Experimental Research Proposal

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Lesson Objectives

The student will be able to:

1.List and describe the chapters and subsections of a research proposal and a research report and their proper order.

2.Describe the characteristics of an appropriate proposal title.

3.Compare and contrast the styles appropriate for (1) a dissertation or thesis, (2) a research proposal, (3) a research report, (4) a professional paper, and (5) a journal article.

4.Distinguish (compare and contrast) between assumptions, limitations and hypotheses.


Cover Page
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 - Introduction
(Need for the Study, Justification)
Problem Statement
Objectives/Research Questions/Hypotheses
Definition of Terms
Limitations of the Study
Basic Assumptions
Chapter 2 - Review of Literature
(Can have sections deemed necessary)
Chapter 3 - Procedures
Research Design
Subject Selection
Outcome Measures
Conditions of Testing
Data Analysis

** Chapter 4 presentation should follow the same sequence and topics as that presented in Chapter 3. ** Chapter 4 - Results
Findings Relative to problem
Summary of Data
Tests of Significance
Chapter 5 - Discussion

Cover Page

Follow the style prescribed by the style manual suggested by the university, department or adviser.

Title -Should contain key words or phrases to give a clear and concise description of the scope and nature of the report, and key words should allow bibliographers to index the study in proper categories (Van Dalen, 1979:406).

-Indicate major variables
-Indicate nature of research
-Indicate target population
-Avoid words like:
"A Study of........”
"An Investigation of ........”
"A Survey of ........”
-Example dissertation title:
"A Process for Determining Vocational Competencies for the Performance of Essential Activities for the Sales Function by Sales Personnel in the Feed Industry and the Loci in Which the Competencies Could Be Taught.”

Journal article title for the above:
"What Does It Take To Sell Feed?”

Table of Contents

Follow appropriate style
Gives bird’s-eye view of dissertation or thesis
Not "generally” provided in reports, papers or articles

Chapter 1 - Introduction

Background and Setting

-Provide reader with necessary background and setting to put the problem in proper context. -Lets the reader see the basis for the study.
-Justifies and convinces the reader that the study is needed. -Be factual--statements, opinions and points of view should be documented. -Provide a logical lead-in to a clear and concise statement of the problem. -Your "sales pitch.”

-In a proposal for funding, address capabilities and capacity of individuals and agency/institution in this section.

Statement of the Problem

Characteristics of properly stated problems will be discussed; see notes. Clearly describe the problem to be researched.

Objectives of the Study

-See notes on "Objectives and Hypothesis” for details
-Best located after the statement of the problem in descriptive research
-Indicates the data to be collected
-Make clear the direct connection between specific objectives and hypotheses and related literature and theory -Controversial as to whether or not null hypotheses go here or in Chapter 4. Rely upon wishes of adviser and committee, if a thesis or dissertation.

-If a study is descriptive, objectives or research questions can be used here.
-If the study is ex post facto or experimental, hypotheses must be used.

Definition of Terms

-Define terms in the context where they will be used - provide operational definitions...
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