Practicum Outline

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Heidelberg University
MAE Program
Practicum Project Suggested Outline

Chapter 1

I. INTRODUCTION (Just write CHAPTER 1 at the top of the page; do NOT write “Introduction” or any other heading; use the inverted triangle model with this chapter providing a general description of your area of interest, then moving more specifically into your area of interest and your research questions and hypotheses)

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A. General Description of Area of Interest (section 1; NO HEADING)

a. No more than 2-3 paragraphs; this should be treated as a very broad description or overview of the general area of research

B. Statement of the Problem/Purpose of the Study (section 2)

a. State explicitly and succinctly

b. Introduction should lead up to and provide support for this section

C. Current Study (section 3)

*In this section, you should discuss what the current study will investigate and what the researcher hypothesizes for the outcomes of the study*

a. Major Research Questions (section 3)

i. State explicitly and succinctly

ii. Be sure that you operationally define your important terms

iii. Remember, each question should only have ONE independent variable

b. Research Hypotheses (section 3)

i. Provide a clear, logical argument based on past research and theory for your hypotheses

ii. Be sure to state a null hypothesis and a research hypothesis for EACH question

iii. Briefly describe

D. Significance of the Study (section 4)

a. Although this section will likely be very short, it needs to be very POWERFUL

b. What theoretical/practical reasons are there for wanting to investigate your questions?

c. Why is it important to conduct the study?

d. How might your results provide a contribution to the field?

Chapter 2

II. LITERATURE REVIEW (write “CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW” as a heading of this section; you will use this section to build a case for your research questions and hypotheses; use the inverted triangle model for this chapter—starting very broad with a general description of previous literature moving into literature review of your variables in general then a literature review of the links between your variables; you should cite at least 15-20 studies within your paper, the bulk of which should be discussed in this chapter)

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A. General Background (section 1)

a. Introduce the MAJOR classic or general issues and research that will provide support for your study. Provide a historical background of previous research on all of your variables

B. Theory Relevant to your Research Questions (section 2, if applicable; you do not need to use this as a title for the section; this section may be broken into subsections)

a. What theory or theories provide support or a framework for your research questions?

b. Describe how those theories relate to your project

C. Current Literature Relevant to your Research Questions and Hypotheses (section 3; you do not need to use this as a title for the section; may be broken into subsections)

a. Explore literature relating to your variables, independently.

i. For example, if you are studying the relationship between parenting style and educational attainment, you need to describe previous research on parenting style (in general) and previous research on educational attainment (in general)

b. Explore literature relating to your combination of variables

i. For example, if you are...
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