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Research Paper Assignment
Introduction You must prepare an article-length research paper on a topic relating to the concept of resilience. Your topic selection is subject to instructor
approval. The length for the body of the paper should be approximately 12-20 pages (approximately 250-300 words per page, for a total of about 3,000-5,000 words),
not including the Title Page (with Statement of authorship), Table of Contents, Abstract, Tables, Appendixes (if any), and References. Use the same formatting
(margins, font, etc.) as for the Individual Assignment essay. APA citation style should be followed throughout the paper. Keep in mind that overall length is just one
criterion; the major criterion is the quality of the content. The paper must be submitted in the Assignments dropbox in LEO.
The topic proposal is due by the end of Week 3 on Monday night, February 20. The final, completed paper is due in the Assignment folder dropbox under the Research
Paper folder at the end of Week 10 (Monday night, April 10). NOTE: • You may re-use only a limited amount – 5% or less – of material from papers you have written for
other courses at UMUC or at other institutions. You must also provide citation for that material in the body of the paper and in the reference list. Not doing so is
considered self-plagiarism under APA guidelines (2010, pp. 16, 29, 170). If you feel that you have adequate justification for exceeding the 5% limit, discuss this in
advance with the instructor, whose decision will be final.
• Quality of analysis is the most important criterion, not the exact word count.
If you have any questions about the assignment or the grading criteria, please post your question to Q&A for this assignment under the Research Paper folder. Please do
NOT send an e-mail unless it is a personal question. Other students may have similar questions. All students should check regularly for any Q&A. If there is a question
of significant importance, I will also put something in the News.
Here you will find information on these topics: • Academic Integrity • Learning Objectives • Scholarly Research • Citation Tips
• Milestones for This Assignment • Specifications for the Research Paper Academic Integrity With this assignment, as with all others, you must adhere to UMUC policies
regarding academic integrity. Avoid plagiarism, both intentional and inadvertent, and provide accurate documentation and attribution of the work of others. UMUC’s
policy recommends “carefully following accepted scholarly practices. Notes taken for papers and research projects should accurately record sources of material to be
cited, quoted, paraphrased or summarized, and papers and research projects should acknowledge these sources in references.” (Policy 150.25 – Academic Dishonesty and
You must also include at the end of your paper a statement attesting that you are submitting work that is original and that complies with standards for academic
honesty. See the specifications below for the attestation statement. Also, you may not submit a paper that you have written for any other class.
I will use Turnitin to generate an Originality Report with a Similarity Index score to check all the papers for any possible plagiarism, or an excessive proportion of
direct quotes and paraphrasing relative to your own work. If so, I will inform you of the results in my feedback. Even if you include citations and used quotation
marks to avoid any risk of plagiarism, you should strive for a proper balance. It’s necessary to cite, and occasionally quote from, appropriate sources to support your
own arguments and assertions, but you should avoid simply copying-and- pasting large sections or paragraphs from the work of others to form a new paper. Learning
Objectives Through successful completion of this assignment, you will: • Devise and execute a research strategy to produce a quality, graduate- level research paper. •
Use the electronic UMUC library resources effectively and integrate sources in support of your research position. • Analyze, synthesize, and evaluate elements of the
topic. • Present the information clearly and logically in a well-documented research paper. Scholarly Research You are expected to use scholarly publications in
support of your topic (part of your research strategy). That means searching UMUC’s online library databases for your sources. In other words, do not use search
engines such as Google as your primary means to find sources. Do not rely on Wikipedia as a source. You must develop your paper using at least 10 high-quality
references. Of the 10 or more references, you must rely on and cite a minimum of 5 scholarly or
substantive government publications, such as articles from academic journals, books or official reports. You should search the UMUC Library databases for journals or
government documents. You must also include 5 or more references from other well-respected sources, such as government, think tank, or professional association
publications or Web sites. Not acceptable: Introductory textbooks, or textbooks used for other HSMN or EMAN courses.
Limit the number of secondary sources such as online articles from newspapers, popular magazines, or trade journals. Also, limit informational web pages you use as
sources to no more than two (2). Using simple web pages for research—even official web pages from government agencies—is not generally appropriate for graduate-level
research papers, as these web pages seldom include authors, publication dates, or citations, and they are often brief and more informational than substantive. Also,
avoid relying on vendor-provided information (unless, for example, you are comparing and contrasting vendors’ claims), and avoid the use of online encyclopedia or
dictionaries. Citation Tips You must cite correctly and follow the standards in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.) for in-text
attribution of sources and for the reference list at the end. The UMUC Library provides some useful Web pages:
• APA: http://www.umuc.edu/library/guides/apa.shtml • Tutorial, either HTML or Flash format: http://www.umuc.edu/library/tutorials/citation/
If you’d prefer video tutorials on APA style, try this web site: http://www.apastyle.org/index.aspx. The tutorials are at
The tutorials cover things like how to properly cite references, how to write a well- structured paper (e.g., using headings), and how to avoid plagiarism.
