PPA 501 – Analytical Methods in Administration Lecture 2c – The Research Proposal.
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PPA 501 – Analytical Methods in Administration Lecture 2c – The Research Proposal
Outline of Proposal Abstract or Executive Summary Introduction – tell them what your going to tell them and why. Statement of the problem. Literature review – what have other authors said about the topic? Study objectives – what do you expect to determine? Methodology – How are you going to conduct the study? References or Bibliography
Abstract or Executive Summary Brief summary of the whole proposal. Abstracts range from 100 to 300 words. Executive summary, either narrative or bullet points, should not exceed one page. Both should outline the proposed research project and present a brief statement of the research objectives and the methods proposed for accomplishing them.
Introduction Where the author sets the scene: the who, what, where, and why of study. A good introduction can provide a road map for the author. Sections: A statement (one sentence) of the research problem. A reason for why the study is worth doing. A brief description of the major issues or problems to be addressed. If quantitative, a statement of the hypotheses; if qualitative, a statement of theory (if any). Limitations expected and definitions of key concepts. [Literature review, although it is usually a separate section].
Literature Review An detailed analysis and summary of prior research on the topic. Involves reading and analyzing published material in books, professional and academic journals, government documents, and other sources. The focus should be the key ideas that may function as leads for further investigation. Your review should be organized by ideas and concepts, not by article. Functions of a literature review. Demonstrates knowledge of the problem and its theory. Demonstrates ability to critically analyze the literature. Shows knowledge of issues surrounding the problem. Indicates ability to integrate and synthesize information. Provides new insights and new models Helps avoid reinventing the wheel. Gives credit to previous researchers on the subject. Helps convince readers that the research will make a significant contribution.
Study Objectives Study objectives usually begin with a statement of the problem, a discussion of the need for the project, and the questions that the study is designed to answer. The objectives are statements of what you expect to determine from the findings.
Methodology Choose the strategy that provides the most cost-effective way of gathering the information, and the strategy that produces the best possible answer to the research question. Three broad classes of research strategies. Qualitative Quantitative Combined
Methodology Are you doing primary or secondary analysis. If primary, an effective research plan (or design) requires decisions on Research approaches; Data sources; Data-gathering instruments; Sampling plan; and Methods of contacting study subjects. If secondary, what sources are you using and how will analyze that information?
References or Bibliography The research proposal must include detailed bibliographic data for every source addressed in preparing for and writing the proposal. The bibliography may also include a list of all the resources the researcher plans to investigate during the subsequent research. Primary – first-hand data. Secondary – conducted by other researchers. Use American Psychological Association, 5 th Ed., for all PPA projects.