Emerging Leaders Program

Emerging Leaders

Final Research Paper

Scope of the Research Paper. You are expected to draw from your knowledge of Emerging Leaders program to choose a research topic that is relevant to leadership and law enforcement. The research must connect the four stages of emerging leaders including, but not limited to, Leadership Foundations and Principles, Leadership Theories and Practices, Leadership Application and Advancement, and Leadership Competency and Mastery. It could be regional, national, or international in scope, and follow the appropriate research methodology (e.g., empirical, conceptual, narrative, action research, etc.). We invite critical perspectives on issues related to leadership and law enforcement. We are interested both in formal and informal policing contexts. The focus of the research must be on various ways that law enforcement leadership is influenced by the rapidly changing political and social climate in the United States, and how these ways present new challenges for law enforcement that require exceptional leaders to navigate through them.

You are encouraged to demonstrate how law enforcement administrators and line supervisors should possess leadership skills that allow them to connect with a wide-ranging demographic within their police agency while remaining dedicated to their primary mission of serving the public. The success of a police agency is dependent upon the effectiveness of its leaders. In the Emerging Leaders continuum, we believe that in order to truly understand law enforcement leadership, it is essential to listen to those who have led and followed in a police organization. Throughout the various stage of leadership modules from ICLD I through ICLD IV, you have gleaned further insight into effective leadership attributes, leadership training, leadership style, and the role and effectiveness of informal leaders within a police agency.

Structure of Paper: The research paper should follow the regular APA 6th edition (APA Writing Style)writing style and format including the followinga cover page, a 150 word abstract, introduction, purpose, rationale or need for the research, literature review, methodology, discussion, conclusions, recommendations, and a reference list. The paper should be in the range of 12-15 double space pages (or 2500-3000 words, not including references), 12 point font Times Roman, and appropriate APA level headings.Ultimately, the research paper should be publishable.

RubricPlease ensure you follow the Rubric as you prepare the research paper.


Supplementary APA Writing Information

Find Information

  • Review various scholarly and trade published literature on your topic and create your annotated bibliography.
  • Use search engines such as “Google” or other search tools such as “ERIC” as a starting point.
  • Pay attention to domain name extensions, e.g., .edu (educational institution), .gov (government), or .org (non-profit organization). These sites represent institutions and tend to be more reliable but be mindful of possible political bias in some government sites. Be selective of .com (commercial) sites. Many .com sites are excellent; however, a large number of them contain advertisements for products and nothing else. Learning how to evaluate websites critically and to search effectively on the Internet can help you eliminate irrelevant sites and save time.  Avoid using Wikipedia.  It provides user driven content with typically limited credible resources.
  • Go to your local library to review books and other related resources such as:
    • Law enforcement and tactical operations books
    • Encyclopedias and dictionaries
    • Government publications, guides, & reports
    • Trade magazines & newspapers
    • Businesses and government agencies, or contact knowledgeable people in your community.
  • Law Enforcement Today
  • NTOA’s Recommended Reading List
  • Police Chief Magazine
  • Police One
  • ERIC
  • Google
  • Internet Public Library
  • RefSeek

Make a Tentative Outline

  • The purpose of an outline is to help you think through your topic carefully and organize it logically before you start writing.
  • A good outline is the most important step in writing a good paper. Check your outline to make sure that the points covered flow logically from one to the other. Include in your outline Title Page, Abstract, Introduction, Body, Conclusion, and References. Review the sample provided in the resources section of this page.

Organize Your Notes

  • Organize all the information you have gathered according to your outline.
  • Critically analyze your research data.
  • Using the best available sources, check for accuracy and verify that the information is factual, up-to-date, and correct.
  • Opposing views will enhance the quality of your project and help shape your readers’ understanding and opinion.
  • Do not include any information that is not relevant to your topic, and do not include information that you do not understand. Make sure the information that you have noted is carefully recorded and in your own words.
  • Document all ideas borrowed or quotes used.  As you organize your notes, include detailed bibliographical information for each cited paragraph and have it ready to transfer to your references section of your Capstone.  This will ensure that your Capstone Research Project is not plagiarized.

Using the APA Writing Style

The publication manual of the American Psychological Association (APA) is the style manual of choice for the College.

APA spotlights the ideas being presented, not the manner of presentation. Manuscript structure, word choice, punctuation, graphics, and references are all chosen to move the idea forward with a minimum of distraction and a maximum of precision.  To achieve this clarity of communication, publishers have developed rules of style. These rules are designed to ensure clear and consistent presentation of written material. Editorial style concerns uniform use of such elements as punctuation and abbreviations,construction of tables, selection of headings, citation of references, and presentation of statistics.

When editors or teachers ask you to write in APA Style®, they are referring to the editorial style that many of the social and behavioral sciences have adopted to present written material in the field. APA Style was first developed in 1929 by a group of social scientists who wished to establish sound standards of communication. Since that time, it has been adopted by leaders in many fields and has been used by writers around the world.

Instructional Video and Sample Papers

General Information



Grammar and Writing Style


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