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Writing of research proposal


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Writing of Research Proposal

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Writing of research proposal

  2. 2. What is Research  Research refers to a search for knowledge  Research means a scientific and systematic search for pertinent information on a specific topic  In fact, research is an art of scientific investigation.  The purpose of research is to discover answers to questions through the application of scientific procedures  Journey from Known to unknown 2
  3. 3. Types of Research Studies • To gain familiarity with a phenomenon or to achieve new insights into it Exploratory research studies • To describe accurately the characteristics of a particular individual, situation or a group or phenomenon (Descriptive research studies) • To determine the frequency with which something occurs or with which it is associated with something else (Diagnostic research studies) • To test a hypothesis of a causal relationship between variables (Hypothesis-testing research studies). 3
  4. 4. Types of Research Studies  Descriptive research includes surveys and fact-finding enquiries. The main characteristic of this method is that the researcher has no control over the variables; he can only report what has happened or what is happening  In analytical research, on the other hand, the researcher has to use facts or information already available, and analyze these to make a critical evaluation of the material.  Applied research aims at finding a solution for an immediate problem facing a society or an industrial/business Organization  Attitude or opinion research i.e., research designed to find out how people feel or what they think about a particular subject or institution is also qualitative research  Empirical research is data-based research, experimental type of research. Such research is thus characterized by the experimenter’s control over the variables under study and his deliberate manipulation of one of them to study its effects 4
  5. 5. What is a Research Proposal  A document with two major objectives:  To analyze and synthesize the existing research about particular topic.  Describe the researcher’s idea for a new study.  An art which the researcher wants to sell in the market.  Buyer needs to take it from the gallery.  Suits to buyer’s pocket. 5
  6. 6. Be Prepared  To make mistakes and to learn.  To write and rewrite many times.  To spend many hours looking for information.  To have your writing criticized.  To feel confuse and hopeless some times 6
  7. 7. The Big Picture Your proposal describes your proposed plan of work:  What you intend to study (scope and research questions).  Why to study on the issue (Background)  How you intend to study your topic (methodology).  Why this topic needs to be studied (significance).  When you will complete this work (timeline).  (Occasionally) Where you will conduct this work. 7
  8. 8. Parts of Proposals 1. Introduction Part:  Background or Introduction  Purpose & Scope / limitations  Statement of the Problem  Research Objectives  Research Hypotheses 2. Review of Related Literature & Theoretical Framework 3. Research Methodology 4. Resource Plan & Time schedule 5. Outline Organization 6. Annexures / Appendics 8
  9. 9. Writing Process  Planning  defining a topic and selecting literature  Organizing  analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating review articles  Drafting  writing a first draft of the review  Editing  checking draft for completeness, cohesion, correctness  Redrafting 9
  10. 10. Writing of Research Background Readers persuasive document that Engage your readers with broader themes and topics that illustrate your concepts, questions, and theory and demonstrate your knowledge and passion.  The background should engage your readers with broad themes and topics.  Explain prevailing environment surrounding the problem  The background should illustrate your concepts, questions, and theory  The background section must be precise and measured 10
  11. 11. Problem Statement  Start with a general statement of the problem or issues  Make sure the problem is restricted in scope  Make sure the context of the problem is clear  Cite the references from which the problem was stated previously.  Provide justification for the research to be conducted  Motivates to conduct the proposed research  Highlight the problems/demerits of the available techniques 11
  12. 12. Writing Literature Reviews 12
  13. 13. Functions of Review  Ensures that you are not "reinventing the wheel".  Gives credits to those who have laid the groundwork for your research.  Demonstrates your knowledge of the research problem.  Demonstrates your understanding of the theoretical and research issues related to your research question.  Shows your ability to critically evaluate relevant literature information.  Indicates your ability to integrate and synthesize the existing literature.  Provides new theoretical insights or develops a new model as the conceptual  framework for your research.  Convinces your reader that your proposed research will make a significant and  substantial contribution to the literature (i.e., resolving an important theoretical  issue or filling a major gap in the literature). 13
  14. 14. Review of Literature  This section reflects extensive review of literature done by the investigator  In this section what is already known about the topic is written including the lacunae  Just quoting the literature verbatim will not serve the purpose  It is important to make it coherent, relevant and easily readable knowledge  It helps the investigator to gain good knowledge in that field of inquiry  It also helps the investigator to have insight on different methodologies that could be applied 14
