Klux Klan versus Black Panthers

Klux Klan versus Black Panthers: Research Question(s), Purpose Statement, and Literature Review

You are required, to send a message (in the course messaging system) to me stating your two selected extremist groups, so I can approve of them and, if necessary, make suggestions to assist you. These extremist groups will be the subjects of your research paper. This choice is due by the end of Week 1. The longer you take to decide which extremist groups to use, the more difficult it makes the completion of the assignment. Once I approve of your group selections you may begin your definitive research and draft writing for the assignment. This assignment is due at the end of Week 2. Once you have completed the assignment, it is to be uploaded as a .doc or .docx attachment to this assignment area.


Stage One:

Select two extremist groups that will form the basis of your comparative case study. Any two groups of your choice will work. Submit your choices to your instructor in a course message for approval by the end of Week 1. Note: These first 3 stages are also included in the Research Paper instructions with more detail as to what ethnography and a case study involves. You may refer to that document in the Assignments section for details. Completion of the research study question(s), purpose statement, and literature review are paramount for you having success on the final research paper.

Stage Two:

Begin gathering resources for your study. There are six types of data collected in case studies:

  1. Documents.
  2. Archival records.
  3. Interviews.
  4. Direct observation.
  5. Participant observation.
  6. Artifacts.

You may or may not have the opportunity for interviews, direct observation, or participant observation. If you do then that is terrific. You will have the opportunity to forensically research documents, archival records, and artifacts through the online library and open source of the Internet. Further down in these assignment instructions I have included for your benefit some description of various types of sources used in research. The key for success will be in your ensuring the validity of the sources you use. The world is literally at your fingertips.

Stage Three:

Complete the research study question(s), purpose statement, and literature review by the due date in the Syllabus, which is the end of Week 2. Completion of these areas helps to firmly set the parameters of your study and will greatly assist you in its final composition. You are being asked to compare, contrast, and evaluate the past and present attempts to counter the extremism practiced by two different extremist groups. In order to do that, you must learn and understand the organizational culture and composition of the selected groups. Ask yourself, what would I like to know about them? How are they alike? How are they different? Why? What makes them who they are? Hint: do some Internet exploration on qualitative research.

Final Stage (Assignment Components):

Prepare this assignment for submission to include at a minimum the following components:

1) Title Page of the Paper: The title of your paper should be brief but should adequately inform the reader of your general topic and the specific focus of your research. Keywords relating to parameters, population, and other specifics are useful. ALWAYS use a Title Page for graduate work! Your title page will include the title, name, course name and number, and Professor’s Name.

2) Purpose Statement: The purpose statement orients the reader to the central intent of the study and from it all other aspects of the research project follow. While there are a number of differing formats for purpose statements, in general the statement should present the central controlling idea in the study, focus on the central issue or “puzzle” under study. The purpose statement should be a concise paragraph that describes the intent of the study, specifically addresses the reason for conducting the study, and reflects the research questions. Begin the purpose statement with a succinct sentence that indicates the study method and overarching goal. “The purpose of this [quantitative, qualitative] study is to… (describe the study goal that directly reflects and encompasses the research questions). Follow with a brief, but clear overview of how, with what instruments/data, with whom and where (as applicable). This information will be presented in greater detail under the Research Method heading within your final research paper.

3) Research Question(s): Present here the specific research question(s) which will be addressed in the study.

Crafting a Research Question

The Research Question serves two purposes: (1) it determines where and what kind of research the writer will be looking for and (2) it identifies the specific objectives the study or paper will address. Therefore, the writer must first identify the type of study — Qualitative, Quantitative, or Mixed — before the Research Question is crafted. For our purposes in this course we will be using Qualitative Study Research Questions. I felt as a learning opportunity and for context I would also expose you to what comprises the basis for Quantitative and Mixed Method Study Research Questions:

Qualitative Study: A Qualitative study seeks to learn why or how, so the writer’s research must be directed at determining the why and how of the research topic. Therefore, when crafting a Research Question for a Qualitative study, the writer will need to ask a why or how question about the topic. For example: How did the Ku Klux Klan develop its organizational handbook the Kloren and why is it important to the functioning of the group? The sources needed for qualitative research typically include print and Internet texts (written words), audio and visual media, or more direct involved methods such as the participant observer or interview approaches.

Quantitative Study: A Quantitative study seeks to learn what, where, or when, so the writer’s research must be directed at determining the what, where, or when of the research topic. Therefore, when crafting a Research Question for a Quantitative study, the writer will need to ask a what, where, or when question about the topic. For example: Where should the company market its new product? Unlike a Qualitative study, a Quantitative study is mathematical analysis of the research topic, so the writer’s research will consist of numbers and statistics.

Quantitative Studies also fall into two categories: (a) Correlational Studies and (b) Experimental Studies:

A Quantitative-Correlational study is non-experimental, requiring the writer to research relationships without manipulating or randomly selecting the subjects of the research. The Research Question for a Quantitative-Correlational study may look like this: What is the relationship between long distance commuters and eating disorders?

A Quantitative-Experimental study is experimental in that it requires the writer to manipulate and randomly select the subjects of the research. The Research Question for a Quantitative-Experimental study may look like this: Does the consumption of fast food lead to eating disorders?

Mixed Studies: A Mixed Method study integrates both Qualitative and Quantitative studies, so the writer’s research must be directed at determining the why or how and the what, where, or when of the research topic. Therefore, the writer will need to craft a Research Question for each study required for the assignment. Note: A typical mixed method study may be expected to have between 1 to 6 Research Questions.

Once the writer has determined the type of study to be used and the specific objectives the paper will address, the writer must also consider whether the Research Question passes the ‘so what’ test. The ‘so what’ test means the writer must construct evidence to convince the audience why the research is expected to add new or useful knowledge to the literature. In short, is the Research Question worth asking? Also, the Research Question must also be interesting to grab the audience’s attention. The writer who personally finds an interesting Research Question will serve two purposes: getting the attention of the targeted audience and more consistently communicating that interest throughout the research project.

4) Literature Review: In the literature review, you will need to analyze critically a segment of a published body of knowledge through summary, classification, and comparison of prior research studies, reviews of literature, and theoretical articles. Your literature review must contain a minimum of 6 reference sources with at least 2 of them being peer-reviewed journals. Honestly, for a substantive research paper I would expect more research sources than just 6, however, it is a start.

The format of a review of literature may vary from discipline to discipline and from assignment to assignment. A review may be a self-contained unit — an end in itself — or a preface to and rationale for engaging in primary research. A review is a required part of grant and research proposals and often a chapter in theses and dissertations.


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