Research Proposal

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Running head: RESEARCH PROPOSAL 1
Sample Paper for Learning Research Proposal
Daren H. Kaiser
Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne
RESEARCH PROPOSAL 2
Abstract
Notice that you do not indent the first line of your abstract. The word “Abstract” is centered and capitalized on the first line. Your abstract should be about 150-250 words and should be a condensed version of your proposal. There should be four sections to your abstract. First, start by indicating what the general problem is. The first couple of sentences should explain what the general issue is, as well as the purpose of your research. What is the problem you are attempting to address? Second, briefly explain how you plan to examine the problem (what will you manipulate and what will you measure). Third, indicate what you expect to find (which groups will perform better than others and why). Finally, explain how your study will add to the existing literature. Why is the study important?

RESEARCH PROPOSAL 3
Sample Paper for Learning Research Proposal
On page three you begin your introduction. First notice that this section is not labeled, rather it begins with the title of your paper centered on the first few lines. You begin your introduction by introducing the general area of research. Next discuss previous research that is relevant to your research question in order to develop the problem. Provide separate summaries of each of the research articles that you are using as sources for your paper. Keep in mind that you should be attempting to create a logical progression to your introduction. Tell the reader what the general problem is and then lead them through findings that are directly relevant to the research problem you are writing about. Make sure that you have logical transitions from one research summary to the next as you write your introduction. After summarizing previous research in the area (your sources) try to build a bridge between the previous research findings and the experiment that you are proposing. In other words, it should seem to make sense that you are studying this particular problem based on what you have told the reader so far. State the purpose for doing the present experiment. Don’t just say “to test the hypothesis” or “as a class project”. Typically you can say something like “As has been detailed above, previous research has shown that _____________treatment is effective for controlling disruptive students in a classroom environment. What has not been examined is ________________. The current proposal was designed to address this issue." At the end of the introduction you should briefly indicate the design of your study and state your specific hypothesis/hypotheses. Use specific terms, and make a prediction. Be sure to include your independent and dependent variables in your hypothesis, but don’t label them as RESEARCH PROPOSAL 4

dependent variables and independent variables. For example, if I were studying the effects of different treatments (independent variable) on unruly behavior (dependent variable) in grade school children I could end my introduction with something like the following: “An examination of the effect of ________ treatment,_________treatment, and ________treatment on classroom behavior is proposed. It is hypothesized that ___________ treatment will be more effective than ____________ and ____________ treatments." This is because, as discussed above, findings from the animal literature indicate that ____________ is a particularly effective method for controlling behavior. It is likely that the effectiveness of this treatment would generalize to the student population that is of interest here. Notice that I briefly described the general design of my study. Then I made a specific prediction of how the independent variable would affect the dependent variable without labeling them as such. Finally, I indicated why I am making that prediction. I related it back to the literature I reviewed previously....
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