Research Proposal Education

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Do not be afraid to challenge the conclusions of prior research.

Assess what you believe is missing and state how previous research has failed to adequately examine the issue that your study addresses.

However, before you begin, read the assignment carefully and, if anything seems unclear, ask your professor whether there are any specific requirements for organizing and writing the proposal.

Proposals vary between ten and twenty-five pages in length.

A good strategy is to break the literature into "conceptual categories" [themes] rather than systematically describing groups of materials one at a time.

Note that conceptual categories generally reveal themselves after you have read most of the pertinent literature on your topic so adding new categories is an on-going process of discovery as you read more studies.Note that this section is not an essay going over everything you have learned about the topic; instead, you must choose what is relevant to help explain the goals for your study.Connected to the background and significance of your study is a section of your proposal devoted to a more deliberate review and synthesis of prior studies related to the research problem under investigation.Be specific about the methodological approaches you plan to undertake to obtain information, the techniques you would use to analyze the data, and the tests of external validity to which you commit yourself [i.e., the trustworthiness by which you can generalize from your study to other people, places, events, and/or periods of time].Just because you don't have to actually conduct the study and analyze the results, doesn't mean you can skip talking about the analytical process and potential implications.The purpose here is to place your project within the larger whole of what is currently being explored, while demonstrating to your readers that your work is original and innovative.Think about what questions other researchers have asked, what methods they have used, and what is your understanding of their findings and, where stated, their recommendations.How do you know you've covered the key be well-written and logically organized because you are not actually doing the research, yet, your reader must have confidence that it is worth pursuing.The reader will never have a study outcome from which to evaluate whether your methodological choices were the correct ones.For more information on writing literature reviews, GO HERE.Since a literature review is information dense, it is crucial that this section is intelligently structured to enable a reader to grasp the key arguments underpinning your study in relation to that of other researchers.

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