RESEARCH PROPOSALAll assignments should be written in Word and uploaded as attachments within the Assignments section of the classroom. Use 12 pt. New Roman font and double-space. Be sure to put your name and class information on the document and put your name on the file. Insert page numbers on all graduate-level work. Assignments will be graded using a rubric appropriate for your class levelSpecific Instructions for the Research Proposal: On the Attached document.
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All assignments should be written in Word and uploaded as attachments
within the Assignments section of the classroom. Use 12 pt. New Roman
font and double-space. Be sure to put your name and class information
on the document and put your name on the file. Insert page numbers on
all graduate-level work. Assignments will be graded using a rubric
appropriate for your class level
Specific Instructions for the Research Proposal:
The purpose of this assignment is to derive a specific research focus and
create a plan for carrying out your research. Please prepare a document
that addresses each of the points below. Label each section and
comprehensively address the points within each section. This assignment
should be 2-3 pages in length.
(1) IO Selection and Research Question: Select an international
organization to focus on and do some initial research to identify a problem
with this IO. For example, is its effectiveness debatable? Does it suffer
from accountability or legitimacy issues in its institutional design or
decision-making processes? Is it unable to achieve its goals? Dominated
by a few powerful member states? Unsuccessful in socializing certain
member states? Unable to influence the behavior of states? Experiencing
internal power struggles? Struggling for external support? Identify the
problem and develop a specific research question to explore.
(2) Dependent Variable Identification, Definition, and Measurement: Take
your research question and use it to identify your dependent variable (the
outcome you are trying to explain). Example: Why is the UN not more
effective at preventing conflict? Based on this research question, the
outcome you are trying to explain is effectiveness at conflict prevention;
therefore, that is your dependent variable. Next, explain how you will
define your dependent variable and what criteria you will use to measure
it. (Based on the example above, “effectiveness” would need to be
defined, and you’d need to come up with some specific criteria for how to
(3) Independent variable: An independent variable is a factor that
influences the dependent variable. For example, if effectiveness is the
dependent variable, it might be affected by the strength of cooperation
among states in the IO. Identify at least one independent variable that
you believe influences the dependent variable you identified above, and
(4) Hypothesis: A hypothesis is a prediction that puts forth a relationship
between at least two variables. For example: stronger cooperation
between states will increase effectiveness. In this example, you are
proposing that variable A (the independent variable) increases variable B
(the dependent variable). Using your dependent and independent
variables, propose a preliminary hypothesis that you plan to investigate in
the research paper. Make sure that your hypothesis is specific and can be
tested in the analysis section of your research paper. Note: the goal is
NOT to prove that your hypothesis is right; rather, it is to investigate the
hypothesis to see how much support it has (or lacks). It’s OK if you don’t
find strong support for your hypothesis. In that case, you’d use the
Conclusion section of your research paper to explain why and to suggest
avenues for future research.
(5) Research Method and Proposed Data Sources: Identify a research
method that will allow you to test your hypothesis (examples: case study;
comparative case study; content analysis in which you look for themes in
documents/websites; statistical analysis to include percentages,
correlations, or regression analysis). Explain the research method you will
use and what it will entail.
Now that you have a research method, what quantitative or qualitative
data will you use to investigate your hypothesis? If you are interested in
using quantitative data, there are many publicly available datasets
available from the World Bank, V-Dem, the CIA World Factbook,
Transparency International, the World Values Survey, etc. Quantitative
data can be used, for example, to establish trends or changes over time,
to compare member states of an IO on certain indicators, etc.
Qualitative methods include case studies and comparative case studies in
which you go into a great deal of depth (as opposed to the breadth of
quantitative research). Qualitative studies also rely on data – data of a
qualitative nature. Qualitative information can be collected from previous
case studies, from collecting information from the websites of the IO and
its member states, etc. Please name specific qualitative data sources that
you will evaluate in your analysis. A common way of conducting
qualitative research is to do a content analysis in which you look for
specific words or phrases in texts such as websites or past case studies.
The Research Paper
The final research paper should build on the information in your research proposal and
should incorporate your week 5 literature review. It should also include revisions based
on the feedback you have received on those assignments.
