What approaches could improve disaster and emergency preparedness planning processes and procedures in a system – based framework?
What approaches could improve disaster and emergency preparedness planning processes and procedures in a system – based framework? An answer to that question – and a discussion of how to make the change – would make an interesting topic for a research paper.
The paper should also have a one page executive summary.
At a basic level, the research process involves:
1. A statement of the problem or issue you intend to study
2. Questions about the problem or issue you want to answer
3. A review of what is known about the topic
4. The argument you intend to make (the claims, hypotheses, solutions)
5. Collecting and organizing data that relate to the issue you are studying
6. The analysis of the data
7. Presenting your findings.
Often there will be a variety of information about the issue, but it may be contradictory, incomplete, or confusing. Your job is to collect, distill, and craft that information into a compelling narrative or analysis about what should be done and why.
There is no single template to use to write a research paper. Ideally, it should be rigorous, creative, and persuasive. In thinking about the topic you will present, it is useful to consider several questions. The questions do not need to be answered in your paper, but they can help you think through the feasibility of what you might suggest.
1. Who are the principal stakeholders involved in the situation? What do they want? How do they perceive the issue?
2. What decisions need to be made to get your ideas adopted and implemented? What are the constraints?
3. What are the most likely unintended consequences of what you propose? Who will win and who will lose if your idea is adopted?
4. What are the advantages and disadvantages of what you propose?
5. What questions will your proposal raise?
There are several common problems people encounter in preparing – and briefing – a research paper:
1. Focusing on operations rather than strategy.
2. Losing the attention of the audience: If you “talk down” to your audience (either in writing or in person), go over their heads technically, or use more words than you need to make a point, your paper – and presentation – will likely be disregarded. Know your intended reader(s). For the purposes of this class, write – the research paper and the Selected Topics assignments — for the intelligent non-specialist.
3. Being too general: Another error is to make recommendations and other statements that are far too general. The more specific your recommendations, the easier it is for an audience to see advantages and disadvantages.
4. Overkill: A fourth problem is to lose sight of what you are trying to accomplish. This can result in superfluous sentences or paragraphs. All information included in the paper should contribute to the points you are trying to make. I encourage you to select a real client for this assignment. That may mean you will want to use more technical language than may be appropriate for the intelligent non-specialist reader; or your format may have to be a little different than what we are looking for. Let us know if you need to modify the research paper assignment for a work related audience.
5. Proof by assertion: A fifth error is to make statements not supported by facts. Unsupported assertions are often the way personal biases slip into the analysis. Recall one of the core questions of this program: “What is your claim, and why should I believe you?”
6. Ignoring alternatives and downsides: Two other errors are to ignore commenting on alternative approaches to the issue you are addressing and to assume that your preferred approach has no negative consequences