In addition, Wikipedia provides a listing of other references and tools to correctly format your references: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/APA_style.s Scroll to the
External Links at the end. Note that for your own references, Wikipedia will not count, since it is not a primary source. Scholarly, or substantive/authoritative
primary sources are the standard for graduate school research. Milestones for This Assignment 1. Select your topic. Post your brief topic proposal/thesis statement in
the discussion forum
labeled Declare Your Research Topic under the Research paper folder by the end of Week 3, on Monday night, February 20. Topic proposals are subject to the approval of
the instructor. Please do not post your proposal as an attached document.. 2. Submit the final paper. Submit to LEO: Submit the completed Research Paper as a Word
doc (not as a PDF) in the Assignment dropbox under the Research Paper folder in LEO by the end of Week 10 on Monday night, April 10. Attach a document that is named in
the format First Initial + Last Name + Paper for example: NKlaszPaper. While late assignments will be accepted, you will not receive full credit for them. One (1)
point is deducted for each day the assignment is late; after 10 days, the assignment will not be accepted without an approved extension.
If you would like some interim feedback on your assignment, submit a solid draft to the Workbook for the assignment in LEO and notify the instructor in an e-mail. I
usually can provide feedback to 2 students per day, so don’t wait until the last minute. Specifications for the Research Paper Content Specifications The contents
and organization of the paper should include: • Title page • Main body (see below) • List of References or Works Cited • (OPTIONAL) Abstract, Table of Contents,
Appendices for figures, tables, etc. • Statement attesting to original work (see below)
Follow general APA formatting guidelines, with the exception that the document may be either single or double-spaced. I strongly recommend using subject headings in
bold to organize the narrative and introduce transition points from one major topic or issue to another, and use paragraphing to break up and further organize the
narrative in the body of the paper. I would also appreciate pagination (i.e., inserting sequential page numbers).
Good papers clearly present your research findings and analyze and assess those findings. At the graduate school level, you need to do more than report on your
research; you must evaluate the significance and potential ramifications of the issue at hand. Where appropriate, you should also critique information you found in the
sources you used. End your paper with a meaningful conclusion section. Conclusions summarize your evaluation of the topic or show how you
proved your thesis statement. Conclusions do not present new information! The body of the paper should be approximately 12-20 pages (approximately 250-300 words per
page, for a total of about 3,000-5,000 words), not including the Title Page (with Statement of authorship), Table of Contents, Abstract, Tables, Appendixes (if any),
and References. These are guidelines, and not absolute or strict requirements. If you can brilliantly present an idea in 2,800 words, that is acceptable. If you exceed
5,000 words because you have significant analysis to present, that is fine. What is not acceptable is a paper that is brief rather than substantive, or includes
excessive verbiage that strays off topic or consists of “filler” and “fluff.”
Support all statements of facts, assertions, and conclusions with credible sources. Cite the source, whether you are summarizing, paraphrasing, or quoting directly.
Follow the APA guidelines for quoting sources, including specific page or paragraph numbers in the in-text citations.
Only a limited amount of material should be quoted, summarized, or paraphrased from sources. You are to provide original analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of
information. If it appears too high a proportion of your paper is quoted, it will be subject to additional scrutiny. Evaluate the quoted material to determine if it
carries your analysis forward (good!) or if you are using it in place of your own critical thinking (bad!).
Document File Specifications The document must be a Microsoft Word .doc or docx file or a rich text format (.rtf) file. Other file formats are not acceptable. If your
paper is supported by diagrams or charts or statistics, please incorporate them into the document in an appropriate place, whether in the body or in an appendix.
Figures and tables from your sources must be properly credited, following the guidelines in the APA Publication Manual.
Statement Attesting to Original Work You must also submit the following statement with your personal attestation on a separate page at the end of the document:
“This paper, examination, report, or the section thereof for which I have indicated responsibility, is my own work. Any assistance I received in its preparation is
acknowledged within the report or examination, in accordance with academic practice. For any data, ideas, words, diagrams, pictures, or other information from any
source, quoted or not, I have cited the sources fully and completely in the text, in endnotes, or in footnotes and bibliographical entries, as required. Furthermore, I
certify that the material was prepared by me specifically for this class and has not been submitted, in whole or significant part, to any other class in this
or elsewhere, or used for any purpose other than satisfying the requirements of this class, except that I am allowed to submit this material to a professional
publication, peer reviewed journal, or professional conference. In adding my name following the word ‘Signature’, I intend that this certification will have the same
authority and authenticity as a document executed with my hand-written signature.”