How to Write a Research Proposal

Unit I Research Proposal Topic Due 4/22

Select and present a researchable topic for the research proposal in this course. Select a topic and a problem statement for the topic that you have chosen for your research proposal and are submitting for approval by the course professor. Identify a very specific problem within the stated topic. Do not let that problem be too broad (narrow it down to a specific problem that is researchable). Present that problem in a general statement about the specific need for the study. Why is the problem important enough to study? (Estimated length – one paragraph)

Unit II AssignmentDue 4/29

Submit the following components for the Research Proposal: (1) the Introduction, (2) the Problem Statement (including any corrections), (3) the Rationale for the Research, (4) Statement of the Research Objectives, (5) Hypothesis, (6) Definition of Terms, and (7) a Summary. The estimated length of this part of the assignment is four pages.

1. Introduction: Introduce what the research proposal topic is about. (Estimated length – one page)

2. Problem Statement: Identify a very specific problem within the stated topic. Do not let that problem be too broad. It should be narrowed down to a specific problem that is researchable. Present that problem in a general thesis statement stating why the problem is important enough to study. Include any corrections or feedback you received from the Unit I Assignment. (Estimated length – one paragraph)

3. Rationale for the Research: Explain what the study intends to accomplish. What rationale was used to determine the importance for this study? How does your study relate to larger issues? Make a persuasive statement to justify the reason for the study. Why is the study important? To whom is it important? What benefits will occur if this particular study is done? (Estimated length – half a page)

4. Statement of the Research Objectives: Identify the objectives and the purpose for the study. Example: The purpose and the objectives for this study are to …. Identify/understand/determine…. (Estimated length – half a page)

5. Hypothesis: A hypothesis is really an educated guess. A hypothesis results when the questions are transformed into statements that express the relationships between the variables within the proposed study. It is sometimes referred to as an “if/then” statement. (Estimated length – half a page)

6. Definition of Terms: Define a minimum of five terms used throughout the proposal so that readers can be sure to understand the meaning of the terminology used. An example of a definition is: “For the purpose of this research, improvement is operationally defined as post test score minus pretest score.” (Estimated length – half a page)

7. Summary: Include a restatement of the problem and a summary of the proposal. (Estimated length – one paragraph)

Each part of this assignment should be submitted in one document.

Unit III Research Article AnalysisDue 5/6

For this assignment, review at least five articles according to the following instructions:

• Evaluate at least five or more research articles.

• Answer Questions 1 and 2 for all five articles.

• Answer two questions from each of the remaining sections of the criteria questions for all five sources (14 questions for a total of 16 questions per source).

• Include an APA references list for all five (or more) sources.

Responses to all questions should be given using complete sentences.

(For the Unit IV Assignment you will be asked to put the information from the articles you evaluated in this assignment into a literature review.)

Unit IV Literature ReviewDUE 5/13

For the Unit IV assignment, students are to complete the literature review for the Research Proposal. A minimum of five relevant references are to be analyzed for the Literature Review. The references used are to be cited in the Literature Review of the Research Proposal. They are also to be included in the references page and in APA format.

Review of the Relevant Literature/Related Research/Literature Review: Provide a minimum of five research studies that address the same topic chosen for the proposal.

• What are the similar areas of study or studies that lead up to the current research? Identify the importance of the questions being asked.

• Report on the current status of the topic.

• Analyze the relationship between the literature reviewed and the problem statement.

Include a summary, along with a restatement of the relationships between the variables under consideration and how these relationships are important to the proposed hypothesis. (Estimated length – two to three pages)

The following attachments include useful information for composing a Literature Review. These attachments should be used as a guide for a Literature Review and NOT as a reference for APA.

How to Write a Literature Review

How to Write a Literature Review Part II (NOTE: The example lists one reference; however, all sources should be referenced in your Literature Review. See the Example Literature Review below.)

Unit V Assignment Due 5/20

For the Unit V Assignment, complete the following areas of the Methods section for the Research Proposal:

1. Method, Participants, Research Design, Instrumentation, and Data Collection Plans. (Estimated length – two pages)

• Method/Research Procedure/Methodology: Determine the method of research for the proposal. Examples could be: qualitative, quantitative, and case study.

NOTE: Be sure that you write in future tense for the proposal.(Estimated length – two paragraphs)

• Participants: Provide specific identification for the proposed participants for the study. Include a description, the possible number within the population, the proposed location, and the selection procedure. Be specific when identifying the selection process. Then identify how a representative sample will be drawn from the population. (Estimated length – half a page)

• Research Design: Determine how to conduct the data collection and the proposed analysis. (Estimated length – half a page)

• Instrumentation and Data Collection Plans: State the sources and/or instrument(s) proposed to be used to record the data (surveys, interview protocols). Identify the procedure. For a mailed survey, identify steps to be taken in administering and following up the survey to obtain a high response rate. Determine how to specifically conduct the research based on the proposed sample. (Estimated length – half a page)

2. Proposed Analysis of the Data. (Estimated length – one to two pages)

Identify what results are expected from the sample. Identify how the categories of responses will be determined and analyzed. Address specifically what the proposed results could infer back to the population. Answer the following questions:

• What variables will be included in the analyses?

• Identify the dependent and independent variables if such a relationship exists.

• What is the decision making criteria (e.g., the critical alpha level)?

• Will computer software be used in the analysis? If so, identify what will be used.

• Explain how to assess the validity of the measurement.

• Explain how to measure the reliability of the variables.

Unit VI Implications and LimitationsDue May 27

Identify and label a minimum of two (2) implications and a minimum of two (2) limitations for the proposed study. At a minimum, answer the following questions:

• What implications and limitations are being made regarding the proposed sample and how it represents the proposed population?

• What implications are you making regarding the instrument’s validity and its ability to measure the desired variables?

