Anatomy of a Research Proposal
Order ID 53563633773 Type Essay Writer Level Masters Style APA Sources/References 4 Perfect Number of Pages to Order 5-10 Pages
Anatomy of a Research Proposal
Your proposal should have the following sections:
Introduction: The introduction is where you identify your specific research question and where you set the general context for the study. In this section you need to include: Comment by N Drum: This should flow as a narrative. You should not have a bunch of subheading here calling out “Purpose statement” and the like. It should be clear from your writing what you are talking about and why its relevant. Make sure your discussion flows logically.
- A statement of the problem or general research question and context leading to a clear statement of the specific research question;
- Background and contextual material justifying why this case or topic should be studied; and
- A purpose statement.
Literature Review: This short preliminary literature review section reviews the literature important to your specific research question. The literature review focuses on discussing how other researchers have addressed the same or similar research questions. It introduces the study and places it in larger context that includes a discussion of why it is important to study this case. It provides the current state of accumulated knowledge as it relates to your specific research question. In this section you should: Comment by N Drum: In your assignment for this course you were asked to do a literature review specific to a substantive theory.
You should NOT cut and paste that paper into this section. Instead here you should be synthesizing the literature specific to what we already know about the topic you’d like to assess. What studies have already been carried out here that inform the development of your research question but just don’t go far enough? In the literature review section is also where you will discuss your substantive theory. In terms of organization you can do this first and then get into the studies that have already been carried out or last, each proposal is different so you need to feel this out for yourself and what makes sense for your research topic. You should be synthesizing the literature around your substantive theory. Here you might be able to further synthesize (condense) what you already wrote for your assignment 4.
- Summarize the general state of the literature (cumulative knowledge base) on the specific research question. For example if you discuss other studies that have been conducted you would summarize the researcher’s findings, how those findings were obtained, and conduct an evaluation of biases in the findings.
- This section should provide a broad overview of the primary arguments related to the topic and organizes the general views on the main aspects of the topic by theme, which could be the prevailing arguments or schools of thought, or commonly held beliefs that your particular topic may challenge.
- Include a short conclusion and transition to the next section.
- For some additional information on how to organize your theoretical framework into your paper, check out this USC Library guide on Theoretical Frameworks.
In your literature review you should also discuss the theoretical framework to be used in the study. You should ensure you cover the following in your discussion:
- A summary of the theory or model to be used in the study, including a diagram of the model if appropriate;
- Comment on the kinds of questions this theory has been used to answer in the past and why it is appropriate to use in this proposed study
- To really drive this home you want to end your literature review with a discussion of the current knowledge gaps. This is an opportunity to once again promote the importance of your own research. How will your research fit within this larger body of knowledge? What are you doing differently? What gaps will your research fill?
From here you would then include a transition into your methodology section.
NOTE: Literature reviews can be a bit tricky to write. Think back to how you wrote your short theory lit review in week 4. Chances are you already started to write in a style similar to what one does when completing a literature review. Check out this video (the same one you were guided to in week 4) to help you further prepare to write this section of your proposal. This will not be the last time that you are asked to write a literature review in your academic career so its important to master this skill.
Research Design and Methods: Describes how you will answer your research question or test the hypothesis. This section describes your overall research design and how you plan to collect, synthesize, and interpret your data. It should include: Comment by N Drum: This section should be to the research design and methods you plan to use for your proposed study. This proposal needs to be something that is realistic that you yourself can carry out on your own (not with a team of researchers, or with a ton of money). Think about a project that you can complete in 8 to 16 weeks. This should be a proposal for a research paper that you could present (once the project has been completed) to a professional conference, or as your MA thesis.
- Identification and operationalization (measurement) of variables;
- A sampling plan (i.e., study population and sampling procedures, if appropriate);
- Justification of case studies used;
- Data collection/sources (secondary literature, archives, interviews, surveys, etc.);
- A summary of analysis procedures (pattern-matching, etc.); and
- The limitations of study and bias discussion.
Conclusion: Reemphasizes the importance of your study and ties the proposal together.
Reference List : As with all academic papers you need to references the works that you have cited (direct quotes or paraphrases) in the text of your document and incorporate a complete reference list or bibliography at the end. This list needs to be in the style used within your field. APA= Criminal Justice, Turabian for all others in this course. Comment by N Drum: The only references that should appear on this list are the ones you actually reference in the body of the paper. This is the rule across all papers unless your professor says otherwise. At the grad level papers the merit of papers often comes from the body of work that informs them so you really want to pack these in and show off your knowledge of the literature.
Remember that the references you use demonstrate your knowledge of the topic area. This research proposal is meant to convince your professor that you not only have identified a worthy question in need of investigation, but that you are also capable of carrying out the research involved to successfully answer that question. At the very least you should have referenced 12-15 peer-reviewed sources in this proposal.
