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Using the criteria shown for each of the sections of your Proposal in the Dissertation Proposal Template, how would you evaluate your work to date if you were completing the Proposal Rubric on yourself? Why?

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The Dissertation Title Appears in Title Case and is Centered Submitted by Insert Your Full Legal Name (No Titles, Degrees, or Academic Credentials) Equal Spacing ~2.0” – 2.5” A Dissertation Presented in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Doctorate of Education (or) Doctorate of Philosophy (or) Doctorate of Business Administration Equal Spacing~2.0” – 2.5” Grand Canyon University Phoenix, Arizona [Insert Current Date Until Date of Dean’s Signature] GCU Proposal Template V8.3 01.18.18 © by Your Full Legal Name (No Titles, Degrees, or Academic Credentials), 2018 All rights reserved. GCU Proposal Template V8.3 01.18.18 GRAND CANYON UNIVERSITY The Dissertation Title Appears in Title Case and is Centered by Insert Your Full Legal Name (No Titles, Degrees, or Academic Credentials) Approved [Insert Current Date Until Date of Dean’s Signature] DISSERTATION COMMITTEE: Full Legal Name, Ed.D., DBA, or Ph.D., Dissertation Chair Full Legal Name, Ed.D., DBA, or Ph.D., Committee Member Full Legal Name, Ed.D., DBA, or Ph.D., Committee Member ACCEPTED AND SIGNED: ________________________________________ Michael R. Berger, Ed.D. Dean, College of Doctoral Studies _________________________________________ Date GCU Proposal Template V8.3 01.18.18 GRAND CANYON UNIVERSITY The Dissertation Title Appears in Title Case and is Centered I verify that my dissertation represents original research, is not falsified or plagiarized, and that I accurately reported, cited, and referenced all sources within this manuscript in strict compliance with APA and Grand Canyon University (GCU) guidelines. I also verify my dissertation complies with the approval(s) granted for this research investigation by GCU Institutional Review Board (IRB). _____________________________________________ [Type Doctoral Learner Name Beneath Signature] GCU Proposal Template V8.3 01.18.18 ______________________ Date Abstract The abstract is required for the dissertation manuscript only. It is not a required page for the proposal. The abstract, typically read first by other researchers, is intended as an accurate, nonevaluative, concise summary, or synopsis of the research study. It is usually the last item completed when writing the dissertation. The purpose of the abstract is to assist future researchers in accessing the research material and other vital information contained in the dissertation. Although few people typically read the full dissertation after publication, the abstract will be read by many scholars and researchers. Consequently, great care must be taken in writing this page of the dissertation. The content of the abstract covers the purpose of the study, problem statement, theoretical foundation, research questions stated in narrative format, sample, location, methodology, design, data sources, data analysis, results, and a valid conclusion of the research. The most important finding(s) should be stated with actual data/numbers (quantitative) or themes (qualitative) to support the conclusion(s). The abstract does not appear in the table of contents and has no page number. The abstract is double-spaced, fully justified with no indentations or citations, and no longer than one page. Refer to the APA Publication Manual, 6th Edition, for additional guidelines for the development of the dissertation abstract. Make sure to add the keywords at the bottom of the abstract to assist future researchers. Keywords: Abstract, assist future researchers, 150 to 250 words, vital information GCU Proposal Template V8.3 01.18.18 Criterion *(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3) Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score ABSTRACT (Dissertation Only—Not Required for the Proposal) The abstract is typically read first by other researchers and is an accurate, non-evaluative, concise summary or synopsis of the research study. The abstract provides a succinct summary of the study and MUST include the purpose of the study, theoretical foundation, research questions (stated in narrative format), sample, location, methodology, design, data analysis, and results, as well as, a valid conclusion of the research. Abstracts must be double-spaced, fully justified with no indentions. (one page) The abstract provides a succinct summary of the study and MUST include: the purpose of the study, theoretical foundation, research questions stated in narrative format, sample, location, methodology, design, data sources, data analysis, results, and a valid conclusion of the research. Note: The most important finding(s) should be stated with actual data/numbers (quantitative) ~or~ themes (qualitative) to support the conclusion(s). The abstract is written in APA format, one paragraph fully justified with no indentations, double-spaced with no citations, and includes key search words. Keywords are on a new line and indented. The abstract is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format. *Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale: 0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required. 1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required. 2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required. 3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required. Reviewer Comments: GCU Proposal Template V8.3 01.18.18 vi Dedication An optional dedication may be included here. While a dissertation is an objective, scientific document, this is the place to use the first person and to be subjective. The dedication page is numbered with a Roman numeral, but the page number does not appear in the Table of Contents. It is only included in the final dissertation and is not part of the proposal. If this page is not to be included, delete the heading, the body text, and the page break below. GCU Proposal Template V8.3 01.18.18 vii Acknowledgments An optional acknowledgements page can be included here. This is another place to use the first person. If applicable, acknowledge and identify grants and other means of financial support. Also acknowledge supportive colleagues who rendered assistance. The acknowledgments page is numbered with a Roman numeral, but the page number does not appear in the table of contents. This page provides a formal opportunity to thank family, friends, and faculty members who have been helpful and supportive. The acknowledgements page is only included in the final dissertation and is not part of the proposal. If this page is not to be included, delete the heading, the body text, and the page break below. GCU Proposal Template V8.3 01.18.18 viii Table of Contents List of Tables ..................................................................................................................... xi List of Figures ................................................................................................................... xii Chapter 1: Introduction to the Study....................................................................................1 Introduction ....................................................................................................................1 Background of the Study ...............................................................................................6 Problem Statement .........................................................................................................7 Purpose of the Study ....................................................................................................10 Research Questions and/or Hypotheses .......................................................................11 Advancing Scientific Knowledge and Significance of the Study ................................14 Rationale for Methodology ..........................................................................................16 Nature of the Research Design for the Study...............................................................17 Definition of Terms......................................................................................................19 Assumptions, Limitations, Delimitations ....................................................................21 Assumptions........................................................................................................21 Limitations and delimitations. ............................................................................22 Summary and Organization of the Remainder of the Study ........................................23 Chapter 2: Literature Review .............................................................................................26 Introduction to the Chapter and Background to the Problem ......................................26 Identification of the Gap ..............................................................................................28 Theoretical Foundations and/or Conceptual Framework .............................................30 Review of the Literature ..............................................................................................32 GCU Proposal Template V8.3 01.18.18 ix Methodology and instrumentation/data sources/research materials ...................36 Summary ......................................................................................................................39 Chapter 3: Methodology ....................................................................................................42 Introduction ..................................................................................................................42 Statement of the Problem .............................................................................................43 Research Questions and/or Hypotheses .......................................................................44 Research Methodology ................................................................................................45 Research Design...........................................................................................................47 Population and Sample Selection.................................................................................48 Quantitative sample size .....................................................................................48 Qualitative sample size .......................................................................................50 Research Materials, Instrumentation OR Sources of Data ..........................................54 Trustworthiness (for Qualitative Studies) ....................................................................58 Credibility. ..........................................................................................................58 Transferability.....................................................................................................59 Dependability. .....................................................................................................60 Confirmability. ....................................................................................................60 Validity (for Quantitative Studies)...............................................................................63 Reliability (for Quantitative Studies) ...........................................................................64 Data Collection and Management ................................................................................65 Data Analysis Procedures ............................................................................................68 Ethical Considerations .................................................................................................71 Limitations and Delimitations......................................................................................74 Summary ......................................................................................................................75 GCU Proposal Template V8.3 01.18.18 x References ..........................................................................................................................77 Appendix A. Site Authorization Letter(s) ..........................................................................81 Appendix B. IRB Approval Letter .....................................................................................82 Appendix C. Informed Consent .........................................................................................83 Appendix D. Copy of Instruments and Permissions Letters to Use the Instruments .........84 Appendix E. Power Analyses for Sample Size Calculation (Quantitative Only) ..............85 Appendix F. Additional Appendices..................................................................................86 GCU Proposal Template V8.3 01.18.18 xi List of Tables Table 1. Correct Formatting for a Multiple Line Table Title is Single Spacing and Should Look Like this Example ........................................................................ 