Research Paper Instructions
INFA 670 – Information Assurance Capstone
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.
Topic Selection and Research Paper Requirements
Prior to writing your paper, and if you would like feedback, you may 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. While submission of your topic proposal is not mandatory it is encouraged.
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.
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 that papers must not be “recycled” from these 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.
· Penetration Studies
· Vulnerability Classification
· Validation and Verification
· Formal Verification Techniques
· Secure Software Engineering
· Auditing Systems
· Log Management
· Security Information and Event Management (SIEM)
· Requirement Analysis
· Requirement Validation
· Principals and Guidelines for Designing Secure Software
· Coding Against Common Vulnerabilities
· Improving Processes for Developing Secure Software
· Project Risk Management
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 corresponding to your chosen subheading topics and then produce a research report on same.
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.
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.
Use of Turnitin
In this course, this Research Paper assignment will be reviewed using Turnitin, a software tool embedded in the online classroom to support the development and assessment of academic writing, including ensuring the authenticity of student work through a Similarity Report that highlights any matching areas in your paper found in another submitted paper in the Turnitin repository using a range from 0% to 100%.
The use of Turnitin in this class and in this exercise is different than how it may have been used in your other classes in that there is no need to create a separate account. You only need to submit your assignment within the classroom. Shortly after you submit your assignment you will receive helpful feedback to improve your writing from within the Turnitin software tool.
You can submit your paper to Turnitin multiple times before the assignment due date. Once you submit your assignment to the Assignment folder, your paper will be submitted automatically to Turnitin generating a Similarity Report. When a Similarity Report is available for viewing, a similarity score percentage will be made available that can be accessed from the Assignment folder by selecting the Submitted link located under “Completion Status” or by clicking the View History button. NOTE: It may take a few moment for the report to be available.
If you have any questions about the use of Turnitin for your assignments, please reach out to your instructor directly via the in-class messenger or email. If you are experiencing any difficulty accessing the Similarity Report, please visit the Turnitin support site.
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:
· Abstract: 5%
· 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: 10%
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