US Government Response to Terrorist Hostage Incidents and Kidnappings

For this assignment you need to submit your research methods section of your paper. You will need to explain how your study was carried out. What research design and methodology did you use? Your explanation needs to be clear enough that it would allow someone to replicate your study.

For this research paper you will be carrying out case study research. You will need to explain the methods used to complete your case study, the sources of your data, and its completeness. You need to explain how your observations were translated into variables and those variables into concepts. How did you measure your variables? You need to explain the case study methods in use and the steps that were taken to complete your study. Finally discuss any limitations for the study and your effort to correct these.

Total pages: 4-5 pages not including title page, and references.

Turabian (2013) Chapters 15 through the appendix should be used to help you properly format your references and paper. A best practice is to keep this writing guide near your work space as you write to avoid unnecessary mistakes that take away from the overall professional appearance of your submission.


(1) Social Historical Research

Social historical research as the name implies focuses on examining elements of history in context (Berg and Lune 2012). Ultimately it involves looking at data made up of records and historical accounts in order to determine what happened during a specific time period. Based on the facts discovered the researchers then work to develop theoretical explanations surrounding historical events (Berg and Lune 2012).

(2)Content Analysis

Content analysis can be described as a “set of methods for analyzing the symbolic content of any communication” (Singleton and Straits 2010, 420). During the conduct of content analysis, the research works to reduce the content of the document down to a set of categories that are representative of the research interest (Singleton and Straits 2010). Types of documents that can be coded include written documents, new articles, speeches, interviews, biographical information, memos, policies, and even photographs, video and audio recordings. When conducting content analysis, researchers develop codes and attach these to notes or transcript information. There are a number of qualitative research software options that researchers can use to help them code and draw connections between their data points. After the codes are categorized researchers are then able to see and evaluate patterns and compare these to commonly held theories or prior research findings. For an example of how content analysis can be carried out see the GAO’s “Content Analysis: A Methodology for Structuring and Analyzing Written Material.”
For this assignment you will not be able to carry out interviews, focuses groups, or observational research, but you are able to use social historical research, archival research, and content analysis. Keep in mind that the methods covered this week do not need to be used singularly and are most often combined. For example an investigator carrying out a case study on the Irish Troubles, may first carry out social historical research to gain some insight into the context of the events, and then travel to Belfast to carry out field research by observing and engaging with the local population. Then while on-site the investigator may come to carry out archival research and might also need to perform some content analysis in their examination of their collected materials.

When you go to explain your study’s methodology you will need to be very specific. It’s not enough to just state that you are carrying out “case study research” since there are a number of ways that case studies can be carried out. Your explanation need to be sufficient enough that an individual would be able to read your paper, replicate your work, AND come to draw similar conclusions as you do based on the explanation you’ve provided. There are a few guides available to help you conceptualize this section of your paper, for example see chapter 5 on “The Method Chapter: Describing Your Research Plan” in Kjell Erik Rudestam and Rae R. Newton’s Surviving Your Dissertation: A Comprehensive Guide to Content and Process, and Qualitative Research Methods should both help get you started.


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