Policy Development And Implementation In HealthCare System-IST 8101 Master of Science in Information Systems Technology

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Complete Title of Your Research Paper

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IST 8101

Master of Science in Information Systems Technology

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Abstract

The abstract is a brief, but comprehensive summary of the central problem, purpose, methodology and key findings and conclusions for your research. The content requirements for the abstract vary depending upon the nature of your research study. Specific content requirements are provided in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edition, 7th printing (the Publication Manual). The abstract consists of a single paragraph written in block style (i.e., there is no indentation for the first line of the paragraph) that typically ranges from 150 to 250 words in length. The abstract must be comprehensive, accurate, non-evaluative, coherent, readable, and concise as discussed in the Publication Manual. A cursory review of the title and abstract for a research paper is often the sole basis upon which a researcher will determine whether or not to consider reviewing the paper in connection with his or her research efforts. If the title and abstract do not quickly capture the reader’s attention and demonstrate potential relevance to his or her research interests, it is unlikely he or she will read the paper, even though it may be highly relevant to his or her research interests. Clear focus, brevity, clarity and succinctness are paramount in a good abstract. Use a hard page break at the end of the abstract.

Complete Title of Research Paper

This document outlines the layout, content and formatting requirements for an IST 8101 research paper. This handout is intended to be used in conjunction with the handout entitled, “Research Paper Sections, Content and Formatting”, inasmuch as the layout, content and formatting for many sections of a research paper are very similar to those for a research proposal. The layout and formatting of this handout has been structured to comply with the requirements of the Publication Manual in order to resemble the appearance of a properly formatted research paper. You should not attempt to format your paper solely by relying upon using this document as an example of APA formatting requirements, as opposed to reading and understanding the requirements of the Publication Manual.

Your research paper shall comply with the layout, content, and format requirements of both the Publication Manual. Each section of the IST 8101 thesis (see IST 8101 Thesis Option Outline document) serves a specific purpose and shall be included in your research paper in the specific order shown if your IST 8101 project involves developing a thesis. The Results and Discussion sections may replaced by a section entitled “Project” for research papers associated with a research project study.

The first page of your research paper is the title page. The purpose of the title page is identical to the purpose of the title page for your research proposal. The title of a research paper is intended to inform the reader regarding the main topic, content, and focus of the underlying research. One of the objectives for your IST 8101 research project is to produce a scholarly research paper that will add to the body of knowledge available for use by future researchers to solve real-world technology problems. A well-crafted (e.g., simple, concise, and informative) title is often the basis upon which a researcher will decide to review the abstract for a given research paper in connection with his or her research efforts. If the title of the paper does not quickly capture the reader’s attention and demonstrate potential relevance to his or her research interests, it is unlikely he or she will consider reading the abstract, let alone read the entire paper, even though the paper may actually be highly relevant to his or her research interests. A well-crafted title can also be easily abbreviated to create the running head, which is printed at the top of each page to identify the paper for readers. The running head should reflect an abbreviated (vice otherwise altered or modified) version of the title presented on the title page. The running head should be a maximum of fifty characters in length, including characters, letters, numbers, punctuation, and spaces. Use a hard page break at the end of the title page.

The second page your research paper is a table of contents. The table of contents is a primary section in your research paper and, as such, is preceded by a level one heading titled Table of Contents and formatted in accordance with requirements in the Publication Manual (i.e., double spaced, Times New Roman 12pt font). We highly recommend using the embedded table of contents tool in the MS Word References ribbon to generate your table of contents. Use a hard page break at the end of the table of contents.

The third page of your research paper is a list of tables, figures, and appendices presented in your research paper. In the event you choose not to present any tables, figures, or appendices in your paper, you must still include a list of tables, figures, and appendices as the third page in your paper. However, you should clearly indicate in the list that no tables, figures, or appendices have been provided in your paper if they do not exist. The list of tables, figures, and appendices is a primary section in your research paper and, as such, is preceded by a level one heading titled List of Tables, Figures, and Appendices and formatted in accordance with requirements in the Publication Manual (i.e., double spaced, Times New Roman 12pt font). Refer to the Publication Manual for specific content and format guidelines related to tables and figures presented in a research paper. Use a hard page break at the end of the list of tables, figures, and appendices.

The fourth page of your research paper is the abstract page. The abstract is a brief, but comprehensive summary of the central problem, purpose, methodology and key findings, and conclusions for your research. The content requirements for the abstract vary depending upon the nature of your research study. Specific content requirements are provided in the Publication Manual. The abstract consists of a single paragraph written in block style (i.e., there is no indentation for the first line of the paragraph) that typically ranges from 150 to 250 words in length. The abstract must be accurate, non-evaluative, coherent, readable, and concise as discussed in the Publication Manual. A cursory review of the title and abstract for a research paper is often the sole basis upon which a researcher will determine whether or not to consider reviewing a given research paper in connection with his or her research efforts. If the title and abstract do not quickly capture the reader’s attention and demonstrate potential relevance to his or her research interests, it is unlikely he or she will consider reading the paper, even though it may be highly relevant to his or her research interests. Focus, brevity, clarity, and succinctness are paramount in a good abstract. Use a hard page break at the end of the abstract.

