PA 9931 - Final Research Paper

Although the Research Report is usually taken in the summer term, it is possible to take this course in any term with permission from the Program Director. The research report is an integral part of the MPA course of study and the final program requirement. Its main objective should be to apply what has been learned in MPA courses to an analysis of: 1) some aspect of the political and administrative process within a given local government; or 2) possible responses to a particular policy problem at the local level. The report should be about 40 to 50 double-spaced typewritten pages in length, comprising about 10,000-12,000 words. Each student submits a research proposal and is assigned a research supervisor during the course on research methods. Together, the supervisor and student work out an outline and research strategy. Students will normally present their research proposals and their preliminary findings to the seminar class "Issues in Local Government" in the final summer term of their program. Reports can be revised for final submission following presentation to the seminar. Please see the research report guidelines for details.

Term Code:


As per the guidelines you will submit a final copy of your Research Report to the program.  Please ensure you use the following naming convention for your paper.

  • "LastName, FirstName - Year - Status"
  • Example:
    Morgan, Josh - 2018 - Public.pdf
    Lyons, Joe - 2002 - Limited.pdf
    Skywalker, Luke - 2011 - Confidential.pdf

Research Ethics

MPA Research Report projects that involve opinion interviews or survey work generally require review by Western's Research Ethics Board. Ethics applications are managed and your reviewed through Western’s Research Ethics Manager (WREM) platform. The documents and websites listed below will assist you and your supervisor in determining whether your project will require ethics review, and if so, how you can go about this process. 

MPA Research Reports Ethics Submission Guide - pdf

2017-18 Ethics Presentation - Political Science & Local Government Program - pdf

General Human Research Ethics Page

Guidelines & Templates

WREM (Western Research Ethics Management ) - Login, Training, Resources

Below are two completed and approved ethics submissions forms from MPA Research Report projects submitted through the WREM system. Our thanks to Elmond Bandauko, Robert Tremblay, and Ellen Pezetta for allowing us to post these. Both Elmond Bandauko and Robert Tremblay’s projects involved conducting interviews, and Ellen Pezetta’s involved a survey. Included in the PDFs are the ethics forms, Letters of Information and Consent, and email/interview scripts. These are intended to be used as examples that you may reference for your projects.