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Research: Thesis Proposal Assignment

Research: Thesis Proposal Assignment

Research Process: Thesis Proposal (Rpt Course) Minimum Requirements
The purpose of this document is to serve as a guide in assembling your proposal when you are completing it both in the RPM, and RPT courses. The aim of the thesis proposal is to demonstrate:
• The topic matches your interests and capability to carry out the research • There is a need for the research; it is significant, and related to your program of study; • Your proposal will contribute to the body of knowledge in the field; • The ethical issues have been considered. • The topic is feasible in terms of the availability of resources, population, supervisor, and data collection; • The research and thesis can be completed within a 12 month timeframe
Completed research proposals address what you propose to study, why the issue or problem is important to study, and how you think you will conduct your study. The length of the proposal in the Research Process Methodology (RPM) course must be 16-20 pages, without the title page, table of contents, and references, and adhere to APA 6th edition formatting. It must include:
1. A Title Page, and Table of Contents 2. An Introduction that describes the current conditions in the field 3. A Problem Definition in which you describe (a) the problem or opportunity your study will address and
why it is significant, (b) the purpose of your study (the gap in current knowledge that it will fill), and (c) the specific research question(s) that your study will attempt to answer.
4. A comprehensive Literature Review based primarily on peer- reviewed articles. 5. Methodology and Method. This should be a one paragraph, brief mention of whether you envision this
study being quantitative or qualitative, what data you envision collecting from whom or what, and what you think you will do with your data once you collect it.
6. References using APA Style. Your thesis proposal should introduce the reader to the topic and give a complete picture of the background of the problem you want to investigate, the purpose of your study, and your research question(s). It is primarily a compilation of all the class assignments which are clearly outlined in the course syllabus, put into a presentation format and written clearly, logically, and coherently. It may serve as the basis for your future research and may be used to “sell” your idea to a potential a supervisor. Your thesis proposal must demonstrate clarity of thought and an ability to engage in meaningful research. It must also interest and excite the reader so that he/she is motivated to consider being your thesis supervisor.
The length of the proposal in the RPT course should be from 32-40 pages, without the title pages, table of contents, and references. You will augment your RPM proposal based on new material covered in the course, particularly in terms of your research methodology, and data collection and analysis plan. On the date specified by your instructor, you will submit your first draft of the RPT Proposal by depositing it in the appropriate Drop Box. By the end of the RPT course, you should have a preliminary, but complete draft of Chapter 3 – Research Design and
Methodology, and a revised complete draft of Chapters 1 and 2. Students, who are on track for an IP in the RPT course, will be allowed to pursue acquiring a Thesis supervisor upon completion of Chapter. The instructor will ascertain your readiness to attain a supervisor, and notify you. Except for revisions or additions by your supervisor, and applying for UCAIHS exemption with the department, you should be ready to begin collecting data, analyzing the data, and writing your conclusions.
i. Title pages a. A Working Title and your name on a separate cover page (with no page number) b. A Table of Contents (separate page)
i. Title pages: Add your supervisor’s name (when you get one) and the date of submission (month, day and year). Each time you submit a revised proposal, please change the date.
In addition, you will add separate pages for:
ii. Dedication (optional) iii. Declaration iv. Acknowledgements
RPM and RPT: THESIS Requirements (rev. March, 2014)
Abbreviations or Symbols (if needed)
v. Glossary (if needed) 1. Introduction (RPM: 2-4 pages):
1.1. Describe the Broad Issues and Current Conditions in the Field You are Researching. Refer to previous research and statistics to illustrate the scope and importance of the current problems and opportunities, using in-text citations to support all factual statements.
The purpose of the Introduction is to provide background for the reader. Do not discuss what you plan to do.
Assume the reader is not an expert in your area so define terms as needed.
Note: It usually is easier to write this section last, after all the others.
This should include the significance for why this research is needed.
CHAPTER 1 – INTRODUCTION (RPT: 4- 8 pages): 1.1. Update the Introduction, as needed, based on any new information you obtain.
RPM and RPT: THESIS Requirements (rev. March, 2014)
1.2 Problem Definition (RPM: 2-3 pages):
1.2.1 Formal Problem Statement:
Describe the specific issue or concern you will address and why. Describe how it relates to the broader issues in the field, linking back to the general overview you provided in the Introduction.
