PA508 Research and Analysis

for F1P 2011

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Mission Statement: Park University provides access to a quality higher education experience that prepares a diverse community of learners to think critically, communicate effectively, demonstrate a global perspective and engage in lifelong learning and service to others.

Hauptmann School for Public Affairs Mission Statement
The Hauptmann School of Public Affairs offers a citizen-centered, professional program of graduate study that is grounded in the liberal arts tradition.  As participants in HSPA's vibrant academic community, faculty and students consider, with the coursework, the larger issues of democracy, stewardship, and technology.  In so doing, HSPA seeks to prepare students for the courage and discernment to act for the common good in the global context.  Going beyond competence, students develop knowledge, skills, and values requisite for leadership and service in and across all sectors of society, including government, business, and nonprofit.  HSPA cultivates public affairs as a life-long passion that is fundamental to citizenship in a free society.

Vision Statement: Park University, a pioneering institution of higher learning since 1875, will provide leadership in quality, innovative education for a diversity of learners who will excel in their professional and personal service to the global community.

Hauptmann School for Public Affairs Vision Statement
The Hauptmann School for Public Affairs will serve the common good by graduating leaders who exercise authority responsibly, make ethical decisions, act with moral courage, and advance human dignity world-wide.


PA 508 Research and Analysis


F1P 2011 DL


Barrett, Michael P.


Adjunct Faculty


BA Political Science
Master Public Administration
Juris Doctorate

Office Location


Office Hours

8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Daytime Phone



Class Days


Class Time


Credit Hours

2 or 3 (Please check to make sure you know for how many you are taking this course)

  The following texts are required.

Creswell, John W. (2003). Research design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Method Approaches, 3rd Edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. ISBN 978-1-4129-6557-6 (Paperback).

Harris, Robert A. (2005). Using sources effectively: Strengthening Your Writing and Avoiding Plagiarism, 2nd Ed. Glendale, CA: Pyrczak. ISBN 1-884585-57-4 (Paperback).

Stebbins, Leslie F. (2006). Student Guide to Research in the Digital Age: How to Locate and Evaluate Information Sources. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited. ISBN 1-59158-099-4 (Paperback).

In addition to these textbooks, we will use the internet to visit reputable websites related to our topics. Additionally, you will be required to read journal articles in .pdf format. You will be required to read all of these materials during the course.

If you don't have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer (required to read .pdf files), you can download a FREE copy at this site:

MBS Textbook Exchange is the official bookstore for Park University's Extended and Distance Learning Programs. Textbooks are guaranteed to be available if ordered through MBS. Telephone 1-800-325-3252 or fax 1-800-325-5152.

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information
Advising - Park University would like to assist you in achieving your educational goals. Please contact your Campus Center for advising or enrollment adjustment information.
Online Classroom Technical Support - For technical assistance with the Online classroom, email or call the helpdesk at 866-301-PARK (7275). To see the technical requirements for Online courses, please visit the website, and click on the "Technical Requirements" link, and click on "BROWSER Test" to see if your system is ready.
FAQ's for Online Students - You might find the answer to your questions here.

Course Description:
PA 508 Research and Analysis: This course explores the appropriateness of various analytic, research, and investigative techniques for specific purposes. Students critically examine the nature of information and its various forms of storage and access. Research designs are explored, focusing on qualitative methods, interviewing, and other designs are explored, focusing on qualitative methods, interviewing, and other techniques of community-based problem-solving research and applied research. Scholarly standards of query formulation, mechanisms of information retrieval and principles of information evaluation, in relation to both traditional and modern research resources, are emphasized.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Differentiate between various qualitative research methods and summarize the characteristics of each method. and summarize the characteristics of each method.
  2. Compile and evaluate source material and justify the inclusion of appropriate source material in academic and applied research.
  3. Critique their own academic writing and integrate scholarly writing techniques into academic assignments.
  4. Formulate qualitative research questions suitable for applied inquiry into public affairs issues.
  5. Design and write a qualitative or mixed-methods research proposal intended to seek answers to community-based problems.

Core Assessment:

All Park University courses must include a core assessment that measures the course's Core Learning Outcomes. The purpose of this assessment is to determine if expectations have been met concerning mastery of learning outcomes across all instructional modalities. 

