Drawing upon resource material provided and that discovered while conducting your own research, students are to develop a research paper of at least 5 full pages (not including title page and referenc

Drawing upon resource material provided and that discovered while conducting your own research, students are to develop a research paper of at least 5 full pages (not including title page and reference list) to provide scholarly responses on the following two topics (both must be addressed)

Topic 1:  Fully describe the overall concepts of homeland security and homeland defense. Construct a response that provides the following related to both homeland security and homeland defense:

  • Primary missions, tasks, responsibilities, operations, etc. for:
    • Homeland Security and
    • Homeland Defense.
  • Highlight those areas that are shared between the two (what overlaps between HLS and HLD?)
  • Lastly, recommend a definition for homeland security.

Topic 2:  Using the overarching themes of the National Security Strategy from 2017, provide your own recommendation for new National Strategy for Counterterrorism (it must be nested under the NSS according to the principle of strategic hierarchy). What key elements and focus areas would you suggest for the part of a new CT strategy that is domestic focused (homeland security, not overseas), and make sure to use the Ends, Ways, and Means strategy framework. 

Note: Your 5 page paper should be constructed with 1/2 a page for introducing your research paper and your combined thesis, spend 2 whole pages on each of the two above topics, then 1/2 page at the end for your conclusions.

  • Note: You should be aware of the fact that “homeland security” is made up of much more than just DHS. That agency is only one part of a larger Homeland Security Enterprise that includes [DHS] Departmental leaders and components [the 7 field agencies including USCG, CBP, ICE, USSS, etc], state, local, tribal, territorial and private sector partners and other… https://www.dhs.gov/strengthening-homeland-security-enterprise. Also remember there are many other essential federal agencies that play a role in HLS, such as the very important DOJ where the FBI is the lead agency for countering terrorism in the US (not DHS).

Make sure you read the instructions carefully and that you focus your paper on answering the assigned questions. This assignment is a research paper, not an opinion paper, so you need to use scholarly sources to support your thesis.  Use formal academic writing and do not use the first person such as ‘I’ or ‘my’; see the OWL site on academic writing style (using appropriate language). Make sure you use APA style in-text parenthetical citations at the end of every sentence where you are quoting another’s ideas (or any information) that is not your own thoughts and words, like this (Bergen, 2015, para 14). Citations are required for paraphrases as well, but not the page or paragraph number in that case. I highly recommend you use the APUS writing guide  which can be found in the university library or at this link: APUS Style Guide for APA. You are welcome to use supplementary sources to compliment the assigned readings based upon your research, but make sure you use only scholarly and credible sources (do not use open websites and you never want to use Wikipedia for a college level paper). Also, dictionaries and encyclopedias as well as general news sites (like CNN) are not appropriate for college level research papers. A good example of what NOT to use is NSA.Gov1.info (which some students have tried to use in research papers), not only is it not the NSA webpage, the site loaded with bogus information and if you scroll down to the bottom it says “This is a parody of nsa.gov and has not been approved, endorsed, or authorized by the National Security Agency or by any other U.S. Government agency.” Also, do not cite the weekly lessons as those are only basic information to start off the topic with. You need to use mainly scholarly and reputable academic books and journal articles. Refer to the guide provided to you as an attachment here titled “How to find scholarly research sources for HLSS Courses.” Also, see the APUS Library Homeland Security Program Guide for good sources, as well as the APUS Research Primer and the APUS Library Research FAQs. For formatting, the best option is to use the attached example paper as a template (for formatting purposes only).


– Written according to the APA style and format (parenthetical in-text citation formats only; not end notes or footnotes);

– Use Times New Roman 12 point font;

– 1 inch margins on all sides with no paragraph indentation other than the first line by .5 inches 

– Double space all text (no extra lines or spaces after a paragraph or section headings and no added font sizes or lines either) 

– A respectable number of credible resources used, cited in the paper as in-text citations, and included on the reference page. A good rule of thumb is at least 2 scholarly sources per page of content (a minimum of 2 new scholarly sources per page in a research paper is acceptable). Use those academic and credible sources provided to you throughout the course, as well as other scholarly material obtained from conducting your own research. Freely utilize appropriate and reputable academic sources, summarize in your own words (paraphrase) and cite accordingly. You are free to use material from your own forum posts from this course in your paper, and you do not have to cite yourself if you do so.

– The paper must be free of typographical, spelling and grammatical errors (make sure to proof read before submission)

– Turn your paper in as a Word Document and title your assignment “LastnameHLSS302Midterm“.

– The appropriate SSGS Assignment Rubric 300-400 Level Classes Assignment Rubric (as appropriate for this course) will be used to evaluate this assignment.

Finally, be mindful of excessive direct quotes as the paper should not contain just a string of quotations from sources. Make sure you comply with all academic integrity standards expected by APUS and as slide 14 of the APUS Academic Integrity presentation posted in course syllabus (and the week 1 introduction forum) states “Quotes cannot make up more than 10% of the text of your assignment.” So paraphrase where you can and provide your own analysis and synthesis of your research (use direct quotes only when necessary to support your thesis). The bottom line for academic integrity is to write an original work for this assignment (not copied from anywhere on the internet or recycled content from your own previous papers) and to properly cite your references. See the syllabus tab within this course for more important information on academic integrity and the repercussions of plagiarism. Turnitin plagiarism checking software will be used on all papers (automatically).

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