Research Methodology  

We are entering New Orleans, LA in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in late August of 2005. The storm has come and gone, the levies have broken, and there are floods throughout the city. Many people have evacuated to sites designated by the city’s leadership and are now experiencing the effects of horrendous heat and limited supplies. Police officers, reportedly concerned about the welfare of their families, have abandoned posts throughout the city.
National Guard personnel are inundating the community from all 54 states, and territories creating a force protection requirement of unprecedented proportions. The political leadership of New Orleans and Louisiana are seemingly at odds with federal leaders and agencies. Stocks of supplies that were supposed to be in warehouses have been pilfered and are nonexistent. Thousands of people are on rooftops, porches, portions of highways, and elsewhere awaiting rescue from anybody who will come. Thousands of small watercraft for the city and neighboring states are attempting to make rescues, taking risks and congesting limited routes. Hundreds of hungry, frightened dogs abandoned by fleeing victims are tied to porches or loose. Mosquitoes potentially carrying diseases and pathogens are feared to be multiplying as the waters linger. Gas lines burst and dry portions of the city are ablaze. Looting grows more common and violent. Survivors seem shocked, dazed, and deeply saddened; many have lost everything, including loved ones.
You will use a mixed methods approach to studying one slice of the Hurricane Katrina aftermath.
  • Select your field of study: criminal justice, emergency management, or homeland security.
  • Choose the issue that you would like to approach, whether directly from the scenario or as implied by the conditions listed.
  • Determine what research method designs you will employ to tackle your problem.
    • You will outline a mixed methods approach, but consider what forms of both quantitative and qualitative you can use to approach your problem.
    • Remember that you will want to understand the problem fully; collect fresh data and/or consider existing data; interpret findings; and make recommendations to be integrated into policies, programs, or other initiatives as you would advise.
  • In 1,000–1,250 words, draft an outline for your selected research methods and instruments, and present it with at least the following elements:
    • Problem Statement: Describe the problem fully, using real-world, factual information from credible sources. This portion should be at least 200–300 words and properly referenced using APA format.
      • What are the merits of examining this problem? Explain.
      • How important is this problem to undertake? Why?
      • What is the scope of this problem? Explain.
      • What value or applications might the findings or results have, and how can they be used? Explain.
    • Provide at least 2 research questions.
      • Design 1 to go with a quantitative approach to the problem you chose and 1 for a qualitative approach.
    • Produce at least 2 hypotheses for each research question.
      • Depending on which primary approach you choose, these may come early or later in your designs (in the weeks ahead); but for now, to solidify the principles, present 2 hypotheses for each research question.
    • Operationalize all variables for all hypotheses.
      • You may notice this is easier to do for one approach than another based on your problem. This should give you a clue as to which approach makes more sense for taking on the problem you intend to research.
    • List, describe, and justify the types of evidence you would collect to test your hypotheses, and support or refute these.
      • Do your best to make your list thoroughly comprehensive.
    • Consider at least 2 different outcomes for your research.
      • Discuss what routes you would take, given a particular outcome.
      • Consider whether you would rework your research plan, continue on with another method or instrument, scuttle the whole project, or advise policy makers to take certain measures. Explain how these differing potential outcomes could affect your progress or focus.
  • Compile your responses into your final paper, and submit the file to your instructor.

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