research paper


Research Paper

Length: 4-5

Partial drafts (optional) Due: 4/6/20 via BB

Final Drafts Due: pending date on BB


The goals of this assignment are to help you:

  • become more knowledgeable about finding and using varied research sources
  • further develop your critical thinking skills and back up your points with evidence
  • become more adept at synthesizing information and developing informed views
  • discipline yourself to follow a scholarly research format to document in-text sources and a reference page (bibliography)
  • compose a well organized, clear, conciseresearch paper to expand your knowledge on a subject pertaining to this course

Topic: Your research paper project begins with a fact finding search on some current or historical issues pertaining to the Caribbean. Your research topic can examine issues not discussed in class as long as they relate to the Caribbean and is approved by your instructor. We will dedicate a couple class sessions to brainstorming possible research topics.

Approach: Your paper does not have a chance to be substantive unless you have substantive sources. Find 7 to 10 VARIED (NOT all internet sites, for example) sources – including academic journal articles and professional publications, Internet sources, and possibly (but not required) an interview.

Your paper should contain these parts:

Introduction: Your introductory material should set up your topic for your audience. It may be more than one paragraph in length, but at some point, very early in the paper you then need to start the body of the paper. Your thesis should come at the end of your introductory material. State your thesis in the form of a sentence or two. It should not be in the form of a question. Your thesis should be a brief statement, in your own words, that points out the major issues about this topic that you discovered in your research.

Body of Paper: The body of your paper should provide supporting evidence to support your thesis, in a logical, fully developed manner. For each new topic which supports your overall thesis, provide a topic sentence which is, in effect, the thesis for that sub-topic. Do not use subheadings; you should use the topic sentences to transition from one related point to the next.

A writer of a research paper should synthesize the information gained from sources and weave them into a well ordered discourse, using the sources as evidence to support key points.

Conclusion: Your conclusion should make some “wrap up” statements about what you learned regarding your chosen topic. Also, address any issues that may still not be resolved for you.


Follow MLA Guidelines

Margins – 1 inch top, bottom, left, right


Research Paper

This assignment will be one of several throughout your PhD program that we use to help you prepare for the dissertation process. One of the core competencies necessary to succeed in a doctoral program is the ability to identify other research that pertains to your own. This means you’ll have to identify similar research, read the papers, and assimilate prior work into your own research. An annotated bibliography helps you develop and hone these research skills.

This assignment is listed on the syllabus as “Major research paper” and is worth 30% of your grade. Your paper will be an annotated bibliography, specifically focusing on the topic of using simulations for policy making. The papers you select must address how IT is used to model behavior for policy making.

You paper must be in correct APA format, use correct grammar, and will need to include at five (5) resources, ALL of which must:

1) Be current. Published within the last few years.

2) Be peer-reviewed.

3) Relate directly to using simulations for policy making. The papers you select must address how IT is used to model behavior for policy making.


Remember that an annotation is not the same as an abstract. Abstracts are descriptive. Your annotations are to be evaluative and critical. Give me enough information for me to decide if I’m interested enough to read the paper, and also how you perceive the paper. Don’t go skimpy on these annotations, but DO NOT write too much here. Quality is far more important that quantity. This exercise is for each of you to demonstrate that you can identify, categorize, and digest multiple research papers.

Every resource you choose must be peer reviewed. That means the paper must have undergone a formal peer review before being published in a journal or presented at a conference. You must ensure that your resources have undergone rigorous reviews. In most cases, you can find out the review process for a conference or journal by visiting the appropriate web site. Do not simply assume that a resource is peer reviewed – check it out.


Here are a few URLs with additional information: (I strongly suggest that you look at these. Really.)

Click to access apa-annobib-sixth.pdf    <<<< Check out the “Rules! rules! rules!” section

Research Paper

Stage 1:   Background and Organizational Analysis


Before you begin work on this assignment, be sure you have read the Case Study on Chesapeake IT Consultants (CIC).



