In a short paragraph, explain your main idea (such as cybersecurity, network errors, website accessibility, etc.) and why it is of interest to you.
Under the paragraph, provide a bulleted list of at least four focused, open-ended research questions that are related to this topic. Again, the unit Reading should provide some guidance.
- Write your initial post in your own words; do not quote or copy from sources.
- Do not copy the discussion question into your post.
- Write an original descriptive subject line for your initial post.
- Write with formal, professional language.
- Work to meet all posting guidelines and expectations.
IT513 ⚫ Unit 4 Reading Research and Evaluation This document contains important concepts you need to know this week. By this time, you should also have saved the Take-Away PDFs from Units 1, 2, and 3 so that you can continue practicing concepts therein. * * * * *
Finding a Topic / Writing the Research Question You will choose a technology topic this week that interests you and then perform some research. Next week, the ideas found in your research will lead writing a paper. “The research question” is necessary to guide you in honing your topic choice, guiding your research, and ultimately writing the paper. A research question typically seeks to accomplish one of the following:
● Provide solutions to known or hidden problems ● Suggest improvements ● Offer insight or alternative viewpoints about an issue of importance ● Inform the reader about a complex topic
The discussion this week is an excellent exercise in working through the process of writing and evaluating research questions. This in turn should help you focus the research you need to do for the assignment. An excellent first step is to start with some research to learn more about a technology topic, and as you read, ask yourself questions and look for ideas that need clarification, present the potential for new technologies, or in some other way need a resolution that you have not yet found. The image on the next page is an example of mapping an idea: This kind of note-taking is easy to scribble! Start by placing a general idea in the center of your paper and radiate outward with increasingly smaller subtopics until you find ones that are small enough – and interesting enough – to pursue. Narrow potential ideas by thinking of why and how questions. What or in what way may also be considered.
At this point, you should have enough information to write down several suitable ideas in question form. Each should be focused on a potential subtopic, with just one question asked (although the question may have several parts). This is what you will present for the initial post in this week’s discussion. Once you have several potential research questions, evaluate them by asking yourself some questions:
Q. Will you be able to find enough information to adequately answer your question? ● If not, it might be too narrow.
Q. Will the amount of information available be overwhelming? ● If so, your question might be too broad.
Q. Is it open-ended? ● If the result is a binary choice such as yes or no, it is not complex enough.
Q. Will the research likely lead to a solution, a unique viewpoint, or some other result that is new? ● You do not want to simply reiterate what has already been researched and written.
Q. Will this interesting to others? ● This is especially important if you are writing for publication.
Q. Will the topic be “doable” within the time and length framework you are given? Decide if you want to take one of these approaches:
● Quantitative – uses numeric values (statistics) to explain behaviors, attitudes, etc. ● Qualitative – seeks to identify reasons why, motivations and biases, etc.
The wording itself is as significant as the intent of the paper. “Should,” “important,” and other words can indicate an opinion. The paper you will write in Unit 5 is to be an informative research paper. This means that your opinion, speculation, or assumptions must not be included, as you will search for factual evidence. It also means that unless you can find statistics from which to develop trends, do not write questions that ask about the future. A good question is also complete. Do not assume that the reader has seen anything else except the question. Lastly, write out acronyms. It may be helpful to review some examples:
Bad question Problem Revision (Acceptable Question)
How are kids affected by gaming?
Too broad What resources are available to minors addicted to gaming in the United States, and in what ways are these resources effective or not effective?
What is the effect of global warming?
Too broad How is the fishing industry in the Pacific Ocean affected by global warming, and are there significant differences depending on location?
Close-ended (could be answered by a yes or no)
How is a cloud-based database secure, what issues with security can occur, and what mitigating processes could be put in place to maintain security?
How many kinds of blockchains are there?
Close-ended (could be answered by a simple number)
What are the three types of blockchains, how does each type work, and what major companies fit each profile?
Who are white-hat hackers?
Too simple (only asking for a definition)
What does a white-hat hacker do, what tools are often used, and how is the intent different from black-hat hackers?
How should companies police their Bring Your Own Device programs?
In what ways can companies police their Bring Your Own Device programs, and what are the legal ramifications, if any?
How will autonomous cars help the economy?
Future-based (no mention of fact-based trends)
What data has been or can be gathered that could predict economic effects of the use of autonomous vehicles, and how are experts interpreting this data?
Are self-checkouts effective? Why?
The first part is closed-ended and there are two questions, not one
How effective are self-checkouts in groceries and big box stores, and how is effectiveness measured?
