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Seminar in Behavioral Science

Research Proposal
Introduction: Students will develop a research proposal that connects to the broad research topic
chosen by the instructor. In small groups students will construct an individual research question
and design a study to answer the research question. Each individual student will write a proposal
for the given study.
Purpose: The purpose of this assignment is to assess students ability to:
Effectively propose a meaningful research study
Effectively communicate in writing
o The theoretical framework related to the research topic.
o The purpose of the research study.
o An integrated literature review that references at least 8 peer-reviewed
research articles.
o The proposed research questions or hypotheses.
o The proposed research design (methods and procedureswhich includes a
brief discussion of sampling, instruments, data collection and data
o The limitations associated with the research study.
o The studys significance and contribution to the research community.
Parts of a Research Proposal: (Salkind, 2009)

a. Research Question/s or Hypothesis


Literature ReviewThe literature review should be a synthesis of 8-10 scholarly

articles based on the research subject. You will want to consider the following in
evaluating each of the articles. You should also compare/contrast the samples,
methodologies and results of the studies within the paragraphs. Do NOT summarize
each article separately, instead, compare/contrast multiple studies within each
a. Importance of question being asked
b. Current status of topic
c. Relationship between the literature and the research question
d. Summary, including restatement of relationship between important variables
under consideration and how these relationships are important to the proposed

e. Purpose of the study

f. Limit the use of quotations, rephrase the information in your own words with
proper citations
The Literature Review will be submitted as a draft in week 4

Method The Methods section contains multiple subsections. From this point
forward, your paper should be written in future tense.
a. Participants this is your sample (you will answer a discussion board about your sample a
couple of weeks prior to this draftplease pay attention to my comments on your discussion
board posts)
number, age, race/ethnicity/group membership, other demographics (if pertinent)
how they will be selected/sampled i.e. random sample, convenience sample, etc.
how they will be compensated (if pertinent)

b. Research design

Instrument (or Apparatus) This is not your samplethis is what you will use to

collect your datayou must include a copy of your instrument in the

appendix section of your paper
Description of materials used to measure variable e.g.:
names and description of tests, surveys
reliability and validity
detailed listing of items in appendix

c. Data collection plans

Operational definition of all variables

Reliability and validity of instruments

d. Procedures
Details of what and how study will be conducted
Reader understands what the study entails from point of view of the participants
Reader could reasonably replicate study
Summary of instruments to participants
Description of formulation of groups, experimental manipulations/interventions (if
e. Data Analysis Plans:

Tables and figures

Analyses described as significant, significantly different p<.05; p,.1; p<0.01 etc
What type of inferential statistics (chi square, ANOVA, regression analysis, etc.) will
you use?
If you are not using inferential statistics, how will you analyze the data?
Summary sentences/paragraphs that explain the analysis in words

Note sections a-e will be submitted as a draft in week 5

f. Results (For your papers you will need to keep the framework of expected results in
mind as you will not actually complete the research).


Are findings objectively reported?

Are tables and charts well designed with clear titles?
Are statistical results correct?
Does it answer the problem initially asked by the researcher(s)?
Hypothetical results

E. Discussion / Conclusions

Is conclusion included for each pertinent finding?

Is the basis for the conclusion given?

Are Conclusions related to the literature included? Are they logically stated?
HINT: A typical description of this section:

a. Restatement of purpose of study (research question)

b. Clear statements of support/non-support for hypothesis

c. Discussion of findings
1. Similarities/differences with research review in literature review
2. With respect to problem under investigation

d.Interpretations of results for theory, practice without going beyond data

e.Limitations/shortcomings of study

f. Directions for future research strategies

Keep in mind that findings should not be over generalized. Conclusions and generalizations
must be comprehensive and consistent with findings. Limitations must be discussed or
recapitulated particularly as they bear on generalization

F. Overall Critique of The Study -Most important section, think about the value of this study to
a. Overall Strengths

b. Overall Weaknesses

c. Internal and external validity

a. Copies of instrumentsYou must include copies of ALL instruments that will be
used in your proposal. If you are using an instrument designed by another entity
it is your responsibility to secure a copy of the instrument and to know how to
interpret the results. DO NOT wait until the last minute to attempt to secure the
instrument. Some instruments designed by other entities include a price to use
them, it is up to you if you want to pay for them or not. If not, you must design
your own instrumentation.
b. IRB application (Human Subjects Review Packet)

c. Informed Consent Forms for participants (including assent forms if used and other
consent forms if needed)
d. Time line
e. Other
Paper Format:
10-12 pages total, excluding references and appendices
12 pt. Times-New Roman font
Minimum of 8-10 references from scholarly publications
APA formattedthis means 1 inch margins around.
Salkind, N. J. (2009). Exploring research (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.