Developing Research Proposal
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Developing Research Proposal



Developing Research Proposal

Developing Research Proposal



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Developing Research Proposal Developing Research Proposal Presentation Transcript

  • Lec. On 27-9-11 Developing a Research Topic; Research Proposal; Contents of a Research Study; Theoretical/ Conceptual Framework
  • Developing a Research Topic The first step is deciding upon a topic. A clearly defined research topic is the first step in successful research because it highlights the problem. Before you can begin to research anything, you must CLEARLY understand the question that you are researching. One purpose is to convince your potential supervisor(s), advisory committee, school, etc. that you are capable of doing the research and that your project is viable. How do you decide upon a research topic?
  • Sources of Selecting a Problem It depends on: Your own observation Deduction from theory Your own practice Theory testing Related literature Evaluation of existing programs Developing or analyzing policies
  • Considerations for Research Topic/Problem/Question It should be: Of interest to you Significant Researchable (i.e. access to data, etc.) Feasible (financially and technically) Of practical value (applicable in practice) Focused Clear Ethical
  • Choosing a Topic There are some important requirements in choosing a topic: 1. You are interested in the topic. 2. A faculty member is prepared to supervise you. 3. You can obtain relevant data on the topic. 4. You have relevant knowledge and skills on the subject.
  • Broad Topic V Narrow Topic – Broad topic Difficult to find relevant sources if topic is broad/ambiguous Example: Job Security in Pakistan – Narrow topic Provides precise information Example: Job Security in Pakistan: A Case Study of Beverages Industry More Specific Example: Job Security in Pakistan: A Case Study of Beverages Industry in Karachi (or in Korangi Industrial Area, Karachi) Even More Specific Example: Job Security in Pakistan: A Case Study of Pepsi Co., Karachi
  • Narrowing down the Topic By geographical distribution (Which city or town or village? Where? What area? Street? Exact location?) By Sampling (total population, sampling characteristics, sample identification/ frame, size, and selection procedure) Rationale approach (deductive or inductive reasoning/logic) Deductive reasoning: An approach from general to particular/specific solution. Inductive reasoning: An approach from particular/specific to general solution.
  • Format of a Research Topic The topic should address the research problem, thematic area, organization, or geographic area. It’s better to start the topic with a noun, or present participle, or article such as: Identifying Factors Affecting Consumer Behavior of Buying Luxurious Brands; Exploring New Trends in E-advertising in Pakistan; An Analysis of Financial and Non-financial Performance of UBL from 2006-2010. Try to avoid topics that start with a question mark, such as: What is the impact of ….. because it may be a research question; or negative meaning words, such as: The Adverse Effect of Smoking ...... because it may show researcher bias.
  • Theoretical Framework (in relation with research topic) Four steps are very significant in most of the research projects: 1. Choose a topic (considering the problem). 2. Think of an aim of the study. 3. Choose some potential research questions or hypotheses. 4. Make or choose (from literature review) a theoretical framework to identify important variables to analyze or work on.
  • Steps in Choosing a Research Problem Move on to next stage of research design Read literature on your research topic, check results, and identify gaps 2. Generate list of Yes No interesting potential 6. Does a suitable questions problem exist? 1. 3. Check Eliminate impractical questions 5. literature. Have questions been answered already? 4. Test feasibility Figure 3.1. How to identify a research problem (adapted from Collis & Hussey, 2003)
  • Research Proposal Research Plan Research Design Synopsis
  • Research Proposal It is a draft of the first chapter of the study. It is planning in advance about how to do a research and designing its methodology. A proposal is like a lay out plan or design an architecture has made.
  • Types of Research Proposals Internal Proposal: Internal proposals are presented to the in-house management by the researcher, which are short and snappy; a one to three-page memo from the researcher to management outlining the problem statement, study objectives, research design, resources inclusive of budget, and schedule is enough to start a study. External Proposal: External proposals are presented to the donor agencies, government, or any outside organizations by the researcher, which are detailed and may comprise introduction, as well as literature review, and research design sections.
  • Types of Research Proposals Solicited or Unsolicited Proposals: A proposal can be either solicited or unsolicited. A solicited proposal is developed in response to a request for proposals by government or a donor agency, and is likely to compete against several others for the contract or grant. An unsolicited proposal represents a suggestion by a contract researcher for a research that might be done. Such proposals do not compete against others.
