The primary, general objective of this course is to produce a well-researched, high quality paper by applying the principles and practice of empirical scientific research covered in DIPL 6310 in actual research endeavors. The secondary objective is to understand and critically analyze studies conducted by other scholars. As in any legitimate research endeavor, therefore, the course begins with the development of a well-conceived and well-developed research proposal (or research design), which I understand that you have all submitted in fulfilment of the requirements in DIPL 6310. Therefore, 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 or important. This section includes statement of the problem/issue and why it is of academic and/or policy interest, the research question(s) raised, and the hypothesis(es)/proposition(s) formulated.
(2) Literature review and how the study is related to studies that have been conducted previously. What will the study add to the existing knowledge on the issue? In other words, one needs to locate the problem within the extant literature and identify the gap/void to be filled.
(3) Variable definition/conceptualization, operationalization, and measurement (the latter is especially important if the study is quantitative), and the design and data collection methods.
(4) Analysis techniques (statistical or otherwise), and why this is particularly relevant for the study.
(5) Result interpretation, discussion, and/or conclusion.
(6) Bibliography (of cited works).
The above items #1 thru #6 may constitute the specific objectives of the course. They include the ability to identify a research puzzle/question and relate it to the existing state of knowledge; formulate the research hypotheses; identify the dependent and independent variables and their measurement/operationalization; locate data sources and apply appropriate technique to analyze the data; and relate the findings with the extant literature. In order to help you to accomplish the objective, among other things, you will read two articles published in reputable journals and submit a critical analysis of each, focusing on whether or not items #1 thru #6 listed above are sufficiently addressed.
Let me emphasize that this course may be seen as the Master’s program “capstone” course, where you are expected to show what you have learned over the last two years as students in the program by producing a well-conceived, thoroughly-researched, and meticulously-prepared paper of publishable quality. Therefore, you are required to spend ample time to prepare and write the best paper you can possibly write.
Bariagaber, Assefaw PhD, "DIPL 6311 Master’s Research Project" (2017). Diplomacy Syllabi. 514.