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Homework answers / question archive / APPENDIX B CAPSTONE RESEARCH PROJECT Before you begin, consider the following…

APPENDIX B CAPSTONE RESEARCH PROJECT Before you begin, consider the following…


APPENDIX B CAPSTONE RESEARCH PROJECT Before you begin, consider the following…. • • • • • • • • Become familiar with the capstone project requirements of MPA620 and MPA625. Both courses use Appendix B, but the requirements are different for the two courses. o MPA620 focuses on the research proposal and will cover Chapters 1 through 2 of this Appendix B, including a reference page and any data collection questions as an appendix. The proposal will be roughly 20 pages in length. o MPA625 builds on the proposal by developing Chapters 3 through 5. At the onset of this course, students will collect their data using the survey instrument developed in MPA620 and develop the remaining chapters. The total length of the project at the end of both courses should be around 40 pages in length. Ensure your writing is appropriate for graduate-level work. Do not overuse the same word or phrase. Do not repeatedly use short, choppy sentences. Use long, welldeveloped sentences that contribute to well-developed paragraphs. Remember, one sentence does not make a paragraph. Ensure any data analysis is appropriate for graduate-level work. If you are conducting a quantitative study, make sure the data are correct and illustrated appropriately with tables and graphs. If you are conducting a qualitative study, make sure any thematic analysis is appropriate and adequately illustrated. In both instances, make sure your findings and results properly respond to your initial research question and hypothesis. Keep the narrative focus on the research project or study--and not the researcher. Do not use personal references like “I will research”, “my study will”, etc. Keep the focus on the study by using generic terms like “This study will focus on”, “This research will prove”, etc. Write the entire report in past tense as if everything has been completed. Some academicians may argue differently, but this approach is the most efficient because it does not require students to change the tense after the research is complete. Always proofread your work and pay attention to detail, particularly with APA formatting. Make sure your source is cited properly in the body of your paper, and the source is correctly listed in the list of references. Be mindful of any appendices like the RAF form and survey questions. Having additional appendices is acceptable, and encouraged, as long as they are referenced probably in your paper. Do not be afraid to ask questions and ask for help from your instructor and fellow students. Some aspects of this research process can be challenging, and students should remember 1 Peter 5:7, which encourages us to cast all of our anxieties on Him because He cares for you. 34 MPA CAPSTONE RESEARCH PROJECT Title Page (1 page) • APA 7th edition format: see “Academic Resources” on your Canvas course page. • Contain formal academic title that clearly outlines variables under study (“A Study to Examine…”, “An Examination of…”, etc.) • Include name, academic institution, and other components of APA7th edition title page (do not include personal information such as personal addresses or cell numbers) Executive Summary or Abstract (1/2 to 1 page) • APA format with no indent on the first line • About one-half page in length with one or two citations that support the need for the study—no more than one page. • Provide the reader with a complete overview of the study, including the results or findings of the study at the end of MPA625 – for this reason, students cannot write the complete Executive Summary until the end of MPA625 when results have been determined. Table of Contents (1 to 2 pages) • The headings and subheadings of Table of Contents should closely follow the outline of this Appendix B. • Follow the APA 7th edition format with proper entries and correct right-justified page numbers. • Students unfamiliar with this formatting can search online for videos demonstrating how to insert dot leaders in Microsoft Word for a table of contents. Chapter 1 – Introduction (6 to 8 pages) A. Overview (1 ½ to 2 pages) -- Provides an introduction to the study including an overview of the organization under study, individuals under study, etc. There should also be statements that introduce the problem or issue, essentially setting the framework for the problem to be studied. The introductory overview should be between 1 ½ and 2 pages in length and include an appropriate biblical principle. 1. Statement of Purpose (1/2 page) -- Provides rationale or purpose of the study that includes the rationale or reason you chose to study this problem. There should be a sentence that specifically states the purpose of the study, such as: The purpose of this study is to examine… This statement of purpose should be no more than one welldeveloped paragraph and include an appropriate biblical principle. 2. Research Question (1/2 page) -- This reflects the research question that must be asked to solve or answer the problem outlined in the Statement of Purpose. The question should be specific and not be too broad or open-ended. It should reflect the same terminology and variables mentioned in the Statement of Purpose. For example, if the Statement of Purpose mentions employee satisfaction as a variable, the Research Question should also mention employee satisfaction for consistency—and not 35 employee motivation, happiness, etc. There should be a sentence that specifically states the research question, such as: The research question of this study contends… (or something equivalent). This section should be no more than one well-developed paragraph and include an appropriate biblical principle. 