Final Research Proposal Directions
You will write a research proposal for a quantitative empirical research project. The research proposal must be from 6-8 pages in length (referring to the body of the paper; the title page, the reference pages and appendices do not count towards this length). Proposed research must be empirical and plausible for you to actually conduct, however, you will not actually be conducting the study for this class. For example, drug research is not acceptable unless you are in a situation where you could actually conduct such a study. Proposals for research that is ethically questionable are unacceptable. This paper will present a review of relevant research literature, the rationale for your project, and a thorough description of how the actual research would be conducted. The paper must be in APA style (6th edition, 2009).
Sections of Research Report (see APA manual) www.apastyle.org
Title Page (p. 1, with running head, title, your name, & school address; See APA Manual!)
Abstract (Do not include an abstract for this paper.)
Introduction (p. 2) Includes a statement of the research problem and a review of the relevant research literature. The literature review should include mainly research articles (not commentary, review or opinion articles) that demonstrate how previous research relates to and leads up to your current research proposal. You should include a statement of the current research problem and the research hypothesis. The relationship between the past research literature and your research hypothesis should be made explicit if it is not obvious.
The introduction provides the context for your proposed study; hence there is always literature that is relevant to your research problem.
YOU MUST HAVE A LITERATURE REVIEW! At a minimum the introduction portion of your paper should be 3 pages in length with at least six empirical research references from peer reviewed journals (i.e., research articles from refereed professional journals), and these research articles must make up at least 80% of the total references in your paper. For the purpose of a research paper, inappropriate references (if excessively used or exclusively used, thus leaving out research articles) include textbooks, non-empirical articles (e.g., commentary or opinion articles), and popular books/articles (such as TIME magazine, or PSYCHOLOGY TODAY). Review articles can be useful and appropriate to include, as long as they are not the majority of your references (not more than 20% of the total references in your paper).
Method (At a minimum the methods portion of your paper should be 2 pages in length.) This section includes three or more subsections. You must have the Design, Participants, Materials (or Apparatus), and Procedure subsections in your research proposal.
Design – You should describe in detail what design (e.g., observational; experimental – between-subjects or within-subjects; quasi-experimental – nonequivalent control group design, interrupted time-series design, etc.) you plan to use and what the important variables (I.V.s & D.V.s) and operational definitions are.
Participants – You should describe how many participants you will run and how the participants will be selected. What is your sampling procedure?
Materials (Apparatus) – You should describe any materials you will use in the research, such as tests, questionnaires, computers, video cameras, etc.
Procedure – You should include the entire process that a participant will go through when he or she participates in the experiment. You should include a description of what happens to the participants in each condition and how they will be assigned to each condition (e.g., self-selected conditions, randomly assigned to conditions, etc.).
References (You should follow APA style for all citations in the paper and for the listing of references in this section.)
Appendices You should include an appendix that contains a copy of the Title/Abstract page for each article that you cite in your proposal (for every article listed in the references). If an article does not have an abstract, include the title page and the page that includes the beginning of the procedure subsection of the Methods section.
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