  • Benefits of the Proposal 1. It allows the researcher to plan and review the project’s steps. 2. It serves as a guide throughout the investigation. 3. It helps in making time and budget estimates. Moreover, it suggests human, technical, and instrumental requirement.
  • • Sometimes a researcher grants or stipends on doing a research project. In that proposal must meet the guidelines set by the receives particular case, a specific Sponsor. • Budget - Too high budget will be rejected - Too low budget can be suspicious. • Late proposal will not be reviewed.
  • Format of the Research It varies from study to study: Research Proposal (RP) for a class project RP for an independent study (IS) or research paper/article RP for a thesis or dissertation Professional/Commercial RP
  • Modules in a Professional Research Proposal Executive Summary Problem Statement Research Objectives Importance of Study Research Design Delimitations Literature Review Methodology and Data Analysis Discussion of Results/ Results and Findings Qualifications of Researcher Budget Schedule Technical Staff Req’d Facilities Available Work Plan Project Management References or Bibliography Appendices
  • RP Format For Academic Purpose Title Page - Table of Contents - Abstract Introduction or Background of the Study/Problem Problem Statement - Study Objectives Research Questions or Hypotheses Methodology - Scope of the Study Rationale/Benefit of Research - Limitations Literature Review Research Design (Population, Sample Selection, Size, and Sampling method) Data Analysis - Budget and Schedule Initial Conclusion (if any in special cases) References/Bibliography and Appendix if any
  • Research Report Format (for Academic Purpose) Title Page - Table of Contents - Acknowledgement Abstract Introduction or Background of the Study/Problem Problem Statement - Study Objectives Research Questions or Hypotheses Methodology - Scope of the Study Rationale/Benefit of Research - Limitations Literature Review Research Design (Population, Sample Selection, Size, & Method) Data Analysis Conclusion and Recommendations Areas of Further Study References/Bibliography and Appendix if any
  • Research Report Format: Abstract It describes: Research problem Purpose/Objective(s) of the study Research design (data collection methods, sampling design and sp. size) Results Conclusion Originality of research and value Key words (for paper/article of a journal; ex. Microfinance; Pakistan) Abstract is optional in a proposal, if given, it doesn’t discuss results and conclusion. Some abstracts only discuss about the problem and the steps undertaken for its solution. Size: Usually 1 page or 200-250 words.
  • Research Report Format: Chapter 1, INTRODUCTION Background (of the problem/study) Problem Statement Research Objectives Research Question/Hypotheses Methodology Scope of the Study Rationale/Benefit of the Study Limitations (Chapter/Section) Summary (optional) References (optional)
  • Chapter 2, LITERATURE REVIEW Definition of the technical term concerned with the topic (if any, suppose micro finance, if the topic of study is on that). International Scenario Regional Scenario National Scenario Location of Study’s Scenario Similar Studies (their methods and results) Theoretical/Conceptual Framework (Chapter/Section) Summary (optional) References (optional)
  • Chapter 3, METHODOLOGY Research Design Data Collection Methods Sampling (target population, characteristics, sampling frame, sampling size, and procedure) Research Approach (suppose survey; questionnaire using structured and close-ended questions and 5point Likert scale for measurement; variables to be measured; reliability and validity of the instrument(s); and info on specialized tools for observation, etc. (if any) Data Analysis (description of techniques) Justification of the Research Design (Chapter/Section) Summary (optional) References (optional)
  • Chapter 4, DATA ANALYSIS, FINDINGS AND RESULTS Descriptive findings (in qualitative study) or Inferential findings (in quantitative study) Descriptive findings (textual or subjective or explanatory interpretation of the perceptions, attitudes, or behaviors of the majority, minority, and various clusters, if any, among the sample group) and answering the research questions. Findings/Discussion of Results (applying tests such as Correlation, Regression, etc. and their interpretation) and testing the hypotheses. Comparing results with those of other studies Implementation of findings (through proposed actions, changes in standards, policies, programs, etc. and if findings can not be applied instantly, then, describe reasons or areas for further study) (Chapter/Section) Summary (optional) References (optional)
  • Chapter 5, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS Make sure to solve the research problem and accomplish its objective(s) through conclusion and recommendations. (Chapter/Section) Summary (optional) References (optional) REFERENCES/BIBLIOGRAPHY APPENDIX(ICES)/ANNEX(ES) /ADDENDUM(A) (It is not considered as the body of the study and the study ends at conclusion and implications or recommendations section).
