Question 1: Theory
Theories play a vitally important role in guiding research and organizing and making sense of research findings. In spite of the great importance of theory-building and theory testing within your field of specialization, there is no generally accepted conception of what a theory is. Because your dissertation must contribute to theory, you must have a clear understanding of the variety of conceptions of theory, types of theories, and ways of contributing to theory and be able to justify how, exactly, your study contributes to theory.
Using Gelso (2006), Harlow (2009), Wacker (1998), and five additional peer-reviewed articles from your specialization, discuss scholarly views on the nature and types of theory. Compare and contrast at least three views of what constitutes a theory, including the view you will use in Part 3 of this question. Be sure to distinguish theory from related concepts, such as hypothesis, paradigm, model, and concept.
Using Ellis & Levy (2008), Harlow, E. (2009), and five additional peer-reviewed articles, review the scholarly literature on the relationship between theory and research and the ways research (quantitative and qualitative) can contribute to theory. Discuss at least three ways research can contribute to theory.
Pick a theory (in one of the views of what constitutes a theory that you identified in Part 1) of current interest directly related to the topic area of your dissertation. A theory is currently of interest if there are articles published on it in the past five years. Using at least 10 published, peer-reviewed research articles:
1. Explain how the theory adds or may add to our understanding of your field and/or research topic.
2. Discuss and analyze the literature on two areas of controversy or unanswered questions related to the theory.
The structure of your paper should be as follows:
Body (12-14) pages, no more or less; APA Style; use appropriate headings for organization of the paper)
References (APA Style)
In addition to the provided articles in Part 1 you would need to add five additional peer-reviewed articles from my specialization, the same applies to Part 2, however in Part 3 you should include at least 10 published, peer-reviewed research articles. For a total of 20 Scholarly peer-reviewed articles in addition to the five articles provided in Parts 1 and 2 for a total of 25 References written within the past 5 years.
Note that all articles should be from within the last past five years and all of them should be scholarly articles that are peer-reviewed, failing to use the requested resources might result in the rejection of the order. You could use additional resources after you have met the previous resources requirements.
Writing ScholarlyComprehensive Exam Papers
Business and Technology Management Faculty Mentor’s Important Message to You,my Student
The Comprehensive Examination in not like a standard Northcentral University course. The Comprehensive Examination is a test to determine if a student is ready to move on to the dissertation portion of their program. The syllabus and activity page identify the requirements for the exam. However, you will find provided some additional resources that may help you meet the requirements for the exam. It is strongly suggested that you critically read the materials that are placed in the Course Resources (particularly the Tips for Success, Writing Scholarly Comprehensive Exam Papers template, and the Getting Started on Your Comprehensive Examination).
Northcentral University staff members require students to compose theoretically sound and conceptually rich papers to address each Comprehensive Examination question. The materials placed in the course resources supplement the syllabus—DO NOT DISMISS THEM—they may help you meet the exam requirements as well as demonstrate the university’s expectations for a doctoral student preparing to move forward to the dissertation phase of the program.
