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research proposal

research proposal

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Published by: shygirlsmith on Apr 01, 2011
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DEPARTMENT OF SOCIOLOGY, PSYCHOLOGY AND SOCIAL WORK SOCI1001/SY13B – INTRODUCTION TO SOCIAL RESEARCHPROPOSAL GUIDELINEDue in tutorial week of April 4, 2011The purpose of a research proposal is to identify a problem that needs to be researched andexplain how you would proceed to examine it. This means that the research proposalshould do the following:(A) clearly state your research problem(B) explain why the problem should be studied(C) explain how you are going to investigate the problemWhile the format used in writing a research proposal may vary among researchers, allproposals should contain the items below.
The following is a suggested format for organizing a research proposal.Ask yourself the following questions while you work through the exercise.---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------START: Identify an area of interest
: Your topic must fall into one (1) of the following categories(i) Family(ii) Health(iii) TechnologyCHAPTER 1Topic or Title: Concise statement which tells the reader exactly what you are studying.Introduction and Background to your study: Historical overview for the study. This helps thereader to understand the context in which the study is taking place.Statement of Research Problem and Research Question:Rationale: Reason (s) for doing the study.1Modified September, 2010
Objectives/Aims: Clear statements outlining what one wishes to accomplish throughout thestudy.
N.B. All points made must be supported by credible evidence and ideas should be logicallyconnected.
(Points: 5)
Chapter 2:
Review of literature
– critical analysis of what others have said about the issue.It is a search of the
scholarly literature
for answers to the research question andshould be written and structured to reflect that. (
N.B. Material taken fromsources that do not abide by the standards the standards of scientific rigour,such as newspapers and most websites, are not acceptable in this section.
) It hastwo aspects:a) Review of conceptual literature i.e., How others have defined the subject area.This includes the treatment of the issues in relevant social scientific theoryb) Research literature – what relationships others have identified betweenvariables.
(Points: 4)
Hypotheses/ Research Question
NB. Not all studies require hypotheses. These are used in explanatory research designs.Hypotheses are tentative statements about the relationships between two or more variables.
Chapter 3:
Methodologyi. Research Design
Choice of research method/ design. Is the study going to beexplanatory, exploratory, or descriptive? Is it going to be alongitudinal (trend, cohort or panel) or cross-sectional. Youshould also justify your selection of the particular design.
ii. Variables
2Modified September, 2010
– specifying the meaning of the conceptsand variables to be measuredb.
– specifying how your variables or concepts will be measuredc.
Would also like to see variable identification
. A chartshowing direction of relationship between dependent andindependent variablesiii.
Population and sampling
– who will be observed in the study,what is my sample size and how will the sample be chosen arecritical questions. Explain why a given probability or non-probability technique is best for this study.iv.
Instrument of data collection – 
how am I going to record theinformation?
Give a brief description of the questionnaire designand types of questions, i.e. open-ended or close- ended. Provide anexample of the interview schedule or questionnaire being used.v.
Data Collection
explain the process of data collection. Over what time period will the data be collected?
vi. Use of Data
Data processing
– how am I going to prepare my data for analysis?b.
Data analysis
- what statistical techniques will I use to test myresearch hypotheses? In the case of qualitative research, howbest can I identify and summarise the major themes in thestudy?c.
Data presentation
– how am I going to present my findingvisually?
vii. Timeline
3Modified September, 2010

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