The proposal will contain the following elements:
1. Title Page, running head, abstract
2. Short Introduction: Identify the topic, your thesis statement, and give an explanation of why it is important (parts of assignment 1 and 4)
3. Background and Need: Introduction and Framing of the Research Issue/Problem
a. Literature Review: What do we as a field already know about the topic? (assignment 4)
i. In-text citations are especially important in this part
b. The current study: How does the study you are proposing address a hole in the literature? (you might have a very brief summary of your methodology here, which will lead directly into the next section…)
4. Objectives: What is the point/goal of your study?
a. Research Questions: What are you specifically trying to learn? This should be a very detailed question that is more specific than your overall topic.
5. Method: How are you going to answer your research question(s)?
a. Subjects for Study: Who or what will you collect data on? How did you choose them? This should include a detailed discussion of your sampling strategy or selection process. This is also the most likely place to address ethics considerations for your participants (though sometimes elsewhere). (part of assignment 1)
b. Measurement: What are the key variables in your study and how will you define and measure them? (assignment 3)
c. Data Collection Methods: How will you actually collect your data? What method will you use and how will you go about getting the data from/about individuals/groups/etc.? Sometimes this is called ‘Procedure(s)’ where you spell out step-by-step what you expect the participants to do/how you will actually obtain your data from them
d. Analysis: What is the thing you are trying to learn and what data will tell you that information? If you had data, what would you do to get the answers to your research questions? (This section can be pretty short, but you should have a plan of how you will analyze the data once you have it and what kind of analyses will give you the answers to your questions)
6. Schedule: Describe your timeline for conducting this study. How long do you estimate it will take for you to prepare your materials, contact participants and collect your data, clean and analyze the data, write up your research paper, etc.?
7. Budget: How much money would you need to complete this study and what will you spend it on? List each item separately with an estimated cost, then calculate a total cost for the project overall. Ballpark figures are acceptable
8. Significance/Conclusion: Why should others care about your research? What impact will it have?
a. This is the very last place where you can make the case for why your study matters – these should be strong statements the sum up the research idea and need for the project overall
9. References Cited: Minimum of 10 scholarly, peer-reviewed research articles required
a. You may have as many additional references as you would like, however please be sure they are reputable, respected, scholarly sources – not Wikipedia or someone’s blog
b. Each of these citations should also be properly cited ‘in-text’, meaning in all the other sections of your paper where you state facts will need to give credit to the original author(s) of those facts by an in-text citation
Keep in mind that proper formatting and grammar are important!! You will need to do several rounds of revising and editing to create a good final paper, so please have early drafts done well in advance of the deadline to give yourself a chance to polish it up before you turn in the final copy to me for grading.
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