The introduction section of the research paper begins on the page after the abstract of your research paper. Although the introduction section is a primary section in a research paper, it is not preceded by a level one heading formatted in accordance with the requirements in the Publication Manual. As reflected in the Publication Manual, the complete title of your research paper (exactly as it appears on the title page) is used as the heading for the introduction section. Please note that the title of your research paper is not presented in bold font. The introduction section of a research paper is very similar in terms of purpose and content in comparison to the introduction section of your research proposal. However, the introduction is typically much more extensive and detailed in comparison to the introduction section of a research proposal. Please note that, beginning with the introduction section, no further hard page breaks will be used at the end of any subsequent sections until after the “Conclusions” section. Refer the Publication Manual for additional guidance regarding the content of the introduction section.

Problem Statement

Just as in your research proposal, the problem statement section is a subsection of the introduction section and, as such, is preceded by a level two heading formatted in accordance with the requirements in the Publication Manual entitled “Problem Statement”. The problem statement section in a research paper is identical in terms of purpose and content to the problem statement section of a research proposal. The problem statement may be more than two sentences if the additional sentences add clarity and definition to the problem. However, focus, brevity, clarity, and succinctness are still paramount in a good problem statement. As a rule, the longer your problem statement, the less likely it will provide clarity and focus for the reader.

Research Question

The research question section is a subsection of the introduction section and, as such, is preceded by a level two heading formatted in accordance with the requirements in the Publication Manual entitled “Research Question”.

Subset research questions. The subset research questions section, if applicable, is a subsection under the research question section and, as such, is preceded by a level three heading formatted in accordance with the requirements in the Publication Manual entitled “Subset research questions”. The guidelines for research questions and subset research questions that applied for your research proposal also apply for your research paper.

Rationale

The rationale section is a subsection of the introduction section and, as such, is preceded by a level two heading formatted in accordance with the requirements in the Publication Manual entitled “Rationale”. The rationale section of a research paper is identical in terms of purpose, content, and format to the rationale section of your research paper. However, because of the additional insight you have gained while conducting your more in-depth research, it is typically more extensive and detailed in terms of better defining the need or justification for your research.

Definitions

The definitions section is a subsection of the introduction section and, as such, is preceded by a level two heading formatted in accordance with the requirements in the Publication Manual entitled “Definitions”. The definitions section of a research paper contains only those key words or phrases for which clearly understanding the specific context in which you are using them in your paper is essential for the reader to correctly understand the overall scope and context of your paper. Do not provide definitions for words or phrases that you are using in a manner that is consistent with their generally accepted or understood definitions or contexts.

Hypothesis

The hypothesis section, if applicable, is a subsection of the introduction section and, as such, is preceded by a level two heading formatted in accordance with the requirements in the Publication Manual entitled “Hypothesis”. The hypothesis section reflects insight you have gained while conducting your more in-depth research. A hypothesis is a mandatory inclusion in quantitative research papers studies. However, a hypothesis is not mandatory for qualitative research papers or studies, but it is still strongly recommended as a hypothesis helps define the focus and intent of your research for the reader. In some instances, your research findings may disprove your hypothesis. Beware of the temptation to revise your original hypothesis after the fact to make it appear that you were correct all along. There is no shame or harm in having developed an incorrect hypothesis based upon your preliminary data, knowledge, and intuition. The true shame for a researcher is in being too proud to admit that your original hypothesis was incorrect or, perhaps more importantly, failing to recognize the potential value of the new information you have gained by disproving your hypothesis. There is often considerable value added or benefit to be gained through disproving a hypothesis. For example, suppose you work for an organization that is contemplating undertaking a major process improvement initiative that your senior management hypothesizes will solve an existing organizational problem. The organization will need to invest considerable labor, material, and funding, all of which are in scarce supply, in order to undertake the proposed initiative. Prior to actually undertaking the initiative, senior leadership tasks you to perform some quick research to confirm that the proposed initiative will likely solve the stated problem as they have hypothesized. Your research ultimately disproves their hypothesis (i.e., you determine that the proposed process improvement initiative will not only not solve the problem, but may actually make the problem much worse). By disproving the hypothesis, you succeeded in preventing the organization from undertaking a potentially harmful initiative. Thus, disproving a hypothesis is not necessarily an undesirable or unfavorable outcome.

