The primary characteristic of a client-based project is that the researcher is using his/her research skills to analyze an organizational problem or policy concern to produce a product for a client. A client-based product may include research to provide information for decision-making or it may be the development of a program, policy, or method. Projects should have demonstrable relevance to the public or not-for-profit sectors, and should be of practical use to the client organization. All projects should include an appendix which tells how the project has included knowledge and learning from at least three CJ/MPA courses. This appendix should not exceed 5 pages in length. Client-based projects should not exceed 25 pages in length.
Projects require methodological rigor, and, for our purposes, should include the following elements:
1. An Introduction, which describes the issue(s) to be studied;
2. A Literature Review, which summarizes the relevant literature dealing with the topic. Good literature reviews are analytical, and conclude by showing what the particular research you are conducting will do to add to the body of knowledge which the literature discusses. Said differently, a literature review concludes by showing what gap in the literature your research will fill; it answers the questions, ?what is known in the field?? and ?what does my research add to the body of knowledge??
3. A Methodology Section, which details how you will conduct your research: what methodological design will you use, what kind of data will you gather, how you will gather them, and what analytical techniques will be employed. This section should clearly spell out the research question (or hypotheses) telling what it is, in specific terms, that your research is designed to accomplish.
4. A Discussion of Findings then analyzes the results your data have produced, and explains what they mean (i.e. why they are significant, or why they are worth paying attention to) and suggests implications.
5. The Conclusion draws everything together in a summary form, highlighting the significant findings of your research, underscoring for the reader what you have discovered and why it is important.
6. A Bibliography, complete and accurate, lists all references cited in the work.
7. An addendum, or some other statement, should be included, which outlines what knowledge and skills, from at least 3 CJ/MPA courses, had an impact on your research project.
8. An oral presentation, which summarizes the entire project and its findings, will conclude the research process. We will schedule these presentations in class. Other students, interested faculty, co-workers, agency affiliates, family and friends are welcome to join us for these oral presentations, which last 30 minutes each.
In preparing your Project, you should:
? Identify a specific client, with a discussion of the client?s needs
? Review progress, research drafts and other progress with the client,
? Include a representative of the client organization as a reader or reviewer and evaluator of the research, incorporating appropriate client feedback into the project, and
? Invite client attendance at the oral presentation