General Content and Research Requirements
All students at the graduate level are expected to be capable of writing professional,
publishable reports. Initially, some students may require the expenditure of more time and
effort than others. But once the first research report has been completed, each succeeding
report becomes easier. The aim of this exercise is to sharpen scholarly research skills, as well as
to enhance individual perception of the depth, complexity, and dilemmas of modern public and
Precise requirements will depend upon the class size, as well as the level of academic
progression and requirements of students in a particular course section. Students must select
a topic from the list below. These topics are relevant to the field of public or nonprofit
organizations. All choices must be determined during the first week of the term. The
proposal will be due during the term at a time designated in the schedule. This project will be
worth 100 points and should be of appropriate length to effectively cover the subject
assigned. Students must also report their research proposals orally via a narrated
You MUST choose your proposal topic from the list below.
Public Administration Topics:
1. How does law enforcement in urban areas determine societies’ view or opinion on race
and ethnic issues?
2. Does the creation of cities lead to fragmentation and more conflict at the local
3. Has the Citizens United ruling allowing corporations unlimited giving to campaigns
created greater or less democracy?
4. Will the concept of a universal basic income of $1,000 per month to Americans be more
beneficial than the wages given through the social service system.
5. Will voting and our electoral process no longer be safe because of cybersecurity issues?
6. How does one balance stricter gun control laws against citizens’ rights to carry guns?
7. Are regulatory laws to limit greenhouse gas emissions and climate change antibusiness?
8. Is the displacement that occurs during gentrification in urban areas inevitable?
9. How do the health concerns of people from COVID-19 balance against the economic
concerns of keeping the economy healthy?
10. Should the freedom to express yourself on social media be filtered to prevent certain
types of information such as false information?
Nonprofit Organization Topics:
1. What are the effects of financial and non-financial incentives on staff productivity?
2. What is the effect of board term limits on the sustainability of nonprofit organizations?
3. How does one of the following represent a challenge to nonprofit organizational success
– board relations, managing staff, fundraising, or program development.
4. What effect does innovative fundraising techniques, such as Donor Advised Funds,
giving circles, social media donations, or fostering relationships with investors have on
5. Do age, gender, race, and religion affect the donations people give and where?
The finished proposal should consist of not less than 20, nor more than 50 pages.
Proposals will be typed or prepared in MS Word, fully APA-compliant, and free of errors. Late
reports will be marked down by 10% of the possible points.
It is highly recommended that you submit Chapter 1 and the final Research Proposal paper to
Net Tutor for review prior to final submission. The instructor for this course reserves the option
to make this mandatory.
This project is expected to be a scholarly piece of research rooted in solid professional
sources. A polished final paper in the form of a research proposal that is readable and
insightful is expected from each student. The professor will assist students in developing this
Research Proposal Organization
The research proposal should fully explain the topic being researched, and address both
the theoretical orientation for discussing the general topic as well as the practical implications
of it. Papers should begin with a title page (see page that follow this discussion). Following the
title page, include a Table of Contents. Ensure that page numbers are provided for all major
headings and sub-headings used in the text, as well as for all tables and/or figures and
appendices and/or attachments. All papers should include a list of references.
A required table of contents is provided below. Remember that the point is to explain
the problem that led to the need for a research study, discuss the theoretical orientation basis
for researching the problem, and offer a proposal for a way of studying the problem aimed at
better understanding it. The student should be able to discuss the implications of expected
findings for public administrators. Alternate forms of organization for the research proposal
should be discussed with the instructor.
Style and Presentation Requirements
All papers must conform to the latest edition of the American Psychological Association
(APA) style manual. Copies may be obtained from our book vendor as well as other commercial
Other presentation requirements for the research project include:
1) All papers will be typed using a 12-point font (no more or less).
Research Proposal Assessment
A research report is a project that summarizes or demonstrates mastery of course work
for an academic term. It may comprehensively focus on a single topic, or it may include a broad
spectrum of related topics. The research report is the Southern Association of Colleges and
School (SACS)-driven research component of this and other courses in our graduate curriculum.
All research reports must be anchored in the professional literature or in currently evolving
professional/research activities. Research may be conducted employing one or more
components: libraries (professional books and journal articles), computer data bases, contacts
with experts/organizations, and where appropriate, personal experience/knowledge.
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