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.

Breadth Component

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 each.

  • You use and integrate the terminology of the knowledge area as well as express theories and concepts in your own words, rather than parrot them.

  • 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.

    Depth Component

    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 ones.

    • 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.

    Application Component

    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.