Data and Gap Analysis and Outline
Part 1: Initiating Data Analysis
As you reach the completion of your research and develop the annotated bibliography, you may begin to see themes and patterns emerging from your selection of sources. Organization is of supreme importance in piecing together and writing a major research paper. A system providing easy access to logically categorized reference material in an outline sequence provides you with a very efficient tool for composing a research paper.
For this assignment, you will begin to:
- Organize resources and bibliographical items.
- Analyze the content of pertinent research and studies included in your bibliographies.
- Formulate the commonalities and interrelationships in your resources or data as they pertain to the focus of your research paper topics.
Follow the guidelines in your textbook for reviewing and analyzing your sources from the established literature in the research paper topic.
Take note of the research question of each study, the methods used to study the question, how data samples were collected, the results, and the conclusions. Engage in a critical analysis to determine whether the studies have validity and reliability.
While reading and rereading these sources, note the themes, patterns, or other classifications that may come to your mind for organizing the resources, articles, and other materials. Another strategy is to separate those articles that support one key set of results from those articles that refute similar results.
Develop a 1- to 2-page analysis of the validity and reliability of your sources and about the themes and patterns that are emerging from the collected data.
Part 2: Gaps and Contradictions
Unlike a jigsaw puzzle, a major research paper does not usually have all the pieces that you would desire to have for a complete picture or the thorough exposition and analysis of a thesis. A few pieces are often missing, some data and results are contradictory, and some obvious questions and issues remain unaddressed in the research literature.
While completing the research papers, it is important for you to observe what is missing or absent or what can be found in your research. This assignment offers you an opportunity to analyze the data, information, and resources you have collected so far for your research area.
Analyze where the data may be incomplete and pose a method or a strategy for reaching a strong support or a confident conclusion for your paper. For example, there may be gaps in the research, the research can be outdated, or there can be conflicting research results. An example of the latter might be the inclusion of an article that addresses sociological factors involved in police shootings when your thesis addresses solely psychological factors.
Examine the data, information, and resources obtained from the research paper and analyze the following:
- Explore the issues of gaps, contradictions, and limitations as they may have emerged while developing the research topic.
- Determine whether these gaps can be filled and how.
- Assess how these gaps or deficiencies impact the research topic and the conclusions that might be reached.
Develop this gap analysis into a 1- to 2-page document.
Part 3: Outline
An outline is an architect’s blueprint for authors of research papers. In an outline, two or more concepts or ideas are linked by words describing their relationship.
This assignment provides you with an opportunity to present through the use of an outline relationships existing within the information you have gathered so far pertaining to your research paper.
Use the outline to organize the raw data gleaned from your bibliographical research. The data should be organized to provide a template for writing the rough draft of your research paper. Your use of the outline should be aimed at achieving the following:
- Organizing ideas, data, and information in a logical format
- Making connections between ideas and determining the existing relationships between data
- Establishing delimited sections and subsections for different topics and categories in the paper
- Indicating the deductive or inferential connections between assertions and sections in research writing
- Facilitating the writing process
Note: Refer to your textbook, which provides an excellent exposition of outlines.
Combine your data analysis, gap analysis, and outline in a single Microsoft Word document.
All written assignments and responses should follow APA rules for attributing sources.