As a business analyst in the Chief Information Officer’s (CIO’s) department of Chesapeake IT Consulting (CIC), you have been assigned to conduct an analysis, develop a set of system requirements and recommend an IT solution to improve the hiring process for CIC.   This work will be completed in four stages, and each of these four stages will focus on one section of an overall Business Analysis and System Recommendation (BA&SR) report to be delivered to the CIO.


Section I: Strategic Use of Technology (Stage 1) – The first step is to look at the organization and explain how an IT system could be used to support CIC’s strategies and objectives, and support its decision-making processes.


Section II: Process Analysis (Stage 2) – Next you will evaluate current processes and workflow and explain how CIC can use IT to improve its processes and workflow.


Section III: Requirements (Stage 3) –Then you will identify key stakeholder expectations for the new technology solution to support CIC’s hiring process and develop a set of requirements.


Section IV: System Recommendation (Stage 4) – Finally, you will review the provided Vendor brochure for a proposed solution and explain how it meets the requirements and what needs to be done to implement the system within CIC.


The sections of the BA&SR will be developed and submitted as four staged assignments.  In stages 2, 3 and 4, you will also incorporate any feedback received when the previous stage was graded to improve the effectiveness of your overall report and then add the new section to your report.   At the end of the course, you will submit a complete BA&SR document that includes all the sections and changes that resulted from previous feedback.     Part of the grading criteria for Stage 4 submission includes addressing previous feedback to improve the final report.


Assignment – BA&SR:   Introduction and Section I – Strategic Use of Technology


Write an appropriate Introduction to the entire BA&SR Report (guidelines are provided below).  Section I of the BA&SR document contains an organizational analysis and identifies ways in which information systems can help CIC, the organization in the case study, meet its strategic goals and meet the information needs of various levels of management.


Using the case study, assignment instructions, Course Content readings, and external resources, develop your Introduction and Section I: Background and Organizational Analysis.  To start, review the Business Perspectives Module (week 1 content), particularly the sections that describe the example of Booz Allen Hamilton, a services company with a business model similar to that of CIC in the case study.  The case study tells you that the executives and employees at CIC have identified a need for an effective and efficient hiring system.  As you review the case study, use the assignment instructions to take notes to assist in your analysis; in particular, look for objectives to support the strategies in the table below, and decisions that the various individuals make in the hiring process as expressed in the “interviews.”

Use the outline format, headings and tables provided and follow all formatting instructions below.  For Stage 1, create a title page and reference page that will be used for all 4 stages.


Apply specific information from the case study to address each area.




Begin your report with a clear, concise, well organized introduction to explain why you are writing and what is to come.  This should briefly set the context for CIC – business purpose, environment, and current challenges related to hiring.  Then specifically provide what is to come in the full report (not just Stage 1).   Keep your audience in mind – this is an internal report for the CIO of CIC.  Provide an introduction in one paragraph that engages the reader’s interest in continuing to read this report.

I.                    Strategic Use of Technology

A.                  Organizational Strategy – Briefly describe the organizational strategy using the Business Strategy statement and information from the Case Study, and explain how a new hiring system would support that strategy.  (Use two to three strong sentences that explain how the system would support the strategy and justify your position with specifics from the Case Study.)

B.                  Competitive Advantage – Explain how and why CIC can use the new hiring system to increase its competitive advantage.  Your explanation should demonstrate your understanding of what competitive advantage is as well as how improving the hiring process will help achieve CIC’s competitive advantage. Include how CIC can use the type of data/information that will be in the hiring system for strategic advantage.  (Paragraph of 2-3 sentences)

C.                   Strategic Objectives– Review the four Strategic Goals in the Strategic Plan section of the CIC Case Study.  The CIO has asked you to come up with an example of an objective to meet each goal and explain how a new hiring system would help achieve that objective.  As you can see from the example provided in the table below, an objective is a statement that is clear (not vague) and is something that can be measured or evaluated to determine whether it has been met or not.  First, insert an introductory opening sentence for this table.  Then, for each of the rows listed below, complete the table with the requested information.  (Provide an introductory sentence and copy the table.  Create an Objective for each of the 3 remaining Goals and explain using 2-3 sentences for each.)


