John Boudreaux has worked as a research assistant on Professor Kent Hermann's project on crime rates in the United States. The project, funded by a major granting agency, has been designed to have answer a number of research questions on whether the "dark figure of crime" has been growing in the United States (as a result of increased political pressure to show a decrease in the crime rate) or has been declining (due to better methods of police investigation). This is complicated project which will take a number of years to compile the data and do analyses. Professor Hermann has a reputation of including graduate students in publication and of encouraging them to do dissertations from the project or related aspects. John has decided to do a dissertation out of this project and presents Professor Hermann with a prospectus. Professor Hermann realizes that the student is simply interested in testing the major ideas of the project. Professor Hermann discusses this as a problem with the student and asks for a revision which focuses in on some particular segment or which adds additional theoretical concerns (and perhaps additional data) to the proposed dissertation. John revises the proposal adding a important extension of the theoretical framework but continuing to concentrate primarily on the ideas laid out in the original grant proposal.
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