ETHICAL STANDARD SUMMARY-
PART6- RESEARCH PROPOSAL-
Write a 1,400- to 1,750-word research proposal including the following:
Format your research proposal consistent with APA guidelines.
RESOURCE FOR THIS ASSIGNMENT:
If one of the requirements for this class is to write a research proposal, then you have come to the right place. This chapter will lead you through the process you need to take to write a research proposal. Even if you are not required to write a proposal for class, stick around anyway. What you learn here will be helpful in your research endeavors. You will learn what distinguishes acceptable proposals from unacceptable ones. You will also learn the importance of framing a question in a clear, logical manner so that it is easier to answer. In Chapter 3, there was a ton of information about reviewing the literature—both on and off line—an important part of preparing any research proposal. If you need to, review that now.Writing a proposal is not an easy task for anyone, and it may be especially difficult if you have not written one before or if you have not done much writing. The job takes diligence, commitment, and hard work, but all the hard work is well worth it. You will end up with a product of which you can be proud, and that is only the beginning. If you actually follow through and complete the proposed research, you will be making a significant contribution to your field. With these words of encouragement, the following are the major steps to follow in the writing of a proposal, beginning with what a proposal looks like.
Knowing how to organize and present a proposal is an important part of the research craft. The very act of putting thoughts down on paper will help you clarify your research interests and ensure that you are saying what you mean. Remember the fellow on the television commercial who said, “Pay me now or pay me later”? The more work and thought you put into your proposal, the easier it will be to complete the research later. In fact, many supervising faculty suggest that a proposal’s first two or three chapters be actually the same as the entire finished thesis or dissertation—putting you way ahead of the game.The following is a basic outline of what should be contained in a research proposal and a few comments on each of these sections. Keep in mind that proposals can be organized differently and, whatever you do, be sure that your professor approves of your outline before you start writing.
If you have looked at someone else’s thesis or dissertation, you might notice that this outline is organized around the same general sequence of chapter titles—introduction, review of literature, methodology, results, and discussion. Because this is only a proposal, the last two sections cannot present the analysis of the real data or discuss the findings. Instead, the proposal simply talks about the implications and limitations of the study, and the last part (V) contains all the important appendices.The first three sections of the finished proposal form a guideline about what the proposal should contain: introduction, review of literature, and method. The rest of the material (implications and such) should be included at your own discretion and based on the wishes of your adviser or professor. Keep in mind that completing the first three sections is a lot of work. However, you will have to gather that information anyway, and doing it before you collect your data will give you more confidence in conducting your research as well as a very good start and a terrific road map as to where you are going with your research.
Although the words in your proposal are important, the appearance of your proposal is also important. What you say is more important than how you say it, but there is a good deal of truth to Marshall McLuhan’s statement that the medium is the message. Here are some simple, straightforward tips about proposal preparation. If you have any doubts about presentation (and if you don’t have any other class guidelines), follow the guidelines set forth in the sixth edition of the Publication Manual of American Psychological Association (APA, 2009), which is discussed and illustrated in Chapter 14.
Cognitive Style and Gender Differences/Salkind 15As for the format of the contents, you cannot go wrong if you follow the example given in Chapter 14, which is written using the APA guidelines for manuscript presentation. There are some differences between what you are reading here and what you will see in Chapter 14, but nothing major. For example, APA guidelines do not require the author’s name on each page because the review for journals is “blind.” Your professor, however, needs your name on each page.
When you begin to go through research articles in preparation for writing a proposal (or just to learn more about the research process), you want to be sure that you can read, understand, and evaluate the content.As a beginning researcher, you might not be ready to take on the “experts” and start evaluating and criticizing the work of well-known researchers, right? Wrong! Even if you are relatively naive and inexperienced about the research process, you can still read and critically evaluate research articles. Even the most sophisticated research should be written in a way that is clear and understandable. Finally, even if you cannot answer all the questions listed below to your satisfaction at this point, they provide a great starting place for learning more. As you gain more experience, the answers will appear.So what makes good research? B. W. Hall, A. W. Ward, and C. B. Comer (1988) asked that very question about 128 published research articles. Among a survey of research experts, they found the following shortcomings (in order of appearance) to be the most pressing criticisms. Even though this article is almost 16 years old, the findings are still relevant to any proposal.
This is quite a series of pitfalls. To help you avoid the worst of them, you might want to ask the following set of questions about any research article.