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THE RESEARCH PROPOSAL

Lesson Objectives
The student will be able to:
1. List and describe the chaters and subsections o! a research roosal and a research reort
and their roer order.
". #escribe the characteristics o! an aroriate roosal title.
$. Co%are and contrast the st&les aroriate !or '1( a dissertation or thesis) '"( a research
roosal) '$( a research reort) '*( a ro!essional aer) and '+( a journal article.
*. #istin,uish 'co%are and contrast( between assu%tions) li%itations and h&otheses.
RESEARCH PROPOSAL O-TL./E
Cover Pa,e
Table o! Contents
Chater 1 0 .ntroduction
'/eed !or the Stud&) 1usti!ication(
Proble% State%ent
Objectives2Research 3uestions2H&otheses
#e!inition o! Ter%s
Li%itations o! the Stud&
4asic Assu%tions
Chater " 0 Review o! Literature
'Can have sections dee%ed necessar&(
Chater $ 0 Procedures
Research #esi,n
Subject Selection
Outco%e 5easures
Conditions o! Testin,
Treat%ents
#ata Anal&sis
6lus
66 Chater * resentation should !ollow the sa%e se7uence and toics as that resented in
Chater $. 66
Chater * 0 Results
8indin,s Relative to roble%
Su%%ar& o! #ata
Tests o! Si,ni!icance
Chater + 0 #iscussion
64iblio,rah&
Aendices
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ELE5E/TS O8 RESEARCH PROPOSAL
Cover Pa,e
8ollow the st&le rescribed b& the st&le %anual su,,ested b& the universit&) deart%ent or
adviser.
Title 0 Should contain 9e& words or hrases to ,ive a clear and concise descrition o! the
scoe and nature o! the reort) and 9e& words should allow biblio,rahers to inde:
the stud& in roer cate,ories ';an #alen) 1<=<:*>?(.
0 .ndicate %ajor variables
0 .ndicate nature o! research
6 descritive
6 correlational
6 e:eri%ental
0 .ndicate tar,et oulation
0 Avoid words li9e:
@A Stud& o!........A
@An .nvesti,ation o! ........A
@A Surve& o! ........A
0 E:a%le dissertation title:
@A Process !or #eter%inin, ;ocational Co%etencies !or the Per!or%ance o!
Essential Activities !or the Sales 8unction b& Sales Personnel in the 8eed
.ndustr& and the Loci in Bhich the Co%etencies Could 4e Tau,ht.A
1ournal article title !or the above:
@Bhat #oes .t Ta9e To Sell 8eedCA
Table o! Contents
8ollow aroriate st&le
Dives birdEs0e&e view o! dissertation or thesis
/ot @,enerall&A rovided in reorts) aers or articles
Chater 1 0 .ntroduction
4ac9,round and Settin,
0 Provide reader with necessar& bac9,round and settin, to ut the roble% in roer
conte:t.
0 Lets the reader see the basis !or the stud&.
0 1usti!ies and convinces the reader that the stud& is needed.
0 4e !actual00state%ents) oinions and oints o! view should be docu%ented.
0 Provide a lo,ical lead0in to a clear and concise state%ent o! the roble%.
0 Four @sales itch.A
0 .n a roosal !or !undin,) address caabilities and caacit& o! individuals and
a,enc&2institution in this section.
State%ent o! the Proble%
Characteristics o! roerl& stated roble%s will be discussedG see notes. Clearl&
describe the roble% to be researched.
Objectives o! the Stud&
0 See notes on @Objectives and H&othesisA !or details
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0 4est located a!ter the state%ent o! the roble% in descritive research
0 .ndicates the data to be collected
0 5a9e clear the direct connection between seci!ic objectives and h&otheses and related
literature and theor&
0 Controversial as to whether or not null h&otheses ,o here or in Chater *. Rel& uon
wishes o! adviser and co%%ittee) i! a thesis or dissertation.
0 .! a stud& is descritive) objectives or research 7uestions can be used here.
0 .! the stud& is e: ost !acto or e:eri%ental) h&otheses %ust be used.
#e!inition o! Ter%s
0 #e!ine ter%s in the conte:t where the& will be used 0 rovide oerational de!initions as
well as constitutive de!initions.
