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Writing a Research Proposal

1. Title page
a. title should provide a clear idea of the research topic b. has student’s name and ID#
c. student’s major
d. course name
e. professor’s name
f. date

2. Table of Contents (covered in point# 9).

3. Write an introductory chapter (includes Introduction, Importance of Study, Purpose of Study, Background, Assumptions, Delimitations) • Present an overview of the research study.
o Explain why the topic is important, why the research is worth doing o Give an overview of the aim or purpose of the study, what you are hoping to achieve • Describe the background of the company or organisation where the research will take place; background is also referred to a “research setting” • State any assumptions and delimitations

o Assumptions means the things that you assume you will be able to do, the things that are in place (e.g., getting data from a database—that the data are there, getting employees to cooperate with interviews—the boss has confirmed that the employees will be able to do it during work hours) o Delimitations means how your research is restricted in some way (e.g., there are 11 departments in the company and you are only researching 4 of them; e.g., questionnaire will not be translated into Spanish so Spanish-speaking tourists will not be interviewed)

4. Write a Literature Review chapter
• Do a critical literature review to gain a deeper understanding of the issues related to your topic; the literature review has to review both the theory of what you are researching and the previous research that people have conducted on the topic • A critical literature review is not a listed sequence of the content of articles that you have found (So and So said this, So and So found that, etc.). First, you have to decide what YOU want to say in your literature review—how you want to organize your thoughts and use the literature you have accumulated to support what you have to say. • One article can be used several times in a research paper—in the literature review, the Instruments section of the Methods chapter (if you are using the author’s questionnaire), and in the Discussion chapter (comparing what you found in your study to what she found in her study). One you download a good article, squeeze as much juice out of it as you can! • At the end of the literature review, make it clear, based upon what you have written in the literature review, what you are going to do in YOUR study • Formulate your research question (RQ) and from the RQ, develop 4-6 sub-questions; the SQs must clearly come out of the RQ. • You should complete your literature review first before thinking about RQ and SQs. • The literature review provides the understanding of the problem—what other researchers have said about it (theory) and what they have done (research); to a large extent, what you discover in your literature review should “tell” you what should be your RQ and SQs. • For example, if you find a questionnaire that you are going to use in your research, your SQs MUST be connected to that questionnaire. • Your SQs should be about YOUR research, that is, they are questions that your research study will answer. They should not be questions that you should have already answered in your literature review. For example, in a thesis on international trade, a SQ “What is a trade dispute?” should be explained in your proposal before you start your research study. • State your research objectives (ROs)—what you need to do to answer your SQs (make observations, conduct interviews, distribute questionnaires, etc.). • State hypotheses about the population(s), what you expect to find as answers to your questions—hypotheses must clearly related to your SQs. At this point in your paper, the hypotheses are just statements of what you think will be the answer to the SQ; you don’t need to have...
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