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Research Proposal

Students will write and present a Research Project Proposal on a research topic of interest and with approval of the instructor. The Proposal will include a literature review of pertinent material with abstract, discussion of methodologies that would be utilized in the gathering of data (were time to permit), discussion of expected outcomes and conclusions based upon findings and future directions of the research. The paper should be between 7 – 10 pages in length. Check syllabus schedule for due date.

Typical Sections of a Research Proposal

1. Abstract – Offers a brief description of the study and its main findings. It is limited to one page and tells the reader what he is going to read.

2. Introduction

  • Context of the study or the statement of the problem
  • Purpose of the study – Provides the specific goal or goals of the study or problem area. These can be expressed as a statement of purpose – overall intention of the study. It should provide a specific and accurate synopsis of the overall goal of the study.
  • Questions, objectives and hypothesis – Provide a specific restatement and clarification of the purpose statement. Usually presented as either a comparison between two or more groups in terms of a dependent variable or as a relationship of two or more independent or dependent variables. Four main criteria for evaluating hypothesis:

Provides a brief explanation of the researcher’s problem area

– The variables and their relationship to each other should be made explicit.

– Hypotheses, questions and objectives should be grounded in previous research.

– Hypotheses should be stated briefly and clearly.

– Hypotheses, questions, and objectives in qualitative research would emerge as data collection and analysis.

  • Theoretical perspective (optional depending on the research problem) Includes a description of the main theory being used, the central propositions of the theory, information about who has used the theory and its applicability and the adaptation of the theory to variables in the study.
  • Significance of the study – Provides a clear rationale for the importance of the study for select audiences. It includes three or four reasons why the study adds to scholarly research, about how the study improves practice and policy
  • Other subsections – delimitations – addresses how the study will be narrowed in scope, limitations – identifies potential weaknesses of the study, and definitions of terms so that readers can understand the context in which words

3. Review of the literature – It shares with the reader of the proposal the results of other studies that are closely related to the proposed study and it relates the body of relevant knowledge and its importance to the present study. It also provides a framework for establishing the importance of the study, as well as a benchmark for comparing the results of a study with other findings.

4. Methods – This section describes the nature of the research design, the population and sample, instrumentation and data collection procedures, and data analysis.

  • Research design – provides the purpose and rational for the selection of a given design.
  • Population and sample – this section specifies the characteristics of the population and sampling procedures to be used to obtain a representative sample. Describes the size of the population and how it can be identified. It further delineates the sampling size as single stage or multistage, how individuals will be selected (random sample) and indicates the number of people in the sample and how they were determined.
  • Instrumentation – Provides information about instrument to be used in data collection such as observation forms, standardized tests, etc. Identifies the instrument(s) to be used and indicates major content sections of the instruments and the discussion of any pilot tests as may be appropriate.
  • Data collection techniques and procedures – contains a detailed description of how the researchers will conduct their study. Describes how the data will be collected: what, when, where, how, who.

5. Work Plan – provides a concise outline of the schedule of tasks to be conducted and the time table for accomplishment. You can use charts, bar graphs and/or narratives clearly describing the plan.

6. References – an alphabetical listing of all books, articles, journals and other reference materials cited in the text of the proposal utilizing proper APA formatting. Only use pertinent references cited in the body of the proposal.

7. Appendices – contains examples of materials used or tables that are very long or that contain statistical results not essential to the study or locally developed research materials such as the consent form.