36 Table 2. Equality of Emotional Intelligence Mean Scores by Gender ............................ 66 Note: Single space multiple-line table titles; double space between entries per example above. The List of Tables and List of Figures (styled as Table of Figures) have been formatted as such in this template. Update the List of Tables in the following manner: [Right click → Update Field → Update Entire Table], and the table title and subtitle will show up with the in-text formatting. After you update your List of Tables, you will need to manually remove the italics from each of your table titles per the example above. GCU Proposal Template V8.3 01.18.18 xii List of Figures Figure 1. Correlation for SAT composite score and time spent on Facebook. ................. 68 Figure 2. IRB alert. ........................................................................................................... 72 Note: single-space multiple line figure titles; double-space between entries per example in List of Tables on previous page. Use sentence case for figure titles. After you update your List of Figures, you will need to manually remove the italics per the example above. GCU Proposal Template V8.3 01.18.18 1 Chapter 1: Introduction to the Study Introduction This section describes what the researcher will investigate, including the research questions, hypotheses, and basic research design. The introduction develops the significance of the study by describing how the study is new or different from other studies, how it addresses something that is not already known or has not been studied before, or how it extends prior research on the topic in some way. This section should also briefly describe the basic nature of the study and provide an overview of the contents of Chapter 1. The GCU Dissertation Template provides the structure for the GCU dissertation. The template provides important narrative, instructions, and requirements in each chapter and section. Learners must read the narrative in each section to fully understand what is required and also review the section criteria table which provides exact details on how the section will be scored. As the learner writes each section, s/he should delete the narrative and “Help” comments, but leave the criterion table, after each section, as this is how the committee members will evaluate the learners work. Additionally, when inserting their own narrative into the template, leaners should never remove the headings, as these are already formatted, or “styled.” Removing the headings will cause the text to have to be reformatted, that is, you will need to reapply the style. “Styles” are a feature in Word that defines what the text looks like on the page. For example, the style “Heading 1, used for Chapter headings and the List of Tables title, the List of Figures title, the References title, and the Appendices title, has set up to conform to APA: bold, double spaced, “keep with GCU Proposal Template V8.3 01.18.18 2 next,” Times New Roman 12. In addition, the automatic TOC “reads” these styles so that the headings show up in the TOC and exactly match those in the text. The navigation pane in Word shows the first and second level headings that will appear in the Table of Contents. To access the navigation pane, click on Home in a Word document>View Pane. Learners should consult their course e-books for additional guidance on constructing the various sections of the template (e.g., Grand Canyon University, 2015, 2016, 2017a, 2017b). Learners should keep in mind that they will write Chapters 1 through 3 as the dissertation proposal. However, there are changes that typically need to be made in these chapters to enrich the content or to improve the readability as the final dissertation manuscript is written. Often, after data analysis is complete, the first three chapters will need revisions to reflect a more in-depth understanding of the topic and to ensure consistency. Engaging in scholarly writing, understanding the criterion rubrics, and focusing on continuous improvement will help facilitate timely progression. To ensure the quality of both the proposal and final dissertation and reduce the time for AQR reviews, writing needs to reflect doctoral level, scholarly-writing standards from the very first draft. Each section within the proposal or dissertation should be well organized and easy for the reader to follow. Each paragraph should be short, clear, and focused. A paragraph should (1) be three to eight sentences in length, (2) focus on one point, topic, or argument, (3) include a topic sentence the defines the focus for the paragraph, and (4) include a transition sentence to the next paragraph. Include one space after each period. There should be no grammatical, punctuation, sentence structure, or APA formatting errors. Verb tense is an important consideration for Chapters 1 through GCU Proposal Template V8.3 01.18.18 3 3. For the proposal, the researcher uses future tense (e.g., “The purpose of this proposed study is to…”), whereas in the dissertation, the chapters are revised to reflect past tense (e.g., “The purpose of this study was to…”). Taking the time to ensure high-quality, scholarly writing for each draft will save learners time in all the steps of the development and review phases of the dissertation process. As a doctoral researcher, it is the learner’s responsibility to ensure the clarity, quality, and correctness of their writing and APA formatting. The DC Network provides various resources to help learners improve their writing. Grand Canyon University also offers writing tutoring services through the Center for Learning Advancement on writing basics; however, the writing tutors do not provide any level of dissertation editing. The chair and committee members are not obligated to edit documents. Additionally, the AQR reviewers will not edit the proposal or dissertation. If learners do not have outstanding writing skills, they may need to identify a writing coach, editor, and/or other resource to help with writing and editing. Poorly-written proposals and dissertations will be immediately suspended in the various levels of review if submitted with grammatical, structural, and/or form-and-formatting errors. The quality of a dissertation is evaluated on the quality of writing and based on the criteria that GCU has established for each section of the dissertation. The criteria describe what must be addressed in each section within each chapter. As learners develop a section, first read the section description. Then, review each criterion contained in the table below the description. Learners use both the overall description and criteria as they write each section. Address each listed criterion in a way that it is clear to the chair and GCU Proposal Template V8.3 01.18.18 4 committee members. Learners should be able to point out where each criterion is met in each section. Prior to submitting a draft of the proposal or dissertation or a single chapter to the chair or committee members, learners should assess the degree to which each criterion has been met. Use the criteria table at the end of each section to complete this selfassessment. The following scores reflect the readiness of the document: • 0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions Are Required. • 1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required. • 2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. • 3 = Item is Exemplary. No Revisions Required. Sometimes the chair and committee members will score the work “between” numbers, such as a 1.5 or 2.5. The important thing to remember is that a minimum score of 2 is required on each criterion on the prospectus, proposal and dissertation before one can move to the next step. A good guideline to remember is that learners are not finished with the dissertation until the dean signs the cover page. Learners need to continuously and objectively self-evaluate the quality of writing and content for each section within the proposal or dissertation. Learners will score their work using the learner column in the criteria tables as evidence that they have critically evaluated their own work. When learners have completed a realistic, comprehensive selfevaluation of their work, then they may submit the document to the chair for review. Rating work as all 3’s will indicate that the learner has not done this. The chair will also review and score each section of the proposal and dissertation and will determine when it is ready for full committee review. Keep in mind the committee review process will GCU Proposal Template V8.3 01.18.18 5 likely require several editorial/revisions rounds, so plan for multiple revision cycles as learners develop their dissertation completion plan and project timeline. Notice the tables that certain columns have an X in the scoring box. As mentioned above, the chair will score all five chapters, the abstract and the reference list; the methodologist is only required to score Chapters 1, 3, and 4 and the abstract; the content expert is only required to score Chapters 1, 2, and 5 and the abstract. The chair and committee members will assess each criterion in their required chapters when they return the document with feedback. Once the document has been fully scored and approved by the chair and committee, and is approved for Level 2 or 5 review, the chair will submit one copy of the proposal or dissertation document with the fully scored assessment tables and one copy of the document with the assessment tables removed for AQR review. Refer to the Dissertation Milestone Guide for descriptions of levels of review and submission process. Criterion *(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3) Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score INTRODUCTION This section provides a brief overview of the research focus or problem, explains why this study is worth conducting, and discusses how this study will be completed. (Minimum three to four paragraphs or approximately one page) Dissertation topic is introduced and value of conducting the study is discussed. Discussion provides an overview of what is contained in the chapter. Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format. *Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale: 0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required. GCU Proposal Template V8.3 01.18.18 6 Learner Chair Methodologist Content Expert Criterion Score Score Score Score *(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3) 1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required. 2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required. 