0 .nclude a list o! de!initions !or ter%s and concets that have si,ni!icant %eanin, !or the
stud&.
0 Constructed in listin, !or% 0 li9e a dictionar&) not rose !or%
0 #o not de!ine ,enerall& understood concets) rinciles and concerns) e.,.) vocational
education) secondar& education) adult education.
0 5uch o! the seci!ic in!or%ation about the ter%s will be resented in other aroriate
sections o! the roosal
Li%itations o! the Stud&
0 Su%%ariHe li%itations brou,ht about b& the rocedures o! the stud&
0 #escribe the rocedural li%itations in detail in the aroriate sectionG just su%%ariHe
here
4asic Assu%tions
0 #o not %a9e assu%tions about rocedures 'or h&otheses(
0 Acceted without thou,ht o! i%%ediate roo!
0 Proositions !or which no in!or%ation can be %ade available within the scoe o! the
stud&
0 Are a:io%atic in that the& are roositions that virtuall& ever& reasonable erson is read&
to adot but which cannot be roven.
0 T&e o! assu%tion %ost co%%onl& stated e:licitl& is one that is li%ited in its nature
and serves to hold the siHe or scoe o! an investi,ation within its rescribed boundaries
'uts ara%eters around the stud&() e.,.) stud& will deal with secondar& students not
ost0secondar&
0 -suall& %ade when the ar,u%ent rests on a riori reasonin,) but can be %ade on basis o!
resent 9nowled,e on research which is as &et inco%lete 'Seci!ic 7uali!ications %ust
be %ade in the conclusions o! the research reort in which assu%tions are %ade.(
0 Ou,ht to be clearl& stated
0 Protects researcher) e.,.) 9ees so%eone !ro% sa&in,) @Oh) . thou,ht &ou were stud&in,
IFJ) too.A
0 Assu%tions are not h&otheses
0 H&otheses are roositions to be investi,ated and are the ver& subject o! the roble%G
so) do not %a9e assu%tions about the%.
Si,ni!icance o! the Proble%
0 These ar,u%ents can be resented in the @4ac9,round and Settin,A section. This does
not need to be a secial section.
0 Knowled,e relatin, to the theor& that .......
0 /ew roducts) e.,.) instru%ent) instructional %aterial) etc.
0 Bho 'what individuals or ,rous( can use this new 9nowled,e or in!or%ation &ielded b&
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the research to chan,e or i%rove the resent situationC How will the stud& contribute to
the i%rove%ent o! the ro!essionC
0 .ndicate how the results can be ,eneraliHed be&ond the bounds o! stud&
0 Can use the ar,u%ents o! others 'e:ert oinion( who call !or an investi,ation o! the
roble% 'roerl& docu%ented) o! course(.
0 Can use con!lict in !indin,s o! related research as justi!ication !or the stud&. 4e sure it is
docu%ented in Review o! Literature.
0 -se i!) then 'h&othetical0deductive( lo,ic
Chater " 0 Review o! Literature
A. Provides tentative solutions to the roble% or tentative answers to the 7uestions. 'Could
be ublishable(
4. .ndicates the theor& on which the stud& is basedG criti7ue and wei,h studies as theor& is
built. 'Teeter0totter e:a%le(
C. Provides the rationale !or the h&otheses and variables therein
#. Or,aniHed and written in re!erence to the seci!ic objectives o! the stud&
E. Proosals ,enerall& do not include as a co%lete review as does the reort.
8. Consists o! two hases
1. Proble% e:loration 0 de!inition sta,e
6 Conducted be!ore roosal rearation to identi!& roble%
6 Provides di%ensions and li%its o! the roble% area
6 #e!ines e:tent to which solution or answer is alread& 9nown
6 Hels discern @Bhat do we 9now the least aboutCA
6 .denti!ies ossible rocedures 'desi,n) instru%entsG anal&ses( !or conductin, the
stud&
". Proosal Britin, 0 See A0E above
D. Reortin, Related Literature will !ollow in the course
Chater $ 0 Procedures
'So%e writers call this chater @5ethodolo,&A(
REPL.CAT.O/ is the 9e& word to 9ee in %ind when writin, this chater. Researchers %ust
rovide accurate) detailed descritions o! how the research was done so it could be relicated
'redone( b& others. Fou should rovide e:lanations that will enable the reader to reroduce the
e:act conditions o! the ori,inal stud&. A rather e:tensive e:lanation should be rovided so that
readers understand wh& and how &ou are ,oin, to do the research 'in a !inal reort(. Four
rocedures should answer 7uestions or test h&otheses as e!!icientl&) econo%icall& and validl&
as ossible.