Strategic Goal

 (from case study)


(clear, measurable and time-bound)


(2-3 sentences)

Increase CIC Business Development by winning new contracts in the areas of IT Consulting    
Build a cadre of consultants internationally to provide remote research and analysis support to CIC’s onsite teams in the U. S.



Increase international recruiting efforts and employ 5 research analysts in the next 12 months. The new hiring system would allow applicants from around the world to apply online, increasing the number of international applicants.  It would enable the recruiters to carefully monitor the applications for these positions, identify the necessary research and analysis skills needed, and screen resumes for these key skills.   Recruiters could quickly view the number of applicants and identify when additional recruiting efforts are needed to meet the objective.
Continue to increase CIC’s ability to quickly provide high quality consultants to awarded contracts to best serve the clients’ needs    
Increase CIC’s competitive advantage in the IT consulting marketplace by increasing its reputation for having IT consultants who are highly skilled in leading edge technologies and innovative solutions for its clients




D.                  Decision Making – In the Information Systems (IS) course module (included in the Week 2 Learning Resources), you were introduced to the information requirements of various levels of the organization.  First, insert an introductory opening sentence for this section.  Then, for each of the management roles listed below, complete the table with the appropriate level (as defined in the course module), an example of a specific decision supported by the Hiring System to be made at that level, and what type of information from the hiring system would be needed to support that decision.  Think about what information the hiring system could provide about applicants, etc. and then identify an example of a decision that might be made by each level of management. A decision is a choice or conclusion that the management might make about business operations or future planning.  This is not about the decisions about implementing a new technology solution or about general responsibilities of each role. (Provide an introductory sentence then copy the table and insert information within.)


Role Level as defined in IS Course Module Example of Possible Decision Supported by Hiring System Example of Information the Hiring System Could Provide to Support Your Example Decision
Senior/Executive Managers

(Decisions made by the CEO and the CFO at CIC supported by the hiring system.)

Middle Managers

(Decisions made by the Director of HR and the Manager of Recruiting supported by the hiring system.)

Operational Managers

(Decisions made by the line managers in the organization who are hiring for their projects supported by the hiring system.)



Formatting Your Assignment


Consider your audience – you are writing in the role of a CIC business analyst and your audience is CIC and your boss, the CIO.  Don’t discuss CIC as if the reader has no knowledge of the organization.  Use third person consistently throughout the report.  In third person, the writer avoids the pronouns I, we, my, and ours. The third person is used to make the writing more objective by taking the individual, the “self,” out of the writing. This method is very helpful for effective business writing, a form in which facts, not opinion, drive the tone of the text. Writing in the third person allows the writer to come across as unbiased and thus more informed.


  • In Stage 1, you are preparing the first part of a 4-stage report. Use the structure, headings, and outline format provided here for your report.
  • Write a short concise paper: Use the recommendations provided in each area for length of response.  It’s important to value quality over quantity.  Assignment should not exceed 4 pages excluding title and reference pages.
  • Content areas should be double spaced; table entries should be single-spaced.
  • To copy a table: Move your cursor to the table, then click on the small box that appears at the upper left corner of the table to highlight the table; right click and COPY the table; put the cursor in your paper where you want the table and right click and PASTE the table.
  • Ensure that each of the tables is preceded by an introductory sentence that explains what is contained in the table, so the reader understands why the table has been included.
  • Create a title page that includes: The company name, title of report, your name, Course and Section # and date.
  • Use at least two resources with APA formatted citation and reference. Use at least one external reference and one from the course content. Course content should be from the class reading content, not the assignment instructions or case study itself.  The final document should contain all references from all stages appropriately formatted and alphabetized.
  • Begin a Reference Page for resources required for this assignment. Additional research in next stages will be added to this as you build the report.
  • Running headers are not required for this report.
  • Compare your work to the Grading Rubric below to be sure you have met content and quality criteria.
  • Submit your paper as a Word document, or a document that can be read in Word. Keep tables in Word format – do not paste in graphics.
  • Your submission should include your last name first in the filename: Lastname_firstname_Stage_1









Far Above Standards




Above Standards




Meets Standards




Below Standards


< 60%


Well Below Standards


Possible Points


Describes the organization and provides an introduction to the overall Report

9-10 Points

The introduction is very effective; is clear, logical, derived from the Case Study; and demonstrates a sophisticated level of writing.

