Knowledge Area Module Research Papers
Walden doctoral-level study requires mastery of broad conceptual and
historical knowledge (Breadth), in-depth understanding and analysis of
theoretical and practical issues (Depth), and the ability to apply
integrated knowledge to problems of professional significance (Application).
As a Walden student, you will demonstrate achievement of these competencies
through completion of a series of six KAMs using the specific curriculum
guides that follow this introduction.
The Breadth component requires a
demonstration of your ability to write a scholarly paper in which you
synthesize knowledge of the major theories in the respective knowledge
domains. For the breadth section you are expected to demonstrate an ability
to deal with knowledge of theories in the following ways:
You communicate a clear understanding of the domain of knowledge and
understand the boundaries and the major components of the field.
You communicate a coherent overview of the knowledge area and
understand the ways in which the disciplines in the knowledge area
relate to one another.
You know who the major authors are in the knowledge area and can
clearly identify the major concepts, positions, and issues espoused by
You use and integrate the terminology of the knowledge area as well
as express theories and concepts in your own words, rather than parrot
You write a well-organized, comprehensive essay on works of selected
major authors, demonstrating an ability to critically compare, analyze,
synthesize, integrate, and evaluate their contributions to the knowledge
area of the KAM.
The suggested breadth component assignments in the KAM curriculum allow
for individually designed approaches but will be based upon essentially the
same multidisciplinary literature. For the breadth section of each core KAM,
authors and their works are suggested as indicators of the type of resources
that would be appropriate as learning resources.
The Depth component will entail a demonstration of critical analysis of
current research and thinking in a particular aspect of the knowledge area.
Whereas in the breadth section you were expected to acquire and demonstrate
knowledge of major theories, in the Depth you will be expected to acquire
and demonstrate research-based knowledge. You are required to demonstrate
in-depth comprehension of a narrow range of concepts or issues by examining
and writing about current research related to a line of inquiry taken from a
theoretical perspective in the breadth section. For the Depth section you
will be expected to complete the following steps:
Develop a conceptual outline of
the topic for the depth component and conduct
a search of electronic databases to locate recently published books and
articles on constructs that define and support the outline of your topic.
Screen the resources identified in the search of databases by reading
the resources and selecting at least 15 of the most important
Create an annotated bibliography
including a critical analysis of each selected resource (citing strengths
and weaknesses of both method and philosophy) along with an analysis of
the major thesis and a statement about why the book, article, or study is
related to the topic. Three to four paragraphs of analysis should be
written about each source.
Write a scholarly synthesis paper on your topic based on the analyses
you have written for the books, articles, and studies selected to
support your outline.
In the Application component, you will demonstrate the ability to apply
what is learned in the knowledge area to your own profession. You will be
expected to make judgments about which aspects of the breadth and depth
section you should apply. Consider the evidence internal to the research
that you have analyzed and its potential relevance to the professional area
chosen for your application.