Explain why there is a sense of urgency to addressing the problem. Narrow and refine the problem statement.
1.2. Problem Definition (RPT: 3 – 5 pages): 1.21. Formal Problem Statement: Update if needed.
1.3 Purpose of Study:
The purpose statement reminds the reader of the current gap in knowledge of the problem that your study will fill. Develop a purpose statement that addresses the problem. Begin this section with “The purpose or objective of this study will be to:
In a qualitative study, the purpose might be to understand or discover or explore or examine the meaning of or report” etc.
In a quantitative study, the purpose might be to compare different groups or to study or determine the relationship among variables.
1.2. Purpose of the Study
Update if needed.
1.4 Research Question(s): Summarize the purpose of your study into one or two overarching research questions: “What do I want to know?” This is the question that your study will attempt to answer. At the conclusion of your study, you will need to convince the reader that you were able to answer it. Research questions are more focused than your purpose statement. Identify the research questions that are tied to the purpose of the study, and when answered, shed light on the problem.
1.4 Research Question(s): Update if needed
RPM and RPT: THESIS Requirements (rev. March, 2014)
1.3.1 1.5 Theoretical Framework (if quantitative) or Philosophical Research Paradigm (if qualitative) 1.3.2 RPM: 1-2 pages. 1.3.3
The theoretical framework or philosophical research paradigm describes the underlying logic or structure of your study. Theoretical Framework (Quantitative): Provide operational definitions of all the variables in your study (IV, DV, MV and IIV, if any). Also, describe in detail any models or theories that are being tested. Refer back to the literature, as applicable, to show the relevance of these concepts and variables for your study. You need to make a convincing case as to why you chose these variables out of all existing variables to include in your study. Why do you think these are the most important ones? If you are conducting a hypothesis-testing study, list each hypothesis here. Show BOTH the null and alternative hypothesis. Hypotheses can be descriptive or relational but must be written in a way that makes them testable (i.e. you will be able to gather evidence that supports or fails to support each hypothesis). They are the “educated guesses” as to the answers to your research questions.
Philosophical Research Paradigm (Qualitative): Describe your “worldview” or framework of beliefs, values and methods within which your research will take place, e.g. constructivist, pragmatic, etc.. See the Creswell book, and the handouts under “Resources” for detailed information.
1.5 Theoretical Framework (if quantitative) or Philosophical Research Paradigm (if qualitative) RPT: 2-4 pages. Theoretical Framework (Quantitative) Update as needed. For RPT you MUST add a schematic diagram showing the predicted relationships among the variables in your study. If you are doing a descriptive study with no predicted relationships, include the variables that you plan to examine initially in a diagram.
Philosophical Research Paradigm (Qualitative): Update if needed
RPM and RPT: THESIS Requirements (rev. March, 2014)
2. Literature Review (RPM: 10 – 12 pages)
2.1 Introduction. It is important to have a good introduction that clearly tells the reader what the literature review will be about, and its central themes or organizational pattern. Point out overall trends in what has been published about the topic, and explain the criteria you have used to analyze and compare the literature you reviewed.
The literature review is a critical look at the existing research which is related your research study. It is important for you to read and analyze everything that could be related to your research questions. After completing a literature review you should be able to identify the prominent authors and texts that are related to your topic, and area of study. The literature review may include both the research (empirical or analytical) on your topic, and theoretical works related to your topic.
The literature review is used as the basis for your Introduction’s brief description of the background of your study, to identify research trends or areas of interest that are relevant to your study, and to find potential gaps in the existing body of knowledge.
There is no one way to conduct a literature review, but this section should be done in a systematic fashion to capture, evaluate and summarize the literature. Creswell (2013) has a 7 step plan to follow that could be used. Include at least 30 high quality citations, and at least 50% of them should be peer- reviewed academic references.
CHAPTER 2 – LITERATURE REVIEW (RPT: 12 -14 pages) Update as needed based on any new information you obtain, or may need.