8.5 Points

The introduction is clear, logical, and derived from the Case Study.

7.5 Points

The introduction is adequate, and is derived from the Case Study.

6.5 Points

The introduction is not clear, logical and/or derived from the Case Study.

0-5 Points

The introduction is not included, or demonstrates little effort.



How the system will support the organization’s strategy as derived from the case study

18-20 Points

The explanation is clear, logical and fully supported using a sophisticated level of writing.

16-17 Points

The explanation is clear, logical and supported.

14-15 Points

The explanation is provided and supported.

12-13 Points

The explanation is not clear, logical and/or supported.

0-11 Points

The explanation is not included or demonstrates little effort.

Competitive Advantage


Explanation of how the system and its data can be used for competitive advantage 

13-15 Points

Clear, complete, logical, derived from the Case Study, and demonstrates sophisticated analysis and writing.

12.75 Points

Complete and accurate; derived from the case study, demonstrates analysis and effective writing.

10-11 Points

Explanation is provided and related to the Case Study, may lack specifics and/or clear logic.

9 Points

Explanation is not clear, logical and/or supported.

0-8 Points

Missing or extremely incomplete or inaccurate.

Strategic Objectives

Three objectives derived from Strategic Goals in Case Study with explanation of how new hiring system would help achieve.

13-15 Points

Objectives are clear, measurable and time-bound and are strongly and fully explained using a sophisticated level of writing.

12.75 Points

Objectives are clear, measurable and time-bound, and are clearly explained.

10-11 Points

Objectives are somewhat clear, measurable and time-bound, and are explained.




9 Points

Objectives are not clear, measurable and/or time-bound, and/or are not explained.

0-8 Points

Too few objectives are presented, are not explained or exhibit little effort.


Types of decisions supported by the system for each of the three levels of the organization

13-15 Points

Identified correctly and fully, clearly and logically explained; are derived from the Case Study; and demonstrate sophisticated analysis and writing.

12.75 Points

Identified correctly and clearly and logically explained; are derived from the Case Study; and demonstrate analysis and effective writing.

10-11 Points

Identified correctly and explained and are derived from the Case Study.

9 Points

Not all provided; and/or are not correct and/or not derived from the Case Study.

0-8 Points

Very incomplete or missing.


Two or more sources–one source from within the IFSM 300 course content and one external (other than the course materials)

9-10 Points

Required resources are incorporated and used effectively. Sources used are relevant and timely and contribute strongly to the analysis.  References are appropriately incorporated and cited using APA style.

8.5 Points


At least two sources are incorporated and are relevant and somewhat support the analysis. References are appropriately incorporated and cited using APA style.


7.5 Points

Only one resource is used and properly incorporated and/or reference(s) lack correct APA style.

6.5 Points

A source may be used, but is not properly incorporated or used, and/or is not effective or appropriate; and/or does not follow APA style for references and citations.

0-5 Points

No course content or external research incorporated; or reference listed is not cited within the text.


Uses outline format provided; includes Title Page and Reference Page

13-15 Points

Well organized and easy to read.  Very few or no errors in sentence structure, grammar, and spelling; double-spaced, written in third person and presented in a professional format.

12.75 Points

Effective organization; has few errors in sentence structure, grammar, and spelling; double-spaced, written in third person and presented in a professional format.

10-11 Points

Some organization; may have some errors in sentence structure, grammar and spelling. Report is double spaced and written in third person.

9 Points

Not well organized, and/or contains several grammar and/or spelling errors; and/or is not double-spaced and written in third person.

0-8 Points

Extremely poorly written, has many grammar and/or spelling errors, or does not convey the information.

          TOTAL Points Possible 100