This course is designed to be offered more as a continuation of DIPL 6310, a pre-requisite for this course. Indeed, the aim is to apply and to further develop the principles and practice of empirical scientific research covered in DIPL 6310 to actual research endeavors, and hopefully produce a quality, publishable paper. As in any legitimate research endeavor, therefore, the course begins with the development of a well-conceived and well-developed research proposal. To this end, all students are expected to include, among other things, the following both in the proposal and in the completed research paper:
(1) description of the problem/issue and why it is significant. This section includes statement of the problem/issue and why it is important, and the research question(s) and hypothesis(es)/proposition(s) formulated.
(2) literature review and how the study is related to works that have been conducted previously. What will the study add to existing knowledge on the issue? In other words, one needs to locate the problem within the extant literature and identify the gap to be filled;
(3) variable definition/conceptualization, operationalization, and measurement (the latter is especially important if the study is quantitative), design, and data collection methods;
(4) analysis techniques (statistical or otherwise);
(5) result interpretation, discussion, and/or conclusion;
(6) bibliography (of cited works).
This course is may be seen as the Master’s program “capstone” course, where students are expected to apply what they have learned in the program (over the last two years) by producing a well-conceived, thoroughly-researched, and meticulously-prepared paper of publishable quality. Therefore, you are required to spend ample time to come up with the best paper you can possibly write.
Note: Students who intend to conduct interviews may have to seek approval from the Office of Institutional Research Board (IRB) located in the Presidents Hall, especially if the data collection procedure(s) involves risk to human subjects and if the findings are to be disseminated outside of the classroom. This is an issue which Seton Hall University, the State of New Jersey, and the Federal Government see with utmost concern, especially if the interview and any other data collection method involve more than “minimal risk” to the research subjects. Since research involving human subjects may not begin without the IRB approval, you need to see the instructor to file the necessary papers as soon as possible. Given the lengthy process and the time needed for IRB approval, it is important to seriously think about the feasibility of conducting research involving human subjects. Completion of the research in one semester may be hard to meet unless IRB approval was granted well ahead of time.
Bariagaber, Assefaw Dr., "Masters Research Project" (2016). Diplomacy Syllabi. 179.