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This project will prepare you to conduct serious inquiries of fact by helping you learn how to develop a strategic approach to research. You can apply these concepts in various ways, including grant proposal requests, business proposals, focus papers, and product research proposals.


Step 1: Consider the Purpose of the Research


You have been given your assignment. It is now time to think about the purpose of your research. You have written papers in your classes and done some research for work projects. This project requires that you review your previous work and construct a basic research plan. At the graduate level, your work will be expected to meet a higher level of cognitive objective, using analysis, synthesis, and supporting conclusions with facts. There are several elements in the project that your department head will want to see to ensure that your work is on the right track. For one, he may want to see your research question to ensure that you are looking for the right information. If you can develop a specific and focused research question, you will have a good start. Next, you will look to see what information is already out there, and if your question has already been answered. Using a scientific approach, you will create a working hypothesis that will present your findings and conclusions. Remember that your ultimate objective is to arrive at a reasonable, well-supported analysis of the impact of the issue on your industry. This can be the first step that leads to practical solutions for your organization’s issues.


Next, you will prepare to do your research.


Step 2: Prepare to Research


You already have your assignment and a purpose for your research. In this step you will prepare for the research


Step 3: Choose an Issue


In the last step, you prepared for your research. Now it is time to focus on an issue. Choose an issue from your research on a trend in your industry that has potential for great impact on the field, and then draft a preliminary question. Next, do some preliminary reading to see if the question has already been answered, or if there is enough information on the topic. Refine your question and submit it to the “so what” test. Will your answer contribute to knowledge about the issue you have selected? Is the question answerable? Remember that in academic work you do not normally write normative or open-ended questions, which start with the words should or would.


In the next step, you will create a hypothesis


Step 4: Craft a Hypothesis


You have selected an issue to research. Now it is time to craft a working hypothesis


Step 5: Conduct the Research


In the last step, you created a hypothesis. In this step, you will begin your research.


Once you have a research question and working hypothesis, you will conduct research to find evidence (facts) that support or refute your hypothesis. You will then analyze the information to produce findings and conclusions. I highly recommend that you read Randolph Pherson’s “The Five Habits of the Master Thinker,” a paper written for intelligence analysts, but applicable to all analytical thinking and reasoning. Your ultimate objective is to produce a well-reasoned, fact-based analysis of your issue, and proposals to mitigate negative conditions or improve the outlook for the industry.


Step 6: Write Your Paper


Now that your research is complete, you can begin to draft your 2,000 word paper, ensuring it is as error-free as possible. Include a cover sheet, introduction, findings, conclusions with recommendations, and references




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