• What implications are being made in having respondents truthfully answer a survey, questionnaire, or interview questions?

• Identify the limitations of the research proposal, such as the limited population for the study.

(Estimated length – one page)

Unit VII Appendices and ReferencesDue 6/3

Create and submit the Time Schedule for the proposed research and resources needed, as well as additional personnel, budget details, the consent forms, and the questions used for the surveys/questionnaires/interviews. The questions and possible responses must support the research objectives and the hypothesis. (Estimated length – five pages)

• Time Schedule/Time Line: Propose how long the research process could take (hypothetically). Remember that a proposal stops at the proposal stage and that there is no actual research conducted by you. You are to propose what you will do and when to carry out the study. (Estimated length – two paragraphs)

• Resources Needed: List and explain all proposed resources (e.g., computers, programs, surveys, etc.). (Estimated length – two paragraphs)

• Personnel: List the categories or types of assistance needed from others (not the participants) to conduct the proposed research. (Estimated length – one paragraph)

• Budget: List all expenses proposed to incur during the research. Include all details for the proposed budget, and then add them up for a total proposed budget. (Estimated length – half a page)

• Needed Assurances/Clearances: Include the proposed releases needed for tests, surveys, or other instruments that may be used to conduct the research. Research involving humans require consent forms. Create and include the voluntary consent form for participant permission. (Estimated length – one page)

• Surveys/Questionnaires/Interviews: Create and include the list of questions proposed to be asked for the research. Make sure the questions pertain to and support the problem statement, the objectives of the study, and the hypothesis. Include the possible answers when using a multiple-choice or Likert format. (Estimated length – one to two pages)

• References: List a minimum of five references used for the Literature Review of this Research Proposal. Follow APA guidelines regarding use of references in text and in the references page. Only references cited in the text are to be included in the references page. (Estimated length – one page)

Research Proposal

The complete proposal should have the following 21 content areas as subheadings:

1. Introduction

2. Problem Statement

3. Rationale for the Research

4. Statement of the Research Objectives

5. Hypothesis

6. Definition of Terms

7. Summary

8. Literature Review

9. Methodology

10. Participants

11. Research Design

12. Instrumentation and Data Collection Plans

13. Proposed Analysis of the Data

14. Implications and Limitations

15. Time Schedule

16. Personnel

17. Budget

18. Resources

19. Needed Assurance/Clearances

20. Questions for Surveys/Questionnaires/Interviews

21. References

Your Research Proposal should be at least 10 pages in length (excluding the title page and the references page). Incorporate corrections made to each of the individual assignments in Units I-VII. Follow APA guidelines.

Be sure to use the guidelines in Chapter 14 of the textbook to help with formatting (pages 269-288). (Pay attention to page breaks and headings.)

Introduction:The student will need to introduce what the research proposal topic is about. See page 271 of your textbook. (Estimated length – one page)

Problem Statement:You need to identify a very specific problem within the stated topic. Do not let that problem be too broad. It should be narrowed down to a specific problem that is researchable. Present that problem in a general thesis statement stating why the problem is important enough to study. (Estimated length – one paragraph)

Rationale for the Research:You will need to explain what the study intends to accomplish. What rationale was used to determine the importance for this study? How does your study relate to larger issues? Make a persuasive statement to justify the reason for the study. Why is the study important? To whom is it important? What benefits will occur if this particular study is done? (Estimated length – half a page)

Statement of the Research Objectives:Identify the objectives and the purpose for the study. Example: The purpose and the objectives for this study are to …. Identify/understand/determine…. (Estimated length – half a page)

Hypothesis:A hypothesis is really an educated guess. A hypothesis results when the questions are transformed into statements that express the relationships between the variables within the proposed study. It is sometimes referred to as an “if/then” statement. See page 7 of your textbook. (Estimated length – half a page)

Definition of Terms:Define a minimum of five terms used throughout the proposal so that readers can be sure to understand the meaning of the terminology used. An example of a definition is: “For the purpose of this research, improvement is operationally defined as post test score minus pretest score.” (Estimated length – half a page)

Summary:Include a restatement of the problem and a summary of the proposal. (Estimated length – one paragraph)

Review of the Relevant Literature/Related Research/Literature Review:Provide a minimum of five research studies that address the same topic chosen for the proposal.

o What are the similar areas of study or studies that lead up to the current research? Identify the importance of the questions being asked.

o Report on the current status of the topic.

o Analyze the relationship between the literature reviewed and the problem statement.

Include a summary, along with a restatement of the relationships between the variables under consideration and how these relationships are important to the proposed hypothesis. (Estimated length – two to three pages)

Method/Research Procedure/Methodology:Determine the method of research for the proposal. Examples could be: qualitative, quantitative, and case study. See page 271 of your textbook. (Estimated length – two paragraphs)

Participants:Provide specific identification for the proposed participants for the study. Include a description, the possible number within the population, the proposed location, and the selection procedure. Be specific when identifying the selection process. Then identify how a representative sample will be drawn from the population. (Refer to Chapter 4, pages 89-102, for examples.) (Estimated length – half a page)

Research Design:Determine how to conduct the data collection and the proposed analysis. See page 15 of your textbook. (Estimated length – half a page)

Instrumentation and Data Collection Plans:State the sources and/or instrument(s) proposed to be used to record the data (surveys, interview protocols). Identify the procedure. For a mailed survey, identify steps to be taken in administering and following up the survey to obtain a high response rate. Determine how to specifically conduct the research based on the proposed sample. See page 149 of the textbook. (Estimated length – half a page)

Proposed Analysis of the Data:Identify what results are expected from the sample. Identify how the categories of responses will be determined and analyzed. Address specifically what the proposed results could infer back to the population. Answer the following questions:

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