RPM and RPT: THESIS Requirements (rev. March, 2014)
3. Research Methodology (RPM: 1 paragraph):
3.1. Methodology. This should be a one paragraph, and a brief mention of whether you envision this study being quantitative or qualitative, what data you envision collecting from whom or what e.g. interviews, surveys, document review, etc. Make reference back to the Theoretical Framework (if quantitative) or Philosophical Research Paradigm (if qualitative), you mentioned earlier. Your study’s purpose, research questions, and research methodology are connected. The research methodology you choose is the one that best fulfills the purpose of the study, and answers the researcher questions.
CHAPTER 3 – RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY (RPT: 5- 6 pages): Describe the type of study (exploratory, descriptive, hypothesis-testing or case analysis), type of investigation (qualitative, quantitative or mixed), extent of researcher interference, study setting, unit of analysis, and time horizon. Be sure to address each of these in your proposal. If you are collecting qualitative data, you MUST address the issues of “Reflexivity” and “Ethical Considerations” as a researcher. Describe the past experiences that led to picking this topic and your connections to the participants, if any (e.g. co-workers). Be explicit about your views and values, potential biases, and anything in your history or world view that might shape the interpretation of the data you collect.
Continued on next page …
RPM and RPT: THESIS Requirements (rev. March, 2014)
3.1 Data Collection Plan Describe the sources of your data and how you plan to collect and record the data. Sources typically are either people participating in your study, documents, events, activities or a mixture of these. If you are working with people, describe the sample you plan to target, e.g. members of a certain professional organization. If you are analyzing documents, describe the types of documents you plan to access, such as internal company reports. If you are observing an event or activity, describe it, e.g. inquiries made to a help desk. Describe how you plan to gather your data, interviews, questionnaires, observation, focus groups, document review, etc. Describe your sampling plan, probability, non-probability, etc., and how you plan to record your data, online software, note-taking, journals, recordings, etc.
RPM and RPT: THESIS Requirements (rev. March, 2014)
3.2 Data Analysis Plan: Quantitative data: Describe the statistical analysis you will conduct to test your hypotheses, or, if you do not have formal hypotheses, to answer each of your research questions. For each question, indicate the statistical tests you plan to use either to test for group differences or to test for significant relationships among your variables. Describe how you plan to measure the reliability and validity of your data. The reliability of the research instrument tests how consistent the instrument is in measuring outcomes. The validity of the research instrument measures whether an instrument is actually measuring the item intended. Qualitative data: Describe how you will code the data, identify patterns and themes, and summarize and interpret the results. Describe how you will assess Trustworthiness — Reliability in qualitative research is an examination of
RPM and RPT: THESIS Requirements (rev. March, 2014)
trustworthiness. Trustworthiness of a research study concerns the issues conventionally discussed as validity and reliability in a quantitative research study. Therefore, the examination of trustworthiness is crucial to ensure confirmability in qualitative research. Confirmability is a way to support the argument that the research findings are worth paying attention to. One way of achieving confirmability in qualitative research is the use of triangulation or crystallization. Triangulation uses multiple sources of data from different places.
3.3 Estimated Timeline Provide a timeline listing the order for all the major steps of the study and indicate the approximate amount of time needed for each step.
RPM and RPT: THESIS Requirements (rev. March, 2014)
References and Bibliography (RPM: 4 pages)
You should use RefWorks, Mendeley, Papers, or any other reference / pdf management or reference toolt to assist in compiling your preliminary list of references you used during your initial literature review. There should be a mix of peer-reviewed academic publications, journals, trade magazines, books, magazines, periodicals, and electronic resources. All references listed here should refer back to the in-text citations you have throughout your paper. You should have at least 30 high-quality citations with at least 50% of them academic peer-reviewed articles on your topic to demonstrate your knowledge of the scholarly literature.
Follow APA Style, 6th edition, for your in-text citations and References.
Summary(Comprehensive) of Proposal (RPT: 2 pages) Someone should be able to read your summary and understand your research plan without reading the entire proposal. Therefore, it must include the problem to be studied, the main findings from the literature review, the research question, hypotheses (if any), research methodology, data collection and analysis plan, and limitations.
References and Bibliography (RPT: 4 – 8 pages) Update if needed.
RPM and RPT: THESIS Requirements (rev. March, 2014)
• The purpose of the Introduction is to provide background for the reader. Do not discuss what you plan to do.

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