Designing a Research Proposal

In the final assignment you will design a research proposal. The proposal should be 15-20 pages maximum. The topic area will remain the same as your practice need from assignment 2. The proposal can be one of the following research designs:

survey, experiment/quasi experiment
quantitative, qualitative or mixed method design
program evaluation
secondary data analysis

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The following headings will be included in the proposal:

Statement of the Problem (2 pages): Students can incorporate their work from Assignment Two. Be sure to include any suggested changes from the instructor. What is the significance of the problem? Convince the reader of the importance of the study and its broad utility for the profession. Balance the need for brevity with the need for a complete exposition of the problem.
Literature Review (3 – 5 pages): What does the literature say about your chosen area of focus? What previous work has been conducted related to this question? Provide opposing views. Students should include a minimum of 8 different resources to discuss the problem. Students may use the articles from assignment 2 (if the instructor agreed they were appropriate). The literature review should provide the reader with overview of sources you have explored while researching your particular topic and demonstrate how your research fits into the larger field of social work study.
Briefly describe a potential conceptual/theoretical framework that you might employ in your proposed study (1-2 paragraphs). Write the research question(s) to be investigated in the study. Write the hypotheses for the study. What are the experiential, empirical, or theoretical bases for these hypotheses? Provide operational definitions of variables. (1-2 pages)
Measurement (1-2 pages): The measurement section of this assignment should flow smoothly from the operational definitions and should not be repetitive of them. Go into detail about the nature of any scales to be employed, how it is scored. Discuss the reliability/validity of your measures. Are your measures culturally sensitive? You will need to refer back to your literature review.
Describe the research design (2-3 pages): What is the general strategy that you will employ in your research? If the research design is experimental, how will experimental/control groups be formed? If a survey design is used, how will data be collected? If using a mixed-methods design, describe your plan for collecting both quantitative and qualitative data. Be sure to explicitly discuss how your research plan is capable of answering your research questions. Also, discuss any threats to validity and how you will attempt to control for them.
Sampling (1 – 2 pages): What is your sampling plan? What will you do to maximize participation/response rate? How will the sample affect external validity? Discuss the generalizability of your sample.
Protection of Research Participants (1-2 pages): What are the risks, if any, to study participants? What are the benefits, if any, to study participants? How will informed consent be obtained? How will you protect participant confidentiality?

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