Here’s the format of the paper:
Title Page of the Paper. The title of your paper should be brief but should adequately
inform the reader of your general topic and the specific focus of your research.
Keywords relating to parameters, population, and other specifics are useful. ALWAYS
use a title page and insert page numbers for graduate work! Your title page will
include the title, name, course name and number, and professor’s name.
Please label each of the following sections in your research paper:
Introduction (1-2 pages): This section provides an overview of the topic that you
are writing about. It situates your topic in a broader context. In addition, the
introduction should clearly state your research question and hypothesis.
Literature Review (3-5 pages): This section should incorporate your week 5
literature review and any revisions based on feedback received.
Data and Methodology (1-2 pages): This section should incorporate any feedback
received on your week 2 research proposal. This section provides the reader with a
description of your strategy to conduct research for this paper. It identifies your
dependent and independent variables and how you operationalized them. It describes
the data you used (whether quantitative or qualitative) and the method you used to
analyze it to arrive at your findings. This section also describes any limitations you
discovered about your strategy and how you overcame them.
Analysis and Findings (4-5 pages): The results section of the research paper is
where you report the findings of your study based upon the methodology you applied to
gather information. The results section should simply state the findings of the research
arranged in a logical sequence without bias or interpretation. When formulating the
results section, it’s important to remember that the results of a study do not prove
anything. Findings can only confirm or reject the hypothesis underpinning your study.
Make sure that you make connections back to your hypothesis and the extent to which
it was supported or not. Remember, we can also learn something from a hypothesis
that was not supported by the data.
Conclusions (1-2 pages): This section will contain the concluding analytical
arguments based on what research has revealed to answer the research question. Like
any conclusion, it should provide a synopsis of the project, the strategy, and the results
and what they add to the body of knowledge. This section should also offer suggestions
for avenues of future research for other scholars, as all knowledge is evolutionary.
References (or Bibliography): This section will contain all references, cited in
Turabian format, properly indented, and alphabetically arranged. You should compile
these and add to them as you’ve gone along. They should be error free!
(2) The Literature Review
The purpose of this assignment is to propose a theoretical perspective that informs your
research and assess the scholarly literature that has been written on your research
question, including how it informs your research question and hypothesis. It should be
5 pages in length, and accompanied by an audio component (see below).
(a) Content of the literature review:
The literature review should assess (1) which theoretical approach that we have
covered in the course best informs your overall argument and hypothesis (e.g.,
socialization and interest convergence, liberal institutionalism, structural realism,
feminist theory, etc.) and (2) evaluate the findings from the scholarly literature that
exists on your research topic.
(2) There are two parts to this assignment: a 5 page written literature review and an
audio summary. Each is described below. The literature review should be written in
Word and uploaded as an attachment within the Assignments section of the classroom.
Use 12 pt. New Roman font and double-space. Be sure to put your name and class
information on the document and put your name on the file. Insert page numbers on
all graduate-level work.
The audio portion of this assignment should be uploaded along with the written
literature review, and instructions are below. Assignments will be graded using a rubric
appropriate for your class level (please see the rubric below for the required number
and type of sources, and the other criteria on which you will be assessed).
Structure of the written literature review:
The literature review is NOT an annotated bibliography. Rather, it is an analytical
exercise in which you evaluate a body of literature. As such, your literature review
should be organized by theme (NOT an article-by-article summary). A good literature
review is a thoughtful study of what has been written, a summary of the arguments
and findings that exist (whether you agree with them or not), and is arranged
thematically. The literature review should be written in coherent narrative style. At the
end of the evaluation, there should still be gaps in the literature that you intend to fill
with your research.
Here is a site explaining various ways to construct a literature review. Note that a good
literature review is not a list of sources with description, but it involves synthesis and
dissection of sources, with minimal use of quotes.
All references must be cited in Chicago/Turabian format, which means including page
The audio component:
Along with your written literature review, please submit a 5 minute audio file in which
you summarize the main themes, areas of agreement and disagreement among
scholars, and any gaps in knowledge that remain that your research can help address.
Some options for recording the audio are below.
– Windows media audio file
– Audacity (audacity.sourceforge.net/) Audacity is an open source digital audio editor.
You can use this tool to create audio files to share. Compatible across most of the
major platforms, Audacity also works with a variety of audio formats. s
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