Anatomy of a Research Proposal
QUALITY OF RESPONSE NO RESPONSE POOR / UNSATISFACTORY SATISFACTORY GOOD EXCELLENT Content (worth a maximum of 50% of the total points) Zero points: Student failed to submit the final paper. 20 points out of 50: The essay illustrates poor understanding of the relevant material by failing to address or incorrectly addressing the relevant content; failing to identify or inaccurately explaining/defining key concepts/ideas; ignoring or incorrectly explaining key points/claims and the reasoning behind them; and/or incorrectly or inappropriately using terminology; and elements of the response are lacking. 30 points out of 50: The essay illustrates a rudimentary understanding of the relevant material by mentioning but not full explaining the relevant content; identifying some of the key concepts/ideas though failing to fully or accurately explain many of them; using terminology, though sometimes inaccurately or inappropriately; and/or incorporating some key claims/points but failing to explain the reasoning behind them or doing so inaccurately. Elements of the required response may also be lacking. 40 points out of 50: The essay illustrates solid understanding of the relevant material by correctly addressing most of the relevant content; identifying and explaining most of the key concepts/ideas; using correct terminology; explaining the reasoning behind most of the key points/claims; and/or where necessary or useful, substantiating some points with accurate examples. The answer is complete. 50 points: The essay illustrates exemplary understanding of the relevant material by thoroughly and correctly addressing the relevant content; identifying and explaining all of the key concepts/ideas; using correct terminology explaining the reasoning behind key points/claims and substantiating, as necessary/useful, points with several accurate and illuminating examples. No aspects of the required answer are missing. Use of Sources (worth a maximum of 20% of the total points). Zero points: Student failed to include citations and/or references. Or the student failed to submit a final paper. 5 out 20 points: Sources are seldom cited to support statements and/or format of citations are not recognizable as APA 6th Edition format. There are major errors in the formation of the references and citations. And/or there is a major reliance on highly questionable. The Student fails to provide an adequate synthesis of research collected for the paper. 10 out 20 points: References to scholarly sources are occasionally given; many statements seem unsubstantiated. Frequent errors in APA 6th Edition format, leaving the reader confused about the source of the information. There are significant errors of the formation in the references and citations. And/or there is a significant use of highly questionable sources. 15 out 20 points: Credible Scholarly sources are used effectively support claims and are, for the most part, clear and fairly represented. APA 6th Edition is used with only a few minor errors. There are minor errors in reference and/or citations. And/or there is some use of questionable sources. 20 points: Credible scholarly sources are used to give compelling evidence to support claims and are clearly and fairly represented. APA 6th Edition format is used accurately and consistently. The student uses above the maximum required references in the development of the assignment. Grammar (worth maximum of 20% of total points) Zero points: Student failed to submit the final paper. 5 points out of 20: The paper does not communicate ideas/points clearly due to inappropriate use of terminology and vague language; thoughts and sentences are disjointed or incomprehensible; organization lacking; and/or numerous grammatical, spelling/punctuation errors 10 points out 20: The paper is often unclear and difficult to follow due to some inappropriate terminology and/or vague language; ideas may be fragmented, wandering and/or repetitive; poor organization; and/or some grammatical, spelling, punctuation errors 15 points out of 20: The paper is mostly clear as a result of appropriate use of terminology and minimal vagueness; no tangents and no repetition; fairly good organization; almost perfect grammar, spelling, punctuation, and word usage. 20 points: The paper is clear, concise, and a pleasure to read as a result of appropriate and precise use of terminology; total coherence of thoughts and presentation and logical organization; and the essay is error free. Structure of the Paper (worth 10% of total points) Zero points: Student failed to submit the final paper. 3 points out of 10: Student needs to develop better formatting skills. The paper omits significant structural elements required for and APA 6th edition paper. Formatting of the paper has major flaws. The paper does not conform to APA 6th edition requirements whatsoever. 5 points out of 10: Appearance of final paper demonstrates the student’s limited ability to format the paper. There are significant errors in formatting and/or the total omission of major components of an APA 6th edition paper. They can include the omission of the cover page, abstract, and page numbers. Additionally the page has major formatting issues with spacing or paragraph formation. Font size might not conform to size requirements. The student also significantly writes too large or too short of and paper 7 points out of 10: Research paper presents an above-average use of formatting skills. The paper has slight errors within the paper. This can include small errors or omissions with the cover page, abstract, page number, and headers. There could be also slight formatting issues with the document spacing or the font Additionally the paper might slightly exceed or undershoot the specific number of required written pages for the assignment. 10 points: Student provides a high-caliber, formatted paper. This includes an APA 6th edition cover page, abstract, page number, headers and is double spaced in 12’ Times Roman Font. Additionally, the paper conforms to the specific number of required written pages and neither goes over or under the specified length of the paper.
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