Research Design

The goal of this summative assignment is to create the Research Design, which will become the final research and analysis paper for the Homeland Security Capstone Course. Review the Capstone Research Project.

This Research Design will collectively build throughout the course and encapsulate most of the research principles addressed in this course. The Research Design should be between eight to ten pages in length and address the items listed below. Remember, the goal of the research design is to establish the research plan and the method by which research will be accomplished in order to produce the final research and analysis report which will be due in the Capstone Course for the Homeland Security and Emergency Management program.

Focus of the Final Paper:
Use the following structure and address all elements of this design template: 

  1. Explain a key issue in Homeland Security and Emergency Management and develop a supporting research question.
    • There should be only one research question that you are trying to answer. (½ page)
  2. Construct at least two hypotheses that you will research and analyze in an attempt to answer you research question. Explain the logic for the generation of your hypotheses. (1 page)
  3. Identify research variables that you will use to evaluate your hypotheses and show how they will be measured. (1-2 pages) Identify the method you will use to analyze your variables and what techniques you will use to verify that your data is valid and representative of the population or theory you are examining.
  4. Conduct a literature review related to your homeland security research question and your hypotheses. Discuss the findings of this literature review. (1-2 pages)  
  5. Create a reference page that accounts for all sources you identified relating to your research topic. Your literature review must have no less than 8 fully documented resources.
  6. Describe the research method by which you will gather the data to evaluate the research question. Identify the quantitative and qualitative methods you will use to collect the data on your variables. For example, will you conduct a survey, use existing statistics, or create a focus group? (1 page)
  7. Finally, describe where you believe the greatest challenge will be in conducting research and analysis on your homeland security topic.  

The complete assignment should be eight to ten double-spaced pages in length (excluding the APA title and reference pages) and be in the format of a research design. Refer to Chapters 22 and 23 of the course text for additional information on the creation of research designs. 

Students must use at least eight sources other than the course textbook when developing their research and analysis. At least five of these sources must be located via the Ashford University Library. In addition to the research design, students must include a reference page, which complements their literature review. Each item of the reference page should be in APA format and include where the reference was located.


  1. Must be eight to ten double-spaced pages in length (excluding the APA title and reference pages), and formatted according to APA style.
  2. Must include a title page with the following:
    • Title of paper
    • Student’s name
    • Course name and number
    • Instructor’s name
    • Date submitted
  3. Must begin with an introductory paragraph that has a succinct thesis statement.
  4. Must address the topic of the paper with critical thought.
  5. Must end with a conclusion that reaffirms your thesis.
  6. Must use at least eight scholarly sources
  7. Must document all sources in APA style, as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
  8. Must include a separate reference page, formatted according to APA style.

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