The exam questions frequently have two, three, or four parts. This does not mean that you need to write two, three, or four papers for each question. In fact students must write one scholarly paper for each examination question that covers all the parts and demonstrates doctoral level writing to meet the Comprehensive Examination and specific question requirements. Seriously consider the following outline as you prepare to write your Comprehensive Examination. Introductory Title (This is not the question number or question title) (This title should relate directly to your paper) In one succinct paragraph (less than one-half page), introduce the topic and provide a general overviewtelling the reader what your paper is about. Example: (Introduction comments) this paper will address… Literature Review This is your critical analysis of scholarly peer-reviewed sourcesin your interest area and this section is where you establish your theoretical foundation by synthesizing theoretical frameworks from scholarly peer-reviewed studies followed by a critical analysis of each study. (See theoretical framework strategies in the Tips for Success) In essence this section should typically include 12-14 succinct synthesis of the theoretical frameworks and critical analysis of the peer-reviewed studies written in a doctoral level narrative form with smooth transition between studies. Each study should be synthesized in one succinct paragraph (about one-half page or less per study). DO NOT summarize or give a historical report. DO NOT use bullet points (and preferably no subheadings unless absolutely needed) in the literature review. The literature review in a doctoral level scholarly paper is where you should synthesize the study to provide the reader with a snapshot of the study. Your literature review should be six to seven pages in length for a 10-15 page Comprehensive Examination paper. Discussion/Findings The discussion section should be about the same length as your literature review. This is where you will discuss what you found out based upon your literature review. In other words, this section is where you should discuss what the findings mean from the studies that you synthesized and critically analyzed in your literature review. After a brief two or three sentence introduction to this section, if you have an examination question with multiple parts, use the key words and concepts from each part as a subheading section of the discussion section. Furthermore, if your exam question has required readings that need to be incorporated into your exam response, this is the section to address the readings and analysis requirement. For example: Sub-heading One (Create a title from the exam question part one) Discuss the findings from the required amount of studies in this subpart. As you are discussing what the findings mean in relation to theory, practical application, building a theoretical foundation for your study, or ethics (depending upon your exam question); correlate, contrast, and use the required readings, seminal work, experiences, other scholarly sources to frame your argument. Sub-heading Two (Create a title from the exam question part two) Discuss the findings from the required amount of studies in this subpart. As you are discussing what the findings mean in relation to theory, practical application, building a theoretical foundation for your study, or ethics (depending upon your exam question); correlate, contrast, and use the required readings, seminal work, experiences, other scholarly sources to frame your argument. Sub-heading Three (Create a title from the exam question part three) Discuss the findings from the required amount of studies in this subpart. As you are discussing what the findings mean in relation to theory, practical application, building a theoretical foundation for your study, or ethics (depending upon your exam question); correlate, contrast, and use the required readings, seminal work, experiences, other scholarly sources to frame your argument. End this section by narrowing the focus of your argument in order to give specific recommendations. Recommendations Building from the argument that you framed in your discussion, provide specific recommendations related to the exam question such as what can be done to address a specific gap in theory; how theory can relate to practice in organizations; etc. The recommendations section should be limited to a short paragraph in a 10-15 page paper. Conclusion Concluding your paper; remember to tie the conclusion back to your introduction. The conclusion section should be limited to a short paragraph in a 10-15 page paper. Do not forget to conduct a quality assurance check to make certain that you met all the requirements of the Comprehensive Examination for each of your four papers. References Follow APA (6th edition) chapter 7 and remember to use the DOI or URL instructions described in APA section 7.01.DO NOTdepend on electronic referencing software or database citations if you wish to pass your Comprehensive Examinations. See the Tips for Success warning on electronic sources. Doctoral students at the Comprehensive Examination level must be able to correctly demonstrate APA. This is too important to read lightly: Doctoral students at the Comprehensive Examination level must be able to correctly demonstrate APA. It would be a sad to fail the Comprehensive Examination for not reading pages 198 and 199 in your APA manual and correctly following the examples.
End of Writing Scholarly Comprehensive Examination Papers suggested Template
Turning off MS Word Defaults
The following graphic provides a job aid to turn off your defaults that frequently conflict with APA formatting.
Comprehensive Examination Mentoring
Remember that this is a test. As your mentor, I want you to submit papers that warrant a passing grade. However, I cannot review papers or sections of papers until I evaluate and grade your examination. I will however, address your questions during the first couple weeks of your Comprehensive Examination.
Getting Started on Your Comprehensive Examination
Welcome to the Comprehensive Examination portion of your program. Please critically analyze this document and save it to review before submitting your papers. I strongly suggest that you read this document and the referenced resources several times over the next few weeks to help stay on track.
As you are getting started it is very important that you understand that the Comprehensive Examination is not like your standard course. The Comprehensive Examination questions are a comprehensive assessment of your knowledge and skills related to your specific discipline and demonstrate whether you are ready to move forward to the dissertation phase of your program.
That being said, it is vital that you download ALL the Course Resources and read them. Spend some time on the Tips for Success and critically analyze the sections on peer-reviewed sources, doctoral level writing, and the APA warning.