Literature Review

The literature review section is a major section of your research paper and, as such, is preceded by a level one heading containing the words Literature Review and in accordance with the requirements in the Publication Manual. The literature review section is expected to be exhaustive in scope because of the extensive research you performed. The literature review is not intended to consist of stand-alone paragraphs that merely summarize the key ideas, facts, and findings from individual research literature sources. Rather, it is intended to be presented in a manner that integrates the key ideas, facts, and findings from the individual research literature sources into a single comprehensive narrative that clearly supports your problem statement, research question(s), rationale, and hypothesis. It must also clearly support the key findings and assertions presented in the discussion and conclusions sections of your paper. The narrative shall be written such that it establishes a clear relationship and continuity of thought and logic between the key ideas, facts, and findings taken from the various research literature sources you have identified.

Methodology

The methodology section is a major section of your research paper and, as such, is preceded by a level one heading formatted in accordance with the requirements in the Publication Manual entitled “Methodology”. The methodology section is expected to be extensive and detailed. This section is written in the past tense. An appropriately detailed research methodology discussion allows the reader to judge the scope and soundness of your research. This section must provide specifics regarding each of the research approaches (i.e., quantitative, qualitative, triangulation or action research) that you actually pursued. The methodology should provide sufficient detail to make it readily apparent to the reader how each of the selected research approaches contributed to answering your research question(s) and solving your stated problem. Refer to the Publication Manual for additional guidance regarding the content of the methodology section.

Results

The results section is a major section of your research paper and, as such, is preceded by a level one heading formatted in accordance with the requirements in the Publication Manual entitled “Results”. The results section is intended to provide a detailed discussion of the data collected during your research effort (including the manner in which it was collected and from whom it was collected). This section also provides a detailed discussion of the methodology you used to analyze the data you collected, as well as a discussion of the key analysis results. This section should not include any discussion of your evaluation or interpretation of the data or analysis results. Refer to the Publication Manual for additional guidance regarding the contents of the results section of your paper.

Discussion

The discussion section is a major section of your research paper and, as such, is preceded by a level one heading formatted in accordance with the requirements in the Publication Manual entitled “Discussion”. Having presented the results from your research effort in the preceding results section, you are now in a position to discuss your evaluation and interpretation of the implications of the data you have collected, especially with respect to how the data and analysis applies to proving or disproving your hypothesis. This section of your paper is where you examine, evaluate, interpret, and qualify the results of your research, as well as draw inferences from them. This is an extremely important section in your research paper inasmuch as it demonstrates your critical thinking skills with regard to applying your research findings to creating a solution to your stated problem and answers to your stated research question(s). Refer to the Publication Manual for additional guidance regarding the content of the discussion section of your research paper.

Conclusion

The conclusion section is a major section of your research paper and, as such, is preceded by a level one heading formatted in accordance with the requirements in the Publication Manual entitled “Conclusions”. This section should clearly and concisely summarize your key findings, as well as discuss the benefits that will result from having conducted your research. The conclusion section must clearly and concisely discuss whether you proved or disproved your hypothesis. A good conclusion clearly brings the paper to closure. This is also the section of your research paper in which it is appropriate to mention if there is further study that you believe should be conducted, as well as identify the specific areas in which you think the additional research may be needed, based upon your research findings. Use a hard page break at the end of the conclusions section.

References

The references section is a major section of your research paper and, as such, is preceded by a level one heading formatted in accordance with the requirements in the Publication Manual entitled “References”. Specific guidelines for formatting entries in the reference list are provided in the Publication Manual. Chapter 7 of the Publication Manual provides examples of reference list entries for the most commonly encountered types of research literature sources. Keep in mind that every reference you cite in your research paper must appear in the reference list and only those references that are cited in the body of your paper may appear in the reference list. The number and type of references cited in a research paper is largely dependent on the topic being researched and the depth and rigor with which it has been researched. A well-researched paper will include relevant citations from a variety of scholarly sources, including books, periodicals, and Internet sources (excluding blogs, wikis, or other social content). The number, type, quality, and relevance of the references cited in your paper are a direct reflection of the level of scholarly effort you have invested in researching and analyzing your selected topic. Your goal should be to produce a scholarly paper that demonstrates your selected topic has been analyzed with the depth and rigor that is expected of high quality graduate level research. As a general rule of thumb, a well-researched IST 8101 research paper will include citations approximately twenty or more scholarly, literature sources.

In the event you wish to identify any additional research literature sources that you reviewed during the course of conducting your literature search, but did not specifically cite in your research proposal, these sources should be identified in a bibliography section. The bibliography is an optional section in a research paper. However, if included, the bibliography shall start on a separate page immediately following the reference list and shall include a level one heading formatted in accordance with the requirements in the Publication Manual that reads “Bibliography”. Bibliography entries shall comply with the same formatting requirements as those prescribed for reference list entries in the Publication Manual.