SECT.O/S
The sections o! research desi,n) subject selection) outco%e %easures) conditions o!
testin,) treat%ents and data anal&ses will enco%ass %ost %ethodolo,ical activities that
need to be described. Each section will be described searatel&.
Research #esi,n
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#escribe the t&e o! research to be conducted) i.e.) surve&) e: ost !acto) 7uasi0
e:eri%ental) etc. This section is utiliHed to describe how &ou will set u &our stud& to
observe the h&othesiHed relationshi. #escribe the stes &ou will ta9e to address the
h&otheses in oerational ter%s.
#escribe what intervenin, variables %i,ht a!!ect the deendent variable's( other than the
indeendent variable) i.e.:
0 Anal&He the internal validit& o! the stud& 'discussed later in the course(
0 Also) discuss threats to e:ternal validit& 'discussed later in the course(
0 #escribe how &our stud& will %easure or control these threats ,iven the @Li%itations o!
the Stud&.A
The descrition o! the desi,n !or descritive studies is ,enerall& eas& to describe) while
the validit& is not. #escribe non0resondent !ollow0u rocedures and rocedures to
co%are resondents with non0resondents.
A stud& %a& involve %ore than one urose. Clearl& indicate which desi,n is to address
each objective.
The descrition o! the research desi,n !or correlational or e: ost !acto research is eas&
to describe) but articular attention %ust be directed to alternative or rival e:lanations
'intervenin, variables(.
The research desi,n !or e:eri%ental and 7uasi0e:eri%ental research is o!ten 7uoted
directl& !ro% Ca%bell and Stanle& 'or others( and anal&Hed b& their threats to validit&.
Bhat e:eri%ental controls were utiliHedC
Sche%atic ',rahic( dia,ra%s o!ten aid in understandin, the desi,n. #e!ine the s&%bols
&ou use.
Subject Selection
The oulation to be studied is !irst identi!ied and how a sa%lin, !a%e 'list o! ele%ents
in the oulation( will be develoed. .s there !ra%e errorC E:lain wh& this oulation is
aroriate !or this stud&. /ote an& discreancies between e e:eri%entall& accessible
oulation and the tar,et oulation.
The sa%lin, rocedure is described. Relate how the sa%le was selected and &our
reasons !or selectin, an& strati!&in, variables) i! the& were e%lo&ed. #escribe the sa%lin,
lan.
#escribe the siHe o! the sa%le) and how it was deter%ined and the rationale !or the siHe.
Sa%lin, units should be identi!ied.
#ata describin, the characteristics o! the subjects that are relevant to the stud& should
be rovidedG and) i! available) data !ro% the oulation to enable the reader to jud,e the
reresentativeness o! the sa%le.
#escribe what will be done with subjects that decline to articiate) dro out) or do not
articiate in all arts o! the stud&. Bhat will be done about non0resondentsC Bhat will be
done about non0residentsC Bhat will be done about inco%lete 7uestionnaires or ones with
obvious resonse sets) l&in,) cheatin, or unanswered ite%sC All a!!ect the oulation to
who% one can ,eneraliHe the results) i.e.) the e:ternal validit& o! the stud&.
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Outco%e 5easures
5easure%ent o! the deendent variable's( is one 9e& to &our stud&. .nstru%ents are
oerational de!initive !or variables. Techni7ues or instru%ents used to %easure the
deendent variable's() outco%e) %ust be care!ull& described in ter%s o!:
1. ;alidit& 0 #oes the instru%ent or techni7ue %easure what it urorts to %easure with
this ,rouC
". Reliabilit& 0 Bhatever the instru%ent or techni7ue %easures does it do so
consistentl& with this ,rouC
$. Suitabilit& 0 -tilit& %ust be hi,h !or subjects to who% ad%inistered.
