baby boomer generation approaches old age H u m a n i t i e s
write a research proposal. In other words, you are going to come up with a testable idea, figure out the best way in which to test it, specify a research design, and describe what type of data will be collected and how it will be analyzed. This assignment is designed to model, as effectively as possible, the process of conducting research in Psychology.
- Choose a topic for an empirical study
- Conduct background literature searches and formulate an idea for an empirical study
- Read at least 5 original research articles that provide background information on the topic
- Formulate conceptual and research hypotheses that would guide an empirical study
- Formulate a method for testing the research hypotheses, including an appropriate set of descriptive and inferential statistics
- Create an idealized set of results that might be obtained with the proposed method
- Assess and discuss the results, in the context of the background literature
- Assess and discuss potential flaws in the method
- Briefly propose follow-up investigations that could build upon the proposed study
Contents of the Written Research Proposal
Your proposal will look very much like a research article except that you are not actually conducting the research, just proposing it. The proposal should be written in APA style and format. Please note: APA now publishes two different sets of style guidelines. Use the Professional APA style, and the Professional APA Sample paper. We are writing the paper as if we were conducting a study and publishing it, as scholars.
Include all of the sections specified below.
1. Title page: The title should indicate the hypothesis to be tested. The hypothesis can be stated at the conceptual level or the research level, but it should give the reader an honest impression of what the study aims to investigate. The title should appear on its own page.
2. Abstract: The abstract is a distillation of the entire project. Best practices dictate that it should be written last, even though it appears first in the final manuscript. The abstract should include very brief statements concerning (1) the theoretical background or rationale, (2) the hypotheses to be tested, (3) sample characteristics, (4) methods used to conduct the study, (5) anticipated results, (6) implication of the results.
The abstract should be approximately 200 words long and appear on its own page.
3. Introduction: The introduction should introduce the reader to the topic and provide all of the background necessary for the reader to understand the remainder of the paper. . It should begin with a general statement of the broad problem area (e.g., As the baby boomer generation approaches old age, increasing concerns arise about issues of productivity in the work place.), followed by a discussion* of the current state of the literature (previous research) on the problem and the explicit rationale for conducting further research. After you have developed a background and rationale, state the specific problem and hypothesis (prediction) to be studied. The hypothesis, problem statement, or question should be stated in observable, measurable, terms.
*The introduction must include brief discussions of at least 5 original research articles that provide background for the proposed study. These papers must be empirical studies, with original research findings. For each source, please include: Who they studied, what they measured, what they found, and how it relates to your proposed study. The discussion of these papers must be accompanied by APA-formatted in-text citations. All cited papers should be referenced (see Reference, below).
Formulate a sentence outline that summarizes the findings of the 5 papers (one or two sentences per source).
Provide a Rationale for investigating the topic further (1 or 2 sentences).
Give a Conceptual Hypothesis for your Proposed Study (1 or 2 sentences).
The introduction should be approximately 3 pages long.
4. Methods Section: This section contains a description of your research design and the rationale for using the design. Part of the rationale includes the identification of any potential problems such as threats to internal and external validity, confounding or third variable problems, etc. Also contained in this section is a description of your participants, material or equipment needed, the exact procedures you intend to follow in conducting the study, operational definitions of both the independent and dependent variables, and the exact measure of your independent variable. Use the following subheading in the order specified below:
This section should contain a description of who your participants will be, including any relevant information about their age, sex, occupation, educational level etc. This information is especially important in generalizing your findings and in replication of your study. You should also describe how your participants will be recruited and what type of sample you will use, e.g., random or convenience.
This section should include an operational definition of your independent and dependent variables, as well as the measure of your dependent variable. Importantly, you should specifically state what your research design is (e.g. a 2 X 2 independent groups design), and justify why the design is the most appropriate way in which to study the problem. Discuss any pitfalls of the design in terms of potential threats to internal and external validity and identify any potential confounding variables.
In this section you should describe any specific materials (standardized tests such as the MMPI), surveys, or equipment that you will use to conduct your study. Provide enough detail so that your proposed study can be replicated by others.
In this section you will describe exactly how you propose to carry out the study.
5. Results: Given that you are not really conducting an experiment, you will not have any data to analyze. However, in this section you should describe what type of statistical test will be used to analyze your data and why the test chosen is the most appropriate. Include the use of both descriptive (central tendency, variance) and inferential statistics (t-test, 2 way analysis of variance, etc.). If your study is a correlational one, state what type of correlation you intend to use to analyze your data. Give ideal (expected) numbers for descriptive statistics and expected significant differences (or associations) for inferential statistics. Include one sentence for each dependent variable or outcome variable that you plan to measure. You can also include a table of ideal data or a figure depicting ideal results.
6. Discussion: Discuss what your results would mean if you find what you propose. Also discuss any potential problems or limitations that might arise from the study, what future direction you might pursue, and the larger implications of your study.
7. References: The reference section should provide APA-formatted references of all sources cited in the manuscript. These references must include the 5 original empirical papers used in the Introduction. However, additional citations and references, of review papers or the textbook (etc.), can be included. All references should be cited, and all citations should be referenced.
The references should appear on their own page.
8. Figures and Captions
Figures and captions are not necessary for the proposal, but they may provide the easiest way for the author to depict the idealized results. The author may include figures drawn in PPT, Photoshop, MS Paint, on notebook paper, etc. Figures should be accompanied by brief captions, explaining their contents (especially, what variables are being depicted).
The figures should appear on their own page.
When writing your paper, follow all NU guidelines concerning academic honesty and plagiarism.
DO NOT COPY TEXT FROM SOURCES.
Length of Paper: Your final paper should be about 7 pages in length. This includes the title page (1 page), abstract (1 page), introduction (2 pages), method and results (1pages), discussion (1 pages) and references (1 page).