PA508 Research and Analysis

for F2P 2012

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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


F2P 2012 GSD


Strom, SueAnn


Adjunct Professor


Ph.D. University of Missouri - Collumbia  1984

Office Hours

By Appointment Only

Daytime Phone

816.729.9671 (cell)


Class Days


Class Time

5:30 - 9:50 PM

Credit Hours



1.  Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches (3rd Edition) by John W. Creswell.

2.  Student Guide to Research in the Digital Age: How to Locate and Evaluate Information Sources (2006) by Leslie F. Stebbins.

3.  Using Sources Effectively: Strengthening Your Writing and Avoiding Plagiarism (2nd Edition) by Robert A. Harris.

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:
Chicago Manual of Style 16th Ed. Online-Author/Date Style

Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) - Chicago Manual Style

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.
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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.

Educational Philosophy:

PA 508, a writing intensive course, requires each student to think about research as both a creator and consumer of research. Students will be expected to translate thought processes into written text that clearly communicates a theoretical underpinning for the opinions expressed. During our academic or work experiences, we are expected to generate, interpret, and evaluate data to determine if our opinions are based upon some underlying facts. In PA 508 we will explore the various meanings of fact, data, and research. We will focus more upon qualitative research rather than quantitative research, which is studied in other courses. Our goal is to discover an approach, which allows us to think about public affairs issues that will help answer difficult questions about the actual research process: what will be researched, how topics will be researched, and what sources would be used to conduct research?


All of us come to this course with different experiences and different perspectives. I encourage each of you to share your experiences and perspectives with your fellow learners. Of course, we must all be respectful of each other. We will offer comments when appropriate, and listen carefully to avoid miscommunication. When necessary, we will attempt to clarify comments and concepts to ensure understanding by our colleagues.


PA 508 will blend theory and practice, a key goal of the Hauptmann School for Public Affairs.  My job as the instructor is to guide you as you explore these challenging issues, and lead you to resources that illustrate the concepts we are exploring. In return, you will pursue intellectual inquiry and develop a critical and analytical approach to understanding the concepts discussed in PA 508 and to discover your unique perspective on these concepts.


During each of the eight weeks of PA 508 we will review different aspects of qualitative research.  Further we will practice scholarly writing, seeking to minimize errors and become more effective in communicating ideas to others. Our discussions will help explore the readings, assignments will assist in identifying key principles, and ongoing participation will help all of us conclude Fall 2 2012 as wiser and more knowledgeable practitioners of public affairs.


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:

Final Project

Class Assessment:

There are four major assessment categories in this course. The total points possible during the term is 495 points. These points are allocated as follows:


                Final Project -- A Research Proposal. 150 points = 30% of grade. The project will be assigned during Week 1 and will be turned in at the end of the term.

                Mid-Term Take Home Exam -- 100 points = 20% of grade. The exam will be assigned during Week 4

  • Essays/Article Reviews-- 125 points (5 assigned x 25 pts. each) = 26% of grade.
  • Class Activities/Discussions --120 points (8 weeks x 15 points/week) = 24% of grade.

Each of the categories will be discussed in more detail in Week 1 class.  In addition, please consult applicable grading guidelines, including rubrics.  Should questions arise as you approach the projects and assignments, contact me via email or bring up questions during our weekly class meetings.



The grading scale is as follows:?? 

A          90% or above (90 – 100 points)?   

B          80% to 89% (80 – 89 points)?   

C          70% to 79% (70 – 79 points)?   

D          60% to 69% (60 – 69 points)?   

F          59% and below (0 – 59 points)

Class activities/discussions are graded on demonstrated preparation for activities/discussions, including relevance of discussions with course materials previously introduced, clearly-communicated concepts derived from non-assigned reading materials (with suitable reference/citation), presentation of substantive comments that are constructive in nature, and creation of logical and well-crafted positions. Written work (final project, midterm, 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 correct usage of citations.

                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 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.


File Formats?

Submissions should be in .doc/docx files. To ensure submissions open, when using Microsoft Word 2007 or above, try to remember to save as Microsoft Office Word 97 - 2003 Document (.doc/docx). If you do not have Microsoft Word and are incapable of submitting in this format in your word processor please save the file as an .rtf (rich text format) and submit.


Classroom Rules of Conduct:

Late Submission of Course Materials:

Non-penalized (excused) extensions/make-up work will only be given based upon documented approved extenuating circumstances.  Unexcused late submissions will result in an assignment grade of zero (0%).


Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:
Available 1st day of class (Thursday, October 25, 2012)

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 2012-2013 Graduate Catalog Page 21-22


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 course related question, or using any of the learning management system tools. Park University 2012-2013 Graduate Catalog Page 26

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: .

Additional Information:



With the commitment to improve the effectiveness of the University,
students will periodically be asked to participate in class activities that
will provide feedback regarding class content and structure and information
necessary from a student perspective. This is a key part of our on-going
institutional evaluation process with the goal of educational betterment at
Park University.


Syllabus Revisions

The professor reserves the right to revise this syllabus as needed
throughout the semester.



This material is protected by copyright and can not be reused without
author permission.

Last Updated:09/30/2:11 pm




This material is protected by copyright
                               and can not be reused without author permission.

Last Updated:10/25/2012 9:18:17 AM