Evaluating scholarly resources -3 paragraph

  • A brief summary of both your Dissertation topic and problem statement that you posted in Week 2. As explained earlier, you may have revised them, based on your literature search. 
  • An explanation of how you used and what you found in the research literature to:  (a) narrow what may have been a broad subject in earlier weeks, down to potential, focused Dissertation topics; (b) focus and develop your research problem. 
  • A description of your proposed Dissertation research in the context of public policy and administration.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.

 

 

By now you may have the sense that the Dissertation process is not linear. You have identified a Dissertation topic, focused the problem statement, and read scholarly literature, all simultaneously. Last week, in addition to your annotated bibliography, you were asked to submit a draft Premise. As you take each of these steps and complete each of these components, it is very likely that you will need to circle back and refine your topic—or change topics completely—fine-tune the problem statement, and make other changes. If, for example, your literature review does not support your Premise, then you may have to revise your Premise. This is to be expected.

As you refine and narrow your problem statement, it is important that you consider the literature you have read so far and determine “gaps” in that literature. A gap in the literature does not mean there has never been research in a specific area. It simply suggests there is an opportunity for research to provide insight, a unique approach, or an expansion to your topic area. As stated earlier in the course, a gap in the literature, in and of itself, is not a sufficient justification for the selection of a research problem or purpose. Refer to the Prospectus Guide for an explanation of this.

In order to determine whether the literature on your Dissertation topic is saturated with similar research or when there is a gap in the literature, you will find it useful to read the recommendations at the end of each scholarly article. Authors often identify further research that needs to be done on the topic. That may be your gap. Note, however, that a “gap in the literature” is not a substantive “research problem” in and of itself.

For instance, the SPPA’s Samuel Isaiah Williams was interested in citizen participation in democratic governance and the decision-making process with the Congress. His review of the literature highlighted the earlier writings of Madison and Hamilton, as well as the contributions of Adams and Jefferson as framers of respective state constitutions. In this review, he found, among other things, that the research had focused primarily on whether participation was sufficient through voting in the electoral process and citizen interaction with officials at the state and local levels of government.  It had not, however, explored engagement at the federal level with the Congress, except to discuss public discontent and frustration with the institution.

He found that one gap in the literature centered on ways in which it may be possible to sustain citizen participation to influence public policy.  This gap informed the problem statement, which, in this example, was that the general public typically does not participate in the process while legislation is being formulated. His grounded theory research, then, focused on citizen involvement in decisions with Congressional committees, the current and most appropriate roles, and steps to enhance participation (Engaging Citizens in Democratic Governance and the Decision-making Process with Congressional Committees, Walden University, 2014).

Your problem statement should be stated clearly, refer to a relationship between two or more variables, and be researchable, that is, you should be able to collect data about the problem.

The majority of resources in your Dissertation should be from peer-reviewed (or refereed) journals. Peer-reviewed journals include articles that have been evaluated and approved by professionals in the field. With that said, no one journal article is perfect. Some articles may lack strong theoretical foundations while others may contain flawed research designs. In your literature review, it is important to point out both the strengths and limitations of articles related to your topic and state how your research seeks to address them.

To prepare for this Discussion, review the Learning Resources for this week.

Post by Day 3:

  • A brief summary of both your Dissertation topic and problem statement that you posted in Week 2. As explained earlier, you may have revised them, based on your literature search. 
  • An explanation of how you used and what you found in the research literature to:  (a) narrow what may have been a broad subject in earlier weeks, down to potential, focused Dissertation topics; (b) focus and develop your research problem. 
  • A description of your proposed Dissertation research in the context of public policy and administration.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.

 







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