3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required. Reviewer Comments: Background of the Study The background section of Chapter 1 describes the recent history of the problem under study. It provides a summary of results from the prior empirical research on the topic. First, the learner identifies the need for the study, referred to as a gap, which the dissertation study will address. Strategies learners can use to identify a need or gap include: • Using results from prior studies. • Using recommendations for further study. • Using societal problems documented in the literature. • Using broad areas of research in current empirical articles. • Using needs identified in three to five research studies (primarily from the last three years. Next, the learner builds an argument or justification for the current study by presenting a series of logical arguments, each supported with citations from the literature. This need, called a gap, developed from the literature, is the basis for creating the problem statement. A local need is appropriate for a study. However, the learner needs to situate the “need” or problem by discussing how it is applicable beyond the local setting and contributes to societal and/or professional needs. The problem statement is developed based on the need or gap defined in the Background to the Study section. GCU Proposal Template V8.3 01.18.18 7 Criterion *(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3) Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY Minimum two to three paragraphs or approximately one page The background section of Chapter 1 provides a brief history of the problem. Provides a summary of results from the prior empirical research on the topic. Using results, societal needs, recommendations for further study, or needs identified in three to five research studies (primarily from the last three years), the learner identifies the stated need, called a gap. Builds a justification for the current study, using a logical set of arguments supported by citations. The problem is discussed as applicable beyond the local setting and contributes to societal and/or professional needs. Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format. *Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale: 0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required. 1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required. 2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required. 3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required. Reviewer Comments: Problem Statement Research problems are socially constructed, meaning that a problem may not be considered one until society recognizes it as a problem. For example, spousal abuse was recognized as a problem after women earned more rights. Research problems are not GCU Proposal Template V8.3 01.18.18 8 determined only by how much one knows about it, but by the need to investigate phenomena that affect people in order to improve their lives (Krysik & Flynn, 2013). The Problem Statement section begins with a declarative statement of the problem under study, such as “It is not known if and to what degree/extent...” or “It is not known how/why…” • Other examples are: • It is not known _____. • Absent from the literature is______. • While the literature indicates ____________, it is not known in (school/district/organization/community) if __________. This section then describes general population affected by the problem along with the importance, scope or opportunity for the problem and the importance of addressing the problem. Questions to consider when writing the problem include: 1. What is the need in the world or gap in the literature that this problem statement addresses? 2. What is the real issue that is affecting society, students, organizations? 3. At what frequency is the problem occurring? 4. What is the extent of human suffering that the problem produces? 5. Why has the problem received lack of attention in the past? 6. What does the literature and research say about the problem that can and should be addressed at this time? 7. What are the negative outcomes that this issue is addressing? This section ends with a description of the unit of analysis, which is the phenomenon, individuals, group or organization under study. Specifically, at the conceptual level, the unit of analysis is the entity/thing (social organization, community, GCU Proposal Template V8.3 01.18.18 9 group, individual, social artifacts, policies/principles, or phenomenon) that the researcher wants to be able to say something about. It is the main focus of the study. The unit of analysis is that which the researcher is studying. At the implementation level, the unit of analysis gets determined and defined by the research question/problem statement. Criterion *(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3) Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score PROBLEM STATEMENT Minimum three or four paragraphs or approximately one page States the specific problem proposed for research with a clear declarative statement. Discusses the problem statement in relation to the gap or need in the world, considering such issues as: real issues affecting society, students, or organizations; the frequency that the problem occurs; the extent of human suffering the problem produces, the perceived lack of attention in the past; the discussion of the problem in the literature and research about what should be addressed vis à vis the problem; the negative outcomes the issue addresses. Describes the general population affected by the problem. The general population refers to all individuals that could be affected by the study problem. Example: All older adults in the US who are 65 yrs or older. The target population is a more specific sub-population of interest from the general population, such as low income older adults (≥ 65 yrs) in AZ. Thus, the sample is derived from the target population, not from the general one. Describes the unit of analysis, which is the phenomenon, individuals, group or organization under study. Discusses the importance, scope, or opportunity for the problem and the importance of addressing the problem. The problem statement is developed based on the need or gap defined in the Background to the Study section. GCU Proposal Template V8.3 01.18.18 Content Expert Score 10 Criterion *(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3) Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format. *Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale: 0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required. 1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required. 2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required. 3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required. Reviewer Comments: Purpose of the Study The Purpose of the Study section of Chapter 1 provides a reflection of the problem statement and identifies how the study will be accomplished. It explains how the proposed study will contribute to the field. The section begins with a declarative statement, “The purpose of this study is….” Included in this statement are also the research design, target population, variables (quantitative) or phenomena (qualitative) to be studied, and the geographic location. Further, the section clearly defines the variables, relationship of variables, or comparison of groups for quantitative studies. For qualitative studies, this section describes the nature of the phenomenon/a to be explored. Keep in mind that the purpose of the study is restated in other chapters of the dissertation and should be worded exactly as presented in this section of Chapter 1. Criterion *(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3) GCU Proposal Template V8.3 01.18.18 Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score 11 Learner Score Criterion *(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3) Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score PURPOSE OF THE STUDY Minimum two to three paragraphs Begins with one sentence that identifies the research methodology and design, target population, variables (quantitative) or phenomena (qualitative) to be studied and geographic location. This can be presesnted as a declarative statement: "The purpose of this study is...." that identifies the research methodology and design, population, variables (quantitative) or phenomena (qualitative) to be studied and geographic location. Describes the target population and geographic location. Quantitative Studies: Defines the variables and relationship of variables. Qualitative Studies: Describes the nature of the phenomena to be explored. Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format. *Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale: 0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required. 1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required. 2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required. 3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required. Reviewer Comments: Research Questions and/or Hypotheses This section narrows the focus of the study and specifies the research questions to address the problem statement. Based on the research questions, it describes the variables or groups and their hypothesized relationship for a quantitative study or the phenomena under investigation for a qualitative study. The research questions and hypotheses should GCU Proposal Template V8.3 01.18.18 12 be derived from, and are directly aligned with, the problem statement and theoretical foundation (theory(s) or model(s). The Research Questions and/or Hypotheses section of Chapter 1 will be presented again in Chapter 3 to provide clear continuity for the reader and to help frame data analysis in Chapter 4. If the study is qualitative, state the research questions the study will answer, and describe the phenomenon to be studied. Qualitative studies will typically have one overarching research question with three or more subquestions. If the study is quantitative or mixed methods, state the research questions the study will answer, identify the variables, and state the hypotheses (predictive statements) using the format appropriate for the specific design. For quantitative studies, the research questions align with the purpose statement. Quantitative studies will typically have three or four research questions and associated hypotheses; mixed method studies can use both, depending on the design. In a paragraph prior to listing the research questions or hypotheses, include a discussion of the research questions, relating them to the problem statement. Then, include a leading phrase to introduce the questions such as: The following research questions guide this qualitative study: RQ1: This is an example of how a qualitative research question should align within the text of the manuscript. Indent .25 inches from the left margin. Text that wraps around to the next line is indented using the Hanging Indent feature at .5.” RQ2: Add a research question here following the format above. Additional research questions should follow the same format. GCU Proposal Template V8.3 01.18.18 13 Or, for a quantitative study the research questions are formatted as below. The following research question and hypotheses guide this quantitative study: RQ1: This is an example of how a quantitative research questions and hypotheses should align within the text of the manuscript. Indent .25 inches from the left margin. Text that wraps around to the next line is indented using the Hanging Indent feature at .5.” H01: The null hypothesis that aligns to the research question is listed here. H1a: The alternative hypothesis that aligns to the research question and null hypothesis is listed here. Repeat this pattern for each quantitative research question and associated hypotheses. Criterion *(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3) Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score RESEARCH QUESTION(S) AND/OR HYPOTHESES Minimum two to three paragraphs or approximately one page Qualitative Studies: States the research question(s) the study will answer and describes the phenomenon to be studied. Note: The research questions provide guidance for the data which will be collected to answer the research questions; they do not identify the instruments. Quantitative Studies: States the research questions the study will answer, identifies and describes the variables, and states the hypotheses (predictive statements) using the format appropriate for the specific design and statistical analysis. This section includes a discussion of the research questions, relating them to the problem statement. The research questions need to be connected to the theory(s) or model(s) from the theoretical foundation section, as well. Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct GCU Proposal Template V8.3 01.18.18 Content Expert Score 14 Criterion *(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3) sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format. Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score *Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale: 0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required. 1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required. 2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required. 3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required. Reviewer Comments: Advancing Scientific Knowledge and Significance of the Study The Advancing Scientific Knowledge and Significance of the Study section identifies the “gap” or “need” in the literature that was used to define the problem statement and develop the research questions. Further, it describes how the study will address the “gap” or “identified need.” The section describes how the research fits with and will contribute to or advance the current literature or body of research. Although this advancement may be a small step forward in a line of current research, it must add to the current body of knowledge and align to the learner’s program of study. The section also discusses the implications of the potential results based on the research questions and problem statement, hypotheses, or the investigated phenomena. Further, it describes the potential practical applications from the research. The section identifies the theory(ies) or model(s) that provide the theoretical foundations or conceptual frameworks for the study. Finally, it connects the study directly to the theory and describes how the study will add or extend the theory or model. GCU Proposal Template V8.3 01.18.18 15 Criterion *(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3) Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score ADVANCING SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE AND SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY (Minimum one to two pages) Clearly identifies the “gap” or “need” in the literature that was used to define the problem statement and develop the research questions. Describes how the study will address the “gap” or “identified need” defined in the literature and contribute to the body of literature. Describes how the research fits with and will contribute to or advance the current literature or body of research Describes the potential practical applications from the research. Identifies the theory(ies) or model(s) that provide the theoretical foundations or conceptual frameworks for the study. Connects the study directly to the theory and describes how the study will add or extend the theory or model. Describes how addressing the problem will add value to the population, community, or society. Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format. *Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale: 0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required. 1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required. 2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required. 3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required. Reviewer Comments: GCU Proposal Template V8.3 01.18.18 16 Rationale for Methodology The Rationale for Methodology section of Chapter 1 clearly justifies the methodology the researcher plans to use for conducting the study. It argues how the methodological choice (quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods) is the best approach to answer the research questions and address the problem statement. Finally, it contains citations from textbooks and articles on research methodology and/or articles on related studies to provide evidence to support the argument for the selected methodology. For qualitative designs, this section states the research question(s) the study will answer and describes the phenomenon to be studied. For quantitative designs, this section describes the research questions the study will answer, identifies and describes the variables, and states the hypotheses (predictive statements) using the format appropriate for the specific design. Finally, this section includes a discussion of the research questions, relating them to the problem statement. This section should illustrate how the selected methodology is aligned with the problem statement, providing additional context for the study. Learner Score Criterion* (Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3) Chair Score Methodologist Score RATIONALE FOR METHODOLOGY (Minimum two to three paragraphs) Identifies the specific research methodology for the study. Justifies the methodology to be used for the study by discussing why it is an appropriate approach for answering the research question(s) and addressing the problem statement. Quantitative Studies: Justify in terms of problem statement and the variables for which data will be collected. Qualitative Studies: Justify in terms of GCU Proposal Template V8.3 01.18.18 Content Expert Score 17 Criterion* (Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3) problem statement and phenomenon. Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score Uses citations from seminal (authoritative) sources (textbooks and/or empirical research literature) to justify the selected methodology. Note: Introductory or survey research textbooks (such as Creswell) are not considered seminal sources. Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format. *Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale: 0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required. 1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required. 2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required. 3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required. Reviewer Comments: Nature of the Research Design for the Study This section describes the specific research design to answer the research questions and why this approach was selected. Here, the learner discusses why the selected design is the best design to address the problem statement and research questions as compared to other designs. This section contains a description of the research sample being studied, as well as, the process that will be used to collect the data on the sample. The design section succinctly conveys the research approach to answer the research questions and/or test the hypotheses. This entails the learner describing the unit(s) of observation, which may be individuals, groups, documents, artifacts, databases, based on the data collection plan and instruments/sources. At the conceptual level, the GCU Proposal Template V8.3 01.18.18 18 unit of observation is the entity or thing (organization, individual, condition) the researcher will observe, measure and/or collect data on. The unit of observation is that which the researcher will collect data on. At the implementation level, the unit(s) of observation is/are determined and defined by the data collection approach(es). Criterion *(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3) Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score NATURE OF THE RESEARCH DESIGN FOR THE STUDY Minimum three to four paragraphs or approximately one page) Identifies and describes the selected design for the study. Justifies why the selected design addresses the problem statement and research questions. Quantitative Studies: Justifies the selected design based on the appropriateness of the design to address the research questions and data for each variable. Qualitative Studies: Justifies the selected design based on appropriateness of design to address research questions and study the phenomenon. Briefly describes the target population and sample for the study. Identifies the sources and instruments that will be used to collect data needed to answer the research questions. Briefly describes data collection procedures to collect data on the sample. Describes the unit(s) of observation, which may be individuals, groups, documents, artifacts, databases, based on the data collection plan and instruments/sources. For example, units of observation may be individuals or documents. Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA GCU Proposal Template V8.3 01.18.18 Content Expert Score 19 Criterion *(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3) Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score format. *Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale: 0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required. 1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required. 2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required. 3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required. Reviewer Comments: Definition of Terms The Definition of Terms section of Chapter 1 defines the study constructs and provides a common understanding of the technical terms, exclusive jargon, variables, phenomena, concepts, and technical terminology used within the scope of the study. Terms are defined in lay terms and in the context in which they are used within the study. Each definition may be a few sentences to a paragraph in length. This section includes any words that may be unknown to a lay person (words with unusual or ambiguous meanings or technical terms). Definitions must be supported with citations from scholarly sources. Do not use Wikipedia to define terms. This popular “open source” online encyclopedia can be helpful and interesting for the layperson, but it is not appropriate for formal academic research and writing. Additionally, do not use dictionaries to define terms. A paragraph introducing this section prior to listing the definition of terms can be inserted. However, a lead-in phrase is needed to introduce the terms such as: “The following terms were used operationally in this study.” This is also a good place to “operationally define” unique phrases specific to this research. See below for the correct format: GCU Proposal Template V8.3 01.18.18 20 Abbreviations. Do not use periods with abbreviated measurements, (e.g., cd, ft, lb, mi, and min). The exception to this rule is to use a period when abbreviated inch (in.) to avoid confusion with the word “in.” Units of measurement and statistical abbreviations should only be abbreviated when accompanied by numerical values, e.g., 7 mg, 12 mi, M = 7.5 measured in milligrams, several miles after the exit, the means were determined [4.27]. Spaces. Do not use periods or spaces in abbreviations of all capital letters unless the abbreviation is a proper name or refers to participants using identity-concealing labels. The exception to this rule is that a period is used when abbreviating the United States as an adjective. Use a period if the abbreviation is a Latin abbreviation or a reference abbreviation [4.02]. Use standard newspaper practice when presenting AM and PM times, as in 7:30 PM or 6:00 AM. Term. Write the definition of the word. This is considered a Level 4 heading., Make sure the definition is properly cited (Author, 2010, p.123). Terms often use abbreviations. According to the American Psychological Association [APA] (Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 2010), abbreviations are best used only when they allow for clear communication with the audience. Standard abbreviations, such as units of measurement and names of states, do not need to be written out. APA also allows abbreviations that appear as words in Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (2005) to be used without explanation [4.22-4.30]. Time units. Only certain units of time should be abbreviated. Do abbreviate hr, min, ms, ns, s. However, do not abbreviate day, week, month, and year [4.27]. To form the plural of abbreviations, add “s” alone without apostrophe or italicization (e.g., vols, GCU Proposal Template V8.3 01.18.18 21 IQs, Eds). The exception to this rule is not to add “s” to pluralize units of measurement (12 m not 12 ms) [4.29]. Criterion* (Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3) Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score DEFINITIONS OF TERMS (Each definition may be a few sentences to a paragraph.) Defines any words that may be unknown to a lay person (words with unusual or ambiguous meanings or technical terms) from the research or literature. Defines the variables for a quantitative study or the phenomena for a qualitative study from the research or literature. Definitions are supported with citations from scholarly sources. Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format. *Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale: 0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required. 1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required. 2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required. 3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required. Reviewer Comments: Assumptions, Limitations, Delimitations This section identifies the assumptions and specifies the limitations, as well as the delimitations, of the study. Define the terms and then list the limitations, delimitations and assumptions. Provide a rationale for all statements. Assumptions. An assumption is a self-evident truth. This section lists what is assumed to be true about the information gathered in the study. State the assumptions being accepted for the study which may be methodological, theoretical, or topic-specific. GCU Proposal Template V8.3 01.18.18 22 Provide a rationale for each assumption. Additionally, identify any potential negative consequences of the assumptions for the study. For example, the following assumptions were present in this study: 1. It is assumed that survey participants in this study were not deceptive with their answers, and that the participants answered questions honestly and to the best of their ability. Provide an explanation to support this assumption. 2. It is assumed that this study is an accurate representation of the current situation in rural southern Arizona. Provide an explanation to support this assumption. Limitations and delimitations. Limitations are things that the researcher has no control over, such as bias. In contrast, delimitations are things over which the researcher has control, such as location of the study. Identify the limitations and delimitations of the research design. Provide a rationale for each limitation and delimitation, discuss associated consequences for the generalizability and applicability of the findings based on the limitations and delimitations. Address study limitations inherent in the method, study design, sampling strategy, data collection approach or instruments, and data analysis. For example: The following limitations/delimitations were present in this study: 1. Lack of funding limited the scope of this study. Provide an explanation to support this limitation. Discuss associated consequences for the generalizability and applicability of the findings. 2. The survey of high school students was delimited to only rural schools in one county within southern Arizona, limiting the demographic sample. Provide an explanation to support this delimitation. Discuss associated consequences for the generalizability and applicability of the findings. Criterion *(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3) Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score ASSUMPTIONS, LIMITATIONS, AND DELIMITATIONS (Minimum three to four paragraphs) Provides a definition of the terms: assumptions, limitations, assumption, limitation and delimitations at the beginning of each section. GCU Proposal Template V8.3 01.18.18 Content Expert Score 23 Criterion *(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3) States the assumptions being accepted for the study (methodological, theoretical, and topic-specific). Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score Provides a rationale for each assumption. Identifies limitations of the research method, design sampling strategy, data collection approach, instruments and data analysis. Provides a rationale for each limitation. Discusses associated consequences for the generalizability and applicability of the findings. Identifies delimitations of the research design and associated consequences for the generalizability and applicability of the findings. Provides a rationale for each delimitation. The section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format. *Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale: 0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required. 1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required. 2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required. 3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required. Reviewer Comments: Summary and Organization of the Remainder of the Study This section summarizes the key points of Chapter 1 and provides supporting citations for those key points. It then provides a transition discussion to Chapter 2 followed by a description of the remaining chapters. For example, Chapter 2 will present a review of current research on the centrality of the dissertation literature review in GCU Proposal Template V8.3 01.18.18 24 research preparation. Chapter 3 will describe the methodology, research design, and procedures for this investigation. Chapter 4 details how the data was analyzed and provides both a written and graphic summary of the results. Chapter 5 is an interpretation and discussion of the results, as it relates to the existing body of research related to the dissertation topic. For the proposal, this section should also provide a timeline for completing the research and writing up the dissertation. When the dissertation is complete, this section should be revised to eliminate the timeline information. Criterion* (Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3) Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score CHAPTER 1 SUMMARY AND ORGANIZATION OF THE REMAINDER OF THE STUDY (Minimum one to two pages) Summarizes key points presented in Chapter 1. Provides citations from scholarly sources to support key points. Describes the remaining Chapters and provides a transition discussion to Chapter 2. For proposal only, a timeline for completing the research and dissertation is provided. The chapter is correctly formatted to dissertation template using the Word Style Tool and APA standards. Writing is free of mechanical errors. All research presented in the chapter is scholarly, topic-related, and obtained from highly respected academic, professional, original sources. In-text citations are accurate, correctly cited, and included in the reference page according to APA standards. Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format. *Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale: 0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required. GCU Proposal Template V8.3 01.18.18 25 Learner Chair Methodologist Content Expert Criterion* Score Score Score Score (Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3) 1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required. 2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required. 3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required. Reviewer Comments: GCU Proposal Template V8.3 01.18.18 26 Chapter 2: Literature Review Introduction to the Chapter and Background to the Problem This chapter presents the theoretical framework for the study and develops the topic, specific research problem, question(s), and design elements. In order to perform significant dissertation research, the learner must first understand the literature related to the research focus. A well-articulated, thorough literature review provides the foundation for a substantial, contributory dissertation. The purpose of Chapter 2 is to develop a welldocumented argument for the selection of the research topic, to formulate the research questions, and to justify the choice of research methodology. A literature review is a synthesis of what has been published on a topic by accredited scholars and researchers. It is not an expanded annotated bibliography or a summary of research articles related to thru topic. The literature review will place the research focus into context by analyzing and discussing the existing body of knowledge and effectively telling the reader everything that is known, or everything that has been discovered in research about that focus, and where the gaps and tensions in the research exist. As a piece of writing, the literature review must convey to the reader what knowledge and ideas have been established on a topic, and build an argument in support of the research problem. This section describes the overall topic to be investigated, outlines the approach taken for the literature review, and the evolution of the problem based on the “gap” or “need” defined in the literature from its origination to its current form. Make sure the Introduction and Background section of the literature review addresses all required criterion listed in the table below. Learners may want to create a subsection title for the GCU Proposal Template V8.3 01.18.18 27 Introduction section and for the Background to the Problem section to provide clarity to the reader. Criterion *(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3) Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score CHAPTER 2 INTRODUCTION (TO THE CHAPTER) AND BACKGROUND (TO THE PROBLEM) (Minimum two to three pages) Introduction: Provides an orienting paragraph so the reader knows what the literature review will address. X Introduction: Describes how the chapter will be organized (including the specific sections and subsections). X Introduction: Describes how the literature was surveyed so the reader can evaluate thoroughness of the review. This includes search terms and databases used. X Background: Discusses how the problem has evolved historically into its current form. X Background: Describes the “gap” or “need” defined in the current literature and how it leads to the creation of the topic and problem statement for the study. Note: This section should be a significant expansion on the Background to the Problem section in Chapter 1. X Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format. X *Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale: 0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required. 1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required. 2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required. 