Research proposal writing 2013

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Academic research proposal writing at Masters and PhD levels

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Research proposal writing 2013

  1. 1. RESEARCH PROPOSAL WRITING: A GUIDE BY C.E. OCHONOGOR , PH.D; FCAI OCHONEC@UNISA.AC.ZA INSTITUTE FOR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION (ISTE) UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH AFRICA, PRETORIA MAY, 2013
  2. 2. Outline of the Presentation  Some reasons for doing research  What is a Proposal?  What is a Research Proposal?  Preparing to write a research proposal  Writing the proposal  Contents of a research proposal:  Ethical Considerations
  3. 3. Some of the reasons for doing research are as follows: To Contribute to the body of knowledge; Expand the body of scientific knowledge; Learn to think critically (to question, analyze, identify, be logical, find solutions and seek justifications); C.E. Ochonogor , Ph.D; FCAI
  4. 4. Reasons for doing research contd. • Add value to benefit the society by proffering possible solutions to identified problems; • Get fame, wealth and recognition; and • Improve practice. C.E. Ochonogor , Ph.D; FCAI
  5. 5. Reasons for doing research contd. At the Masters Degree level, a student/candidate is expected to become a master of specific subject having built on the knowledge of others. He/she is further expected to have incremental improvement in an area of knowledge, or the application of known techniques in a new area. C.E. Ochonogor , Ph.D; FCAI
  6. 6. Reasons for doing research contd. • At the doctoral level, the student is encouraged to create academic knowledge and learning which should be substantial and innovative. • It involves contribution to knowledge which necessarily requires a more difficult problem to be solved in order to make more substantial contributions. C.E. Ochonogor , Ph.D; FCAI
  7. 7. What is a Proposal? • A proposal is generally a suggestion or plan made towards accomplishing a given task. • It is expected that such a plan previews the nature of the task ahead and the step(s) and activities that lead to achieving the goals and objectives of the task. • A proposal therefore, is a foundation or scaffold upon which a given product (body of knowledge, building, etc) can be successfully made. C.E. Ochonogor , Ph.D; FCAI
  8. 8. What is a Proposal? Contd. A proposal serves a framework and foundation on which a research work or study is to be built upon. Therefore, a poor proposal is like a poor framework or foundation and will give rise to a poor research at the end. C.E. Ochonogor , Ph.D; FCAI
  9. 9. What is a Research Proposal? • A research proposal is a carefully prepared plan or path-way that precedes any research study or work. • It is a comprehensive plan by a researcher to carry out a chosen research study or activity. • It shows the preliminary actions the researcher proposes to take or do based on a chosen and agreed title with the supervisor/promoter. C.E. Ochonogor , Ph.D; FCAI
  10. 10. What is a Research Proposal? Contd. Academic or scientific research carried out with a poor proposal is bound to experience any or all of the following problems: Inability to locate any important knowledge gap; Lack of appropriate research design; Poor methodology and procedure C.E. Ochonogor , Ph.D; FCAI
  11. 11. Poor and inappropriate research instrument(s); Inappropriate ways of data collection; Use of wrong method(s) of data analysis; C.E. Ochonogor , Ph.D; FCAI
  12. 12. Wrong results and misleading interpretations and inferences; and  Eventual failure to solve any problem. C.E. Ochonogor , Ph.D; FCAI
  13. 13. PREPARING TO WRITE A RESEARCH PROPOSAL A good research proposal is NOT just done in a rush. This implies that a student-researcher preparing to produce a research proposal needs to take necessary steps such as: C.E. Ochonogor , Ph.D; FCAI
  14. 14. PREPARING TO WRITE A RESEARCH PROPOSAL Contd. • Be ready to always submit his/her work in chapters to the supervisor/promoter for corrections and instructions. • Ensure that the language used in the proposal is characterized by present continuous tenses. This is to explain what is to be done and not what has been done particularly in chapter 3. However, the activities and results of pilot studies are expectedly reported in past- tense since they connote what must have been done in the process of preparing the proposal. C.E. Ochonogor , Ph.D; FCAI
  15. 15. WRITING THE PROPOSAL A well written proposal is 50% completion of the main task. A good student-research proposal must contain the first three chapters of a full research report, list of tables, references and appendices resulting from the proposal. C.E. Ochonogor , Ph.D; FCAI
  16. 16. CONTENTS OF A RESEARCH PROPOSAL: A layout of the content of a research proposal is as follows: Title Page.................................................... I List of Tables................................................ Ii List of Figures……………………………... iii C.E. Ochonogor , Ph.D; FCAI
  17. 17. Chapter One INTRODUCTION Background to the Study Statement of the Problem Purpose of the Study Significance of the Study Scope and Delimitation of the Study C.E. Ochonogor , Ph.D; FCAI
  18. 18. Chapter One contd. • Research Questions • Research Hypotheses • Operational Definition of Terms • Structure of the Thesis/Dissertation C.E. Ochonogor , Ph.D; FCAI
  19. 19. Chapter Two REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE A good and plausible Theoretical Framework Or A well-directed Conceptual Framework C.E. Ochonogor , Ph.D; FCAI
  20. 20. Developing the theoretical framework Theories are constructed in order to explain, predict and master phenomena (e.g. relationships, events, or the behavior). In many instances we are constructing models of reality. A theory makes generalizations about observations and consists of an interrelated, coherent set of ideas and models. The theoretical framework is but a theory that serves as a basis for conducting research. C.E. Ochonogor , Ph.D; FCAI