Your initial post in the discussion must consist of at least four well-written research questions. Make sure you read all comments made to your initial post, as it will help you choose just one solid question for the assignment. In responses to others, suggest wording revisions; this will be an excellent opportunity to practice good question writing.
The Annotated Bibliography APA calls the list of sources at the end of a paper “References.” (MLA calls it “Works Cited.”) An annotated bibliography is the same concept, but with the addition of qualifying commentary listed after each entry. It is not a traditional paper. For your assignment this week, the annotations will consist of two parts:
● Summary: As learned previously, a summary is a short explanation of what was found at a source. Unlike a summary in a paper, however, a summary presented as part of a bibliographic annotation does not have in-text citation. It will be abundantly clear where the information was gathered.
● Evaluation: This is a paragraph that explains the value of the source content in relation to its intended use. Authorship, sponsorship, currency, and other parameters can be explained, and content relevant to your research question (topic) identified.
Check the Take-Away PDF from Unit 3 for the rules regarding the formatting of your annotated bibliography. A sample bibliography entry is below:
Janssen, D., & Griffith, A. (2018, April 4). Computer ethics: Mitigating problems with
long-standing employees. Strategic Technology Journal, 6(10), 37–42.
This article begins with an overview of the Association for Computing Machinery
(ACM) Code of Ethics. Ten different scenarios describing technology employee
misconduct are explored and connected to violations of this Code. For each of
these scenarios, the authors propose appropriate employer reactions, potential
sanctions for the offending employees, and suggestions for employee training
that may eliminate or prevent ethical abuses in the future.
The authors have written several articles relating to ethics, and the
journal is a respected publication. The writing is free from major errors and is
very well-organized. While the Code of Ethics was first written in 1992, its tenets
still have relevance to today’s workplace. Of special interest is that the scenarios
were not simply made up, but came from real-life situations, and there are
several for which more than one potential solution was suggested. One
shortcoming was the omission of problems that might occur from BYOD (Bring
Your Own Device) security, but overall, this is a good article for understanding
how to deal with ethics violations in the technology workplace.
Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles
Professional journals include articles that have been accepted for publication through some kind of process. A growing number use the peer-review process in order to ensure the validity of content and relevance to the publication. What this means is that submitted work is reviewed by professionals in the field, resulting in a request for certain changes before accepting the work for publication – or rejection. In “blind” reviews, neither the author(s) nor the reviewers know each other’s names to ensure no personal bias is involved. Due to these processes, peer-reviewed work should be an important component in serious research.
Peer-review should not be confused with edited work. Editors may make some small changes in the writing (grammar, spelling, etc.) but typically do not disturb the content of an article. Books and websites, even if they are edited or contain comments from others, are not peer-reviewed pieces.
Journals that contain peer-reviewed work might also contain opinion pieces, product reviews, and other articles that have not been vetted through peer-review. This can make it difficult to identify truly peer- reviewed work. The solution is to use the online library. First, go to your home page and find My Studies > Library.
● Input search terms in the search box and checkmark the box for peer review before clicking the Search button:
● When you get the result list, then make sure you see the Academic Journal icon for the two journal articles you need this week.
● Click on the title of one of the articles and follow links to the article. This process should be
familiar since you looked at journal articles in Unit 2.
Ebooks: Electronic and in-Depth You may have already accessed ebooks on a Kindle or other device to read something for pleasure. The Library also has ebooks on scholarly topics, and this week you will need to find one that matches your assignment topic.
● Go to the Library search page from your home page (not in the classroom) to start your search. ● Look for the Search menu on the left side. Click on Search E-Books:
● At the next page, choose Skillsoft Books or EBSCO. The rest of these instructions show how things work in Skillsoft.
● Use the search textbox towards the top of the page to look for ebooks that feature your topic. ● Once you find an ebook that is suitable, click on the title to enter the main page for the source.
This will likely show the table of contents and other information. ● Click the Launch button to access the ebook in a new window. ● Once you decide you like an ebook, look for the small Citation link at the bottom of the launched
page, and click on it.
● A pop-up will allow you to choose APA, and then copy the reference entry. There will be errors to fix (check the Citation-Referencing Take-Away from Unit 2), but this will be a good start.
Evaluation Criteria/Source Appropriateness The same criteria that you used previously for websites can be applied to other sources. Consider these factors as you write the evaluation part of each annotation:
● Authorship and sponsorship ● Organization ● Depth of content ● Writing style ● Currency ● Perceived intent (bias) ● Accuracy and References