3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required. Reviewer Comments: GCU Proposal Template V8.3 01.18.18 28 Identification of the Gap All learners must identify a gap or stated need for their authentic dissertation research. The gap, or stated need, for the dissertation is the difference between what is known in a field of research and what is not yet known. The gap is created by synthesizing the literature related to a societal need and/or broad topic. The stated need is defined from the literature from recent years, usually within the last five years. Lack of research on a topic is not a reason to do a dissertation. Just because something has not been researched does not mean it should be. Therefore, the learner must be “well read” on their topic to identify ways their study will add to the existing body of knowledge on the topic. There are a variety of ways to synthesize the literature to define the gap. Below is a set of steps that may be used: • First, explore original literature on this “societal” or big problem to determine has been discovered and what still needs to be discovered. Then, summarize and compare and contrast, the original literature on this problem. • Second, while exploring the original literature identify the broad topics and problems researched. Explore the evolution of the research on the problem. How did the focus change? What findings emerged from these studies? • Third, describe the research from the past 2 to 3 years to discover what has been discovered, and elaborate to discuss what still needs to be researched or discovered. Discuss the trends and themes that emerged. What has been discovered? What do researchers say still needs to be researched or discovered? • Fourth, define the proposed topic and problem statement, by synthesizing the recent studies, including trends, limitations, and defined future research needs. While the the verbiage in this section highlights a set of steps designed to help GCU doctoral learners identify the gap or need for their study, there are other methods that can be used. These include replication studies, recommendations for future research GCU Proposal Template V8.3 01.18.18 29 from from prior studies and literature reviews, adding to a broadly researched area, reframing problems and synthesizing areas of research to define a new or innovative area of research. This section must clearly identify the specific sources that form the basis for the gap. Learners can access further information on these strategies in the Doctoral Community, dc.gcu.edu, under the Residency tab, and GCU e-Book (Grand Canyon University, 2017b). Criterion *(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3) Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score CHAPTER 2: IDENTIFICATION OF THE GAP (Minimum two pages) Summarizes the “societal” or big problem. Highlights what has been discovered and what still needs to be discovered related to the topic from literature or research dated within the last five years. Discusses and synthesizes the evolution of the research on the problem. Specifically: • Identifies the key sources used as the basis for the gap • Identifies trends in research and literature. • Identifies how the research focus has changed over the recent past (five years). • Discusses key findings that emerged from recent studies. • Discusses limitations or prior research and defined future research needs. From the findings of research studies and evolution of recent literature on the topic, defines the problem statement for the study. *Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale: 0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required. 1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required. 2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required. GCU Proposal Template V8.3 01.18.18 30 Criterion Learner Chair Score Score *(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3) 3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required. Methodologist Score Content Expert Score Reviewer Comments: Theoretical Foundations and/or Conceptual Framework This section identifies and discusses the theory(ies) or model(s) that provide the foundation for the research study. It also contains an explanation of how the problem under investigation relates to the theory or model. The seminal source for each theory or model presented in this section should be identified and described. For a quantitative study, the theory(ies) or models(s) guide the research question(s), justify what is being measured (variables), and describe how those variables are related. In a qualitative study, the theory(ies) or model(s) guide the research question(s) and help describe the phenomena being investigated (qualitative). This section also includes a discussion of how the research question(s) align with the respective theory(ies) or model(s) and illustrates how the study fits within the prior research based on the theory(ies) or model(s). The learner should cite references reflective of the foundational, historical, and current literature in the field. Seminal works are usually more than five years old; it is important to include those, as well as relevant, more recent literature on the theory. Overall, the presentation in this section should reflect that the learner understands the theory or model and its relevance to the proposed study. The discussion should also reflect knowledge and familiarity with the historical development of the theory. GCU Proposal Template V8.3 01.18.18 31 Learner Score Criterion *(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3) Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score THEORETICAL FOUNDATIONS AND/OR CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK (Minimum two to three pages) Identifies a model(s) or theory(ies) from seminal source(s) that provide a reasonable conceptual framework or theoretical foundation to use in developing the research questions, identifying variables/phenomena, and selecting data collection instruments. X Cites the appropriate seminal source(s) for each theory or model. X Includes a cogent discussion/synthesis of the theory or model and justifies the theoretical foundation/framework as relevant to the study. Connects the study directly to the theory and describes how the study will add or extend the theory or model. X Quantitative Studies: Have one theory for each variable. For example, use the model the survey is based on. Use the theory or model upon which the instrument is based. Distinguishes between the model/theories being used for research questions and data collection versus the background models and theories generically relevant to the study. Builds a logical argument of how the research questions are developed based on the theoretical foundation for the study. X Reflects understanding of the foundational, historical, research relevant to the theoretical foundation/framework. X Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format. X *Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale: 0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required. 1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required. 2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required. GCU Proposal Template V8.3 01.18.18 32 Learner Chair Criterion Score Score *(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3) 3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required. Methodologist Score Content Expert Score Reviewer Comments: Review of the Literature This section provides a broad, balanced overview of the existing literature related to the proposed research topic. The Review of Literature identifies themes, trends, and conflicts in research methodology, design, and findings. It provides a synthesis of the existing literature, examines the contributions of the literature related to the topic, and justifies the methodological approaches used for the research based on related empirical studies. Through this synthesis, the researcher applies this information to define the research gaps as well as to the creation of the plan and approach for their proposed study. Citations are provided for all ideas, concepts, and perspectives. The researcher’s personal opinions or perspectives are not included. Chapter 2 must be a minimum of 30 pages in length. However, it is important to note that a well-written comprehensive literature review will likely exceed this minimum requirement. The literature review must be continuously updated throughout the dissertation research and writing process. Chapter 2 needs to include a minimum of 50 peer-reviewed, empirical research articles, and 75% of all references within this chapter (and in proposal/dissertation) must be within the past five years. Seventy five percent (75%) of the sources must be dated within five years of the proposal defense date and five years of the dissertation defense date, and updated as appropriate at the time of the dissertation defense. Other requirements for the literature review include: GCU Proposal Template V8.3 01.18.18 33 • Quantitative study: Describes each research variable in the study discussing the prior empirical research that has been done on the variable(s) and the relationship between variables. • Qualitative study: Describes the phenomena being explored in the study discussing the prior research that has been done on the phenomena. • Discusses the various methodologies and designs that have been used to research topics related to the study. Uses this information to justify the proposed design. • Argues the appropriateness of the dissertation’s instruments, measures, and/or approaches used to collect data. • Discusses and synthesizes studies related to the proposed dissertation topic. This may include (1) studies describing and/or relating the variables (quantitative) or exploring related phenomena (qualitative), (2) studies on related research such as factors associated with the themes, (3) studies on the instruments used to collect data, (4) studies on the broad population for the study, and/or (5) studies similar to the proposed study. The themes presented and research studies discussed and synthesized in the Review of Literature demonstrates a deep understanding of all aspects of the research topic. The set of topics discussed in the Review of Literature must demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the broad area in which the research topic exists. • Discusses and synthesizes the various methodologies and designs that have been used in prior empirical research related to the study. Must use authoritative sources information to justify the proposed design. Provides discussion and justification for the instrumentation selected for the study. This section must argue the appropriateness of the dissertation’s instruments, measures, and/or approaches used to collect data. Empirical research must be used to justify the selection of instrument(s). • Each major section in the Review of Literature includes an introductory paragraph that explains why the particular topic was explored relative to the dissertation topic. • Each major section in the Literature Review includes a summary paragraph(s) that (1) compares and contrasts alternative perspectives on the topic, (2) provides a synthesis of the themes relative to the research topic discussed that emerged from the literature, (3) discusses data from the various studies, and (4) identifies how themes are relevant to the proposed dissertation topic. • The types of references that may be used in the literature review include empirical articles, a limited number of dissertations (no more than 5), peer-reviewed or scholarly journal articles, and books (no more than 5-10) that present cutting-edge views on a topic, are research based, or are seminal works. GCU Proposal Template V8.3 01.18.18 34 • Provides additional arguments for the need for the study that was defined in the Background to the Problem section. The body of a literature review can be organized in a variety of ways depending on the nature of the research. However, clearly explain the approach taken to the organization and flow of the topics for the Review of Literature section, explaining the organization in an introductory section for the Review of Literature. Learners will work with the chair and committee to determine the best way to organize this section of Chapter 2 as it pertains to the research design. Make sure to include a section for methodology and instrumentation (see the rubrics, below). Chapter 2 can be particularly challenging with regard to APA format for citations and quotations. Refer to the APA manual frequently to make sure citations are formatted properly. It is critical that each in-text citation is appropriately listed in the Reference section. Incorrectly citing and referencing sources is a serious scholarly and ethical violation, particularly at the doctoral level when writing the dissertation. As an emerging scholar, learners must demonstrate the capability and responsibility to properly cite and reference every single source referenced in the literature review and in throughout the dissertation! Note that all in-text citations