  • Synopsis: It is a form of research proposal that comprises of various sections such as, introduction, initial literature review, methodology, initial results (if any), and references, which will be subject to the approval of the supervisor. Problem Statement: It should be short and concise and comprise of one paragraph stating how the situation turns as a problem or a potential opportunity, but it should not offer a solution. Research Objective(s): They flow from problem statement, should be minimum and achievable, as 1-2 or 1-3, and can be stated in 1-2 lines.
  • o Scope of the Study: It should maintain the thematic scope, geographic scope, and proposed actions for implementations of the findings, such as the study will help in defining ….…. Rationale/Benefit of the Study: It should enumerate the significance and benefits of the study, such as, it may help in improving quality, cutting cost, saving time, money, and effort, improved services, increased safety, improved productivity, solving a complex issue, or tapping an opportunity. Delimitations: They should state the constraints of time, financial and technical resources, limited geographic scope and sample size, etc.
  • Literature Review This section examines the recent (or historically significant) research studies, company data, or industry reports that act as a basis for the proposed study. If the problem has a historical background, begin with the earliest references. Emphasize the important results and conclusions of other studies, the relevant data and trends from previous research, and particular methods or design that could be duplicated or should be avoided. If your study deals solely with secondary data, show the weaknesses or faults in the design, discuss the relevance of data, and the bias or lack of bias in it. Close the literature review section by summarizing the important aspects of the literature and interpreting them in terms of your problem.
  • Appendices Any information which is not that much important and not necessarily very directly linked to the text can be given in appendices, like a questionnaire, tables, charts, formulas, important definition, etc. If the material is “interesting to know” rather than “essential to know”, should be given in appendix/ces/addendum.
  • Value and Cost of Research Cost Benefit Analyses • Cost should not exceed the benefits. Value/Benefits Research helps in: • • • Decreased Uncertainty Increased Performance Correct Decision s Cost/Disbenefits Research costs: Research Expenses Delay in Decision Making Possible Erroneous Research Results
  • No Idea, what to do?
  • •Get some one’s help, •See your Supervisor,
  • Oh! got an idea
  • Theoretical/Conceptual Framework
  • Theoretical Framework Elements of Theory 1. Concepts 2. Variables 3. Hypothesis 4. Theory Model
  • 1. Concepts It is a thought, generalized idea, or a mental image about an object, person, attribute, occurrence, etc. The concept/idea of every person are different about various things like: • Power o Position o Status • Market o Industry It depends upon the context in which the concept is being used and who is going to use and where? For instance, every one may have different perception and definition of power.
  • 2. Variable(s) When we move from concepts (conceptual level) to the empirical level in research, concepts are converted into VARIABLES by mapping them into a set of values. Example: Employees Turnover: A Case Study of SZABIST Variables of “Job Turnover” will be: Pay, Job satisfaction, Labor market, Working environment, Facilities at work, Recognition, Encouragement, etc.
  • Type of Variables: a. Independent b. Dependent Example: If some one researches on JOB SATISFACTION that: Are employees satisfied from their job? Job satisfaction is or may be dependent on: Salary, Career Growth, Facilities Available, Work Environment, Organizational Policies, Behavior of Boss and Co-workers, etc. Thus job satisfaction is the dependent variable and Salary, Career Growth, Facilities, etc. are independent variables. More types of variables will be discussed later.
  • 3. Hypothesis It is a tentative proposition, assumption, or supposition which is subject to scientific or statistical verification. It is a connection among concepts which constitute a theory. For example: Money is the main motivator. It has two variables, money and motivation that form a relationship with each other. The early behavioral scientists connected various concepts on motivating employees, built variables and hypotheses and tested them for constituting theories on motivation, like Maslow’s Hierarchy Need Theory (for understanding employees needs and motivating them for superior performance and productivity).
