Here are some notes about submitting your abstract:

1. Choose carefully! In the past, I’ve seen students grab a topic at the last minute without doing any research into the proposed topics. That got the students through the hurdle of submitting the abstract / topic, but the students later found themselves in a jam when it came to writing the paper. They either couldn’t find suitable, supporting materials, or they didn’t have enough depth to write the paper. My suggestion is that you spend some time performing preliminary research to ensure you have have a topic and supporting references.

2. The research paper is to focus on a current issue / topic in digital forensics. A current topic should be something within the last 0-5 years. Ideally, it would be something within the last 2-3 years. Please do not choose an old topic, a general topic, or something we’ve covered in detail in class, e.g., “The importance of hashing in digital forensics.”

3. If you are thinking of choosing a topic in Cloud forensics, be specific. Do not choose “Cloud forensics” in general. I will not approve “Cloud forensics” as a topic as it is much too broad and there have been many advances in “Cloud forensics” within the last several years. Be specific and narrow down your topic within Cloud forensics as much as possible, if you are choosing this area.

4. I will provide feedback on the abstract and annotated bibliography you submit. Please do not assume that your topic is automatically approved.

Research Topic Instruction

Research Paper

You are required to write a 9 page research paper, double-spaced, on a current topic within the realm of digital forensics. The topic needs to be approved by the instructor when you submit the Abstract (Week 7). The paper has to be well referenced. This is defined by having at least two “peer reviewed” references cited. For the purposes of this assignment, we will consider any paper published in a conference proceedings or journal as peer reviewed. The following notes are available from the Purdue OWL Writing Lab.

The Analytical Research Paper You will be writing an analytical research paper, which begins with the student asking a question (a.k.a. a research question) on which he has taken no stance. Such a paper is often an exercise in exploration and evaluation.

For example, perhaps one is interested in Cloud computing…the research question may be “what challenges does Cloud computing pose to the field of Digital Forensics?” Then, the research will lead to a conclusion of what current Cloud challenges are.

The Paper Writing Process:

Once you have identified a topic and research question, you need to do academic research on the topic. For the purposes of a graduate-level research paper, all references must be academically strong, meaning from scholarly journals and published in the last 3-5 years. The best source of research is the UMGC Library.

Once you have enough information to write a 9 page paper, the next step is to create an outline. Write a draft report from the outline, proofread and revise to complete the final paper.


Purdue OWL Writing Resources: