2) Assignment: Research Proposal - Draft of Introduction
This Assignment is part of the Final Project’s Research Proposal that you will turn in at the end of Unit 9. In light of the fact that this Assignment will be part of your MSP Portfolio and should represent the very best of your writing, the project has been designed to be completed in portions to permit feedback and revision. The Assignment for this unit will produce a draft of your Introduction section; the Unit 7 Assignment will be a draft of the Method Section; and the Final Project in Unit 9 will incorporate revisions of both of these earlier Assignments as well as an abstract.
As noted, this Assignment represents the Introduction section of your Research Proposal. It will be written as a standard paper, with title and references page. When it is revised for inclusion in your Final Project, some changes will need to be made, but if you’ve done well here, those changes will be minor.
The Introduction section of a Research Proposal includes an explanation of the topic, a literature review of previously published research on the topic of the research being proposed, and a description of the proposed research question and hypotheses.
Open the Introduction section with an introductory paragraph complete with a thesis statement, just like any paper. From there, move into a discussion of the research topic: describe the topic and the issues around it, define terms that might not be known by the reader. Make sure that they understand the topic.
Once the reader understands the topic, move smoothly into a literature review discussing recent research on the topic (using the 3-5 articles you found while doing the Unit 2 Discussions and Assignment if you have remained with that topic). Describe each research paper’s hypothesis and method, and critique the methods used and the conclusions that were drawn. Was the research done well? Are the conclusions drawn sound? Did they miss anything?
After the literature review, transition into a discussion of your proposal’s research question. Explain the question itself and why it needs to be asked and answered. Describe the hypothesis (you may have more than one) that you have formulated and how it relates to the research question.
Finally, write a summary paragraph that recaps the research topic, the research question and hypothesis, and what the proposed research hopes to accomplish.
To recap in an outline format:
The Assignment should:
3 Assignment: Research Proposal – Draft of Method Section
This Assignment is part of the Final Project’s Research Proposal that will be turned in at the end of Unit 9. In light of the fact that this Assignment will be part of your MSP portfolio and should represent the very best of your writing, the Assignment has been designed to be completed in portions to permit feedback and revision. The Assignment for this unit will produce a draft of your Method section; the Unit 4 Assignment was a draft of the Introduction section; and the Final Project in Unit 9 will incorporate revisions of both of these earlier assignments as well as an abstract.
As noted, this Assignment represents the Method section of your Research Proposal. It should have a title page and references page but should be formatted per the APA Publication Manual’s outline of a Method section (see page 44 of the APA Publication Manual for a graphic and description of the formatting). When it is revised for inclusion in the Final Project, some changes will need to be made, but if you have done well here, those changes will be minor.
The Method section of a Research Proposal is like the instructions portion of a recipe. It outlines in very specific terms everything that is necessary to cook the dish (to perform the research and collect the data). This includes describing the ingredients in very specific detail (describing the participants and how they are recruited, describing any apparatus or other materials necessary for the research to move forward) and then giving very detailed instructions on how make the dish (the procedure…how one will do the actual research). As with any other recipe, if anything is vague or left out of the description, the result will NOT be what was intended.
The Method section for the Research Proposal in this course will have five subsections, arranged in this order: Participants, Apparatus/Materials, Measures, Procedure, and Ethical Considerations. Apart from these subsections, there should be no other material in the Method section.
Under “Participants,” the population to be sampled from should be clearly described and the method of sampling (random, stratified, etc.) described along with the rationale for why that method will be used and how the actual recruitment will be performed.
“Apparatus/Materials” will describe any equipment or other materials that will be needed for the research. If you intend to use a questionnaire or inventory, it should be clearly identified here.
The “Measures” subsection describes the variables being assessed in the study. Describe the independent and dependent variables, how they will be analyzed, and how you will assess the reliability and validity of the measures.
The “Procedure” subsection must be completed in enough detail to ensure that someone else reading it could replicate the experiment exactly as proposed. Referring back to the recipe metaphor: if the recipe doesn’t clearly and exactly describe every step, each person using the recipe is likely to wind up with a very different food at the end. The procedure section should also clearly indicate what type of experimental design is being used (“quantitative, between-subjects design”).
The final subsection, “Ethical Considerations” will discuss appropriate ethical issues that might arise from performing the research: informed consent, privacy issues, etc. Don’t simply give a laundry list of the APA standards; discuss them in terms of your proposal and how you will ensure that you are in accord with the guidelines. If there are BACB guidelines that might also come into play here, they should also be discussed.
To recap in an outline format:
The Assignment should:
4) Final Project: Research Proposal
For your Final Project, you will produce a formal research proposal as per APA guidelines (10-15 pages). You will use revisions of the Unit 4 and Unit 7 Assignments to create the Introduction and Methods sections. The proposal should contain all of the following sections:
The Final Project should:
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