  15. 15. Writing of Literature Review  The literature should have an introduction, body and conclusion  The introduction defines the framework of the review, the body that evaluates the literature and the conclusion summarizes the current state of knowledge on the problem  Organize the review by topics or ideas, not by author  Organize the review logically (least to most relevant – evolution of topic –by key variables)  Discuss major studies/theories individually and minor studies with similar results or limitation as a group 15
  16. 16. Writing of Literature Review  Adequately criticize the design and methodology of important studies so readers can draw their own conclusions  Compare and contrast studies.  Note for conflicting and inconclusive results  Explicitly show the relevance of each to the problem statement  Summary including a restatement of the relationships between the important variables under consideration and how these relationships are important to the hypothesis proposed in the introduction  Identify the gaps in the current techniques that would be filled in by the proposed technique.  Highlight the novelty of the proposed technique as compared to other existing techniques. 16
  17. 17. Guidelines for Analyzing Literature  Analyze chosen articles before you start writing  1. Scan articles to get an overview of each  first few paragraphs, paragraph before Method, major and minor subheadings, hypotheses, purposes, scan text (but don’t get caught in details), first para of Discussion  keep an eye on big picture by pre-reading  take notes on first page about overall purpose/findings  2. Based on #1, group articles by category  by topic and subtopic, then chronologically 17
  18. 18. Guidelines for Analyzing Literature  3. Organize yourself before reading  computer, pack of note cards for comments, self-adhesive flags to mark important places  4. Use a consistent format in notes  begin reading and making notes of important points on cards  start a system of note-taking and use system consistently  what is notable about the article?  Landmark/flaws/experimental/qualitative?  Use several cards per article 18
  19. 19. Guidelines for Analyzing Literature  5. Note explicit definitions of key terms  note differences between/among researchers  6. Note methodological strengths and weaknesses  e.g., triangulation of methods, sample sizes, generalizability.  does one article improve upon another bc of method?  does innovative methodology seem appropriate?  Is there enough evidence to support conclusions?  critique groups of studies together, esp if similar flaws  note patterns of weaknesses across studies 19
  20. 20. Guidelines for Analyzing Literature  7. Distinguish between assertion and evidence  understand empirical findings from data collected  v. author’s opinion  8. Identify major trends or patterns in studies  if conflicting results, try to explain them  can make a generalization based on majority of articles or those with strong methodology.  Describe these generalizations carefully.  9. Identify gaps in literature and discuss why 20
  21. 21. Guidelines for Analyzing Literature  10. Identify relationships among studies  when write, discuss them together  11. Note how each article relates to your topic  keep your specific topic in mind all the time and make sure your articles address it. If not, do not include  12. Evaluate your list for currency and coverage  start with most recent 5 years and include others if necessary. 21
  22. 22. Guidelines for Analyzing Methodology  1. Qualitative or quantitative? (makes notes)  Quantitative: results presented as stats and numbers  explicitly stated hypotheses  large (100-1500), random sample from particular population  objectively scored instruments  inferential statistics -- make inferences about pop from sample  Qualitative: results presented as narrative  general, nonspecific problem, with no rigid, specific purposes  small, purposive (not random) sample  measure with unstructured instruments (interviews)  results in words with emphasis on understanding sample 22
  23. 23. Guidelines for Analyzing Methodology  2. Experimental or nonexperimental?  Experimental:  treatments administered to participants for purposes of study  effects of treatments assessed  almost all are quantitative  Nonexperimental:  participants’ traits measured without attempting to change them  quantitative or qualitative  do not use the term ‘experiment’ to describe, use ‘study,’ ‘investigation,’ etc. 23
  24. 24. Guidelines for Analyzing Methodology  3. Participants randomly assigned to conditions?  Guarantees no bias in assignment.  More weight given to true experiments (with RA).  4. Cause/effect relationships asserted in nonexperiments?  5. How were major variables measured?  Reliability and validity; appropriateness of measures  triangulation and strength of conclusions  discrepancies in results and patterns in method 24
  25. 25. Guidelines for Analyzing Methodology  6. Characteristics of participants/samples?  Make notes on demographics.  Could demographics have played a role in results? (no way you can say for sure, but might raise question  7. How large is difference?... not just significance  statistically significant -- greater than chance, not necessarily big.  8. Major flaws? (do not dissect each article)  Safe to assume that all empirical studies have them.  Degrees of evidence 25
  26. 26. Synthesizing Literature  1. Decide purpose and voice  Purpose:  term paper, dissertation/thesis, journal article?  Voice:  formal, de-emphasize self, avoid first person (usually)  2. Consider how to reassemble your notes  NOT a series of annotations of research studies  describe the forest (not the trees) from a unique perspective using the trees you found  how do the pieces relate to each other? 26
