Topic Paper

The Topic Paper provides the first opportunity to assemble a vision of your research in the general format of the milestone documents included in the NCU dissertation process. For the most part, the components of the Topic Paper have been developed during the Activities of this course.

Required Reading:

Please refer to each Activity for required readings within Activity Resources.

Assignment 8   Signature Assignment

Using the feedback from your instructor and the NCU Template Applied Degree CP 2013 document as a guide, you will assemble the components of the Topic Paper.

Many of those components have been developed during the Activities of this course. The one notable exception is the abridged literature review. A literature review provides the background needed to understand the research problem and support the arguments and solutions you provide in answer your research problem and questions.

Activity Resources

Difference Between the PhD and Applied Doctorates

Annotated Bibliographies and Literature Reviews

Leedy, P. D., & Ormrod, J. E. (2013): Chapter 3

The Literature Review: A Few Tips on Conducting It

Main Task: Topic Paper, Annotated Bibliography and Reflective Paper

The literature review resources listed above provide some insights into the development of a literature review. NCU supports the thematic approach described in the resources. The annotated bibliography you have been developing during this course should provide the sources for the literature review.

Annotated Bibliography: Assemble the 15+ annotations you have been accumulating during this course. They should be presented in the same order as an APA reference list.

Reflective Look DBA vs. Ph.D.: As you begin the dissertation part of your doctoral journey, it is a good time to reflect on the degree you are pursuing. Using the Difference Between the PhD and Applied Doctorates document, write a short reflective paper outlining your professional goals related to the degree program in which you are enrolled.

Your final submission should include:

Your Topic Paper (outlined below)

Your Annotated Bibliography developed over the course.

A 1-2 page reflective paper on the relationship of your professional goals and your degree with 1-2 references.

Assemble and submit your topic paper. Use the sample outline below to assemble an introduction, literature review, problem statement, purpose statement, research questions and methodology, and summary.

Topic Paper (Components and Order)


Brief Literature Review

Problem Statement

Purpose Statement

Research Questions and Methodology


In developing the topic paper review and, as necessary, update your problem statement, purpose statement, research questions, and methodology to reflect your current perspectives and understanding of these aspects of your study. The topic paper should reflect a clear and logical linkage among the problem, purpose, and research questions.

Your paper should demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the ideas and concepts that are presented in the course and provide new thoughts and insights relating directly to this topic. Your paper should reflect scholarly writing and current APA standards.

Submit your document in the Course Work area below the Activity screen.

Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Assignment Outcomes

Evaluate the doctoral research process.

Formulate an acceptable dissertation topic.

Construct a research problem statement.

Develop an annotated bibliography.

Construct a research purpose statement.

Construct research questions that align with the problem and purpose statement.

Compare and contrast Qualitative and Quantitative Methodologies.

Develop an abridged literature review.

Create a research topic paper.

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