within parentheses must be listed in alphabetical order with semicolons between each citation (e.g., Barzun & Graff, 1992; Calabrese, 2006; Hacker, Somers, Jehn, & Rosenzweig, 2008; Mason, 2010; Nock, 1943; Squires & Kranyik, 1995; Strunk & White, 1979). As a rule, if a direct quote comprises fewer than 40 words, incorporate it into the narrative and enclose it with double quotation marks. The in-text citation is included after the final punctuation mark [6.03]. The final punctuation mark in quoted text should be placed inside the quotation mark. GCU Proposal Template V8.3 01.18.18 35 For a quote within a quote, use a set of single quotation marks. Here is an example of a direct quote within a quote integrated into the narrative. In the classic introspective autobiography, The Memoirs of a Superfluous Man, one reads that, “one never knows when or where the spirit’s breathe will rest, or what will come of its touch. ‘The spirit breathes where it will,’ said the Santissimo Salvatore, ‘and thou hearest the sound thereof, but cannot tell whence it cometh or whither it goeth.’” (Nock, 1943, p.187) [4.08]. As a rule, if a quote comprises 40 or more words, display this material as a freestanding block quote. Start formal block quotes on a new line. They are indented one inch in from the left margin. The entire block quote is double-spaced. Quotation marks are not used with formal block quotes. The in-text citation is included after the final punctuation mark. [6.03]. Below is an example of a block quote: In an important biography, The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin, historian H. W. Brands writes: In February 1731, Franklin became a Freemason. Shortly thereafter, he volunteered to draft the bylaws for the embryonic local chapter, named for St. John the Baptist; upon acceptance of the bylaws, he was elected Warden and subsequently Master of the Lodge. Within three years, he became Grandmaster of all of Pennsylvania's Masons. Not unforeseeable he—indeed, this was much of the purpose of membership for everyone involved—his fellow Masons sent business Franklin’s way. In 1734 he printed The Constitutions, the first formerly sponsored Masonic book in America; he derived additional [printing] work from his brethren on an unsponsored basis. (Brands, 2000, p. 113) GCU Proposal Template V8.3 01.18.18 36 Table 1. Correct Formatting for a Multiple Line Table Title is Single Spacing and Should Look Like this Example Variable Column A M (SD) Column B M (SD) Column C M (SD) Row 1 10.1 (1.11) 20.2 (2.22) 30.3 (3.33) Row 2 20.2 (2.22) 30.3 (3.33) 20.2 (2.22) Row 3 30.3 (3.33) 10.1 (1.11) 10.1 (1.11) Note. Adapted from “Sampling and Recruitment in Studies of Doctoral Students,” by I.M. Researcher, 2010, Journal of Perspicuity, 25, p. 100. Reprinted with permission. Methodology and instrumentation/data sources/research materials. The final section of Chapter 2 focuses on the methodologies and instrumentation in the empirical studies reviewed in Chapter 2. Unlike the methodology and instrumentation sections in Chapters 1 and 3, this section provides a clear overview of how the empirical studies in the literature review were conducted. This provides evidence for the methodology and instrumentation the learner selects for the study. For example, the key studies may show which instruments were used for studies on particular forms of leadership, and the discussion would point out how such instruments were used and why. That may support an argument by the learner about his or her choice of instrument for the study. Learner Score Criterion *(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3) Chair Score Methodologist Score REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE (Minimum 30 pages) This section must be a minimum of 30 pages. The purpose of the minimum number of pages is to ensure that the overall literature review reflects a foundational understanding of the theory or theories, literature and research studies related to the topic. A wellwritten comprehensive literature review that reflects the current state of research and literature on the topic is expected and will likely exceed 30 pages. GCU Proposal Template V8.3 01.18.18 X Content Expert Score 37 Criterion *(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3) Literature reviews should be updated continuously. This is an ongoing process to dissertation completion. Quantitative Studies: Describes each research variable in the study discussing the prior empirical research that has been done on the variables and the relationship between the variables. Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score X Qualitative Studies: Describes the phenomena being explored in the study discussing the prior research that has been done on the phenomena. Themes or Topics (Required): Discusses and synthesizes studies related to the proposed dissertation topic. May include (1) studies focused on the problem from a societal perspective, (2) studies describing and/or relating the variables (quantitative) or exploring related phenomena (qualitative), (3) studies on related research such as factors associated with the themes, (4) studies on the instruments used to collect data, (5) studies on the broad population for the study, and/or (6) studies similar to the proposed study. The themes presented and research studies discussed and synthesized in the Review of Literature demonstrates understanding of all aspects of the research topic and the research methodology. X Methodologies used in prior research on the topic (required): Section is built on prior research studies and does not include references to methodology books and articles. What other methods have been done in similar studies on the topic? X Discusses and synthesizes the various methods that have been used in prior empirical research related to the study to present the best methodology for the proposed study. This section demonstrates broad understanding of methodologies used in research area. Instruments/data sources/research materials used in prior studies on the GCU Proposal Template V8.3 01.18.18 X Content Expert Score 38 Criterion *(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3) topic (required): Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Provides discussion of instruments, sources of data or research materials used in closely-related empirical studies on the topic (dated within last 3 to 5 years). Demonstrates understanding of the instruments used in prior studies on the topic. Synthesizes the information to recommend the instruments to be used for the study. Structures literature review in a logical order, including actual data and accurate synthesis of results from reviewed studies as related to the learners own topic. Provides synthesis of the information not just a summary of the findings. X Includes in each major section (theme or topic) within the Review of Literature an introductory paragraph that explains why the particular topic or theme was explored relative to the overall dissertation topic. X Includes in each section within the Review of Literature a summary paragraph(s) that (1) compares and contrasts alternative perspectives on the topic and (2) provides a synthesis of the themes relative to the research topic discussed that emerged from the literature, and (3) identifies how themes are relevant to the proposed dissertation topic and research methodology. X Provides additional arguments for the need for the study that was defined in the Background to the Problem section. Ensures that for every in-text citation a reference entry exists. Conversely, for every reference list entry there is a corresponding in-text citation. Note: The accuracy of citations and quality of sources must be verified by learner, chair and committee members. Uses a range of references including founding theorists, peer-reviewed empirical research studies from X GCU Proposal Template V8.3 01.18.18 X X Content Expert Score 39 Criterion *(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3) scholarly journals, and government/foundation research reports. Note: A minimum of 50 peerreviewed, empirical research articles are required for the literature review. Verifies that 75% of all references are scholarly sources within the past 4 years for the proposal and 5 years for the dissertation. The 5-year time frame is referenced at the time of the proposal defense date and the 5-year timeframe is referenced at the time of the dissertation defense date. Note: Websites, dictionaries, publications without dates (n.d.), are not considered scholarly sources and should not be cited or present in reference list. Avoids overuse of books and dissertations. Books: Maximum of 10 scholarly books that present cutting edge views on a topic, are research based, or are seminal works. Dissertations: Maximum of 5 published dissertations. Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format. Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score X X X *Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale: 0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required. 1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required. 2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required. 3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required. Reviewer Comments: Summary This section succinctly restates what was written in Chapter 2 and provides supporting citations for key points. The summary section reflects that the learner has done his/her "due diligence" to become well-read on the topic and can conduct a study GCU Proposal Template V8.3 01.18.18 40 that will add to the existing body of research and knowledge on the topic. It synthesizes the information from the chapter to define the "gaps" in or "identified research needs" arising from the literature, the theory(is) or model(s) to provide the foundation for the study, the problem statement, the primary research question, the methodology, the design, the variables or phenomena, the data collection instruments or sources, and the population to be studied. Overall, this section should help the reader clearly see and understand the relevance and importance of the research to be conducted. The criteria listed in the table below are required for this section. The Summary section transitions to Chapter 3 by building a case for the study, in terms of research design and rigor, and it formulates the research questions based on the gaps and tensions in the literature. Learner Score Criterion *(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3) Chair Score Methodologist Score CHAPTER 2 SUMMARY (Minimum one to two pages) Synthesizes the information from all prior sections in the Literature Review using it to define the key strategic points for the research. X Summarizes the gaps and needs in the background and introduction describing how it informs the problem statement. X Identifies the theory(ies) or model(s) describing how they inform the research questions. X Justifies the methodology, design, variables or phenomena, data collection instruments or sources, and population to be studied. X Builds a case (argument) for the study in terms of the value of the research and how the research questions emerged from the review of literature. X Reflects that the learner has done his or her “due diligence” to synthesize the X GCU Proposal Template V8.3 01.18.18 Content Expert Score 41 Criterion *(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3) existing empirical research and write a comprehensive literature review on the research topic. Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Summarizes key points in Chapter 2 and transitions into Chapter 3. X The chapter is correctly formatted to dissertation template using the Word Style Tool and APA standards. Writing is free of mechanical errors. X All research presented in the chapter is scholarly, topic-related, and obtained from highly respected, academic, professional, original sources. In-text citations are accurate, correctly cited and included in the reference page according to APA standards. X Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format. X Content Expert Score *Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale: 0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required. 