It is also very important that you critically analyze ALL the Comprehensive Examination requirements on your Activity Page. The Activity Page includes (this is a partial sample of the requirements):
- The four Comprehensive Examination questions—address the entire question.
- Submission directions—follow them.
- Demonstrate a passing score per the Comprehensive Examination Grading Rubric.
- Do not write summary report papers—see the Tips for Success document that discusses expectations for doctoral level writing versus summary report writing.
- Use only scholarly peer reviewed research (studies)—see the Tips for Success document that describes how to ensure that you are using peer reviewed sources. Do not risk your Comprehensive Examination by using professional journals that may have slipped through a database—it is the Learner’s responsibility to ensure that ALL sources are peer reviewed.
- Follow APA formatting. References that state something like Retrieved from EbscoHost are not following APA and will negatively impact your grade. See section 7.01 in your APA Manual. Look at the Grading Rubric and how incorrect APA may impact your Comprehensive Examination score.
- Review the minimum and maximum page requirement. Poor APA formatting with extra white space (extra paragraph spacing, widow/orphan control default on), margins larger than one-inch or font other than Times New Roman 12pt may result in a paper not meeting the Comprehensive Examination minimum requirements.
- Read all of this email and re-read it when making your quality assurance check prior to submitting your work.
If you have questions or need clarification before starting on your questions, please ask.
Pay particular attention to the deadlines in the directions under your Course Activity – Written Examination Format.
The Northcentral University Comprehensive Examination requirements are firm.
Following the Northcentral University Grading Rubric for the Comprehensive Examination, I will be particularly looking for the following in evaluating your papers:
- That the minimum Comprehensive Examination requirements were met.
- That the papers clearly address the questions.
- That the papers exhibit a theoretically sound and conceptually rich essay that demonstrates knowledge of the fundamental subject areas identified in the four exam questions.
- Critical analysis and synthesis of scholarly (peer-reviewed) sources (studies) to frame your arguments.
- Use of scholarly (peer-reviewed) sources to support any assertions.
- Clear divisions between your writing voice and the literary sources.
- Proper English grammar and punctuation.
- Clean formatting and following the style detailed in the APA Publication Manual 6th
Purpose of the Comprehensive Examination:
- The Comprehensive Exam questions are a comprehensive assessment of a student’s knowledge and skills related to one’s specific discipline and shows that the student is ready to move forward to the dissertation phase of their learning. In your activity outcomes, Northcentral University identifies the purpose of the Comprehensive Examination:
- Compose a theoretically sound and conceptually rich essay that demonstrates knowledge of the fundamental subject areas of the student’s academic discipline and specialization.
- Critique existing research and design a methodologically sound approach to research in the student’s academic specialization(s).
- Apply relevant theory and research from the student’s specialization coursework to real life situations to solve specific problems and discuss implications.
- Integrate knowledge of ethical practices with principles of professional practice as they apply to specific scenarios within the student’s academic discipline and specialization.
Examination Submission Details: Northcentral University requires that you write 4-separate papers and submit them in one document in the following format:
- Northcentral University Cover Sheet
- Paper 1 title page with Question 1 (See syllabus/Activity Page for details)
- Paper 1 (I suggest the typical scholarly paper format: Introduction, Literature Review, Discussion, Recommendations, and Conclusion)
- Paper 1 reference list.
- Paper 2 title page with Question 2
- Paper 2 (I suggest the typical scholarly paper format: Introduction, Literature Review, Discussion, Recommendations, and Conclusion)
- Paper 2 reference list.
- Paper 3 title page with Question 3
- Paper 3 (I suggest the typical scholarly paper format: Introduction, Literature Review, Discussion, Recommendations, and Conclusion)
- Paper 3 reference list.
- Paper 4 title page with Question 4
- Paper 4 (I suggest the typical scholarly paper format: Introduction, Literature Review, Discussion, Recommendations, and Conclusion)
- Paper 4 reference list.
