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Developing effective research proposal


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Research proposal writing

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Developing effective research proposal

  1. 1. Developing Effective Research Proposal Khalid Mahmood, PhD Professor University of the Punjab 1
  2. 2.  Professor of Information Management at University of the Punjab, Pakistan  Post-doctoral research fellow at University of California, Loss Angeles, USA  150+ publications  Supervised many doctoral, M.Phil. and master theses  Worked for many research journals as editor, reviewer and editorial board member  Conducted many trainings on research writing and publishing About me 2
  3. 3. Acknowledgment  I have prepared this presentation with the help of many books, presentations and Websites.  I pay my sincere gratitude to all authors, professors and experts for their efforts and contributions. 3
  4. 4. Effective ?  Adjective  Producing a decided, decisive (very clear or obvious), or desired effect (Merriam-Webster dictionary)  Successful in producing desired or intended result (Oxford English dictionary) 4
  5. 5. Purpose of a research proposal  Proposal in the university context  Proposal for research grant or funding 5
  6. 6. Components of a research proposal  Preliminary pages  Introduction  Statement of the problem  Research objectives  Research questions  Hypotheses/Theses  Literature review  Rationale and significance  Delimitations and limitations  Research design and methods  Availability of resources  Work schedule  Proposed contents  References and bibliography 6
  7. 7. Preliminary pages  Title page  Title, name of researcher, student number, supervisor, degree type, department, university, date of submission  Table of contents  Headings and sub-headings with page numbers  Abstract  One or two paragraphs 7
  8. 8. Introduction  Area and topic  Background and context  Brief literature review  How the current research is related to other research  Do not review single, isolated studies- introduce larger groups of studies to present broader picture of the literature
  9. 9. Statement of the problem  What to do and why  Problem as a knowledge void or theoretical conflict  Structure of the problem statement:  Principal proposition  Interactive proposition  Speculative proposition 9
  10. 10. Research objectives  Specify the outcome of your study, the end product  Keep your objectives SMART  Specific: Indicate precisely what you intend to achieve through this objective  Measurable: What you accept as proof of project success  Attainable: Given the resources available  Relevant: Related to the overall goal of the project  Time bound: Can be achieved in the given time 10
  11. 11. Research objectives  Importance  Focus the study  Give direction to the research design, method to be adopted  Prevent collection of irrelevant, redundant data not necessary to achieve the objective  Organize the study in clearly defined parts or phases  Provide criteria by which to evaluate the outcome to the research 11
  12. 12. Research objectives – Examples from market research Sample verbs Sample findings Identify Problems, opportunities, criteria Define Concepts, requirements Describe Processes, usage, environments Explore Perceptions, reactions Generate Ideas, hypotheses, alternatives, explanations Evaluate Feasibility, attractiveness, support Select Theme, service, product, concept, ad Test Assumptions, preferences Measure Size, growth, frequency Prioritize Market segments, needs, opportunities Monitor Trends, competition Track Awareness, satisfaction 12
  13. 13. Research objectives  Examples  To find out methods used for water treatment  To determine the feeding habits of the under fives  To assess the perception of the community regarding care and support for people living with HIV/AIDS 13
  14. 14. Research questions  Premised on the problem statement identified, list possible research questions that could be asked in order to achieve the research objectives of the study  Main question and sub-questions 14
  15. 15. Research questions  Examples  Is there a correlation between metacognitive and cognitive strategy use and writing performance?  Are the more strategies used, the higher the written text scores are?  Is there a correlation between metacognitive strategies and the ‘task’ completion, between cognitive strategies and the ‘language’ achievement?  Which of the metacognitive and cognitive strategies used lead to more successful writing performance? 15
  16. 16. Hypotheses/Theses  Hypotheses are research questions that could be statistically tested  Research hypothesis  Null hypothesis  Thesis statement 16
  17. 17. Hypotheses  Examples  There is a positive correlation between the availability of hours for work and the productivity of employees  Worker satisfaction increases worker productivity  Amount of sun exposure will increase the growth of a tomato plant  Childhood obesity is tied to the amount of sugary drinks ingested daily 17
  18. 18. Literature review  Theoretical framework  Address the independent and dependent variable(s) proposed by the study  Address studies conducted on the independent and dependent variable(s)  A summary that highlight the key research studies relevant to the proposed study, their general findings that relate to the proposed study and support for the need of additional research on the proposed topic  Definition of terms – conceptual and operational definitions
  19. 19. Rationale and significance  Rationale  Reasons or justification for conducting the study  Significance  Addition in existing knowledge  Implications for policy and practice  Likely benefits for society at large 19
  20. 20. Delimitations  Characteristics selected by the researcher to define the boundaries of the study.  The researcher makes conscious exclusionary and inclusionary decisions regarding the sample (including such information as geographic location), the variables studied, the theoretical perspectives, the instruments, the generalizability, etc. 20
  21. 21. Delimitations  Participants  Participation in this study is delimited to teachers who (a) teach third grade in a private school, (b) in the state of California, and (c) have taught more than five years.  Teachers who meet all other qualifications but have previously taught in a public school environment will be excluded from the study. 21
  22. 22. Delimitations  Variables  The study will be delimited to examination of teachers' self-efficacy when teaching mathematics.  Instrumentation  Self-efficacy will be measured on a Likert-type scale with an instrument designed specifically for the proposed study.  Generalizability  The results of the proposed study will be generalizable to teachers who (a) teach third grade in a private school, (b) in the state of California, and (c) have taught more than five years. 22
  23. 23. Limitations  Factors, usually beyond the researcher’s control, that may affect the results of the study or how the results are interpreted.  Examples  Due to the small sample available for the study, results may not be generalizable to the population.  Due to the length of the study, a significant number of respondents available in the preliminary testing may be unavailable or unwilling to participate in the final stage of testing. 23
  24. 24. Research design and methods  Research design  Specific methods to be employed  Population and sample  Data collection instruments  Validity and reliability of instruments  Data collection procedure  Dealing with ethical issues  Data analysis plan  Plan to disseminate the findings
  25. 25. Availability of resources  Equipment  Materials  Literature  Human resources  Budget  Additional resources needed and methods to acquire 25
  26. 26. Work schedule – Gantt chart 26
  27. 27. Proposed contents  Outline of chapters 1. Introduction 2. Literature review 3. Design of the study 4. Data analysis and discussion 5. Summary, conclusions and recommendations 27
  28. 28. References and bibliography  References to studies cited in the proposal  Up-to-date and relevant bibliography of literature on the topic  How many entries ??  Use publication manual suitable for your field  You may use a citation management software 28
  29. 29. An effective proposal should be…  Straight forward document  Easy to read; simple language; no jargon  Precise; not wordy  Not a literary production  Clearly organized; proper use of headings and sub-headings  Complete; give all necessary information 29
  30. 30. 30 Best of luck for your research endeavors!