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Writing Research Proposal

Khalid Mahmood, PhD

Professor of Library & Information Science University of the Punjab

Research objectives
Specify the outcome of your study, the end product Keep your objectives SMART
Specific: Indicate precisely what you intend to achieve through your project Measurable: What you accept as proof of project success Attainable: Given the resources available Realistic: Given the local conditions Time bound: Can be achieved in the given time

Research objectives
Focus the study Give direction to the research design, method to be adopted Prevent collection of irrelevant, redundant data not necessary to achieve the objective Organize the study in clearly defined parts or phases Provide criteria by which to evaluate the outcome to the research

Research objectives
Examples from market research
Sample verbs Identify Define Describe Explore Generate Evaluate Select Test Measure Prioritize Monitor Track Sample findings Problems, opportunities, criteria Concepts, requirements Processes, usage, environments Perceptions, reactions Ideas, hypotheses, alternatives, explanations Feasibility, attractiveness, support Theme, service, product, concept, ad Assumptions, preferences Size, growth, frequency Market segments, needs, opportunities Trends, competition 4 Awareness, satisfaction

Research objectives
To find out methods used for water treatment To determine the feeding habits of the under fives To assess the perception of the community regarding care and support for people living with HIV/AIDS

Research questions
Premised on the problem statement identified, list possible research questions that could be asked in order to achieve the research objectives of the study
Main question and sub-questions

Research questions
Is there a correlation between metacognitive and cognitive strategy use and writing performance?
Are the more strategies used, the higher the written text scores are? Is there a correlation between metacognitive strategies and the task completion, between cognitive strategies and the language achievement?

Which of the metacognitive and cognitive strategies used lead to more successful writing performance?

Hypotheses are research questions that could be statistically tested
Research hypothesis Null hypothesis

Thesis statement

There is a positive correlation between the availability of hours for work and the productivity of employees Worker satisfaction increases worker productivity Amount of sun exposure will increase the growth of a tomato plant Childhood obesity is tied to the amount of sugary drinks ingested daily

Thesis statement
The life of the typical college student is characterized by time spent studying, attending class, and socializing with peers Rates of HIV and AIDS in Zimbabwe are among the highest in the world, and increasing most quickly among young females. Levels of morbidity and mortality seriously affect all levels of society. Nearly two decades of prevention efforts appear to have made little difference in halting or reversing these trends. Many are calling for contextual studies to better understand local realities (Kalipeni, 2000; McGrath et al., 1993; Nzioka, 1996; UNIFEM, 2000). There has been insufficient culturally relevant knowledge of the experiences and beliefs of Zimbabwean women regarding health promotion and HIV prevention.

Rationale and significance

Reasons or justification for conducting the study

Addition in existing knowledge Implications for policy and practice Likely benefits for society at large

Characteristics selected by the researcher to define the boundaries of the study. The researcher makes conscious exclusionary and inclusionary decisions regarding the sample (including such information as geographic location), the variables studied, the theoretical perspectives, the instruments, the generalizability, etc.

Participation in this study is delimited to teachers who (a) teach third grade in a private school, (b) in the state of California, and (c) have taught more than five years. Teachers who meet all other qualifications but have previously taught in a public school environment will be excluded from the study.

The study will be delimited to examination of teachers' self-efficacy when teaching mathematics.

Self-efficacy will be measured on a Likert-type scale with an instrument designed specifically for the proposed study.

The results of the proposed study will be generalizable to teachers who (a) teach third grade in a private school, (b) in the state of California, and (c) have taught more than five years.

Factors, usually beyond the researchers control, that may affect the results of the study or how the results are interpreted. Examples
Due to the small sample available for the study, results may not be generalizable to the population. Due to the length of the study, a significant number of respondents available in the preliminary testing may be unavailable or unwilling to participate in the final stage of testing.


Availability of resources
Equipment Materials Literature Human resources Budget Additional resources needed and methods to acquire

Work schedule Gantt chart


Proposed contents
Outline of chapters
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Introduction Literature review Design of the study Data analysis and discussion Summary, conclusions and recommendations