Research Proposal: Paper 3 will propose a study to test a hypothesis of your choosing.
NOTE:Your paper must be saved as a .pdf, .doc or .docx word document and uploaded to Canvas by the due date to be eligible for grading and credit. Files in other formats cannot be opened or accepted.
Your paper should be between 4- to 6-pages of text, not including a title page and references. However, it is rare that this paper can be completed adequately in fewer than 4 full pages.
Overview of the Paper
Your paper must:
- Clearly define and explain why the proposed study is needed, citing existing research and statistics
- Clearly state the hypothesis at the end of the introduction
- Provide a research strategy, including why it is the most appropriate method to assess the hypothesis. You will also need to detail the measures (such as the questions you would include on a survey to measure the variables).
- Provide an analytic strategy that states which statistical tests will be used and why they are appropriate for the data.
- Provide a short discussion section that includes one paragraph of possible implications and one to two paragraphs of possible limitations due to the study design. You can briefly state what you believe should be done in future research to overcome some of the limitations in your study, thereby bolstering our knowledge about your topic as a field.
Keep your hypothesis and design simple. You should NOT propose studies with extraneous variables, multiple waves of data collection (i.e. a study where data would need to be collected more than 1 to 2 times from each participant), or too many conditions. If your hypothesis cannot be tested with a correlation, t-test, ANOVA, or simple regression, it is too complicated for this assignment.
In general, the following elements are required:
- A literature review to support the need for the proposed study
- A research strategy (method of data collection) and a corresponding analytic strategy
- A discussion of the strengths and limitations to the research method.
- A list of references that corresponds to the in-text citations (minimum of 3).
For Your Proposal: Section-Specific Direction
Title (16 words maximum).
You should include a clear and succinct title for your paper. This should appear on your cover page. A running header is not required for this paper.
Introduction (1-1 ½ pages):
Tell your reader about previous research that supports your current hypothesis or the need to test the current hypothesis. You have two main goals here:
- Teach your reader about the hypothesis and 2. Clarify why you have come to this hypothesis. This section should succinctly provide well-documented evidence of a specific hypothesis and why it is important. Your reader should get a clear sense of why the hypothesis is being tested and what the meaningfulness and application of the results might be IF the hypothesis is supported.
This section should end with a clear statement of the hypothesis. Your hypothesis MUST include only two variables. You will also propose how to analyze the hypothesis.
NO data will be provided, collected, or analyzed for your third research paper; instead, you are writing what is called a research proposal. A research proposal is a plan for a study.
Many of the hypotheses we could develop are quite complex so refrain from getting off topic; instead, focus on only the two variables you choose for your hypothesis.
Use research findings to back up all statements of fact and to support your ideas.
The introduction should include a minimum ofthree peer-reviewed articles. Citations and references should follow the APA format. You will likely find that you want more than three citations so cite as much as is needed! Citations and references should follow the APA format. The citation is the information that occurs in the text (e.g., Nielsen, et al., 2004) and reference refers to the publication information that is disclosed at the end of the document, e.g.,
Nielsen, A., Pinsof, W., Rampage, C., Solomon, A. H., & Goldstein, S. (2004). Marriage 101: An integrated academic and experiential undergraduate marriage education course. Family Relations, 53, 485-494.
Method (2-4 pages):
You will propose from whom and how you would collect data to test your proposed hypothesis. Tell your reader three key components of the method here: Participants, Measures, and Procedures. Remember, you are proposing what WOULD be done and, therefore, you should use future tense for the sections of the method.
The Participants section should tell the reader the proposed sample size and any demographic variables you would want to know. If you want to include only women, state that. If you want to include students and non-students, state that. The goal is to tell who would be sought for the sample because this has implications for the generalizability of results.
The Measures section should tell the reader how you would measure all variables for the study. Detail the questions you would ask to measure all variables; be sure to provide sample questions for the reader. You are welcome to use a measure that was established in previous research-in fact, this is encouraged! If you propose using a measure created and reported in a previous study, you would state that in this section and provide an APA formatted citation to the original study where that measure was published. I strongly recommend that you try to find a study that has already measured the variable(s) included in your hypothesis. You can report that you are using the same items as are reported in a previous study, cite that study in APA format, and provide examples of the questions from that study.
The Procedures section should tell the reader how the research would be conducted. THIS IS A CRITICAL SECTION FOR THIS PAPER. Here the form of data collection (e.g. online survey, paper survey, in-person interview, behavioral observation) should be stated. The steps involved should also be reported with enough detail that another researcher would know how to replicate your study. You must also state the type of design you are using (such as quasi-experimental, correlational, etc.). In your discussion, you will want to tell why this is the best method to test the hypothesis, the strengths of the design, and any weaknesses that should be known.
Analytic Strategy (1/5 page to 1/2 page):
The goal of this section is to tell your reader how you would analyze the data. State exactly which statistical procedure(s) would be used to test the hypothesis (e.g. bivariate correlation, independent samples t-test). For this paper you will NOT collect data and you will NOT report results. This section is a plan of how results would be analyzed if you conducted the proposed study.
Discussion (1/2 page to 1 page):
Tell your reader 1. The strengths of the research design which warrant conducting the study and 2. Any limitations to the design.
References (as many pages as is needed; does not count toward total page count limits):
This should be an alphabetized, APA-formatted list of all references used. Here is an example of how the title and a reference should look. The references must start at the top of a new page (see example paper).
Overall Format Issues
- Use the format of the American Psychological Association (APA, 6th edition; http://www.apastyle.org/elecref.html;
- 12-point font in Times New Roman
- 4-6 pages
- Strive for NO typos, spelling errors or grammar problems. Have others proofread your work. Use spell check and grammar check before handing in your paper and take advantage of the writing tutoring available at LAVC well in advance of your due date(s).
- Spoken English is very different than written English. Do not use slang or “text speak.”
Style and usage affect the credibility of your plan. Here are some suggestions for making your writing clear and correct (California Department of Education, 2005).
- Consult a dictionary and a style manual (e.g., The Chicago Manual of Style) to help you with spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Choosing a common style helps establish consistency in the document.
- Use short sentences. Sentences of more than twenty words become cumbersome and often confusing to the reader.
- Avoid passive voice. “Teachers will visit parents at home” is more direct and informative than “Parents will be visited.”
- Rely on simple language. Examples: Use is simpler than utilization, becauseis more direct than due to the fact that. Don’t make your document unnecessarily complex with long words and wordy phrases.
- Delete any words, sentences, or phrases that do not add to the meaning. Make every word fight for its life. NOTE: The overall length of your paper is short (4-6 pages) but has to cover a lot of ground. This means you cannot waste any space on fluff or filler.
- Break lengthy paragraphs into smaller sections. Try to limit paragraphs to four or five sentences.
- Develop summaries at the beginning or end of sections. This is best achieved through starting each paragraph with a clear topic sentence and ending it with a transition sentence.
- Use facts and statistics to prove your case. Be sure to cite your sources.