Assignment Guidelines: Research Proposal

Assignment Guidelines: Research Proposal

Assignment Guidelines: Research Proposal

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Assignment Guidelines

You will be collecting and analyzing data in an attempt to answer your research question. Before you do this, however, it is important that you have your research proposal in a very strong shape. Your research proposal will form the building block for the full research paper that you will submit in this course. As you revise your paper, be sure to take into account the feedback from your instructor. In addition, use the list below as a guide for how to revise your paper into an exemplary research proposal. As you revise your paper, be sure to think about how you will go from a proposal to an actual research project as you will be using your research proposal to help complete your final project for this course, a research manuscript.

Characteristics of an Exemplary Paper

Problem Statement

·The beginning of the paper clearly explains the general purpose of the research, and it relates the research to a real-

world issue.

·This section should be interesting to read and entice the reader.

Literature Review

·This section should review relevant research on the topic.

·The literature needs to be an integrated discussion of research on the topic, not a one-by-one summary of all the articles you found.

·The literature should build towards your research question and hypothesis. In other words, research that is most relevant to your research question and hypothesis should be discussed. Research only tangentially related to your research question should not be included.

Research Question

·This should be clearly stated at the end of your literature review.

·Because the problem statement introduced the general research question and the literature review builds toward the research question, when you state your specific research question it should not surprise the reader.


·Your hypothesis should be clearly stated.

·It should be supported by your literature review, so it should not be a surprise to the reader. In other words, your hypothesis is not just a guess of what you will find; it is an educated guess supported by research.


·Your proposed participants, materials, and procedures should be clearly described.

·Keep in mind that you will rewrite this section in Milestone Four once your data collection is complete.

Data Analysis Plan

·This section will not be included in your final paper, since you will ultimately explain what you actually did in your Results section.

Anticipated Results

·This section will ultimately be rewritten in Milestone Four once you have analyzed your data.


·Be sure to follow APA style. Use your style manual!

·The entire paper should flow. Even though it is broken into sections, each section should flow into the next and the paper should read as one coherent, integrated paper.

·Be sure to proofread carefully. It is very unlikely that your instructor corrected every typo and grammatical mistake. One of the best techniques is to read the paper out loud so as to catch awkward phrasing.

For this assignment, you will submit an edited version of the research proposal that was the final project. Editing and incorporating feedback are two of the key skills that researchers need to master in order to produce high-quality writing. Indeed, all peer-reviewed articles have been written and rewritten many times; they are never completed in only one draft! Rather than merely submitting the same version of the assignment that you submitted, it is important that you edit and improve the paper based on the feedback provided by your instructor. In addition to that feedback, please also refer to the Milestone One Guidelines document. It is OK to make changes to your research question, hypothesis, or research methods, but please clear any substantial changes such as completely changing the problem statement with your instructor. Top of Form

Bottom of Form

You must proofread your paper. But do not strictly rely on your computer’s spell-checker and grammar-checker; failure to do so indicates a lack of effort on your part and you can expect your grade to suffer accordingly. Papers with numerous misspelled words and grammatical mistakes will be penalized. Read over your paper – in silence and then aloud – before handing it in and make corrections as necessary. Often it is advantageous to have a friend proofread your paper for obvious errors. Handwritten corrections are preferable to uncorrected mistakes.

Use a standard 10 to 12 point (10 to 12 characters per inch) typeface. Smaller or compressed type and papers with small margins or single-spacing are hard to read. It is better to let your essay run over the recommended number of pages than to try to compress it into fewer pages.

Likewise, large type, large margins, large indentations, triple-spacing, increased leading (space between lines), increased kerning (space between letters), and any other such attempts at “padding” to increase the length of a paper are unacceptable, wasteful of trees, and will not fool your professor.

The paper must be neatly formatted, double-spaced with a one-inch margin on the top, bottom, and sides of each page. When submitting hard copy, be sure to use white paper and print out using dark ink. If it is hard to read your essay, it will also be hard to follow your argument.

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