Research Paper Guide
Each student is required to research a topic in the field of Occupational Safety and Health Management and complete an original, scholarly research paper based on the topic researched. It is most important to research the selected topic in its entirety, i.e., research and analyze the topic from different angles. This research paper must be submitted in the current APA edition format with the following required components: title page, abstract, introduction, thesis statement or statement of the problem, findings, conclusions and recommendations, and reference page. Appendices may be provided if necessary.
Some broad examples of acceptable topic areas are presented below for student consideration. However, this is not an exhaustive list, and students may select other topics in the field of Occupational Safety and Health Management for the research paper. Instructors will provide helpful feedback on topic selection in the early weeks of the term.
General Topic Options:
• System safety management (such as Process Safety, Fault Tree Analysis, HAZOP, FMEA, “what if” analysis, MIL-STD 882, etc.)
• Safety Management Systems (SMS)
• Management of change
• Risk assessment and management
• Business and risk management concepts (cost-benefit analysis, return on investment, etc.)
• Use of leading and lagging indicators
• Psychological factors in safety/motivation
• ANSI/ASSP Z10.0
• ANSI/ASSP/ISO 45001
For this research paper submittal, students are to submit a paper as if it were going to be submitted to a peer-reviewed publication of one’s choice, such as ASSP’s Professional Safety, NSC’s Journal of Safety Research, or Safety Science for publication. The submission should be worthy of submission to a peer-reviewed journal, geared toward the appropriate audience, and should be leading-edge work. In other words, this is not just a research paper on an occupational health and safety management topic. This paper should identify an area of concern, or research an area of concern, and propose a solution.
The research should identify what knowledge already exists on the topic and what additional information can be obtained to further the knowledge base in the field which can benefit corporations. In other words, the information should not be a rehash of what is already known in the field. It should be new and worthy of advancing the field of occupational safety and health management.
In developing your research paper, there should be some sort of thesis statement that addresses a research question or hypothesis that is the center of your paper around which your arguments or analyses are centered. Be sure to review this information at the OWL at Purdue website.
The first paragraph (or two) in a research paper, especially one that is to be published, should provide an introduction to the whole paper and should present the main idea of the whole paper. The introduction should set the stage, explain why you are writing the paper, tell the reader why the paper is important, and then state your thesis, your claim, or your research question that you are going to research and answer. The thesis should establish a clear position that you will support with balanced proofs.
You can write an argumentative essay (Purdue OWL) or a persuasive essay (Purdue OWL), but there must be some cutting edge point you are trying to make or provide information that is different than what everyone already knows about the topic. Think about it, if you write what everyone already knows, then why would a journal want to publish it?
Although the research paper should be worthy of publication, students are not required to submit their papers for publication, or use the journal’s style guide (APA format is to be used instead). However, submission of papers is encouraged, but students should be sure to address any issues, comments or suggested edits noted by their instructor before submission, and be sure the format meets the journal’s required style guide.
The final paper should be between 8-12 pages (approximately 3000-3500 words), not including the cover page, abstract, references, etc. The final paper is due and must be submitted during Module 8.