  • 4. Model It is a pattern, form, template, set of rules, structure or workings of an object, system, or concept, etc. A model/paradigm can be: a. Economic Model, like: Privatization Model/Liberalization Model b. Marketing Model: [Porter’s Model, etc.] b. Mathematical/Stat Model: [Regression, etc.] C. Social Sciences related Models, etc. [Poverty reduction through micro financing]
  • Example of a Theoretical Model Source: Selective Gatekeeping. Galtung and Ruge selective gatekeeping theory suggests that news from around the world are evaluated using news values to determine their newsworthiness. (After Mc Quail and Windahl 1993, p. 166)
  • Theory Theory is a fact, principle, or generalization arrived after verification. But sometimes, new and modern theories come and prove earlier theories wrong. It is a sound set of hypothesis, empirically verified over a period of time and supported by considerable evidences (such as empirical, statistical, or any other validation). A theory is a mathematical or logical explanation, or a testable model.
  • Examples of Theory: Noise adversely affects the mental efforts for solving a puzzle. Market Economy leads towards efficiency. Privatization leads to economic prosperity.
  • Conceptual/Theoretical Framework It is collection of interrelated ideas/concepts /theories (related to the topic). A Theoretical Framework guides your research, determining what things you will measure, and what statistical relationships you will look for. CF/TF helps us to understand and use the ideas of others who have done similar work.
  • Theoretical Framework A. It provides an inventory of variables, shows all the variables in a diagram. B. It specifies the directions of relationships. C. It explains these relationship. D. It helps in making new proposition/plan/scheme. E. It helps in arranging these propositions in sequential order.
  • Theoretical Framework V Conceptual Framework Theoretical Framework is a theory in the form of a model/paradigm that serves as the basis for the study. It mentions the proponents of the study and their results. Conceptual Framework is the researcher’s own model illustrating variables that specify the problem and gives direction to the study. It may be an adaptation of a model in an early theory, with modifications to suit the inquiry.
  • Theoretical Framework Components: Relationship of Concepts Example: Research Topic: Joint Families system in Pakistan during the Modern Era Problem Statement: The emerging trends in the Pakistani society witness a decline in joint family system and family size (as witnessed by media reports). This causal study aims to identify the causes of the new trends. Research Question (in a statement form): Trend of joint families and causes of decline in family size in Pakistan. Hypothesis: In Pakistan, mainly in cities, joint family system is declining.
  • Theoretical Framework Components: Relationship of Concepts Example: Research Topic: Joint Families system in Pakistan during the Modern Era Problem Statement: The emerging trends in the Pakistani society witness a decline in joint family system and family size (as witnessed by media reports). This causal study aims to identify the causes of the new trends. Research Question (in a statement form): Trend of joint families and causes of decline in family size in Pakistan. Hypothesis: In Pakistan, mainly in cities, joint family system is declining.
  • 1. Make an inventory of variables. Identify the factors relevant to the RQ. These factors can be named as variables: Variables in this research question (RQ) can be: a. Education level of couples b. Age of marriage c. Access to media d. Health facilities e. Awareness/Trend of family planning f. Aspiration about the education of children, etc.
  • 2. Specify the direction of relationships. Higher the education, higher the age of marriage. Higher the education, greater the career chances. Higher the education, more the rationalism. Higher the education, more exposure to media.
  • Higher the education, more access of health services. Higher the education of parents, higher the aspiration about their children’s education. Higher the education of couples, higher the mobility orientation of couples.
  • 3. Explain relationships among these variables. For getting higher education, youngsters have to spend about 16 years of their life in educational institutions. Let us say they complete their education at the age of 22 years. After completing their education, they spend 2-3 years for establishing themselves. During this period, they continue differing their marriage. By the time they decide about their marriage, they are about 25 years. Compare this age of marriage with the 16 years age of marriage. Obviously with this higher age of marriage, there is a reduction in the reproductive period of women. Similarly, we can develop logic in support of other proposed relationships, such as growing awareness of family planning.
  • 4. Make an inventory of proposition and arrange them into statement. a. When people get more educated, they get busy in education and career setting, so they marry late. If they marry late, there are chances of reduction in the reproductive system. b. When they are educated, they understand family planning, so they give birth to lesser children. In that case we can say that the size of declining family is affected by education. Hypothesis and Theory: 1. Educated people have a small size of family. 2. Educated people with smaller children have a happy life.