- The coversheet should not be numbered and starting with the first title page as page 1, you may number all the pages in sequence or you may start with page 1 for the introduction on each paper. You do not need an abstract and should pay particular attention to the requirements. The Course Resources are there to help you and ignoring the resources may result in overlooking a critical requirement.
One final note: There are several requirements for the Comprehensive Examination in the syllabus (and your Activity Page) that are mandatory such as page length, peer reviewed sources, formatting, etc. I strongly suggest that you create a check list for all the requirements and the grading rubric so that you ensure that you are meeting the requirements of the exam. It is all too easy to get started on writing the papers and miss university requirements that must be met for a passing grade.
Again, I compliment you on your decision to pursue this endeavor and I am looking forward to reading/evaluating your papers.
After reading the requirements and resources, if necessary, ask questions. We can schedule a phone conversation if you wish.
Northcentral University Business and Technology Management Faculty Mentors
Additional errors to avoid:
- As you read the Tips for Success document answer the following self-check questions:
- What method can you use to ensure that you are using scholarly peer reviewed studies?
- What are the differences between summary report writing and doctoral level writing?
- What are students/writers asking the reader when citing a study’s findings without providing a succinct snapshot of the study’s theoretical framework?
- Are you using data-bases or electronic citation tools only to test the hypothesis garbage-in-garbage-out? Ask yourself if you know your APA well enough to identify when there are errors in the formatting or would you rather use the APA Manual section 7.01 to verify that you are correct?
- What does the APA Manual require in a reference when there is not a doi number available?
|Comprehensive Examination Grading Rubric (for each individual paper)|
|Grading Area||Outstanding||Acceptable||Needs Improvement||Score|
|Focus & Topic Development
The student’s response includes a thorough discussion of the topic.
The student displays a deep understanding of the theory and content for the topic.
Responses remain focused on the basic theme or topic.
The student’s response addresses the topic and includes theoretical and conceptual content.
Additional detail is needed to sufficiently address the topic.
Some tangential information may be included.
The response lacks focus and detail in terms of theoretical and conceptual principles that are essential to this topic.
Responses may be largely tangential and lack focus on the assigned topic.
|See the Tips for Success on Doctoral Level Writing in the Course Resources|
|Analysis & Critical Thinking
The response exhibits analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of the literature covered.
The student establishes and supports a position on the topic and presents her/his own point of view in the response.
The response includes some analytic, integrative, and evaluative writing but would be strengthened by more extensive critical thinking and support for the student’s position on the topic.
The response shows insufficient evidence of analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of content that is presented in support of the student’s position for this topic.
|See the Tips for Success on Graduate Writing in the Course Resources|
|Organization, Coherence, Logic, & Flow
The response is clear.
It articulates a cohesive discussion of theory and related practice.
It is organized using a logical progression that is easily followed from beginning to end by the reader.
The response is clearly structured, for the most part, and presented following a logical progression of ideas but some sections are unclear or difficult to follow.
The response lacks clarity and is difficult to follow.
|See the Writing Scholarly Papers template in the Course Resources|
The student uses an appropriate professional tone and vocabulary for the audience.
The student uses a professional writing style but may be somewhat informal in tone at times.
The student uses unprofessional, casual, or inappropriate tone or vocabulary.
|Follow English writing style conventions and visit the Writing Center as needed|
The response is properly formatted throughout in APA writing style.
Any APA formatting errors are minimal and uncommon.
The response includes numerous APA formatting errors.
|Use your APA Manual. Do not rely on database references|
|Word Choice & Sentence Structure
The student used supporting phrases and proper word choice and sentence structure.
The response is well written but includes some errors in wording and sentence structure.
The response lacks supporting phrases, is poorly worded, and uses poor sentence structure.
|Follow English writing style conventions and visit the Writing Center as needed|
|Grammar, Usage, & Punctuation
There are minimal, if any grammatical, usage, or punctuation errors.
There are some grammatical, usage, and punctuation errors.
There are numerous grammatical, usage, or punctuation errors.
|Follow English writing style conventions and visit the Writing Center as needed|
|Score (25 points possible—requires 20 points for a passing score)|