  21. 21. REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE CONTD. The use of Theoretical Framework entails stating a matching theory, discussing the nature of the theory, justifying the relationship between the theory and the proposed study and finally, explaining its application in the study. C.E. Ochonogor , Ph.D; FCAI
  22. 22. The Uses contd. It helps the researcher see clearly the variables of the study; It can provide him/her with a general framework for data analysis; It is essential in preparing a research proposal using descriptive and experimental methods C.E. Ochonogor , Ph.D; FCAI
  23. 23. How to produce a theoretical framework  Specify the theory used as basis for the study  Mention the proponents of the theory Cite the main points emphasized in the theory Support your exposition of the theory by ideas from other experts; Illustrate your theoretical framework by means of a diagram; and, Reiterate your theoretical proposition in the study.  C.E. Ochonogor , Ph.D; FCAI
  24. 24. REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE CONTD. Conceptual Framework involves seeking conceptual meanings of terms and concepts surrounding the thrust of the study to be carried out. Such terms and concepts are discussed with citations of what others have done and said in such directions and must have analytical input from the student/present researcher. C.E. Ochonogor , Ph.D; FCAI
  25. 25. REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE CONTD. A concept is an image or symbolic representation of an abstract idea. Chinn and Kramer (1999) define a concept as a “complex mental formulation of experience”. While the theoretical framework is the theory on which the study is based, the conceptual framework is the operationalization of the theory. It is the researcher’s own position on the problem and gives direction to the study. C.E. Ochonogor , Ph.D; FCAI
  26. 26. How to produce a Conceptual framework show the relationships of the different constructs that he wants to investigate. cite your conceptual framework or paradigm; Identify your variables; Show the direction of the study. C.E. Ochonogor , Ph.D; FCAI
  27. 27. Importance of Theoretical or Conceptual Framework The use of either of the two frameworks is to have a broad based reference point to discover knowledge and information gaps that the present study would try to proffer solutions to. C.E. Ochonogor , Ph.D; FCAI
  28. 28. REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE CONTD. • Other sections of the literature review preferably under some carefully selected sub-headings. Each subheading is expected to exhaustively discuss a given issue before jumping to another. • The researcher is to ensure the use of recent citations covering empirical and non-empirical findings of other people with some level of critical analysis of the statements. C.E. Ochonogor , Ph.D; FCAI
  29. 29. REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE CONTD. The last sub-heading of Chapter Two is the Summary/Appraisal of the review done pointing out the observed strengths, weaknesses and gaps within which the present work shall fit into when eventually carried out. C.E. Ochonogor , Ph.D; FCAI
  30. 30. Chapter Three RESEARCH METHODOLOGY AND PROCEDURE Research Design Population of the Study Sample and Sampling Technique C.E. Ochonogor , Ph.D; FCAI
  31. 31. Chapter Three contd. Instrumentation: (i) Development of Instrument (ii) Validation of Instrument (Face, Content, Predictive, Construct and other forms of validity depending on the nature of the instrument and of the study). (iii) Reliability of the Instrument. C.E. Ochonogor , Ph.D; FCAI
  32. 32. Chapter Three contd. Administration of the Instrument or Method of Data Collection Control of External Variables (if any) Method of Data Analysis C.E. Ochonogor , Ph.D; FCAI
  33. 33. Ethical Considerations • Unisa basic requirement is that every research work to be conducted under the supervision of the University must have evidence of ethical clearance for Theses and Dissertations before proceeding with the study(ies). • The clearance must be sort and obtained at the proposal stage while the student and the supervisor should sign the paragraph proforma before submission. C.E. Ochonogor , Ph.D; FCAI
  34. 34. • Pilot Study (If necessary) • Work Plan • References • Appendices C.E. Ochonogor , Ph.D; FCAI
  35. 35. Types of Designs C.E. Ochonogor , Ph.D; FCAI
  36. 36. Single Group Threats Internal Validity is the approximate truth about inferences regarding cause-effect or causal relationships. Thus, internal validity is only relevant in studies that try to establish a causal relationship. It's not relevant in most observational or descriptive studies, for instance. But for studies that assess the effects of social programs or interventions, internal validity is perhaps the primary consideration.
  37. 37. Regression to the Mean A regression threat, also known as a "regression artifact" or "regression to the mean" is a statistical phenomenon that occurs whenever you have a nonrandom sample from a population and two measures that are imperfectly correlated. 
  38. 38. The Formula for the Percent of Regression to the Mean You can estimate exactly the percent of regression to the mean in any given situation. The formula is: Prm = 100(1 - r) where: Prm = the percent of regression to the mean r = the correlation between the two measures Consider the following four cases: if r = 1, there is no (i.e., 0%) regression to the mean if r = .5, there is 50% regression to the mean if r = .2, there is 80% regression to the mean if r = 0, there is 100% regression to the mean
  39. 39. The End: Thank You. C.E. Ochonogor , Ph.D; FCAI

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