If you are following the steps in this chapter, you can do the following:
Now you are ready to begin the data analysis stage.In Chapters 7 and 8, you learned how to use some basic statistical tools to describe the characteristics of the data you collect during the early stages of your research.At this point in your proposal, you want to address the following tasks and ensure that they are completed before you continue:
Selecting an inferential test is a task that always takes care. When you are first starting out, the choice can be downright intimidating.You can learn about some of the most common situations, such as testing the difference between the means of two or more groups and looking at the relationships between groups. In both cases, the same principles of testing for the significance of an outcome apply.Now, do not think for a minute that (a) you can substitute a chart like the one you saw in Chapter 8 for a basic statistics course, or that (b) this is a statistics course (and this is a statistics book). Instead, that chart you see on page 187 offers some simple help to guide you toward a correct selection. You got a little bit of the why of inference in Chapter 8, but to get all of the why, enroll in that Statistics 1 class and make your adviser (and parents) happy.
As you learned in Chapter 2, most organizations that sponsor research (such as universities) have some kind of committee that regularly reviews research proposals to ensure that humans (and animals) are not in any danger should they participate.Before investigators begin their work, and as part of the proposal process, an informed consent form is completed and attached to the proposal. The committee reviews the information and either approves the project (and indicates that human subjects are not in danger) or tries its best to work with the investigator to change the proposed methods so that things proceed as planned.
When it comes time to write a proposal, here is the quote you want to paste over your desk:
And that is the truth. Successful scientists will tell you that if you start out with a clear, well-thought-out question, the rest of your proposal, as well as the execution of your research, will fall into place. On the other hand, if your initial question is unclear, you will find yourself floundering and unable to focus on the real issue. Work on writing your proposal every day, read it over, let it sit for a while, have a friend or colleague glance at it and offer suggestions, write some more, let it sit some more. Get the message? Practice and work hard, and you will be well rewarded.