Research Paper Instructions

INFA 670 – Information Assurance Capstone

  1. Summary of Research Paper Instructions
  • A Research Paper, worth 25% of your total grade, isdue end of Session 11.

Your paper should be between 12-15 pages, double-spaced, exclusive of cover, title page, table of contents, appendices and bibliography. Your paper must use APA formatting with the exception that tables and figures can be inserted at the appropriate location rather than added at the end. Submit the paper in your Assignment Folder prior to the submission deadline.

Read further instructions below under the section entitled “3. Detailed Research Paper Instructions”.

Important Note on Using Turnitin:-

You need to use the Turnitin plagiarism prevention system in completing the research paper to ensure your paper is your original work. Detailed instructions for using Turnitin can be found under Course Content> General Information moduleUsing Turnitin.

  1. Research Paper Topic Instructions
  • A Research Paper Topic, worth 0% (ZERO %) of your total grade, isdue end of Session 3

Prior to writing your paper, you must submit a short topic proposal not to exceed one (1) page in the form of a paper abstract.The purpose of feedback is to provide comments on the appropriateness of your proposed topic’s coverage, (both breadth and depth), as well as your research approach, sufficiently early in the course to allow for topic revision if necessary.Submission of your topic proposal is mandatory, even though it does not count toward your final grade in the course.

The topic proposal can be a short paragraph or a full page abstract stating what research question will be answered (or what problem will be solved) by the analysis your paper proposes to perform. In other words your topic proposal should define the focus of the paper by stating a question or describing a problem to be analyzed in the Information Assurance domain. It should also explain what types of resources and references will be used to perform the analysis to answer this question or solve the stated problem. Note that the references or sources found early may not be the same references you choose to use in the final paper. An adequate literature search will include at least five (5) reputable scholarly sources such as those available through the UMUC online library. It is anticipated that reputable Internet sources will also be helpful and appropriate.

  1. Detailed Research Paper Instructions

Your Research Paper needs to focus on one or more themes covered in this INFA 670 capstone course. Being a capstone course it gives you an opportunity to incorporate knowledge from other INFA courses which you have taken. It needs to be strongly emphasized thatyour paper must not be "recycled" from previous INFA courses, even if written by you. To do so is unacceptable and will result in a “zero grade” for the assignment.

The research paper should be focused on one or more specific topic areas covered in this course. You are required to research a specific issue in your chosen topic area concentrating on analyzing the issue and evaluating the available solutions to the issue. The paper needs to discuss the corresponding benefits and limitations of these solutions and then provide recommendations.

For example; Session 4 covers vulnerability analysis in five subheadings:

Vulnerability Analysis

  • Penetration Studies
  • Vulnerability Classification
  • Frameworks
  • Certification of Information Systems
  • Accreditation of Information Systems

Your research paper could focus on an issue that spans one or more of the above subheading topics. Your task would be to analyze your chosen specific issue in Vulnerability Analysis corresponding to your chosen subheading topics and then produce a research report on same.

The reference to Session 4 above is for example only. It does not mean you must base your research paper on the Session 4 subtopics, although one could choose to do so. Feel free to focus your research paper on other sessions (Sessions 1,2,3,5,7,8,9,10,11) which may cover issues and topics which are of more interest or perhaps more applicable to your present endeavors.

Alternatively you may find it appropriate to focus your research on an issue spanning two or more session topics. As a hypothetical example, you could conceivably analyze a commercial software tool (Session 10) targeted at performing software verification and validation (Session 9).

Your Research Paper must demonstrate graduate-level writing ability and comply with the format requirements of the Publications Manual of the American Psychological Association. Careful attention should be given to source citations, proper listing of references, and the presentation of tables and graphs. Be sure to carefully cite (using correct APA-Style in-line citations) all sources of information in your paper.

UMUC policies regarding plagiarism will apply to the Research Paper as well as all other deliverables in this course. Plagiarism is the intentional or unintentional presentation of another person's idea or product as one's own. Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to the following: copying verbatim all or part of another's written work; using phrases, charts, figures, illustrations, or mathematical or scientific solutions without citing the source; and paraphrasing ideas, conclusions, or research without citing the source. Students can avoid unintentional plagiarism by carefully adhering to accepted scholarly practices. Notes taken for papers and research projects should accurately record sources of material to be cited, quoted, paraphrased, or summarized, and papers should acknowledge these sources in footnotes. The penalties on plagiarism include a zero or a grade "F" on the work in question, a grade "F" in the course, suspension with a file letter, suspension with a transcript notation, or expulsion. Please refer to UMUC policies concerning action in cases of confirmed plagiarism.

A final note on source citations and the use of reference material in your research paper: It is expected that much of the information you put in your paper will relate to topics which are new to you. For this reason it is also expected that you will rely heavily at times on material found through references discovered in your research. It is essential that you give proper attribution to these sources of information. You should not quote extensively from your sources, but instead should express the ideas found in your own words, applying them to the specific points you are making in your paper. Short word-for-word excerpts are acceptable, but should always be placed in quotation marks to clearly indicate a verbatim use of source material.

Your instructor is extremely well-read in the subject areas addressed in this course, and it is generally quite apparent when a given section of content originates from a source rather than that of the author, so please be diligent about using source material appropriately. It is always better to err on the side of too much citation rather than too little.

Papers for this course must meet the following criteria:

  • Papers must be your original work.
  • Papers must not be "recycled" from previous courses, even if written by you.
  • The emphasis of papers must be analytical, i.e. the paper should pose a research question or problem, and attempt to answer the question or problem with an analysis of available sources and reference material, as well as your own perspective.
  • Research papers must NOT seek merely to summarize the relevant details of a topic, even if that topic is new to the writer. The value in this assignment is in reaching a sufficient understanding of a set of material to allow you to provide an informed opinion on some application of the material to a specific issue.

The Research Paper will be graded against the following criteria:

  • Clear statement of thesis to be analyzed and its relevance: 15%
  • Technical Content (depth and accuracy of information and analysis): 40%
  • Recommendation, answer, or conclusion supported by research and analysis: 15%
  • Clarity, Organization, grammar and spelling: 15%
  • APA Style: 15%

Please be sure to spell check and carefully proof read your paper prior to submitting it.

End Research Paper Instructions

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