PROBLEM/RESEARCH QUESTION: Present a clear statement of the issue you will investigate. What is the specific research question that your study will address? What is the puzzle? A question that can help you find “problem” with your topic is “What is this an instance of?” This question intends to get you to the heart of the matter on a particular issue; something that is not always readily apparent. For assistance, you can visit the APUS library guide on how to develop a research question.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY: Delineate the significance of the problem, e.g., what knowledge will your research create, what gaps in our knowledge will it help fill, how the results may be applied to improve existing policy or procedures, etc. Why should we care? This is where you explain the “so what” of your work.
THESIS STATEMENT: This is a concise articulation of your argument. It will lay out a basic roadmap of your paper. What do you propose as the answer to the research question? It must be logically connected to the research question. Here is an interesting link that can help you with this- https://explorable.com/how-to-write-a-hypothesis
EVALUATION METHODS: In this section, you should discuss the methods or criteria that you intend to use to evaluate the case. As noted before, there are a number of ways to evaluate the cases. Consider the approaches mentioned in Meharg (2009), as well as the applicability to the national interest as discussed in Neuchterlein (2001). You can also use the criteria stated in Lesson 1:
- What is the objective of the operation? Is there an overriding policy imperative or is it a mission to gain access to the adversary’s information?
- What oversight or legal review occurred during the planning of the operation? Was this oversight useful?
- Who or which organization is accountable for the operation? What turf issues arose prior to, or during the operation?
- What resources were necessary to successfully carry out the operation? Were these resources available and were they placed in support of the operation?
- What is the cost/benefit analysis of this operation? Weigh the risks of the operation, especially if/when the operation is exposed publicly.
- In evaluating the operation, what objectives were achieved and what unintended consequences occurred?