For this course, the core assessment is a Comprehensive Final Examination to be administered in all sections of MG 365. This exam is worth at least 30 percent of the student's final grade and will test students' mastery of the Core Learning Outcomes (as listed on this syllabus) through definitions, essay, and/or multiple choice questions. 

This core assessment is a CLOSED BOOK, CLOSED NOTES comprehensive examination that must be administered and proctored in the classroom and may not be given as a take-home examination. Students should not have access to the exam or its questions before it is administered. The duration of the exam can be no longer than two hours. 

No computers, or materials other than a writing instrument and a calculator without text functions and communication may be used for the exam; this applies to all students, regardless of whether the exam is for on-line or face-to-face students. Completion of the exam is strictly individual; students may not work in groups to complete the exam.

Class Assessment:


There are four major assessment categories in this course. The total points possible during the term is 470 points. These points are allocated as follows:

  • Final Project -- A Research Proposal. 150 points = 32% of grade. This project will be assigned during Week 1 and will be turned in at the end of the term.
  • Essays/Article Reviews-- 200 points (8 assigned x 25 pts. each) = 43% of grade.
  • Weekly Activities --120 points (8 weeks x 5 points/week plus 8x10 points for class participation) = 25% of grade.

Each of these major categories will be discussed in more detail in class. There will be no surprises or assignments at the last minute, so you can plan your term as much as possible. Grading rubrics indicating my specific expectations will be provided as each assignment is scheduled. Two grading rubrics are made available here:

  • Weekly Discussion Grading Rubric
  • Article Review/Essay Grading Rubric

Grading Scale: The grading scale is:

  • A = 90.0% - 100.0%
  • B = 80.0% - 89.99%
  • C = 70.0% - 79.99%
  • D = 60.0% - 69.99%
  • F = <60.0%

Grading Guidelines:

Course discussions are graded on demonstrated preparation for the discussion, including linage of the current discussion with previous course materials, clearly-communicated concepts derived from non-assigned reading materials (with suitable reference/citation), presentation of substantive comments that are constructive in nature, and fabrication of logical and well-crafted positions. Written work (essays/article reviews) is graded on demonstrated insight, completion of expectation of the assignment, coherence of organization, grammar and spelling, and proper citations.

Letter grades in this course have the following meanings:

  • An 'A' signifies work that clearly exceeds expectations exemplified by the student who prepares for class discussions and consistently indicates having thought about the material. Written work falling into this category will demonstrate clarity of purpose, organization, and communication. It will also demonstrate original interpretation of course material.
  • A 'B' signifies work that meets expectations, meaning that all aspects of the assignment are completed, but it lacks some aspects of 'A' work, particularly inconsistent preparation for class discussions or written work that demonstrates less significant insight in the the material, frequent grammatical errors, or failure to follow citation requirements.
  • A 'C' denotes written work that minimally meets the intent of the assignment and is poorly constructed, supported, or inconsistent arguments, or works with multiple spelling and grammatical errors, or multiple failures to follow citation requirements.
  • A 'D' falls short of the intent of the assignment in multiple areas and signifies a student who regularly misses class discussions, is otherwise unprepared on multiple occasions, or whose written work fails to meet the minimum expectations of graduate students.
  • A 'F' indicates failure to meet minimum requirements, demonstration of consistently poor work, or demonstrated inability to improve performance, cheating, or plagiarism.

 Academic Honesty

Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.


Academic dishonesty includes committing or the attempt to commit cheating, plagiarism, falsifying academic records, and other acts intentionally designed to provide unfair advantage to the students.

  • Cheating includes, but is not limited to, intentionally giving or receiving unauthorized aid or notes on examinations, papers, laboratory reports, exercises, projects, or class assignments which are intended to be individually completed. Cheating also includes the unauthorized copying of tests or any other deceit or fraud related to the student's academic conduct.
  • Plagiarism involves the use of quotation without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignments (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing.
  • Falsifying academic records includes, but is not limited to, altering grades or other academic records.
  • Other acts that constitute academic dishonesty include:

o    Stealing, manipulating, or interfering with an academic work of another student or faculty member.

o    Collusion with other students on work to be completed by one student.

o    Lying to or deceiving a faculty member.


