Document Type

Graduate Syllabus


Spring 2024



Course Number

DIPL 6311 NA

Course Description

The primary objective of the course is to produce a well-researched, quality paper by applying the principles and approaches in empirical scientific research (which you covered in DIPL 6310 and for which you have received a course grade of “C” or above) to actual research endeavors. That is, the primary objective is knowledge production on relevant topics in international relations. The secondary objective is critical consumption of existing knowledge on relevant topics in international relations. The latter pertains to understanding and critically analyzing studies conducted by scholars in a field of study, as it would be virtually impossible to write a quality paper without understanding the state of knowledge of a particular topic in that field of study. 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) that will culminate in the production of a well-researched quality paper. I understand that you have all submitted research proposal/design in fulfilment for the requirements in DIPL 6310; therefore, each student is expected to include, among other things, the following six items, both in the proposal (except for item #5) 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 a particularly appropriate approach for the study.

(5) Result interpretation, discussion, and/or conclusion.

(6) Citations of works based on one of the two Chicago Manual of Style citation formats: Author-Date or Notes and Bibliography.

To help you accomplish the secondary objective, among other things, you will critically read two articles published in reputable journals (please see next page for the articles). Based on your reviews, you will submit a critical analysis of each of the two articles, focusing on whether items #1 thru #6 listed above have been sufficiently addressed. To reiterate: please do not write general statements or give a general critique of the paper; rather, you have to be specific in your assessment by quoting (or paraphrasing) and by concretely indicating the presence (or the absence, if that is the case) of each item #1 thru #6.

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 in the program by writing a well-conceived, thoroughly researched, and meticulously prepared paper of publishable quality. Therefore, you are required to spend ample time to plan and equally ample time to write the best paper that 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 consider 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.