Research Proposal Assignment

Length:6–8 pages, excluding attachments

This assignment gives you the opportunity to pull together all the knowledge that you have acquired in this course. You have to apply relevant information from Units 1 through 15. Most of the review questions in Units 1 through 15 are designed to help you develop your proposal. You are strongly encouraged, therefore, to incorporate some of the answers developed from these units into the proposal.

Note:You may cut and paste the Literature Review assignment into your proposal. However, if you decide to change your topic after submitting the Literature Review assignment, then you must prepare a new literature review.

This assignment is a pilot study; this means that it is a small-scale version of an ideal study. However, you are required to demonstrate knowledge of what the ideal study would look like. Consequently, some of the requirements in the proposal format above have the components of an ideal and a pilot study.

Also, since the assignment is a pilot study, it will not be submitted to the Athabasca University Ethics Review Board. Your tutor will review the proposal to ensure that all relevant ethical issues have been addressed.Therefore, you must submit your Research Proposal assignment to your tutor for ethical review and obtain your tutor’s feedbackbeforeyou proceed with data collection.

Instructions: Develop a proposal for a research project using one of the following methods: surveys, experiments, field research, unobtrusive methods, evaluation research, or mixed methods. Use the format below for your research proposal.

Introduction/Research Purpose

· State the main purpose of the study.

· Rephrase the purpose as a research question.

· Include an hypothesis for studies that require testing a proposed causal relationship between variables. State your hypothesis as a null or as an alternative hypothesis.

· Conceptualize: define the main concepts in your research question/hypothesis.

· Identify the indicators that will be used to measure the variables being studied. Note that indicators are not required for qualitative studies.

Literature Review/Theoretical Framework

The purpose of a literature review is to summarize relevant scholarly knowledge about the proposed research topic. The review should find answers to the research question.

· Identify and critique any flaws in the literature.

· Address the following questions:

· Will my study address any gaps in the literature?

· Am I replicating an existing study?

· Use relevant theories if the study is deductive. Include theories if the proposed study is inductive, but you plan to use a specific theory to help you make sense of the data.

Context of Study

· Provide a brief description of the where the study will be conducted. This should include information about socio-economic, cultural, and geographical factors that influence the environment within which the study is being conducted.

Study Population

· Describe the population from which observations, subjects or respondents will be selected or recruited.


You must address two main issues in this section. First, describe the ideal sampling technique for your proposal, that is, the technique that you would use if the research were to be an ideal study. Second, describe the sampling technique for the “pilot” study.

· Ideal sampling technique: Identify and describe the ideal sampling technique. Justify your choice of this technique. For example, why is this technique appropriate for your study? Include the ideal sample size.

· Pilot study: Since this assignment is a pilot study, you are not required to use the ideal sampling technique. Instead, provide a description of how you plan to recruit your sample for the pilot study.

· The sample size for a survey should be between 20 and 25 respondents for the pilot study, and about 6 participants if you plan to conduct a qualitative interview.

Method and Data Collection

· Indicate the method of data collection for the proposed study. Justify your choice of the method. If you plan to conduct a survey, justify your choice of the data collection instruments as well.

· Additional requirements of this section will depend on the method you plan to use. Here are three examples:

· Field research: Describe how observations or data will be collected; indicate the duration of observation, how the data will be recorded, and the role of the observer.

· Experiments: Describe and justify the proposed experimental design. This design will include a description of the mechanics, including focus on any pre- and posttesting, a description of the experimental stimulus and how it will be applied, and a discussion of the need for and nature of debriefing, if relevant.

· Surveys: Describe how the survey will be conducted, specifically, the type of questionnaire to be used, and the distribution, collection, and monitoring of returns.

Ethical Issues

· Identify some of the relevant ethical issues and how they will be addressed. For example, how will you protect the participants from harm? or, how will you obtain an informed consent? Discuss issues relating to confidentiality and anonymity, etc.


· Include any check list, interview questions, and questionnaires that will be used in the execution of the study. If the required attachments are not included, the proposal will be given a failing grade.


· The essay must be double-spaced, in 12-point font, with standard 1.25-inch margins on the top, bottom, left and right.

· The essay must have a cover page with the title of the assignment, your name, and your student ID.

· Use APA style for all in-text citations and references. Visit the Write Site for detailed information about APA style.

· Submit your work using the assignment link in Moodle.

· Students who do not follow these guidelines will be penalized.


Evaluation Sheet for the Research Proposal Assignment

Students will be awarded full marks if they address all the requirements in each section of the proposal.

I. Introduction/research (20 points)

II. Literature review/theoretical framework (10 points)

III. Context of study (5 points)

IV. Study populations (5 points)

V. Sampling

· Ideal (15 points)

· Pilot (5 points)

VI. Methods and data collection (20 points)

VII. Ethical issues (5 points)

VIII. Attachments (10 points)

IX. Format (5 points)

· In-text citation and references

· Structure and organization

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