In the event of alleged academic dishonesty, an Academic Dishonesty Incident Report will be submitted to an Online Academic Director who will then investigate the charge. Students who engage in academic dishonesty are subject to a range of disciplinary actions, from a failing grade on the assignment or activity in question to expulsion from Park University. Park University's academic honesty policy and related procedures can be found in full in the Park University Undergraduate and Graduate Catalogs. For graduate students, you can find this policy on pages 23-25 of the Park University Graduate Catalog.

NOTE: As your instructor, I refuse to grade plagiarized materials.

Late Submission of Course Materials:

Late Work: My policies for late work are included in Course Policies (above). Without prior arrangements, late work receives no credit.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
Course-Specific Policies

Back up every piece of work you complete. Some students have found it useful to write their responses to discussion questions in a word processing program (such as Word), save the file, and then copy and paste their response into the window provided for discussion responses. This will ensure that a computer glitch, or a glitch somewhere in cyberspace, won't erase your hard work. Always back up your work!

When transmitting files in this course, files must be named by using the following convention: LastName PA 508 AssignmentName. As an example, if your last name is Smith and the assignment is an essay on plagiarism, your file should be named "Smith PA 508 Plagiarism". In this manner, I can keep track of the files you send me. In this course, all files transmitted to me MUST be saved in one of two acceptable file formats:

  • Microsoft Word (.doc); or
  • Rich Text Format (.rtf)

If you use a word processor other than Microsoft Word (.doc), you can save your work in Rich Text Format (.rtf). As you save your file, you can select the type of document from a list at the bottom of the dialogue box. ALL word processing programs have an option for saving in Rich Text Format (.rtf). Saving your files in one of these three formats ensures that I can read your files!

Each week's work MUST be completed by the end of that week (Sunday at 12:00 midnight Central Time or Central Daylight Time, depending on the semester). In addition, there will be deadlines during the week that you are expected to achieve. No credit is awarded for work turned in after the end of the assigned week, unless you have contacted me beforehand and explained any extraordinary circumstances to my satisfaction and received my approval. Computer problems DO NOT qualify as extraordinary circumstances. Late work cheats your classmates out of learning from your perspective, so no credit will be given for late work, except as discussed above.

Students are responsible for clicking on the link below and thoroughly reading each Online course policy. If you have any questions about any of these policies, please contact me for clarification.

Academic Honesty:
As a learning community, the University upholds the highest standards of academic integrity in all its academic activities, by faculty, staff, administrators and students. Academic integrity involves much more than respecting intellectual property rights. It lies at the heart of learning, creativity, and the core values of the University. Those who learn, teach, write, publish, present, or exhibit creative works are advised to familiarize themselves with the requirements of academic integrity and make every effort to avoid possible offenses against it, knowingly or unknowingly. Park University 2011-2012 Graduate Catalog Page 21


Plagiarism is the appropriation of another person's ideas, interpretation, words (even a few), data, statements, illustration or creative work and their presentation as one's own. An offense against plagiarism constitutes a serious academic misconduct.  Although offenses against academic integrity can manifest themselves in various ways, the most common forms of offenses are plagiarism and cheating. Plagiarism goes beyond the copying of an entire article. It may include, but is not limited to: copying a section of an article or a chapter from a book, reproduction of an art work, illustration, cartoon, photograph and the like and passing them off as one's own. Copying from the Internet is no less serious an offense than copying from a book or printed article, even when the material is not copyrighted.

Plagiarism also includes borrowing ideas and phrases from, or paraphrasing, someone else's work, published or unpublished, without acknowledging and documenting the source. Acknowledging and documenting the source of an idea or phrase, at the point where it is utilized, is necessary even when the idea or phrase is taken from a speech or conversation with another person.

Park University 2011-2012 Graduate Catalog Page 21

Attendance Policy:

Students must participate in an academically related activity on a weekly basis in order to be marked present in an online class. Examples of academically-related activities include but are not limited to: contributing to an online discussion, completing a quiz or exam, completing an assignment, initiating contact with a faculty member to ask a courserelated question, or using any of the learning management system tools.Park University 2011-2012 Graduate Catalog Page 25

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .

PA508 Syllabus ver 02212011


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Last Updated:7/28/2011 9:37:51 PM