Tools for Writing Excellent Papers: ASPA Student Summit 2014
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The American Society for Public Administration sponsors a graduate student summit during its annual conference. This document introduces two tools for writing research papers that are developed in The Playbook for Research Methods: Integrating Conceptual Frameworks and Project Management by Patricia M. Shields and Nandhini Rangarajan. The first tool shows student how to transform writing a paper into managing a project (through management of time, materials and ideas). The second tool, conceptual frameworks, shows how close to the data, frameworks can bring coherence to an empirical research project. Both tools are introduced using metaphors from football. The project management stress breaking the project into small pieces (like football drills) and conceptual frameworks are much like football plays. Football plays are a type of theory which are connected to the purpose (short/long yardage) and they direct the movement of men on the ground. Conceptual frameworks connect to the research purpose and direct data collection procedures.