1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required. 2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required. 3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required. Reviewer Comments: GCU Proposal Template V8.3 01.18.18 42 Chapter 3: Methodology Introduction Chapter 3 documents how the study is conducted in enough detail so that replication by others is possible. The introduction begins with a summary of the research focus and purpose statement to reintroduce the reader to the study. This can be summarized in three to four sentences from Chapter 1. This section also outlines the expectations for this chapter. Remember, throughout this chapter, that verb tense must be changed from present or future tense (proposal) to past tense (dissertation manuscript). At the dissertation stage, all comments regarding “the proposed research” or “the proposal” must be removed and edited to reflect the fact that the research has been conducted. Furthermore, consider what happened during data collection and analysis. Sometimes, the research protocol ends up being modified based on committee, AQR review, or Institutional Review Board (IRB) recommendations. After the research study is complete, make sure this chapter reflects how the study was actually conducted. Learner Score Criterion *(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3) Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score CHAPTER 3 INTRODUCTION (Minimum two to three paragraphs) The introduction restates the purpose statement to the study. This section also outlines the expectations for this chapter. X Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format. X *Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale: GCU Proposal Template V8.3 01.18.18 43 Learner Chair Methodologist Content Expert Criterion Score Score Score Score *(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3) 0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required. 1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required. 2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required. 3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required. Reviewer Comments: Statement of the Problem This section restates the research problem for the convenience of the reader. Then, edit, blend, and integrate the problem statement into a narrative discussion that addresses how the problem statement addresses the gap in the literature, as described in the Problem Statement section in Chapter 1. Change future tense in proposals to past tense for dissertation manuscripts. Learner Score Criterion *(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3) Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM (Minimum one to two paragraphs) The research problem (Problem Statement) is restated for the convenience of the reader from Chapter 1. X Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format. X *Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale: 0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required. 1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required. 2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required. 3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required. Reviewer Comments: GCU Proposal Template V8.3 01.18.18 44 Research Questions and/or Hypotheses This section restates the research question(s) (qualiative and quantitative) and the hypotheses (quantiative) for the study from Chapter 1. For a quantitative study, it then presents the matching hypotheses and explains the variables. For a qualitative study, it then describes the phenomena to be understood as a result of the study. The section also briefly discusses the approaches to collecting the data to answer the research questions. For a quantitative study, it describes the instrument(s) or data source(s) to collect the data for each and every variable. The variables are described at the conceptual, operational and measurement levels. For example, a conceptual level of a variable in a school setting may be student achievement. The operational level of the variable may be student performance in social studies. The measurement level for the variable may be individual student scores on the high stakes test, or percentage of overall students passing the test (at the school level). For a qualitative study, this describes the instrument(s) or data source(s) to collect the data to answer each research question. It also discusses why the design was selected to be the best approach to answer the research questions, test the hypotheses (quantitative), or understand the phenomena (qualitative). Remember to change future tense to past tense for dissertation manuscripts. Criterion *(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3) Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score RESEARCH QUESTIONS AND/OR HYPOTHESES (Minimum one to two pages) Qualitative Studies: Restates the research questions and the phenomena for the study from Chapter 1. Quantitative Studies: Describes the variables, at the conceptual, operational and measurement levels, then restates GCU Proposal Template V8.3 01.18.18 X 45 Criterion *(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3) the research questions from Chapter 1, and presents the matching hypotheses. Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score Describes the nature and sources of necessary data to answer the research questions (primary versus secondary data, specific people, institutional archives, Internet open sources, etc.). X Quantitative Studies: Describes the data collection methods, instrument(s) or data source(s) to collect the data for each variable. Qualitative Studies: Describes the data collection methods, instruments, and/or data sources to collect the data to answer each research question. Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format. X *Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale: 0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required. 1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required. 2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required. 3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required. Reviewer Comments: Research Methodology This section describes the research methodology for the study (quantitative, qualitative, or mixed) and explains the rationale for selecting this particular methodology. It also describes why this methodology was selected as opposed to the alternative methodologies. This section should elaborate on the Methodology section (from Chapter 1) providing the rationale for the selected research method (quantitative, qualitative, or mixed). This section may bring in additional arguments based on the empirical studies GCU Proposal Template V8.3 01.18.18 46 used in the Methodology section in Chapter 2. This section justifies why the selected methodology is better than the alternative methodologies. Arguments are supported by citations from articles and books on research methodology and/or design. It is also appropriate in this section to outline the predicted results in relation to the research questions and hypotheses based on the existing literature. Learners should refer to their course e-books, specifically the RES-866 e-book (Grand Canyon University, 2016), for more information on developing this chapter. Learner Score Criterion *(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3) Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score RESEARCH METHODOLOGY (Minimum one to two pages) Provides a rationale for the research methodology for the study (quantitative, qualitative, or mixed) based on research books and articles. X Provides a rationale for the selected the methodology based on empirical studies on the topic. Justifies why the methodology was selected as opposed to alternative methodologies. Uses authoritative source(s) to justify the selected methodology. Note: Do not use introductory research textbooks (such as Creswell) to justify the research design and data analysis approach. Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format. *Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale: 0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required. 1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required. 2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required. 3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required. Reviewer Comments: GCU Proposal Template V8.3 01.18.18 X X 47 Research Design This section elaborates on the nature of the Research Design for the Study section from Chapter 1. It includes a detailed description of, and a rationale for, the specific design for the study and describes how it aligns to the selected methodology indicated in the previous section. GCU core designs for quantitative studies include descriptive/survey, correlational, causal-comparative, quasi-experimental, and experimental. GCU core designs for qualitative designs include case study, narrative, grounded theory, and phenomenological. Additionally, this section must describe why the selected design is the best option to collect the data to answer the research questions and test the hypotheses. Learners should refer to their course e-books (Grand Canyon University, 2015, 2016, 2017b), for more information on developing this section. Learner Score Criterion *(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3) Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score RESEARCH DESIGN (Minimum one to two pages) Elaborates on the research design from Chapter 1. Provides the rationale for selecting the research design supported by empirical references. Justifies why the design was selected as the best approach to collect the needed data, as opposed to alternative designs. Quantitative Studies: Provides the variable structure and states the unit of analysis. and unit of observation. If multiple data sources have different units of observation, specify the key variable for matching cases. Qualitative Studies: Provides the unit of analysis and the unit of observation. If multiple data sources have different units of observation, specify the matching cases. In qualitative study designs the units of analysis (or observation) are each sample participant. In case study design GCU Proposal Template V8.3 01.18.18 X 48 Criterion *(Score = 0, 1, 2, or 3) (single or multiple), the unit of analysis is a “bounded system” in its own right. This could include one individual, one family, one group, one community, one school, one policy, one region, one state, one country, etc. The sample may include several participants, but these must be members of a homogeneous unit representing the “bounded system” that is the case study unit. Learner Score Chair Score Methodologist Score Content Expert Score Uses authoritative source(s) to justify the design. Note: Do not use introductory research textbooks (such as Creswell) to justify the research design and data analysis approach. Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format. X X *Score each requirement listed in the criteria table using the following scale: 0 = Item Not Present or Unacceptable. Substantial Revisions are Required. 1 = Item is Present. Does Not Meet Expectations. Revisions are Required. 2 = Item is Acceptable. Meets Expectations. Some Revisions May be Suggested or Required. 3 = Item Exceeds Expectations. No Revisions are Required. Reviewer Comments: Population and Sample Selection ...
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One of the challenging tasks in completing a proposal dissertation is ensuring the correct
format that I up to date. Different authors have suggested different formats for each section.
Although I knew the general format of a dissertation proposal, the proposal rubric provides
detailed instructions for each...


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