The topic for your research paper can be anything pertaining to port security, the security of the maritime transportation system, threats to maritime critical infrastructure (including cyber or piracy) or ways that risk can be quantified within a port. You are to prepare your formal graduate research paper in a word document (Times New Roman, Font 12) using APA format. Your research paper should be 10-12 pages of content excluding your title page and bibliography page. A minimum of 10 outside references, 6 of which MUST be peer-reviewed is required.
Prepare your final draft for submission to include at a minimum the following components:
Introduction, Research Study Question, and Hypothesis (1-2 pages): This section shall provide an overview of the topic that you are writing about, a concise synopsis of the issues, and why the topic presents an area of study suitable for graduate study. Critical to this section is your hypothesis which should conclude the introduction section.
Literature Review (4-6 pages): All research projects include a literature review to set out for the reader what knowledge exists on the subject under study and helps the researcher develop the research strategy to use in the study. A good literature review is a thoughtful study of what has been written, a summary of the arguments that exist (whether you agree with them or not), and are arranged thematically. The literature review is not an annotated bibliography and should be written in coherent narrative style, grouped by subject area which provides a synthesis of the body of knowledge. At the end of the Lit Review summary, there should still be gaps in the literature that you intend to fill with your research.
Methodology (1-2 pages): This section provides the reader with a description of your research methodology. It is not enough to simply state that you are using “qualitative” methods. I want to know the SPECIFIC type of method employed….Case Study? ACH? etc. If you have any questions regarding this section seek additional reference support from the library. Constructing a solid academically rigorous methodology section will enhance the skills you will need to execute a successful thesis.
Analysis (2-3 pages): This section is not simply a summary of the references you developed nor is it the same as conclusions. In the analysis component of this section you identify how you analyzed the data.
The second part is the finding you got from your analysis of the data. The findings are the facts that you developed, not your interpretation of the facts. These actions are at the very core of graduate level research that interpretation is conducted in the conclusions and recommendations section of the paper. Findings will come from the prior research you examined and your analysis of those prior findings to create new findings for your paper. While there may be some facts that are such that they will stand and translate to your paper, the intent is to create new knowledge, so you will normally analyze the data to create your own findings of what facts that data represents.
Conclusions and Recommendations (2-3 pages): This section is where you give your interpretation of the data. Here you tell the reader what the findings mean. Often the conclusions and recommendations sections will mirror the findings in construct as the researcher tells the reader what that researcher sees as the meaning of that data, their conclusions. Then, drawing on those conclusions, the researcher tells the reader what they believe needs to be done to solve/answer the research question. This section may include recognition of any needs for further research and then finishes with a traditional conclusion to the paper as a whole.
References: This section will contain all references, cited in APA format and alphabetically arranged. Your paper must contain a minimum of 10 reference sources with at least 6 of them being peer-reviewed journals or products of Think Tanks such as RAND, Brookings or Heritage. Entitle this section as “References” following the parenthetical and reference citation format style within APA. You should be compiling sources and adding to them as you gone along throughout the semester. They should be error free!!!
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