We take a slice that cuts through many areas.• Weve been using the example of alcohol abuse in class.• Think of the ways in which this might be a problem on these levels (for discussion in class).• Globally?• Nationally?• Regionally?• For a specific state?• A specific town?• A specific school?• A specific person or group of people?• A good Problem should exist on on all of these levels.
Research• Your Problem needs to be quantified.• The ultimate goal of this proposal is to argue for funding from a funding source.• For this reason, you need to present a strong case for why this Problem is an issue in the first place.• This means engaging in several types of research and using data to make your point.• This research will be both secondary and primary.
Primary ResearchPrimary research is research that you do your self--it is"primary" because you are doing it, not someone else. Thismight involve interviews, e-mails, telephone calls, etc.Sometime, I will call this "local" research because this isusually how you find out the details of your specificProblem on a more local level, i.e. How many RU studentsare arrested for drunk and disorderly violations each year?
Secondary ResearchSecondary research is research that someone else hasalready done. You will be using this research to make anargument of your own. Someone else has done theresearch, but you yourself are bringing all of the differentstrands together to make a point. 75% of your research forthe proposal will be secondary.
You need both types of research.One is not superior to the other. The most successfulproposals blend rigorous primary research with extensivesecondary research in order to make a unique argument.(You can think of the different types of research as thequotes in Expos, for those of you who are freshman).
Where do we do this research?• Some information may simply be available on the internet-- you can google the different types of Alcohol Awareness programs that already exist at RU.• Some information must be obtained by interviewing subjects. For instance, the budgets of programs are rarely readily available online.• Some information (about 50% of your sources) must be scholarly sources obtained using the RU Libraries, which you can do online. (Please see the guide below for more information on this subject.)
Conclusion• You need a specific Problem that is mapped onto a specific Population.• This Problem should also fit into a larger context (the "Spectrum of Problems").• You need to convince your funding source that this really IS a Problem in the first place.• You do this by research, both primary and secondary.• Your Problem might begin as a personal perception ("People at RU drink too much") but that is just the start: you need to back it up with research at every step of the way!