Research Proposal outline

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					                                            Research Proposal

Research Proposal – Use the following format for the proposal:

Introductory Material includes:
Title Page
Table of Contents

The Body includes:
   I. Problem to be investigated
           a. Purpose of the study
                    i. (one sentence) The purpose of the study is to ….
           b. Justification of the study
                    i. What research study is the basis for your study? (give citation)
                   ii. How does your study build on previous research (no more than 3 sentences)
           c. Research question (for qualitative study) or hypotheses (for quantitative study)
                    i. List your research questions and hypotheses
                   ii. Does your study relate to a particular theoretical framework? If it does, briefly
                       describe the theory, and indicate how your research questions, hypotheses, or
                       objectives relate to it.
           d. Definition of terms
           e. Brief overview of the study
                    i. Summarize the research question, the research design, the data to be collected

    II. Background and review of related literature
           a. Introduction
                    i. List the descriptors that you will use in your literature search (then, what you did
           b. Theory - describe the relevant theory behind the research questions
           c. Research studies – Order the articles from most general to most directly tied to your
               proposed study. Describe each article in a paragraph. Finally, write a summary of the
               research findings from the articles.

    III. Procedures
             a. Description of the research design
                      i. Describe the research design that you selected for your study: descriptive, causal-
                         comparative, correlational, experimental, mixed method etc.
             b. Description of the sample
                      i. Describe the characteristics of the population that you will study.
                     ii. Identify your sampling procedure (e.g., simple random sampling), and explain
                         why you selected it
                    iii. Indicate the sampling unit (e.g., individual students or a class of students)
                    iv. Indicate the size of your sample, and explain why that sample size is sufficient
                     v. Indicate whether the sample will be formed into subgroups, and if so, describe
                         the characteristics of the subgroups
             c. Description of the instruments
                      i. List the variables that you will study. For each variable, indicate whether it is an
                         independent variable, a dependent variable, or neither
                     ii. Indicate the variables that each measure will assess. For each measure indicate
                         which types of validity and reliability are relevant and how you will check them.

           d. Explanation of the procedures followed
                   i. Methods of data collection - List the measures that you will select or develop for
                      your study
                  ii. The who, what, when, where, how
           e. Description of Internal Validity (design validity)
           f. Description of External Validity (generalizability)
           g. Description and justification of the statistical techniques or other methods of analysis

   IV. Ethics and Human Relations
           a. What threats, if any, does your study pose for your research participants? What steps will
               you take to minimize these threats?
           b. How will you gain entry into the setting in which you will collect data?
           c. How will you gain the cooperation of your research participants?

   V. Time Line
         a. Create a time line listing in order all the major steps of your study. Also indicate the
             approximate amount of time that each step will take.

   VI. References

   VII.    Appendices

Procedures for Writing the Research Proposal

   1. Select your topic of interest and determine if a body of literature exists. You need ample
      background literature available to complete a literature review. When you search the literature, it
      would be beneficial to have 20 or more relevant articles to choose from for your literature review.
      Have two or three topics to start with so if the first topic doesn‟t have enough articles, maybe the
      other topics will.

   2. Have your final topic approved by the professor by writing and submitting
         a. The research problem – one or two sentences
         b. The research question – one or two sentences
         c. Copies of 2 relevant, refereed journal articles and two sentences describing the findings
             of each article.

   3. Find 6 articles from refereed journals on your topic of interest. Preferably, look for articles that
      directly address your topic and that report empirical research. A study is an empirical research
      study if some form of data has been collected. A journal is “refereed” (and the articles are
      “refereed”) if manuscripts submitted for publication are reviewed by peers, sometimes called
      „consulting editors‟, typically in a “blind” review process. The review process is always described
      in each copy of the journal, usually on the inside cover.

   4. In addition to the empirical studies, you may use other related references that may be books,
      articles from professional magazines or web-site papers, or the like.

   5. Read and critically consider each article. Organize the review from most general to more specific.
      Start with the article that considers the broadest topic and move toward the specific topic of
      interest to you for your proposed study.

6. You should refer to the appropriate chapter in Chapters 1 through 13 in the book for further
   information. Once you know which methodology you are using, you should refer to the
   appropriate methodology chapter for information and an example of a published research article
   using that particular methodology

7. The general requirements for all parts of the Research Proposal are:
   a. Body of the paper should be double spaced, 12 point New Times Roman font, about 10 pages
      long – plus or minus 2 pages. The „body‟ does NOT include the Introductory Section, the
      References, or the Appendices.
   b. Include one inch margins on all sides.
   c. Use APA style for the entire paper
   d. Use page numbers on all pages
   e. Use APA for citations, references and all matters of style


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