The introduction is the part of the paper that provides readers with the background information for the research reported in the paper. Its purpose is to establish a framework for the research, so that readers can understand how it is related to other research. In an introduction, the writer should create reader interest in the topic, lay the board foundation for the problem that leads to the study, place the study within the larger context of the scholarly literature, and reach out to a specific audience.
2. Statement of the Problem
State the problem in terms intelligible to someone who is generally sophisticated but who is relatively uninformed in the area of your investigation. A problem statement should be presented within a context, and that context should be provided and briefly explained, including a discussion of the conceptual or theoretical framework in which it is embedded. Clearly and succinctly identify and explain the theoretical framework that guides your study. This is of major importance in nearly all proposals and requires careful attention.
3. Purpose of the Study
The purpose statement should provide a specific and accurate synopsis of the overall purpose of the study. If the purpose is not clear to the writer, it cannot be clear to the reader. Briefly define and delimit the specific area of the research. Foreshadow the hypotheses to be tested or the questions to be raised, as well as the significance of the study. The purpose statement should also incorporate the rationale for the study. Key points to keep in mind when preparing a purpose statement.
▪ Try to incorporate a sentence that begins with “the purpose of this study is….” This will clarify your own mind as to purpose and it will inform the reader directly and explicitly. ▪ Clearly identify and define the central concepts or ideas of the study. ▪ Identify the specific method of inquiry to be used.
▪ Identify the unit of analysis in the study.
4. Review of Literature
➢ The review of literature provides the background and context for the research problem. It should establish the need for the research and indicated that the writer is knowledgeable about the area. Demonstrate to the reader that you have a comprehensive grasp of the field and are aware of important recent substantive and methodological developments. Avoid statements that imply that little has been done in the area or that what has been done is too extensive to permit easy summary. Statements of this sort are usually taken as indications that the writer is not really familiar with the literature. The literature review accomplishes several purposes.
▪ It shares with the reader the results of other studies that are clearly related to the study being reported. ▪ It relates a study to the larger, ongoing dialogue in the literature about a topic, filling in gaps and extending prior studies. ▪ It 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. ▪ It “frames” the problem earlier identified.
5. Questions and Hypotheses
➢ Questions are relevant to normative or census type research (how many of them are there? Is there any relationship between them?). They are most used in quantitative inquiry. When a writer states hypotheses, the reader is entitled to have an exposition of the theory that lead to them (and of the assumptions underlying the theory). Just as conclusions must be grounded in the data, hypotheses must be grounded in theoretical framework.
➢ A research question poses a relationship between two or more variables but phrases the relationship as a question; a hypothesis represents a declarative statement of the relations between two or more variables.
➢ Questions and hypotheses are testable propositions deduced and...