.! well09nown instru%ents are used) one can ,enerall& brie!l& describe the%) and their
reliabilit& and validit&) and re!er the reader throu,h citation to re!erences where %ore
thorou,h detailed discussions can be !ound.
.! the researcher is develoin, the instru%entation) then validit& and reliabilit& %ust be
established. The instru%ent should be ilot and2or !ield tested. The researcher should
describe how this was done. A !ield test can locate otential suitabilit& roble% areas.
Aendi: coies o! the instru%ents to the roosal.
The Review o! Literature can be utiliHed to veri!& the concets2theor& under stud& and the
scoe o! the %easure%ent %ethods to assess the concets. This section should establish
the oerational lin9 between these concets2theor& and the %easure%ent.
.! &ou use interviewers or observers) how were the& trainedC Bhat were their inter0rater
and intra0rater reliabilitiesC
Conditions o! Testin,
#escribe when) where and under what conditions the data were ,athered) the nu%ber o!
ti%es and order in which instru%ents were used) and the ti%e allotted !or the data collection.
#escribe the verbal and written directions rovided to the subjects. Bere incentives used
to encoura,e resonseC
4e seci!icL Bhen &ou describe when) ta9in, a test a!ter lunch) a!ter another test) etc.)
%a& e:lain variance %ore than the 7uarter or date.
#urin, the actual data ,atherin,) testin,) %onitor events so the& can be e:lained to the
reader.
.! instru%ents are otentiall& reactive) what recautions will be ta9en to %ini%iHe this
threat.
Treat%ents
How were the indeendent variables ad%inisteredC Bhat was done to the subjectsC
#escribe all levels so that the& are relicable. Bere an& %ethods e%lo&ed and abandoned
because the& were valuelessC
Kerlin,er describes %a:i%iHin, the di!!erences between the levels o! the indeendent
variable. A t&ical shortco%in, is co%arin, a @newA %ethods with a @traditionalA or
@conventionalA %ethod o! doin, so%ethin,) and the researcher describes at len,th the @newA
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%ethod but not the @traditionalA %ethod. How) reall&) are the& di!!erentC
.! attribute variables are used in the desi,n) identi!& the% and the nu%ber o! levels o!
each and brie!l& describe the rationale !or the selection o! the attribute variables '%ore
thorou,h e:lanation should be in the @ReviewA(.
#ata Anal&sis
Statistical techni7ues are tools selected because o! &our desi,n) not vice versa.
#escritive and in!erential anal&ses are rovided to address each !acet o! the h&othesis)
null h&othesis) objective or roble%. Have !oresi,htL Bhat is the easiest wa& to collect)
code and anal&He &our dataC
Bh& were these %ethods o! anal&sis e%lo&edC Bh& was this level o! si,ni!icance
selectedC
8or each statistical %ethod used) resent evidence indicatin, that the basic assu%tion
underl&in, its use have been %et. 8or e:a%le) a Pearson Product 5o%ent Correlation 'r(
assu%es both linearit& and ho%oscedasticit&) so &ou would alwa&s need to construct a
scatterlot whenever &ou use r to show these assu%tions are %et. Statistics courses
rovide &ou with these s9ills and understandin,s.
Re%e%ber) select statistics that answer the 7uestion's( involved with the stud&. The&
serve research) not do%inate it. /othin, is ,ained in usin, co%licated statistics that haen
to be in @vo,ueA i! si%le ones will do just as well. Seci!& what anal&sis will be used !or
each objective.
The rooser %a& !ind it bene!icial to rovide) as an aendi:) sa%le s9eletons o! the
tables and !i,ures that will aear in Chater * as a result o! the anal&sis. Proosal readers)
co%%ittee %e%bers) etc.) o!ten !ind this bene!icial in concetualiHin, what will be roduced
b& these anal&sis techni7ues.
Proosals sub%itted !or A,r Educ MM+ do not have to have the #ata Anal&sis section
co%lete. A,r Educ MM= will aroach this toic in %ore detail.
This wor9 is ta9en !ro% A,r. Educ. MM+ class notes rovided and written b& #r. Larr& 5iller) The Ohio State
-niversit&.
Sete%ber ">) ">>>
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