3. Hypothesis (1/2 page) -- This reflects the researcher’s educated guess on the results of the study. The Hypothesis must be a concise declarative statement (not a question) that includes the variables under study and their relationship. The variables should reflect the same terminology and variables mentioned in the Statement of Purpose and Research Question. For example, if the Statement of Purpose mentions employee satisfaction as a variable, the Hypothesis should also mention employee satisfaction for consistency—and not employee motivation, happiness, etc. The hypothesis can be either directional (The hypothesis for this study contends the consumption of carrots will improve eyesight.) or non-directional (The hypothesis for this study contends the consumption of carrots will change eyesight.). This section should be no more than a well-developed paragraph and include appropriate biblical principles. B. Plan of Study (2 to 3 pages depending on detail) -- Provides an outline of the major working objectives and descriptive tasks for the study, including an appropriate biblical principle. Students are encouraged to lists these various objectives and tasks by course and chronological order. Objectives are broad goals that serve as endpoints for a project, such as scoring a touchdown in a football game. Objectives are achieved or not achieved. Tasks are the detailed work steps taken to achieve a stated objective, such as the preparation required to score the touchdown. Here is an example: 1. Working Objective 2. Descriptive Tasks Identify Topic for Research Project Brainstorm Topic Ideas in Public Administration Google Topic Ideas Discuss topic ideas with instructor, mentors, supervisor Chapter 2 – Literature Review (9 to 11 total pages) The literature review should contain a minimum of 12 references that include course texts, The Holy Bible, books, articles, and studies from academic sources. It should be noted the literature review should not reflect an annotated bibliography, which is an APA listing of a source followed by a summary. A. Introduction (1 ½ to 2 pages) -- Provides an introduction to the literature review by briefly stating how your research will contribute to the existing body of knowledge on your subject while incorporating appropriate biblical principles. B. Body (7-8 pages) – The body of a literature review can be organized in different ways, but the body of this literature review should be organized by relevant themes. These themes are developed at the discretion of the student but should be centered around the variables under study. A study on the relationship between spirituality and job satisfaction would certainly have ‘Spirituality’ and ‘Job Satisfaction’ among its various 36 themes. C. Conclusion (1 to 1½ pages) – Discuss the highlights of your literature review with a critique of your major sources. Were the studies reasonably consistent, or was there variation and/or disagreement? How did the literature review enlighten or enhance your understanding of the topic? Chapter 3 – Methodology (length varies depending on detail) The Methodology chapter should be straightforward and include steps that are easily understood to facilitate replication, much like a cooking recipe is easily understood for cooks to replicate a dish. However, the methodology should avoid irrelevant detail. If only the ‘time’ is relevant, do not go into detail about ‘building the clock.’ There should be very few citations from other sources as this chapter describes your work. A. Design (1 ½ to 2 pages) -- Discuss the framework for the data collection for your study. Restate the problem and what you hope to accomplish with your data collection and analysis. State whether your study is qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods. Did you collect your own data specifically for the study (primary source), or were you able to repurpose data from another study for your study (secondary source)? What are the primary variables you are attempting to measure? Broadly describe the participants – or subjects under study. Did you gather your data using surveys, interviews, or observations? (Note: Be sure to include actual questions as an appendix to your final project.) B. Data Collection (length varies but should convey details of data collection process) -Provides a detailed framework for collecting data for the study. C. Data Analysis – Discuss the steps taken to analyze the data for your study. Begin the analysis by summarizing and illustrating any demographic data (i.e., gender, ethnicity, years at organization, etc.) using descriptive statistics to provide an overall picture of the participants. Transition into focusing your analysis on the major variables outlined in your research question and hypothesis. Too many students have a disconnect between the variables outlined in the research question and their data analysis. If your study examines the relationship between spirituality and job satisfaction, you need tables and charts illustrating that data. Conclude the analysis with broad comments about the results of the data, but don’t compare the data to the research question and hypothesis yet—that comparison will be completed in the next step. D. Limitations (1/2 page) -- Discuss any barriers or obstacles encountered during the data collection and analysis process. Chapter 4 – Results (1 to 1½ pages) This chapter presents the results or findings of the study, specifically how the results of the data respond to the initial research question and hypothesis. Did the results agree or disagree with the hypothesis? 37 Chapter 5 – Conclusion and Discussion (1½ to 2 pages) This chapter begins by restating the original problem or topic presented in the first chapter and the original purpose for conducting the research. It then moves on to discuss the following topics: o summary of main points and whether they support, agree with, differ from, etc. the finding of other researchers, o possible explanations or rationale for the findings based on the researcher’s informed understanding of the topic, o implications and practical applications of the findings to the public administration profession (i.e., If spirituality is related to job satisfaction, how can public administrators use elements of spirituality to improve satisfaction at the workplace?), o recommendations for further study (What are other areas of one’s life that can be made better by having a sense of spirituality?), and finally o end this chapter, and your project, with some reflections on the process and final words. References List of all cited references according to APA format. Appendices • Approved Research Approval Form (RAF) signed by student and instructor • Actual survey used for surveys or interview questions for interviews (Note: Surveys, interviews, etc. should always convey informed consent standards to all participants.) • Other appendices as necessary 38

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