  27. 27. Synthesizing Literature  3. Create a topic outline that traces your argument  establish for the reader the line of argumentation (thesis)  develop a traceable narrative that demonstrates the loa is worthwhile and justified (writer formed judgments about topic based on analysis and synthesis of lit)  TO is roadmap of argument.  Starts with assertion, then introduction, systematic review of relevant literature, and ends with conclusion that relates back to original assertion  4. Reorganize notes according to path of argument  code cards according to TO; write cites on TO 27
  28. 28. Synthesizing Literature  5. Within each topic heading, note relationships among studies  can subgroups be created?  Add detail to your outline  consider consistency of results from study to study  if discrepant, provide relevant info about research, trying to identify possible explanations for the differences  6. Within each topic heading, note obvious gaps  discuss in manuscript 28
  29. 29. Synthesizing Literature  7. How do individual studies advance theory?  Often researchers will discuss this in their studies -- use their expertise.  8. Plan to summarize periodically and again near end of the review  especially with long, difficult, or complex topics  help reader understand direction the author is taking  begin last section with brief summary of main points 29
  30. 30. Synthesizing Literature  9. Plan to present conclusions and implications  conclusion: statement about state of knowledge using degrees of evidence.  “it seems safe to conclude that...” “one conclusion might be...”  if weight of evidence does not favor one conclusion over the other, say so  implication: statement of what people or organizations should do in light of existing research.  What actions (interventions) seem promising based on review  you are now an expert and can offer conclusions and implications. 30
  31. 31. Synthesizing Literature  10. Plan to suggest directions for future research  make specific (relevant) suggestions about gaps  can be populations (understudied groups), methodologies, etc  11. Flesh out TO with details from analysis  final step before write first draft  include enough detail to write clearly about studies  strengths/weaknesses, gaps, relationships, major trends  TO will be several pages long  studies may appear in several places on TO 31
  32. 32. Writing First Draft  1. Identify broad problem area; avoid global statmts  start broad in your topic area and work toward specific  2. Indicate why certain studies are important  3. If commenting on timeliness, be specific  4. If citing a classic or landmark, say so  5. If landmark was replicated, say so and state result  6. Discuss other lit reviews on topic  7. Refer reader to other reviews on related topics  8. Justify comments such as “no studies were found” 32
  33. 33. Writing First Draft  9. Avoid long lists of nonspecific references  10. If results of studies are inconsistent or widely varying, cite them separately  11. Cite all relevant references in review section of a thesis/dissertation or journal article  12. Emphasize the need for your study in your lit review section or chapter  closes gap in lit, tests important aspect of current theory, replicates important study, retests hypothesis using new or improved method, resolves conflicts in lit, etc 33
  34. 34. Significance of Research  From the literature review, gap analysis can be conducted in order to see how the propose research would fill in the gap in the area of research.  How does the proposed research relates to the existing knowledge in the area.  Explicitly state the significance of your purpose or the rationale for your study. A significant research is one that: √ Develops knowledge of an existing practice √ Develops theory √ Expands the current knowledge or theory base √ Advances current research methodology √ Related to a current technological issue √ Exploratory research on an unexamined issue √ Usage: Organizational, Economic, Social, Academic, 34
  35. 35. The Format  Front page: Title, name of the researcher, department.  Second page: content  Third page: Abstract: between200 -400 words.  Fourth – sixth page: with bold headings: Background of Research, Purpose/ Scope of research, statement of problem, Research objectives, Research Hypotheses, Significance of research  Literature review;  Research methods including sample plan, observation plan, analyses plan  Outline Plan of Writing theses ,References  Annexures 35
  36. 36. Avoid Plagiarism  Plagiarism is presenting someone else’s ideas or words as though they were your own.  Loss of year  Loosing referee for future. 36
  37. 37. Tips for successful proposal writing  Make it simple  Avoid pretentious language, unnecessary jargon, and double speak by cutting down every unnecessary word.  Read your work loud  A sentence that is difficult to say will be difficult to read.  Revise , revise, revise.  Put an end to it  The faster you finish the proposal and submit it the less time you have wasted thinking about writing it. 37
  38. 38. Why Proposals are Unsuccessful  The problem is of insufficient importance  Purpose or demonstrated need is vague  Problem is more complex than the propose realizes  Research is based on hypothesis that is doubtful or unsound  Proposed research based on conclusions that may be unwarranted  Assumptions are questionable; evidence for procedures is questionable  Approach is not rigorous enough, too naïve, too uncritical.  Approach is not objective enough  Validity is questionable, criterion for evaluation are weak or missing  Approach is poorly thought out; methods poorly demonstrated  Application is poorly prepared or poorly formulated  Proposal is not explicit enough, lack of details, too vague or too general  Rationale is poorly presented, logical processes not followed 38
  39. 39. Thank you Q & A