COLLEGE OF FOREIGN LANGUAGES
THE SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
/ HNN-S H
Independence–Freedom-Happiness Da Nang, May , 2007
A GUIDE TO THE ORGANIZATION OF THE RESEARCH PROSAL FOR THE M.A. THESIS
"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" (Wilkinson, 1991, p. 96). In an introduction, the writer should create reader interest in the topic, lay the broad 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. (Creswell, 1994, p. 42)
The introduction normally consists of the following:
1.1 Statement of the Problem
"The problem statement describes the context for the study and it also identifies the general analysis approach" (Wiersma, 1995, p. 404). It is important in a proposal that the problem stand out--that the reader can easily recognize it. 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 undergirds your study. This is of major importance in nearly all proposals and requires careful attention. State the problem in terms intelligible to someone who is generally sophisticated but who is relatively uninformed in the area of your investigation.
1.2 Aims and objectives
The aim statement should provide a specific and accurate synopsis of the overall purpose of the study. If the aim is not clear to the writer, it cannot be clear to the reader.
Many research proposal formats will ask for only one or two aims and may not require objectives. However, for some research these will need to be broken down in more depth to also include the objectives. The aim is the overall driving force of the research and the objectives are the means by which you intend to achieve the aims. These must be clear and succinct.
1.3 Questions and/or Hypotheses
Questions are relevant to normative or census type research (How many of them are there? Is there a relationship between them?). They are most often used in qualitative inquiry. Hypotheses are relevant to theoretical research and are generally 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 the 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 (Kerlinger, 1979; Krathwohl, 1988). Deciding whether to use questions or hypotheses depends on factors such as the purpose of the study, the nature of the design and methodology, and the audience of the research 1.4. Definition of Terms (optional) All key terms should be defined. The researcher’s task is to make his or her definitions as clear as possible. It is often helpful to formulate operational definitions as a way of clarifying terms or phrases. While it is impossible to eliminate all ambiguity from definitions, the clearer the terms used in a study are - to both the researcher and others- the fewer difficulties will be encounterd in subsequent planning and conducting of the study. 2. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY o
Indicate how your research will refine, revise, or extend existing knowledge in the area under investigation. Note that such refinements, revisions, or extensions may have either substantive,...