stating the problem or issue

The first step in the research process is to determine an area in need of exploration. In public administration, policy analysis, or nonprofit management this starts with identifying a problem or issue within the field. For this Discussion and in preparation for your Capstone Project, you will consider a problem or issue that you think needs to be addressed in public administration, public policy, and/or nonprofit management.

Post a description of the problem or issue you selected. Explain why you think this problem needs to be addressed and how it is significant to public administration, public policy, or nonprofit management.

Required Resources


  • Booth, W. C., Colomb, G. G., Williams, J. M., Bizup, J. & Fitzgerald, W. T. (2016). The craft of research (4th ed.). Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press.
    • Prologue, “Becoming a Researcher” (pp. 3–8)

      This section explores the importance and role of research for practicing professionals. It also examines the role of planning in conducting research and reporting findings.

    • Chapter 1, “Thinking in Print: The Uses of Research, Public and Private” (pp. 9–15)

      In this chapter, the authors describe the role of research in daily life. In addition, the authors discuss the importance and role of capturing research findings in a written format.

  • Machi, L. A., & McEvoy, B. T. (2016). The literature review: Six steps to success (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.
    • “Preface” (pp. xiii–xv)

      This section introduces the features of the book as well as the additions to this edition of the book.

    • “Introduction” (pp. 1–35)

      In this section, the authors discuss the purpose of literature reviews and provide an overview of the literature review process. Also, the authors discuss key components to a successful literature review—inquiry, ethics, planning, and preparation.

    • Chapter 1, “Step One. Select a Topic” (pp. 17-35)

      This chapter explains step 1 of the literature review process, “selecting a topic.” The chapter also includes the four tasks associated with this step and provides strategies for completing each task.

  • (n.d.). Retrieved August 28, 2014, from is a Web site used worldwide to empower people to create change. The Web site can also be used to explore current trends and issues across the world. These trends and issues can also inspire researchers and support the need for research in public administration.

  • Walden University. (n.d.-b). Vision and mission statements. Retrieved August 28, 2014, from

    This Web page provides the vision and mission statements of Walden University and each of its colleges and schools.

  • Document: Capstone Project Guidelines (PDF)
  • Optional Resources
    • Chen, H. (Ed.). (2005). Practical program evaluation. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
      • Chapter 3, “A Practical Evaluation Taxonomy: Selecting the Evaluation Approach That Works” (pp. 45–70)
    • Majchrzak, A. (Ed.). (1984). Methods for policy research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
      • Chapter 2, “Preparing for a Policy Research Study” (pp. 23–42)
    • Walden University. (n.d.-a). Scholars of change. Retrieved August 28, 2014, from

      This website provides links to Scholars of Change videos from the past five years. While this resource is optional, you are encouraged to visit the site and explore videos to see how students are solving problems and making a difference within their own communities.

    • Walliman, N. (Ed.). (2006). Social research methods. London, England: Sage.