Step 1: Consider the Purpose for the Research
You have been given your assignment to do a research paper. 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 Do Research
You already have your assignment and a purpose for your research. In this step you will prepare for the research. For more information, see Why Do We Do Research? on the Conducting Research page, also in Project 2.
Another reason to do research is to answer basic questions. While there are many times that you should research using a traditional library and peer-reviewed journals, there will be many questions that are answerable by targeted internet searches. These are valid skills for you to develop and they will serve you well in your professional life. So, get acquainted with the Google Search tools so that you have them at your fingertips.
To get some background on various Cybersecurity issues, read Critical Challenges in Cybersecurity.
In the next step, you will select an issue.
Step 3: Choose an Issue for your Research Paper
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 as explained in How to Draft a Hypothesis available on the Conducting Research page.
The next step will be the actual research.
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.
You may start with the sources that you found in your top trends assignment and dig deeper to learn more about the issue under examination. Choose your sources wisely to find credible sources (if appropriate for the issue). If your issue is covered in contemporary online news sources, please use them. For more information, review resources on Conducting Research from Project 2.
The next step will be to put it all together in your paper.
Step 6: Write Your Paper
Now that your research is complete, you can begin to draft your 1,250- to 1,500-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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