1. Start your assignment with an introductory paragraph about your research topic and why it is of interest and a research â€œpuzzleâ€. End your paragraph with your research question.
While there are many ways to frame a research question, at the graduate level, your research questions should be 1) open-ended and start with â€œHow,â€ â€œWhy,â€ â€œWhat,â€ or â€œTo what extent;â€ 2) should incorporate the variables you seek to assess and their relationship; and 3) should indicate how you intend to test the nature of that relationship. You want to make sure that your question has an appropriate amount of complexity so that it requires a significant amount of research and analysis. A simple Google search should not be able to answer your research question.
Unclear: How can the need for power be harmful?
Too simple: What is Hillary Clintonâ€™s position on Obama Care?
Too simple: What is Hillary Clintonâ€™s operational code?
Too broad: To what extent is Hillary Clinton different from Bill Clinton?
Appropriately Complex and Focused: To what extent is Hillary Clinton motivated by a need for power by comparison to Bill Clinton, and how might this impact access and control of information within the White House?
2. Next, provide a purpose statement that conveys your intentions about what you hope to produce. See the reference in your Lessons and review that it will usually be prefaced by some phrase like the following: “This paper examines . . .,” “The aim of this paper is to . . .,” or “The purpose of this essay is to . . .”. Remember that a purpose statement makes a promise to the reader about the development of the argument but does not preview the particular conclusions that the writer has drawn. Your purpose statement should demonstrate what you are hoping to find out, and also explain what you want your readers to understand (motivation or argument of the research).
This formula and example set from the Baruch College Writing Center may be helpful:
I am studying…
…because I want to find out…
….so that readers understand…
(Motivation or Argument)
|Differences in Boston-based and Philadelphia-based abolitionist rhetoric…||…why Boston-based abolitionists emphasized broad themes of social justice…||…how previous scholars may have overlooked the role of free black Bostonians in shaping anti-slavery ideals.|
|The origins of the Glass-Steagall Act||…why lawmakers supported its passage…||…that their motives resulted not from careful economic analysis but rather from ideological preconceptions about the role of commercial banks in society.|
(From Baruch College Writing Center “Focusing Research Topics Workshop” www.writingcenter.baruch.cuny.edu)
3. You also need to include a preliminary design statement that identifies how you intend to carry out said research. This will allow you to get feedback early on from your thesis professor to help ensure that you are working towards the development of a solid research design. Your design statement needs to go beyond the unhelpful “this paper will use qualitative/quantitative/mixed methods research.” You need to be specific about the kind of data you will need to collect in order to answer your research question and note a specific method or set of methods you intend to use when carrying out this research.
4. Finally you will need to include a references page that contains at least 8 sources, 6 of which must be from peer-reviewed journals. These sources must be referenced within the body of your assignment. Please consult the Turabian Style Guide for the correct format for your citation. You may use either Turabian Bibliography format or Turabian References format. Just be consistent!!
Use the filename (no spaces) yourlastnameWeek1.doc for uploading this file to the Assignment.
Your Assignment due at the end of Week 2 will be a refined version of this exercise after you have received feedback and guidance from your faculty member.
The attached document is from Belcher, Wendy Laura. 2009. Writing Your Journal Article in 12 Weeks: A Guide to Academic Publishing Success. Sage. Chapter 10 on “Editing Your Sentence
has an excellent system in place to help ensure that you are submitting error free assignment