail and instruction.
Each paper must:
· Have a length of 2750–3250 words (Note: the word count does not include words used in figures, tables, diagrams, or the bibliography)
· Be formatted according to current 7th editition APA standards including:
o A properly formatted APA Title Page including paper name, institution, class name and paper date.
o A Proper Title Page Header (Running Head: First 40 Characters of the paper title) and the page number (on the FIRST page).
o The name of the paper and page number on each additional page (no Running Head).
o Section Headers (i.e. First Level Headers) which are bold and centered
o Indented paragraphs for each paragraph.
o No contractions or use of personal pronouns such as “You, me, your” (except in the Conclusions page)
o Proper APA formatted in-text citations and Bibliography
· Include figures, tables, or diagrams, where appropriate (Note: the words in the figures, tables, or diagrams are not part of the word count)
· Include an in-text citation whenever the source to which you refer is changed
· Attribute quotes to the source obtained, but quotes may not make up a significant portion of the body of the text
· Include at least 5 sources for citation, 2 of which must be peer-reviewed journals.
· Use an in-text citation to support any opinion that is not otherwise known as a ‘fact’ by your audience or by the general public.
o For example, if you state: “…all IT Systems should be reviewed yearly as a best practice…” you need to support that with a citation. Such as ‘According to (source), “all IT systems should be reviewed yearly…”
o As a graduate student, you are not yet considered an expert in your field but are striving to become one by your degree.
o If your statement is a known fact such as “Computers are designed for processing electronic information” or “IT Security is important” then you do not need to cite as your audience will likely agree that this is a fact.
o When in doubt, cite! J
Each paper must include these 4 sections in this order as the ‘first level sections’:
1. Research Objectives:
What specifically do you want to learn about or prove as you do this research?
a. List the research topics that you included as at least 3–4 bullets in the Research Paper: Topic Proposal/Outline at the top of this section. This list is to appear as the first section in your paper.
b. After placing your bulleted list on the paper, you must now explain those bullet points as separate paragraphs placed directly after the complete list rather than inline with your list.
c. For each bullet in the list above, devote a paragraph or two to the research topic to provide detailed information about that topic Including your research sources. (Note: your paper must be very focused to allow in-depth research in so few words. ) and remember to include biblical integration as you are able.
d. The research topics are stated as bullets in this first section to help sharpen your focus and hopefully ensure that focus is maintained as the paper develops. But are only to serve as a guide for your paragraphs.
2. Literature Search Results:
What do other academic sources say about this subject?
a. This section will show the depth of your research.
b. All entries in your bibliography must be cited at least once in this section.
c. When detailing your literature search results, each declarative idea/concept (not each sentence) must be cited. You are stating other authors’ ideas and concepts and must provide the source from which they come.
d. Remember to link the results to Christian concepts via biblical integration.
e. Often this is the largest section of the paper. The time to state your own ideas will come in the following section.
What have you learned from your research?
1. The purpose of this section is not simply to reiterate the previous sections, but for some thoughtful reflection. Now is the time to state your own conclusions. Don’t forget to provide biblical integration on the topics when you state your conclusions.
2. In this section, each of the specific research questions you selected in the Research Paper: Topic Proposal/Outline must be restated and directly answered, even if the conclusion for an objective is uncertain. Doing so will help ensure that you have addressed all your original research questions. This, however, does not mean you are limited in this section to only answering your initial research questions. More often than not, your research will open new lines of thought that should be discussed.
3. Most poor grades are earned because this section does not include your conclusions, but only repeats data from the previous sections.
1. Your bibliography section must show at least 5 sources you cited from with a minimum of two (2) peer-reviewed journals as sources.
2. Both the in-text citations and the accompanying bibliographic information must be in current APA format.
3. You must cite professionally edited, peer-reviewed sources. You are permitted to use webpages ONLY as secondary sources that support the aforementioned peer reviewed sources.
4. Do not cite the course texts, encyclopedias (online or otherwise), news sites, or articles from user-edited sources such as Wikipedia (however, this type of resource can be used for initial uncited research which will often lead you to acceptable sources).
5. You must use resources with a specific technical focus on your topic.
The Policy Research Paper: Final is due by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Sunday of Module/Week 4.
The Technology Research Paper: Final is due by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Friday of Module/Week 8.
Using the “Tell Them…” Method
One of the most tried and true standards for good quality papers is to use the “Tell Them” model for crafting information. The model is broken out like this:
1. Tell Them what you are going to tell them. (introduction)
2. Tell Them about it (body of the paper)
3. Tell Them what you told them. (conclusions)
To put this into perspective of a research paper, in the introduction you will “Tell Them What you are going to tell them”. This gives the reader an idea of what to expect and helps setup a good structure for your paper. Obviously, don’t use the words “I am going to tell you” but make it clear what the purpose of the paper is.
In the body of the paper, you will “Tell them about it.” Okay, you have explained at the beginning the topics you want to use and a broad overview of the information. Now you need to answer each piece of what you need to tell them. If you made it clear that you are going to talk about 4 specific things in the “Tell Them what you are going to tell them” section, then you should make sure to address all 4 items in detal.
Finally, in the conclusion of the paper, “Tell Them What You Told Them.” This means that you can re-iterate what you talked about (don’t repeat it word for word but summarize the ‘big ideas’). Use this section to tie in each things you said you would talk about into a unified ending to your paper.
Why do this? It is scientifically proven that if information is repeated at least three times, the audience is most likely to remember it more quickly than if it was stated one time or less. If you give your readers a solid structure, follow it and drive it home, your audience will likely stay more engaged with your subject.