Purpose: the purpose of this project is to help students apply the research methodology they are learning in class to an analysis of a specific public policy area, by collecting and analyzing data. Students must demonstrate a familiarity with the textbooks and course material by integrating substantive content into their analyses and performing relevant statistical tests. Submission Note: no student is permitted to submit a paper already submitted for this or any other course.Turnit-in will detect the duplicate submission, and a zero will be awarded for the assignment automatically. Please see the course syllabus for more details. Instructions: students will choose one public policy area (e.g.: education, crime, housing, economic development, transportation, health care, the environment, etc. – check with me if you are uncertain of your selection) for analysis; You probably want to narrow it down to some aspect within the policy like college for education, types of crime, etc.). Write a concise 12-14 page double-spaced applied research paper that examines the following topics:
1) Introduction: why is the specific policy important? What are you interested in examining?
2) Literature Review – select several refereed journal and book publications, and briefly examine related research on your project
3) Research Design and Hypotheses Development: discuss how you are framing your project; develop appropriate hypotheses to test (null and research); identify relevant independent variables (IV) and dependent variables (DV); and identify what you are going to do with the datasets (descriptive statistics; standard deviation; correlation analysis; regression; etc.) – Note that you will select and conduct these to demonstrate your understanding of the course content. Also remember that you are looking for relationships between variables 4
) Analysis of Data – conduct the analysis you outlined in your research design – tell what you learned based upon the data. Construct pertinent graphs (but do not copy and paste from other sources); Discuss whether your hypotheses were confirmed or rejected.
5) Concluding statements – how can your analysis be expanded upon and extended? Paper sections: all students MUST have the following five sections (use these headings in the actual paper) in their course projects outlined in bold and underlined:
Section: Approximate Length of Section (double-spaced): ◊ Introduction – 1 page; ◊ Literature Review – 3 pages; ◊ Research Design and Hypotheses – 2-3 pages ◊ Analysis of Data – 5 pages ◊ Concluding statements – 1 page; References/citations: You may use the APA or APSA styles for course assignments, as long as you are consistent. All students must use at least 5+ professional, academic sources to write their papers. Academic and professional sources can be refereed journal publications and books. No non-academic (or non-refereed) Internet sources, magazines, or newspaper articles can be used. Legitimate government sites are acceptable. Remember, the literature review should flow smoothly and examine key ideas and concepts – do not separate out your summaries article by article or book by book, but instead integrate in the ideas you want to cover in paragraph format for the topic you chose.
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